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 A01 Approaching Buddhism

Author: Householder Fo’en

Translator: Malcolm Valaitis

Publication Date: 2017-03-01


Brief Introduction

In our superficial, distraction-ridden modern society, the fact that you can read an introductory book on Buddhism is uncommonly rare and really a cause for celebration.

Indeed, this world is brimming with enticements, leaving people dazzled and entranced. Who has time to pay attention to unfathomable spiritual questions? In this age of material abundance and philosophical skepticism, those who discuss faith and spiritual pursuits are most often sneered at.

Buddhist teaching has been handed down to us through various societies and cultures for the past 2500 years, and its message of wisdom and compassion has enlightened countless human lives. But today, the average person’s knowledge of Buddhism is mostly limited to mythical stories and hearsay. It is perhaps not surprising, then, that many people wrongly associate Buddhism with fantasy and superstition.

In reality, Buddhism embraces an “all-rivers-run-to-the-sea” approach to spiritual growth, and can offer many different routes to this end: people who appreciate literature can survey its majestic literary classics; people who take pleasure in philosophy can study the profound systems of thought underpinning its teachings; and those who prize moral and ethical development can apply themselves to the elevated behavioral standards which define the Buddhist way of life…

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Guiding Principles

Faith in, and acceptance of, Amitabha’s deliverance
Single-minded recitation of Amitabha’s name
Aspiration to rebirth in Amitabha’s Pure Land
Comprehensive deliverance of all sentient beings