Pureland Buddhism is a form of Mahayana Buddhism that is widely practiced in the East. The central practice of Pureland Buddhism is the nembutsu, or "keeping the Buddha in mind."
For Pureland Buddhists, the Buddha at the center of our devotional practice is Amida Buddha, the Buddha of measureless light. The nembutsu practice can take a number of forms, but is most often done through oral recitation (in various languages) of the phrase, "I Take Refuge in Amida Buddha."
Amida Shu (the Japanese word "shu" means "school") is one particular school of Pureland Buddhism, founded by and under the spiritual direction of the Head of the Amida Order in the U.K., Dharmavidya David Brazier, PhD. Amida Mosaic belongs to Amida Shu.
There are three fundamental teachings in the faith-based practice of Amida Shu Pureland Buddhism. These fundamentals are:
The threefold nature of Buddha - The Buddha is the object of refuge and source of grace in three ways: as absolute truth, as spiritual presence and as physical manifestation;
The twofold nature of the practicer - The practicer is 'bombu' in being fallible and vulnerable; and
The singular nature of the practice - The practice is singular in that nembutsu encompasses all.
Taking refuge in Buddha, we choose the nembutsu as our single practice; and when we have done so, all practice becomes nembutsu.
We take refuge because we realize that we are fallible and vulnerable and incapable of saving ourselves from spiritual danger by our own power, unaided.
We are able to take refuge because we attain faith by perceiving with our own senses, by having that faith enhanced by spiritual realization, and by grounding it upon the intuition of absolute truth that lies beyond our immediate comprehension.
The three Pure Land sutras are as follows (click on the buttons to access the texts):
The Smaller Sutra on Amitayus, informally called The Smaller Amida Sutra
(The Smaller Sukhātīvyūha )
The Larger Sutra on Amitāyus, informally called The Pureland Manifestation Sutra
or The Sutra of Infinite Life (Sukhavativyuha Sutra)
The Sutra on Contemplation of Amitāyus, informally called The Meditation Sūtra
or The Contemplation Sūtra
If you're interested and would like to learn more about Amida Shu’s rich approach to Buddhism, check out "How to Begin" to see a list of activities you might want to explore for yourself.
Just as you are.
Just as you are.