The present treatise, a Pure Land classic, is part of a multilingual series on Pure Land Buddhism published by the Sutra Translation Committee of the United States and Canada. It deals specifically with the main practice of the Pure Land School - Buddha Recitation - and covers both the noumenal and phenomenal aspects of that practice. The treatise is accompanied by the detailed commentary of an Elder Master of the Zen and Pure Land lineages. Readers not familiar with Pure Land theory may wish to begin with Dr. J.C. Cleary's introduction. ***
Of all the forms of Buddhism practiced in East Asia, Pure Land has been the most widespread for over a millennium. It can be found throughout the Mahayana canon, with specific references in more than 200 texts (Encyclopedia of Buddhism). In one such text, the Avatamsaka Sutra, the story is told of awordless sutra, "equal in extent to the universe, existing in each and every atom." What is this sutra? It is the Sutra of the Mind -- the embodiment of the tenet that "everything is made from Mind alone."
And so we come to a key teaching which underlies the entire Buddhist canon, in which Pure Land figures so prominently: to attain the Mind of Enlightenment, to become a Buddha, the first step is development of the Bodhi Mind - the aspiration to achieve Buddhahood for the benefit of all sentient beings. It is with this parting thought that we leave the reader, as we wish him a pleasant excursion into Buddha Recitation, a profound yet democratic form of Buddhist practice.
Minh Thanh & P.D. Leigh, Editors (English edition)
Rye Brook, New York: Festival of Amitabha, 12/99