Monday, January 14, 2008

Tendai Includes Pure Land Teachings

People inquiring about Tendai sometimes say they like Tendai teachings, but are not interested in the Pure Land. I tell them there is no need for Pure Land teachings for those who don't plan on dying. These teachings are only for those who think they might die some day.
In many Tendai temples, the Amitabha Sutra is recited daily, which includes the following passage:
"All those who have set their minds on being born in the land of Amitabha Buddha, or who are now setting their minds, or who will in the future set their minds, will reach the level where they do not regress from Highest Perfect Enlightenment. They are already born, or are now being born, or will be born in that land.
One way to gain faith, confidence, and assurance of Amitabha's welcome into the Pure Land is by repetition of the 6-syllable nembutsu a million times. The great saint Honen, Tendai priest and founder of the Jodo Sect, had the habit late in life of reciting the nembutsu 60,000 times a day, while at the same time carrying out all his worldly and religious obligations. Tendai beads can count 20,000 repetitions in a cycle, and so are convenient to use if you want to set your mind on birth in the Pure Land. With 33,000 repetitions a day, in one month a million will be accumulated.

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