In this age of the Dharma’s decline, there are numerous afflictions that can get in the way of our Dharma Cultivation. We can grow attached to material things, worldly views and bad practices, not because we are fond of slandering the Dharma, but because we are ignorant of our own views. We worry tirelessly over trivial affairs, while failing to notice that the supermundane, is also the most simple.
No practice, in all of the Buddha’s teachings, is as simple as saying the name of Amitabha, and its simplicity alone, is what makes it so supermundane, for all beings with the capacity to chant “Amitabha Buddha” will be reborn into his pure land. One doesn’t have to be a monk, or even a layperson in a particular Sangha, one only needs to have developed a True Entrusting in their faith in Amitabha. When one fully develops their faith, they can practice the name chanting method at all moments, under any circumstance. This is what the great Pure Land Masters meant when they said such things like one should “chant the name, morning and night, while sitting, standing or lying down, while drinking/eating or going to the bathroom etc.” or they give absurd numbers like 10,000 repetitions of Amitabha for daily practice. The masters are urging us ignorant beings to generate our True Entrusting in Amitabha, which when developed, is so simple that one is at any time, benefiting from its method and achieving its results.
In our own practice, we should make Buddha Remembrance and Buddha Recitation (Nembutsu), our primary method. It is so simple and profound, that all beings can benefit from its cultivation, from us defiled human beings to ignorant animals and hungry ghosts. When we develop True Entrusting in our Faith in Amitabha, we vow to be reborn into his land of Ultimate Bliss. This being the case, our attachment to this world of dust shatters; we can see all things for what they are, delusions. What we gain from our practice of chanting the name of Amitabha, this understanding of delusion, we must transfer into our day to day lives. We must learn to live simply in the Dharma-Ending Age.
The most simple
Is also the most profound;
Every single snowflake different
Yet all melt in an open palm,
When one has True entrusting
No matter the ocean or the puddle
The true students dives
Where there’s water to jump into