Wherever the Buddha is present, every city, town, and village is blessed by his virtues. The whole country reposes in peace and harmony. The sun and moon shine with pure brilliance; wind arises and rain falls at the right time.
There is no calamity or epidemic, and so the country becomes wealthy and the people enjoy peace. Soldiers and weapons become useless, and people esteem virtue, practice benevolence, and diligently cultivate courteous modesty.
—Buddha Shakyamuni, The Larger Pure Land Sutra
Like mirages and cities in the clouds, Illusions, and dreams, all characteristics you entertain are empty of any essence.
Know all phenomena are like this.
When Bodhisattvas would leave the shelter of afflictions and shine their insight on the Five Aggregates (form, sensation, perception, volition, and consciousness), they see they are without true nature; they do not have to seek the peace of nirvana. That is to realize the wisdom of Bodhisattvas.
What is the object realized by this understanding? It is to shine the light of insight and see that all is empty of self. With this insight, there is no longer any fear. Bodhisattvas thus awaken themselves and others.
—Buddha Shakyamuni, Prajñaparamita Ratnaguna Samuccaya Gatha
The Dharmakaya has neither suffering nor pleasure;
therefore, it is called Great Bliss.
It is neither born nor it does it die; it is eternal.
Buddha Nature is the right cause of Enlightenment.
Flowers wilt with our attachment;
weeds spring up with our aversion.
If we don’t tend to one another,
who then will tend to us?
Whoever would tend to me,
should tend to the sick.
—Buddha Shakyamuni, Kucchivikara-vatthu
We already have Buddha Nature. In our lineage, we enter the Holy Path, the path of ethics, meditation, and wisdom, through the Gate of the Pure Land. We are assured of birth in Dewachen —Great Bliss, the Western Pure Land— once we recognize our True Nature. Only then are we ready to embrace the Holy Path of practice, because we don’t have to worry about ourselves anymore.
We understand that practice is the way to manifest our Buddha Nature, to manifest our birth in Dewachen. Practice is simple: we recognize and encourage the Buddha Nature of others. The more we do that, the more we will see and manifest our own Buddha Nature, because there is no separation, no duality. What we do for others, we do for ourselves. We rejoice in the fact that within whatever imperfections we many notice in ourselves and in others, and despite all the limitations we perceive in ourselves and others, there is perfection.
First, we see our own Buddha Nature and the Buddha Nature of others. Then, we act to manifest this Buddha Nature in ourselves, by helping and encouraging others to manifest their Buddha Nature.
We treat every single sentient being with utmost respect and kindness. We deal with all sentient beings reverentially, knowing that they carry within themselves complete perfect enlightenment. Regardless of appearances, they are Buddhas. They are the Buddha in us. —TN