Five Fundamental Practices

amida-nyorai-amitabha-late-13th-early-14th-centuryIf a good man or woman performs the Five Fundamental Practices and has accomplished them, he or she will eventually attain birth in the Pure Land of Bliss and see Buddha Amideva.

What are the Five Fundamental Practices? They are: (1) reverence; (2) praise; (3) aspiration; (4) contemplation; and (5) merit-transference.

What is reverence? It is a bodily act of honoring Amideva the Tathagata, the Arhat, the Perfectly Enlightened One. One performs this act because one aspires to be born in His Land.

How do we praise Amideva? We praise Him by means of speech. We call the Holy Name of that Tathagata which describes His Light, the embodiment of Wisdom, wishing to practice in accord with the Dharma, that is, in agreement with the significance of the Holy Name.

How do we aspire to be born in the Pure Land? We constantly and definitively resolve, fixing our thoughts on the eventual attainment of birth in the Land of Peace and Bliss, and we wish to practice concentration correctly.

How do we contemplate? We contemplate with wisdom; that is, we contemplate the Pure Land with mindfulness, wishing to accomplish the wisdom of equality in accord with the Dharma. Contemplation is of three kinds: (1) contemplation of the glorious manifestations of the merit of the Pure Land; (2) contemplation of the glorious merit of Amideva; and (3) contemplation of the glorious merit of the Bodhisattvas.

How do we transfer the merit of the practice? We do not forsake suffering beings, but constantly resolve in our minds to perfect the Great Compassion by placing merit-transference above anything else. 

—Arya Vasubandhu, Treatise on the Pure Land

About Tashi Nyima

I am a Dharma student, and aspire to be a companion on the path. I trust that these texts can offer a general approach and basic tools for practicing the Buddha's way to enlightenment. ||| Soy un estudiante del Dharma, y aspiro a ser un compañero en el sendero. Espero que estos textos ofrezcan a algunos un mapa general y herramientas básicas para la práctica del sendero a la iluminación que nos ofrece el Buda.
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