Two Paths

Jieyintu9-e1427960287868There are two paths by which Bodhisattvas reach the stage of non-retrogression: the path of difficult practice and the path of easy practice.

The path of difficult practice is attempting to reach the stage of non-retrogression through self-effort in the age of the five corruptions, when no Buddha dwells in the world. […] The path of difficult practice is, therefore, like an overland journey, painstakingly made on foot.

The path of easy practice is aspiring to be born in the Pure Land through faith in Amideva and attaining birth by the power of His Vows. In the Pure Land, we are sustained by the Buddha’s power and join those who are rightly established in the Mahayana path. […] The path of easy practice is, therefore, like a pleasant journey on water, serenely made by boat.

—Nagarjuna, Dasabhumika-vibhasa-sastra

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Eyes & Legs


The teaching and practice for birth in the Pure Land of Supreme Bliss are the eyes and legs for those who seek Buddhahood in the defiled Latter Age of the five corruptions.


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Back to Basics

sunset_monkSentient beings may perform ten wholesome deeds or ten unwholesome deeds. What are the ten? Three are done with the body, four are done with the mouth, and three are done with the mind.

The three done with the body are killing, stealing, and abusing the bodies of others. The four done with the mouth are duplicity, harsh speech, lies, and frivolity. The three done with the mind are covetousness, ill will, and wrong views. These ten are not in accord with the Way of Sages and are called the ten unwholesome deeds.

To put a stop to this unwholesomeness is to perform the ten wholesome deeds.

—Buddha Shakyamuni

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om ye dharma hetu-prabhava hetum tesham tathagato

hyavadat tesham cha yo nirodha evam vadi mahashramanah svaha

ajñānāc-cīyate karmma janmanaḥ karmma kāraṇam

jñānān-na cīyate karmma karmmābhāvān-na jāyate

All phenomena originate from causes.

The Tathagata has taught these causes and also their cessation.

This is the teaching of the Great Renunciant.

Through ignorance, karma is accumulated. Karma is the cause of birth.

Through wisdom, karma is not accumulated.

Through the absence of karma, there is no birth.




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No Ground


We have left our families, forsaken our bodies, and given up our opinions. After entrusting our bodies and lives to the Buddha, we may not entertain thoughts of ownership toward other persons or objects. Especially, to consider ourselves to be masters of other beings, what notion is this? […]

Having abandoned this world and discarded this body, there is no ground for becoming an owner of anything.

—Shinkyo Shonin

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buddha-faceIf a person commits many offenses and does not repent of them, but cuts off all thought of repentance, the offenses will engulf him, just as water returning to the sea will gradually become deeper and wider.

If a person commits offenses and, realizing they are wrong, reforms and does good, the offenses will dissolve by themselves, just as a feverish person who begins to perspire will gradually be cured.

—Buddha Shakyamuni

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Bodhisattvas and monks who practice purity will not even step on the grass in the pathway; even less will they pull it up with their hand.

How can those with great compassion take the flesh and blood of living beings and proceed to eat their fill?

—Buddha Shakyamuni, Surangama Sutra 6:26

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