Expediency to the Buddhahood--- the Pure Land Practice
Venerable Guo Fang gave a series of lectures on the Method of Pure Land at DDM Vancouver Center from September 24th to October 2nd. In spite of the wet and chilly climate in the evenings in early fall of Vancouver, the topic still attracted approximately fifty people to the lectures.
Venerable Guo Fang was ordained under Master Sheng Yen more than thirty years ago. Her resolution in upholding all precepts and diligence in engaging in the prostration practice is well-known among DDM monastics and laities. Starting from the first few days of her stay in Vancouver, she has already inspired people around with her kindness, compassion and caring for others.
The Pure Land practice is one of the most popular methods of cultivation in Chinese Buddhism, yet people often get misled by incorrect interpretation and therefore are unclear about its benefits. Venerable Guo Fang clearly delineated the concepts and methods of the Practice of Pure Land in her versatile presentation. There are three crucial elements in the success of the Pure Land Practice: belief, vows, and action. People must believe in that Western Pure Land is the only best place to go for their afterlife. People must constantly make vows to go to Western Pure Land for their afterlife. People must take actions to practice the method, which means reciting the Buddha’s name all day long wholeheartedly without disruption.
Venerable Guo Fang also shared her own experience of suffering from vexation on the edge of death due to some serious illness in Thailand many years ago. With firm belief in the Buddha and the teachings of Master Sheng Yen, she focused on Buddha-name recitation and made vows to propagate the Pure Land Practice for the rest of her life if she could survive. From then on, she has been fulfilling her vow to benefit others for almost twenty years.
An incident which occurred during the third lecture gave us a live example about the importance and value of the Pure Land practice. A couple who was visiting their sister in Vancouver made a phone call to seek for help as their sister suddenly passed away in a shopping mall without any symptom of a disease. Upon finishing her lecture, the Venerable was immediately on her way to the hospital to offer assistance and care to the family. Nobody could predict the future. Are we ready when our time comes? Once we start to cultivate the Pure Land Practice, we are preparing for our afterlife with less fear and doubt.
“Buddha‘s name recitation practice is as vital as breathing for a practitioner.” Venerable Guo Fang encouraged all participants to earnestly engage themselves in the Pure Land practice, a steadfast, expedient means to the attainment of the Buddhahood.
(Shared by DDM Vancouver Center)