20. The Simplest Method
|On the 30th March, 2013, at 3:00pm, I was scheduled to preside over a homa ceremony and bestow the empowerment of ''Pure Land Trinity'' at Lei Tsang Temple.
On the 29th March, 2013, Pure Land Trinity descended before me at 6:00 am in the morning.
Amitabha emitting golden rays was standing at the center of the Pure Land Trinity. His left hand held a golden lotus and his right hand displayed the ''wish-granting'' mudra.
Avalokitesvara wearing a white heavenly garment with layers of skirts was standing on the right side of the Trinity. Her left hand held a pure vase while her right hand was sprinkling pure water with a willow branch. Immense brilliant lights were all over her body.
Mahasthamaprapta wearing a purple heavenly garment with layers of skirts was standing on the left side of the Trinity. Her left hand formed the ''equality'' mudra while her right hand held a lotus bud. Purple white lights encircled her.
The Trinity stood on lotus seats.
They appeared noble and splendid.
I said, ''I will make offerings to the Pure Land deities tomorrow!''
Buddha replied, ''We have descended because of the offerings.''
I said, ''I was startled. I thought that the three of you had come to deliver me to the Pure Land.''
Buddha answered, ''No, no. We, the Trinity, have come to teach you about the simplest practice of being reborn in the Western Pure Land.''
I asked, ''Isn't the simplest way the single-minded name-chanting as stated in the Amitabha Sutra?''
Buddha explained, ''Name-chanting is simple indeed. However chanting with a single mind is quite difficult. What I want to teach you is single-minded practice.''
I questioned, ''How can one be single minded?''
Buddha said, ''Yes, there are two key points; one, sit straight; second, think of the Pure Land Trinity.''
I asked, ''Isn't this chanting while looking at the image of the deity?''
Buddha expounded, ''Single mind is stillness. It is very difficult for humans not to have improper thoughts. Therefore, it is very hard for them to stop the thoughts. Chanting Buddha's names is also not easy. Many chant with false thoughts floating all the time, which makes spiritual union very difficult.''
I asked, ''Do you mean for us to look at the deity's image with concentration while chanting the deity's name?''
Buddha replied, ''When we sit straight, sitting straight is single. When we stand straight, standing straight is single. The two already are associated with much feeling.''
Buddha continued, ''Focus your mind on thoughts of the Trinity while your mouth chants the Buddha name, it's as simple as that.''
I questioned, ''What about improper thoughts?''
Buddha replied, ''Don't mind the improper thoughts. Let them be! I only want you to think of the Trinity and have your mouth chant Buddha's name, just that, just like that. This is all.''
I asked, ''For how long?''
Buddha answered, ''one second, two seconds, three seconds, thirty seconds, or one minute. It can be done easily. Chanting Buddha's name and having a single mind can be accomplished at the same time.'' (This is a key formula)
I asked, ''Only this short?''
Buddha replied, ''It is indeed short. However both chanting Buddha's name and having a single mind are accomplished. Starting this way, one will not have the problem of improper thoughts.'' Buddha added, ''If one does this whenever possible and multiple times every day, one will be delivered to the pure land.''
I reconfirmed, ''Chant Buddha's name, and think of the Trinity, right?''
Buddha reassured, ''Only this.''
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