Search This Blog


Even IF Buddhism is a Fiction

Even if Buddhist practice creates a "fiction" such as Amida Buddha and the Pure Land, it is done for a noble purpose.

For Amida represents both infinite compassion and wisdom, the two qualities of the Buddha which are highly esteemed by Buddhists.

Buddhists treat the story of Amida Buddha as true and real.

In essence, through practice Amida and his Pure Land becomes a quality of the mind of the practitioner. Thus, Amida and the Pure Land is internalized in the mind of the practitioner.

As a result, the heart of compassion merges with the mind of reason to become the heart-mind through Buddha Remembrance (repetition of the Nembutsu, the Name of Amida). Through practice arises the Bodhi Mind that desires to be reborn in the Pure Land.

Since the Pure Land and Amida are internalized in the mind of the practitioner, rebirth also refers to the Bodhi Mind entering the internalized Pure Land. Through practice, it is as though one is reborn in the Pure Land through visualization of both the Buddha and the Pure Land.

In essence though, one creates a "fiction" in the mind through visualization, both of the Pure Land and of Amida Buddha. However, the purpose of this fiction is to achieve samadhi, and after a long time of practice, Buddhahood.

With practice then this is all possible if one has the ideal conditions, but even if one fails in this lifetime, one has rebirth in Pure Land with one of two goals, 1) rebirth in the human realm after instructions by Amida, or 2) remaining in the Pure Land to become Buddha after a shorter time than rebirth in human realm.

To outsiders who are not familiar with Pure Land Buddhist practice, this sounds like religious psychosis. However, the difference between religious practice and religious psychosis is that the latter arises due a dysfunction of the mind, while the former arises out of a sincere desire to reduce anxiety about the afterlife through Pure Land practice.

Thus, a person suffering a mental dysfunction encounters negativity arising from his own mind. Even when he visualizes the Pure Land and Amida Buddha, he not only internalizes both aspects of his practice, he also hides within his heart the underlying anxiety about the afterlife without achieving Bodhi Mind. His internalized Pure Land and Amida Buddha is actually a hallucination, which is powered by his anxiety about the afterlife.

This is why it is important to achieve Bodhi Mind so that the practitioner gains the sincere desire to be reborn in the Pure Land.

A person with a mental dysfunction would require more practice to reduce the dysfunction and thus make his mind morefunctional by achieving the calm mind that can see clearly the root of his dysfunction which will be fear, the mother of anxiety.

This is why persons who do not have the capacity to meditate are better off just practicing Buddha Remembrance (chanting the Name of Amida). All meditation will do for them is cause a manifestation of mental dysfunction due to their unresolved fear of death.

Fear of death is natural for any sentient being who does not practice Pure Land Buddhism. It is useful to reduce that fear by calmly explaining that death is a natural part of the life cycle of all living beings. Since Pure Land practice is done to prepare for the afterlife, it is a worthy goal to eradicate fear of death.

Buddha Remembrance, thus, is a method to eradicate fear of death. It does so by introducing the Pure Land and Amida Buddha to the practitioner, and helps to reassure him that he will be reborn in the Pure Land.

Hopefully this will reduce the incidence of religious psychosis among practitioners. I cannot emphasize enough that this is why Pure Land practice is best practiced in a group setting at a Pure Land temple.

In no way should anyone reading this article try to practice anything described in it relating to Pure Land practice alone, lest the practitioner's mind transform his fear of death into a psychosis. Buddha Remembrance should be only be done within a Pure Land group since a practitioner is less likely to be rendered psychotic in a group setting.

Having said this, I will admit that early in my practice, I'd suffered hypomania due to Buddhist practice of meditation. Each time it was cured by Buddha Remembrance. This cure happened because chanting the name of the Buddha actually soothes the mind of the sincere practitioner. For when you sincerely practice, all doubt is eradicated.

With that kind of mind, nothing is impossible. Religious psychosis is impossible when Bodhi Mind is achieved since even the fear of death is eradicated. Therefore, the solution to religious psychosis is to sincerely practice Buddha Remembrance until all doubt and fear is left behind.

I cannot emphasize this more.

No comments: