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Finding Our True Home: Living in the Pure Land Here and Now Paperback – August 1, 2003
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This is a splendid book on so many levels. Nhat Hanh's writing is clear, engaging, practical, and full of warmth.
He writes that there are three levels from which we may understand this sutra. The reader practices according to his level, i.e., the Pure Land is figurative, both figurative and literal, or literal: there really is a Western Pure Land, like there is a United States, and Amitabha will save us all. He doesn't make those who believe in a literal Pure Land feel silly or inferior. He encourages such a belief, especially if it brings about wholesome states of mind. He's clear that his own view is that the Pure Land is a metaphor for understanding that this life, just as it is, IS or CAN BE the Pure Land, depending on our state of mind. He does a magnificient job of elucidating this view. While reading this book, I'd occasionally get the feeling -- Wow, this really is the Pure Land, and I AM surrounded by bodhisattvas -- my chance to practice is now, there's no better place or time to practice.
Even though he understands the Pure Land from this view, he encourages Buddha remembrance and recitation in order to purify our minds. He engages and allows for both levels of understanding simultaneously, and this is what I find so brilliant about this commentary. So, even if the Amitabha sutra is a metaphor for a nondual understanding, one should practice anyway.
This is absolutely an essential read for those with an interest or devotion to the Amitabha Sutra. In my own path, my evaluation of this sutra has gone back and forth. After reading this book, it's clear to me that this is an exceptional sutra worthy of understanding and practice by any and all Buddhists.
This book is a commentary on the Amitabha Sutra, which is the shortest of the 3 "Pure Land" sutras in Buddhism. The Pure Land sutras are, in TNH's words, not something you read intellectually but with the heart. The visual descriptions of the Pure Land, a refuge for all beings so they can practice Buddhism more readily, can be off-putting if you're not used to it, but Thich Nhat Hanh shows how cultivating recollecting of the Buddha Amitabha is a great practice and very accessible for everyone. Not only is it accessible, but as one's practice deepens their understanding of the Pure Land deepens as well, as I've come to learn from personal experience.
I don't typically read TNH's books but I found this one years ago, and I find I still turn to it regularly. It's inspiring and heart-warming, especially when life is difficult and we need encouragement. Even if you think Pure Land Buddhism "isn't real Buddhism", there's still a lot here that everyone can learn from.
pureland buddhism is part of chinese and japanese buddhism and is practiced along side zen and is part of tibetian buddhism.Peaceful Death, Joyful Rebirth: A Tibetan Buddhist Guidebook: Tulku Thondup is a great book on how the tibetians view the buddha, amitabha buddha who is recognized in all schools of buddhism at times given different names and understandings or teachings. people that are insulting pureland practice and beliefs have NO understanding of buddhism or the teachings of gutama buddha. the reviewers that insult pureland practice are not well versed in buddhism or it's history. my self i do not understand western beliefs and could not speak for them or a against them but comparing any buddhist practice to western practice is totally incorrect and attempts to compare are the babble of the rabble..
Most Recent Customer Reviews
These are great thoughts about the relationship of pureland and the zen. I gained a deeper understanding in pureland and how it relates to today, right now.Published 20 months ago by Sebastian A Ramirez
i bought this book from amazon online.call me simple minded but i think this is a very nice book by a sincere teacher who knows his stuff and who to my knowledge is one of the... Read morePublished on November 28, 2012 by turtleface
This is a lovely book bridging the traditional ideology of the Pure Land as an afterlife and the more zen-like reality of being in the Pure Land in the present moment. Read morePublished on December 21, 2008 by MamboMan