Pure Land Diversity

In response to a listener question, we discuss the variety of Pure Land practices outside the Shin and Japanese traditions. We begin by noting that Honen and Shinran set up distinct schools and institutions devoted to a single Pure Land practice (nenbutsu) whereas across the Buddhist world, Pure Land is best understood not as a distinct school but as a cluster of related texts, practices, orientations, and cosmologies that find expression in a wide array of approaches to awakening. Some of these approaches include the recitation of the name, others include contemplative or meditative approaches. Some are focused on Amitabha and Sukhavati, others aren’t. All of which points to the wide dispersal of Pure Land Buddhisms and the diversity of practices.

Approaching the Land of Bliss

The Contemplation Sutra

Pratyutpanna Samadhi Sutra

Image: “Dancing flames at Po Lin Monastery, Lantau Island, Hong Kong” by kartografia.