Chinese Pure Land (Jintuzong)

Objective

To learn about the Chinese Pure Land Masters and their practices

Materials

  • Worksheet (below)
  • Worksheet - Master (below)
  • Pen and/or pencils
  • Copies of the service book containing Juseige or San butsu ge and Amida Sutra

Preparations

Print out both the Worksheet & the Worksheet Master

Method

1. Introduction

"The other major form of Buddhism in China was Pure Land. Similar to the situation in India between Mahayana and Theravada, the monks studied both Ch'an and Pure Land

2. Read the master while the students fill in their worksheets

3. Discussion

Ask: "Which person do you think was most influential in Chinese Pure Land? Why?"

4. Practices

  1. Chanting
    1. "Many of our chants in Jodo Shinshu are Japanese reading of the Chinese characters of Sutras translated from Sanskrit. It was also brought over during the 7th and 8th Century so it's reading of Tang Dynasty Chinese.
    2. Read either Juseige or Sanbutsuge
  2. Visualization
    1. "Many Pure Land adherents viewed pictures of the Pure Land and attempted to visualize it in their minds"
    2. Show picture of the Amida's Pure Land (http://static.wixstatic.com/media/263f23_90b70bc2f78547aaad98b825683bd67e~mv2.jpg)
      1. Picture the calm, warm waters. The beach with sand full of diamons, ruby and topaz,
      2. Golden trees with golden bells, warm wind making them ring.
      3. Flowers with sweet fragrance of all different smells
      4. Many birds of colorful plumage, their cries calling for enlightenment
      5. Devas playing drums, flutes, pipes all supporting enlightenment
      6. Juice fruits, so sweet and juicy that it brings about enlightenment
      7. Boddhisatvas of all kinds bowing toward Amida Buddha
      8. Golden Lotus pedestal
      9. Golden feet of Amida Buddha
      10. Golden body of Amida Buddha
      11. Golden arm and hands of Amida Buddha
      12. Golden face and light
  3. Visualization and Chanting
    1. Ask students to visualize the Pure Land again.
    2. Chant Nembutsu for one minute. Start together 3x, then at own pace.
    3. Give a one minute to go warning, 30 secs, then "please stop. Please repeat the nembutsu after me, Namo Amida Butsu (3x)"
  4. Studying Larger & Lesser Sukhavati-vyua Sutras
    1. Read the translation. 1 person read one line.
    2. Finish after all students have read at least 2x lines
    3. If desired and if there is enough time, read the whole sutra.

5. Review

Ask:

      • How did it feel during visualization?
      • Did the feeling change during chanting nembutus
      • Were you surprised by some of the translations? Which part?
      • Which Pure Land monk was memorable?

Evaluation

Conducted via the Discussion and Review

Notes

In some ways this is a review of Jodo Shinshu. The thing that makes Pure Land different is a belief in the Amida Buddha's Pure Land and its power of bring about enlightenment. This can easily be split up into 2 or even 4 Sundays.

Author

Mas Nishimura, nish221.at.gmail.dot.com, San Jose Betsuin, 2018


Worksheet - Answer Sheet

Worksheet