In the worlds of the northern direction there are countless other Buddhas, like the Buddha “Flaming Shoulders”, and the Buddha “Supreme Voice”, and the Buddha “Unstoppable”, and the Buddha “Born of the Sun”, and the Buddha “Netted Light”. Each of them preaches in his own land with the eloquence of a Buddha, and covers a whole cosmos, speaking the truth. All of you sentient beings should believe this scripture extolling their inconceivable merits, and which all Buddhas protect and keep in mind.http://www.buddhasutra.com/files/amidasutra.htm
Without a doubt that reciting the name of Amitabha is being praised by limitless Buddha, we just need to recite this wonderful name without other thoughts conflicting our minds. Just 1 job and do it well. That is how simple it is.
If you are a Theravadin practitioner, it is easy to mock this sutra as fake. But remember the story of how Buddha taught a dull monk to sweep the floor while reciting “sweep clean?” That worked!
And in Thailand, Acharn Mun asked his followers to meditate on the word “Buddha”. That works.
So, how enlightened are we to critique this method of mind training as fake?
Here’s another story of a master who was dull and practiced Amitabha.
This is master 古月 (Gu Yue -Ancient Moon) who lived during the early 1910s. He was a dullard before enlightenment and would messed up any jobs that was assigned to him. When the temple assigned him the task of chopping fire wood, he would chopped down fruit trees. When they assigned him to weed the monastry farm, he would pull out all the crops. Consequently, he was assigned to an old monk (性空上師 – Xing Kong) who was practicing asceticism deep in the mountain.
Master Xing Kong instructed Gu Yue to stand in one corner of the cave and simply recite Amitabha. “Just imagine Amitabha is floating in the air above your head. Recite Amitabha and bow to Him.”
Gu Yue did exactly as told for 15 years and one day, some witnessed a light coming out from his cave.
Thereafter, villagers living at the foot of the mountain would ask him for help whenever they suffer any ailments. Master Guyue would just recite Amitabha over a cup of water and let them drink it. Miraculously, their illnesses would be gone.
He fame spreaded far and wide after he treated the provincial governor’s mother from an incurable desease when she was on her death bed.
That governor was a Christian and naturally would have non of it initially. However, his aunty (his mother’s sister) insisted and instructed the governor’s brother to invite Master Gu yue over to help her dying sister. When Master Gu Yue learnt of the invitation, he simply said,” OK I got it. You go back first and I will come shortly.” In this manner, the governor’s brother returned with Master Gu Yue.
Meanwhile, the monastery were abuzzed with news of this important invitation. However, master Gu yue didn’t appear to be making any preparation for his trip to the city. The monk who accompanied the Governor’s brother to the cave reported that Master Gu Yue was still in the cave when he left. The concerned abbot asked him to check on Master Gue Yue again half an hour later.
When they visited Master Guyue’s cave half an hour later, they found him sitting in meditation! No one dared disturb but everyone was worried that Master Gu Yue was not keeping his promise.
On the other hand, the governor’s brother returned home to discover Master Gu Yue already waiting at the doorstep!
After the master entered the house, he instructed the servant to bring a bowl of water. Master Gu Yue simply said Amitabha over the water. Then turning to the sick lady on the bed, he said “Madam, your bad karmic debt is so heavy. Bad karmic factor leave her body now. I’ll help both of you reconcile.” He instructed the sick lady to drink that bowl of water and she took a sip. He dabbed some water and slapped it a couple of times on her head. And she was miraculously cured!
That day, the governor returned home from work, expecting the worst; Thinking that his mother would not live another day. Naturally, he was astonished to learn that his mother had fully recovered. Being skepticle, he collected the remaining blessed water in a bottle and had it analysed. It turned out to be ordinary water in the laboratory.
Subsequently, master Gu Yue’s fame spread far and wide. Even Master Empty Cloud (虚云) knew and mentioned about Master Gu Yue. From this story, we should know that Buddhist practice can be very simple.
All it takes for us to succeed is being focused. Amitabha.
May all be well and happy.
May the pandemic end.