Pure Land

One day, our Zen master visited an elderly person who had been practicing Pure Land Buddhism, chanting Namu Amitabul for years. He had been staying at home since he’d gotten sick some years before, and in recent months his health had deteriorated further. Elder: Master, this sickness really hurts . . . Buddha is not efficacious at all. He isn’t taking me to the Pure Land quickly enough . . . I . . . I don’t want to keep up the chanting anymore!

Master: Is the pain in your body or in your mind? Is it your body going to the Pure Land? Or is it your mind going to the Pure Land?

Elder: [Speechless.]

Master: If your body feels pain, try breathing in deeply, then breathing out deeply. One cannot be in the Pure Land if only the body dies. Only when the mind is pure can one enter the Pure Land.

The elder immediately felt relieved and smiled. Our Zen master further invited us to chant the Great Dharani and Amitabul.

Commentary: When your mind is pure the land is also pure.