What is Pure Land Buddhism? A look at how East Asian Buddhists chant and strive for buddhahood

What is Pure Land Buddhism? A look at how East Asian Buddhists chant and strive for buddhahood

Many people in the West interpret Buddhism as a path of meditation leading to enlightenment.

What many may not know is that this interpretation differs vastly from its practice in East Asia. …

Buddhists believe that all living beings are stuck in an endless loop of birth and rebirth and the good or bad fortune they experience results from karma. Karma is a moral force created by the deeds one does: Virtuous deeds give one better fortune, while evil or even just ignorant deeds bring misfortune.

Karma is said to determine the future life in terms of gender, intelligence and other personal attributes as well as one’s environment. …

Pure Land believers may recite “Hail to the Buddha Amitābha” silently or aloud while counting the repetitions on a rosary; they may participate in group practice at a local Buddhist temple; they may even take part in one-, three- or seven-day retreats that combine recitation with repentance rituals and meditation. This remains the prevalent form of Buddhist practice in East Asia to this day.

By Charles B. Jones, Catholic University of America for The Conversation

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