I. THE MORNING WE WAKE UP
Who wakes with the words “I am in need of taming!” on their lips?
Who, when the World groans loud enough to hear, does not look at their neighbor, ready to lay blame?
Our World grows hot as a child left alone in a closed room, then waxes and wanes with both chills and fevers.
No Nation wants to turn from lecturing on frugality to schoolchildren to preaching the virtues of taming one's wants from the pulpit of its flagpoles.
No one who is growing rich off the Market Place blows the whistle for a Noon Hour Prayer.
But, for all that all the ills of the World that now, as we speak, like Kaiju (monsters), that, lumbering, walk up the beach from the depths of the sea , or, howling, drop as if on spider threads from the top of the sky, or break out of rock chambers sealed in antiquity to rage at the sunlight...
...and the greatest we fear - War, the monster that devours all.
And all of these Beasts appear unbidden as the Headlines of our News Papers, or half hidden the drone of our radios or pop up screens on our cell-phones… These, the stampede of Disease, the angry hounds of draught and firestorms, and World hums with the hum of a coming quake, as its vast plate shakes, whole tribes cast out of their place to be driven to another. These New Monsters need no Prophet crying in the Wilderness. Our New Monsters are already here!
But as I have already said. Who wakes with the words “I am in need of taming!” on their lips?
Who, when the World groans, does not first look at their neighbor - with accusation, with blame?
But - The Buddha wasn’t only preaching to those old fools who lived a long long time ago. His words still hang in the air like circling birds, for we have walked in circles in this desert too long without building a House that can endure. And so, as we struggle to stagger do we pant for some rescue to suddenly show on the horizon? We would do well to face the mirror like a prisoner before a judge and, humbled, ask him "Is it too late at last?" and “What, still, can I do?”
II. WHERE WE STAND: The Foundation of the Four Equalities
What role to play does being a Buddhist have in our social obligations to the concentric circles of our community, self, family, local community and national community and world community?
It is my belief that Buddhism, by nature, has an attitude of social egalitarianism that is the natural expression of its understanding of the shared inheritance of sentient beings. This idea derives from the following list of 'four things'.
The Four Equalities of a Buddhist Humanism
1 - A great equality in a vulnerability to Saṃsāra's afflictions.
2 - A great equality in the possession of a delusion saddened mind.
3 - A great equality and the opportunity to embark on the bodhisattva path.
4 - The great equality of the unimpeded expanse of Buddha Wisdom.
We, indeed share a common lot! This is what I believe. This is why a Buddhist view of the natural caste system created by human societies is not one of which puts the classes at odds with each other or views evolution as a struggle, with conflict being the natural language of a Marxist class system. Buddhism would seek to identify a class system which creates the grounds for a common understanding by each of all the others, and lays the grounds to creates language in common with which they can negotiate a reintegration of a wholesome spiritualized civil culture.
When we embody the meaning of these Four Equalities, we ourselves may experience the three mandalas of our Mindstream, Community and Cosmos as a ‘Mixed’ Buddhafield of Saṃsāra and Nirvāṇa - an experience of an entrance into the Inner Court of Maitreya here and now, midstream in our lives. But it at this point I have to take a pause. What actually does "an entrance into the Inner Court of Maitreya here and now” mean, or even better “Look like”? I am not a deep meditator or an academic scholar of Buddhism who knows all the languages or a Guru with an entourage on tour - so what does "an entrance into the Inner Court of Maitreya” even mean?
I think it is that thing the Heart Sutra was all about. “Form is Emptiness and Emptiness is none other than Form”. I think you see the landscape of Samsara all around you but in your gut you “get it” that all these things are impermanent and without a substance and in that all things are the same “under the hood” they are also without seams or boundaries. Wet image filled scenes made of water-paint flowing over a bright mirror in streams full of eddies You read what’s going on yet the single taste of it all is always with you. And seeing all that suffering, your hear grows huge and with benevolence you water the root of the tree of compassion which in turn unfurls the branches leaves and blossoms of a generosity expressed as helping activity.
III. WHO WE ARE: The Bias of this Buddhist and the Perspective of this Book
Broadly speaking today in the world there are two great domains of Buddhism,
…one commonly, (albeit inaccurately), called Hīnayāna Buddhism, being the older tradition of Buddhism beginning immediately subsequent to the death of its founder Gautama,
…and the younger tradition of ‘so-called’ Mahāyāna Buddhism whose oldest texts date to the century immediately before and after the common era 2000 years ago.
The forms of Buddhism we see today and the teachers that represent them and their various opinions are commonly distributed between these two Traditions.
These two are also also usually characterized by their core texts,
…the Hīnayāna Buddhist holding more dear the volumes of suttas which purport to record the actual spoken words and public deeds of the man we call the Buddha himself
…and the Mahāyāna Buddhist who also hold dear those sacred writings, (sutras), that emerged beginning about 2100 years ago which present themselves as previously undisclosed teachings of the Buddha and new teaching taught by other Buddhas speaking from sacred Divine realms.
Yet it is still the fact that all the sects and lineages calling themselves Buddhist and apportioned between those two traditions alike
1. call on Gautama as their spiritual founder and ultimate authority on what is true and what is useful as well as
2. share a foundation in the ordination of nuns and monks,
3. an attitude that worldly mindedness is in error and it takes meditation and the seeking of truth to find clarity and clear vision
4. and other shared principles and values, such as
5. the notion of Maitreya being the next Buddha and
6. a spiritual cosmology inherited from the culture of the Indian subcontinent 2500 years ago which sees a great mountain of ascending purity in domains, divided amongst The Desire Realm, the Form Realm and the Formless Realm.
7. And all share the same reports of the personal history of their founder that report that he left home seeking to disengage himself from worldliness and worldly attachments so was his meditations could result in deeper calm and deeper clarity and thus a higher and more truthful revelation of the real.
In that the phrase “following in his footsteps” characterizes the career of a Buddhist practitioner as reiterating the Buddha’s own path of overcoming the hindrances of worldliness and obtaining the perfections of personal character. This is the basic template of the career of a Buddhist.
It is my judgement that, after admitting that the "original Buddhism" of the living, breathing Gautama can never be known, I am proceeding to assert that the concepts of dependent origination, non-self, impermanence and the valorization of the yoga of tranquility and insight as a process of desirable transformation has roots that go very deep in Buddhist Culture. In turn I believe that using these ideas to accomplish a benefit to my self in realization and and a benefit to others through my conduct is what I am choosing to call "Buddhism", and as justification I can only admit my fallibility while asserting that this stance as "feels Right" to me.
As a result this previously outlined template is one which I see no reason to abandon in the pursuit of novelties of philosophy and assertion in which the practitioner, rather than accumulating an accomplishment of Buddhist Practice on their own power, is "rescued into Nirvana" by a Buddha or "breaks through" into Nirvana by some magical whim of mumbled words or somehow managing to merge with some Correct Philosophical Opinion about Reality.
So armed, I affirm that something called Buddha-nature is not the turtle upon whose turtle shell back the soil and sky of our Earth world rides.
And so I also affirm that ‘Buddha-mind’ is not some fetus mind before birth begins to fill a newborn baby’s thoughts with delusion.
I conclude then, reasonably, that ‘Buddha-hood’ is itself an experience of the culmination of a bodhisattva path after the tree line of ‘regression’ is surpassed and one attains the naked peak and empty sky beyond.
And furthermore, as all minds great and small equally enjoy some degree in the ability to think critically, become becalmed and see ever more truthfully, so too all human beings can surely inherit that measure of the Bodhisattva path, (theirs to obtain), with the ernest application of moral discipline, mediation and insight.
Given that almost all human beings have some notion of there being a Good and an Evil between which Good is to be desired and Evil is to be avoided…
… and in that it is a broadly accepted common understanding that the relief of all from suffering and the deliverance of provision to all reflecting our mutual equality is a good thing, then…
...in that the color of one's conduct is bequeathed as an inheritance to the children of earth in the form of a beneficial or oppressive environment, it seems a moral imperative of Buddhists as ethical creatures is to engage the bodhisattva path as strenuously and with much love as we are able.
IV. TO WHAT WE ASPIRE: A Buddha Land in the Human Realm
Recent important advances in the concepts of classic Mahayana thinking, (especially in the interaction of Chan, Pureland and Yogacara thought), during the Republican Era in China between the end of the Imperial Dynasties of China (1912) and the beginning of the Marxist People's Republic of China (1949). The innovations of this Repubican Era of China (1911 to 1949) profoundly influenced the parallel development of Buddhism in Japan as well.
We need to talk about an idea that developed in Buddhism in the twentieth century in China that I think is important.
The idea I want to talk about is on “ the establishment “of the pure land in the human realm.”
To talk about this idea with some clarity you need to mention and discuss the relationship of the Buddhist notion of a “Buddha field” and the Buddhist notion of “a heaven.”
Now the notion of the Buddha field veered in a slightly different direction as the notion of the Buddha field was carried up the silk Road from India into China where it was called “a pure land”.
First we must set up the framework for this discussion. To do that we need to discuss the universe as it was understood in the Indian subcontinent between 500 B.C. and 400 B.C.E.. I am sure you may be familiar with the notion of hell, Earth, and heaven like a layer cake with 3 layers stocked up from the bottom to the top in Christian cosmological mythology. And I want you to think about the fact that considering the oceans and the air near the Earth and the air or atmosphere as one goes up through the layers of the atmosphere to the edge of space. These ideas will be combined together when discussing Buddhist cosmology, which is an outgrowth of the cosmology of classical and ancient India.
If you think of the hell realm as a level of reality with 99 percent impurity and 1 percent purity, ethical behavior creating pure karma and corrupt and criminal behavior creating impurity karma then you can see how one's behavior or conduct, both good and bad can create a mixture of karma that can create once next rebirth in a level of reality that reflects the good and bad that you did in life as a new environment with the same proportion of good and evil in it. By being a cruel and selfish person one can go to one of the hell realms for birth in the next life. By being a saint one can go to one of the heaven realms. So you can look at the Buddhist universe as a ladder of spiritual dimensions going from the bottom which fallen human beings burn or freeze in a hell realm up to the top in which beings take birth in one of the heaven realms. So, all the earthly realms are like a ladder between the stairs coming up through the hell realms to the higher and higher more rarefied spiritual planes of existence.
In short your behavior in any particular life by its particular mix of good and bad choices is reflected in the situation you are born in your next life.
THE 'VERTICAL COSMOLOGY" A LAYER CAKE OF THREE REALMS AND A STACK OF 31 "PLANES"
Just as a molten slurry of minerals and metals in a spinning cylinder segregates into layers of increasing 'density' from bottom to the top so too does the the Buddhist Cosmos segregates from bottom to top in strata starting at the bottom with those of deep corporeal density up through layers of decreasing corporality and increasing spirituality.
Now in Buddhism there is the idea that existence is divided into 3 main layers, each acts as a ladder that is connected to the next.
On the bottom you have the desire realm, in which all incarnations are driven by desire, one form of animal existence or another. The next realm is called the form realm in which all beings live in a spiritual existence of abstract forms which reminds me of the realm of Plato's forms in some respects. And above that is the formless realm, the most rarefied forms of spiritual existence going all the way up to the realm of non-existence itself like an infinite starless space above.
Now let's use this information to see how it works out. It is said that all bodhisattvas at the end of their Bodhisattva path from being an ordinary man or woman to becoming a Buddha take one last life as a bodhisattva before descending to earth into the womb of the mother that will give birth to them as the person who will grow up to become a Buddha. You might call it the 'last birth' heaven. It is also known as the Tuṣita heaven, the fourth of the six Desire Realm Heavens, with 2 more Desire Realm heavens before you get to the Form Realm,.. Another way of describing this heaven is called the “joyous realm”. It is here where all Bodhisattvas, including Maitreya, take their last birth before being born on earth as the next Buddha.
In fact, the Tuṣita heaven is to a tiny small degree, an impure existence, even though it is a very great deal more pure than our human existence here on earth is, in this, what is called the Saha world, the world of suffering.
THE TUṢITA HEAVEN IS NOT TO BE CONFUSED WITH A “BUDDHA FIELD”
Now, a “Buddha field”, is created completely differently. It is not the result of a mixture of good and bad karma coming together to create a birth in a special realm of the cosmos. A “Buddha field” is created by the spiritual realization of a Buddha. I like to imagine that it's similar to the fact that a magnetic field is generated by a current of moving electrons. You can imagine, somewhat humorously, a Buddha sitting in meditation with a Nimbus of light sort of pulsing all around him or her. What they see when they look out is a “Buddha field” a spiritual environment of complete utter purity. That is very different than one of those heavens or earthly or hell realms we were talking about.
So it is important to realize that the Tuṣita heaven is not to be confused with a “Buddha field”, the idea that was developed in a different direction somewhat in China and called a “pure land”.
Now it is important to distinguish to whether kinds of ideas of a perfect existence. A Buddhist practitioner going back to the times of the Buddha himself saw themselves as to trying to withdraw from engagement with worldliness and worldly concerns so they could more and more successfully practice the practices that help transform an ordinary human being into a bodhisattva and in the end into a Buddha. But in modernity we have developed a new way of describing the ultimate end of the individual and society. There are the notions of equality, fraternity, and social progress. We have in the United States the notion of a society in which governance is tamed and made a benign institution by the institutions of checks and balances between the 3 parts of the government, executive, legislative, and judicial. There is the notion that one has a representative form of government which mediates between the will of the democracy of the people and the oversight function of a professional class of presidents and senators and representatives which are a checks and balance function themselves. There are the institutions of accepted values as the defense of the minority from the majority and the human rights of both men and women of every faith, economic status, race and gender orientation. This big bundle of ideas that I've talked about is a secular way of imagining a better world to live in.
Now ask yourself, taking into account human beings and our societies are still full of flaws in shortcomings, were much evil still takes place, when we look at her social institutions they are the tools we remake our personal characters and or social environment together, like 2 horses driving a chariot. In a way this is like the way in which a bodhisattva becomes a Buddha, and the Buddhas realization creates a pure land for them to live in.
So now we can come to compare the ideas of a Buddha is created to the way a person develops their personal character and the way a better democracy is a natural outcome of that personal character the way a Buddha field is the natural outcome of becoming a Buddha.
Now as I said in the late 1800s and early 1900s in China there is a notion of “the establishment of the pure land in the human realm”. This was an effort by the Chinese Buddhists who were in the process of the transformation of the old Imperial China into a modern China who wanted to combine both the goals and outcomes of spiritual practice with the new goals and practice of political liberation and the institution of a new form of government.
An idea that came about at the same time was the idea of a “Buddhist Socialism”. Both of these developments seem to be important to me and projects that need to be reinvigorated, reinvented, and worked on.
MODERN SOURCES FOR A BUDDHIST SOCIALISM
My introduction to “Buddhist Socialism” came when coming across the keystone essay called “Buddhist Socialism” by Takagi Kenmyo who was born in 1864. He was one of many Buddhists in China and Japan who came to work on this problem or project. Think of it as a kind of spiritual Manhattan Project. This essay can be found on the Internet in a PDF form. And at the end of this essay I will mention some very important texts relating to it. But it is also important to know that he was martyred by being hanged for being a socialist with faked Charges.
The famous essay “On The Establishment Of The Pure Land In The Human Realm” was written by one of the most important Buddhist monks of his era, Taishu who lived between 1890 and 1947. This essay has been published finally with a commentary and will also be included in the bibliography at the end of my essay.
Needless to say I will weigh in on this topic myself because I have some ideas about how some of the problems created by these two concepts, that of a Buddha Field and that of a heaven on earth, and I warn you to try to keep these 2 ideas from getting mingled together because it is very tempting to do so and Taishu himself is said to have succumbed to that temptation when in describing one he resorted to using some of the concepts of the other to make things work out right. But the Manhattan project wasn't completed in a single night.
I will only say at this point that both the goals of being reborn in our next life in the Tuṣita heaven so as to be able to take teachings from the bodhisattva master of meditation, Maitreya, remains a foundational goal of Mahayana Buddhists. As is the hope that after taking those teachings one succeeds in their practice so they can be reborn with Maitreya in that life in which he takes birth as the next Buddha on earth. And it is valid in that in our meditation states as they improve we can become aware of higher states of spiritual reality, being so successful in our yoga that we can actually become aware of arising in the Tuṣita heaven where we can sit in the environment in which the Maitreya bodhisattva currently resides and is teaching.
But added to this is the concern of a citizen of modernity recognizing the opportunity to transform our environment in something that is not just democratic and economically just, but a democratic and economically just environment which arises with the fluorescence of a shared spiritual insight which not only illuminates the best of all spiritual paths and possibilities but is experienced as an environment of the perfection of goodwill.
More to come.
THE IMPERATIVE OF OUR DEBT TO THE WORLD OF WHICH WE ARE A PART
Look around you. It is as if every nation was an anthill that received a blow from a thunderbolt and the stream of persecuted and displaced people were driven in every direction to find homelessness in every nation they enter into. You could look in any direction and have to ask yourself “what nation treats its criminals like its children are treated?” And you have to ask yourself, where, where any were in this world can a pure land be found?
But this brings to mind the story talked about the Buddha. He chose our world to be the world in which he, as a man would have to strive to become a Buddha. Our world is called the Saha world, the world is suffering. And if Gautama chose this world to become a Buddha, then it stands to reason somewhere here a Buddha field can be found.
If overcoming adversity is the ladder to a heaven with the Buddha in it, then it is the stones in this field all around us which can be dug up to leave for fertile fields for wholesome harvests, the same fields that gave us the stones with which we build temples to worship what is worth looking up to.
And isn't a world with the most opportunities to turn weapons into plowshares a world where the struggles are raised like lamps to light that world in the eyes of those who have eyes to see that light?
That light covers our world like a mother reaching down to pick up her crying child.
I don't know how to point it out. I don't know how near or far we are from Heaven.
But I know that Buddha field is here.
Will you help?
ESTABLISHING A PURE LAND IN THE HUMAN REALM
I want to begin with a story told about a bodhisattva who was destined to take birth as the man who would go on to leave his household and his country, engage in many many practices, and finally go into the meditation in which he resolved to attain enlightenment and become the Buddha in that very lifetime. Now the Buddha was confronted with the choice. He could take birth in a world where it was very easy to practice the Dharma, but it might take a long time. Or he could be born in a world where there was many obstacles to practice and suffering, but by making those obstacles and suffering part of your practice one could become a Buddha more quickly.
This bodhisattva chose the difficult world to practice the Dharma in and thus took birth on earth in this Saha World of much suffering and thus Gautama became the Buddha.
Now I want to point out to you that the bodhisattva that became the Buddha was a very highly perfected bodhisattva and he could see the world of liberation right behind the suffering world of earth with this spiritual insight of his mind. He saw a pure land behind the impure landscape of the earth and its travails.
To a lesser degree we can see the potential result of transforming ourselves by Buddhist practice and in turn engaging in relationships with our world which can in turn transform it into a better world.
In this way we as Buddhist practitioners who've taken the bodhisattva vow to deliver all beings from suffering and provide them the Dharma teachings by which they can accomplish liberation also see a pure land in the human realm.
In the case of the Buddha and with those who follow in his footsteps there is an increase in the ability to see the potential for pure realization and embodiment of perfection in the world we live in to the degree we have transformed our character though practice.
Yes, there is the possibility of a “mixed realm” or “defiled & purified” pureland created by our practice that served as a bridge between the Defiled Realm of Samsara and the Purified Dharma Realm. There is three perspectives on a pureland that one after another can bring us to the ability to establish a pure land, (of a sort), in the Human Realm! This reflects some substantial attainment on our part, as individual men and women, or as a group!
[on Defiled, Defiled & Purified Dharma Realm, and the Purified Dharma Realm see MV 4:15 by Asaṅga and the commentary on this in the MVBh by Vasubandhu
[4.15bcd] In relation to the realm of reality, the [states],are properly [understood as] threefold: impure, ‘impure and pure’, and completely purified.
The ‘impure” state refers to the casual state up to and including [the state of Application; the “impure and pure” state refers to the condition of one undergoing training; and the “completely purified” state refers the the condition of no longer in need of training.
MV 4:15: Madhyāntavibhāga and MVBh: Madhyāntavibhāga-Bhāsya
as found in D’AMATO, Mario. Maitreya’s Distinguishing the Middle from the Extremes - Madhyāntavibhāga - Along with Vasubandhu’s Commentary - Madhyāntavibhāga-Bhāsya. New York: Columbia University Press, 2012. p. 169
A KEY to the PATHS (pañcamārga):
The Impure Realm
The path of Accumulation (saṃbhāra-mārga)
The path of Preparation (prayoga-mārga)
The “Impure and Pure Realm”
The path of Seeing (darśana-mārga,
The path of Meditation (bhāvanā-mārga)
The Pure Realm
The path of No More Learning (aśaikṣā-mārga)]
D’AMATO 2012 p. 89-90
Perfection of Motivation: In the stories that are told as part of Buddhist lore the teaching that pure lands are created by the power of their wisdom and activities you could describe a pure land as the residence of a Buddha such as Amitabha in the western extent of our universe. And all over the world today ordinary people pray and practice with the 10 vows of upright conduct, meditation on deepening calm and insight and abiding in the resulting wisdom with the hope that they could be reborn with a Buddha in their pure land after they die. This “directional” pure land is an environment one is born as a result of devotion and pious wishing. This is a pure land offered as an opportunity for ordinary human beings, a liberation created by the power of one Buddha or another.
Perfection of Practice: As part of the tradition of the practitioners of Buddhist yoga a pure land is viewed as the result of their purification of mind, and it is a pure land of pristine illumination according to the degree of their accomplishment of Buddhist yogic practice.
This yogic pure land is the object observed by an advanced practitioner of Buddhist yoga. This pure land is a pure land obtained by the power of one's own practice. But since the Buddha himself taught and exemplified a life embodied in the 10 virtues giving an example of one's own practice as a lever by which we can move the world in the direction of purity and liberation we can move on to a third form of a pure land.
Perfection of Result: And so we return to the beginning in which we talk about the Buddha himself and his ability to as a bodhisattva recognize a potential pure land as seen laying in the future of a present environment of suffering and in purity.
This potential pure land is experienced as A Pure Land in the Human Realm. On the one hand individually it is a product of practicing the 10 virtues as one's path. 1.) People who share a common vision of spiritually transforming society by the example of the transformation of their conduct as informed by spiritual insight then go on to dedicate themselves to communal projects dedicated to the commonweal.
n a way the effort to create a Pure Land in the Human Realm is very much like the liberal notion of a democracy of citizens who are equal in the eyes of the law and motivated to struggle for social equality, provision and opportunity.
And these 3 forms of pure land, the pure land of prayer and belief available to all people, the pure land such as seen by a practitioner of Buddhist yoga as accords his or her realization and the pure land for which we surely all would hold up as a wish for not just our own nation but all those nations of the world individually and as gathered together as one bouquet of blossoming peace and liberation, all these form a progression of more wonderful possibilities as part of one single great good wish by bodhisattvas for all beings without condition or limit. But one caveat, we can never become this world of Angels if we cannot at least first imagined it.
A PURE LAND IN THE HUMAN REALM IS…
A Pure Land in the Human Realm is the gate between the Sahā World and the Desire Realm Heaven in which The Inner Court of Maitreya is established.
A Pure Land in the Human Realm provides provision for the practice of the Buddha Dharma in the distracting and bewildered turbulent waters of karmic retribution.
A Pure Land in the Human Realm is thus a bridge which we may be allowed passage to Tuṣita and the inner court of Maitreya to take the teachings that will enable us to engage to conduct deserving of birth in the time Maitreya had the sense to take birth in a human womb in that incarnation of which he becomes the next Buddha.
The practice of the Buddha Dharma which creates the karma, first for our assent in meditation to take teachings in Tuṣita, and second, to inherit the good fortune to be reborn with Maitreya in that incarnation of which he becomes the next Buddha consists first of a practice in which we take refuge in the Three Refuges of Buddha, Dharma and saṅgha[Sanskrit}|saṅgha[Pali] and second to recite the Pratimokṣa Vows that establish one in the 10 Virtues.
But to sustain this pure land so that it is carried over to the generations that follow us after we die, and furthermore to bequeath a wholesome environment through those who will inherit that environment created by our deeds as their context for the arising of their own emerging consciousness, we, as bodhisattvas, (individuals who value the freedom from suffering and the benefits of virtue for others as much as we do for ourselves), we must also engage in a practice of a meditation in which we arrives to a wholesome spiritual environment in the presence of a good teacher to, because such a practice conditions our character so as we are predisposed by nature to conduct that is virtuous and creates the, for future requirements we would bequeath to all those who come after us
Thus the two things we must do to establish a foundation in this World and then what follows - first taking Refuge in the 3 Jewels and making a commitment to upholding the 10 Virtues, and next Engaging in a Meditation on which we can rely.
WHAT TO DO TO BE REBORN IN THE HEAVEN OF JOY
“Upāli, after the Thus-Gone One’s nirvāṇa, when the time comes for
anyone —whether they are in the four retinues or a god, nāga, or yakṣa —to be reborn in the Heaven of Joy, then they must engage in the following contemplations: Thinking of the Heaven of Joy, they should take up the vows of the Thus-Gone One.
Then, whether for a single day or for up to seven days, they should contemplate the ten virtues and practice the path of the ten virtues. Then the merit from this practice should be dedicated, and the aspiration made to be in the presence of Maitreya. Those who carry out these contemplations will behold a god and a lotus.
Those who recite the name of Maitreya even once will be freed from twelve hundred eons of birth and death and will have their misdeeds purified. Those who hear the name of Maitreya and join their palms together will be freed from fifty eons of birth and death. Those who respectfully prostrate to Maitreya will be liberated from one billion eons of birth and death and will have their misdeeds purified. They will not be attached to the heavenly realms, [F.302.b] but will generate the mind set upon unsurpassed awakening in the future, under the bodhi tree, the tree of the nāgas.”
the Dharmachakra Translation Committee. “The Sūtra on Maitreya’s Birth in the Heaven of Joy.” 84000: Translating the Words of the Buddha, 2021. https://read.84000.co/translation/toh199.html?part=UT22084-061-019-243.
A SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY FOR BUDDHIST SOCIALSM
Some basic texts about Buddhist Socialism and Establishing a Pureland in the Human Realm
JAINI, Padmanabh S. “Stages in the Bodhisattva Career of the Tathāgata Maitreya.” In Maitreya, the Future Buddha, edited by Alan SPONBERG and Helen HARDACRE, 54–93. Cambridge University Press, 2010.
Jones, Charles B. TAIXU’s “On the Establishment of the Pure Land in the Human Realm.” London: Bloomsbury Academic, 2021.
KAJIYAMA, Yuichi. “Buddhist Cosmology as Presented in the Yogācārabhūmi.” In Wisdom, Compassion and the Search for Understanding, edited by Jonathan A. SILK, 183. Honolulu: University of Hawai’i Press, 2000.
KENMYO, Takagi. “My Socialism.” Translated by Robert F. Rhodes, n.d. http://www.nembutsu.info/indshin/readings/EB-TakagiKenmyo.pdf.
NATTIER, Jan. “The Meanings of the Maitreya Myth.” In Maitreya, the Future Buddha, edited by Alan SPONBERG and Helen HARDACRE, 23–47. Cambridge University Press, 2010.
Pittman, Don A. Towards a Modern Chinese Buddhism - Taixu’s Reforms. USA: University of Hawai’i Press, 2001.
Rambelli, Fabio. Zen Anarchism - the Egalitarian Dharma of Uchiyama Gudo. Berkeley: BDK America, Inc, 2013.
RITZINGER, Justin R. Anarchy in the Pure Land - Reinventing the Cult of Maitreya in Modern Chinese Buddhism. New York, New York: Oxford University Press, 2017.
SPONBERG, Alan, and Helen HARDACRE. Maitreya, the Future Buddha. Cambridge University Press, 2010.
SWANSON, Paul L., ed. “Takagi Kenmyō and Buddhist Socialism A Meiji Misfit and Martyr.” In Modern Buddhism in Japan, 154. Nanzan Institute for Religion and Culture, 2014.
ZIMMERMANN, Michael. “The Chapter on Right Conduct in the Bodhisattvabhūmi.” In The Foundation For Yoga Practitioners The Buddhist Yogācārabhūmi Treatise And Its Adaptation In India, East Asia, And Tibet, edited by Ulrich Timme KRAGH, 872. Cambridge, Massachusetts And London, England: Harvard University Press, 2013.
THE TRIPLE MAITREYA SUTRAS
1. The Noble Sūtra “The Bodhisattva Maitreya’s Birth in the Heaven of Joy (Skt. Tuṣita)”
(Fo shuo guan mile pusa shang sheng doushuaitian jing 佛說觀彌勒菩薩上⽣兜率天經, Taishō 452).
2. THESE THREE COUNT AS ONE
a. Taishō 453 The Sūtra on the Descent of Maitreya, translated in 303 CE by Dharmaraksa
b. Taishō 454 Iida, Shotaro, and Jane Goldstone, trans. The Sūtra That Expounds the Descent of Maitreya Buddha and His Enlightenment. Moraga, California: Bukkyo Dendo Kyokai, 2016
c. Taishō 455
3. Taishō 456 Buddha Pronounces the Sūtra of Maitreya Bodhisattva’s Attainment of Buddhahood
Translated from the digital Chinese Canon
THE THREE ESSENTIALS OF THE MAITREYA SCHOOL AS DETERMINED BY TAIXU
(FOR BODHISATTVAS THAT WISH TO ESTABLISH A PURELAND ON EARTH)
Old Translation - Asanga. On Knowing Reality: The Tattvartha Chapter of Asanga’s Bodhisattvabhumi · Author: Asanga Janice Dean Willis · ISBN: 9788120811065. Translated by Janice Dean WILLIS. New York, New York: Columbia University Press, 1979.
NEW, UPDATED, COMMENTED AND CORRECTED !
Fok Tan Mei Ling. “The Tattvārtha Chapter of the Yogācāra-Bhūmi – English Translation and Critical Study.” The University of Hong Kong, August 2014.
Either the Conduct section of the Bodhisattvabhūmi section of the Yogācārabhūmi-Śāstra
see ASAṄGA, Bodhisattva. The Bodhisattva Path to Unsurpassed Enlightenment: A Complete Translation of the Bodhisattvabhumi. Translated by Artemus B. ENGLE. Boulder, Colorado: Snow Lion Publications, 2016.
or as often seen as an equivalent substitute
the second fascicle of KUMARAJIVA, and A. Charles MULLER, trans. THE BRAHMĀ’S NET SUTRA Aka Fanwang Jing. Taishō Volume 24, Number 1484. Moraga, California: Bukkyo Dendo Kyokai, 2017.
Quoted at length in: Jones, Charles B., trans. “The Sutra on the Contemplation of the Bodhisattva Maitreya’s Ascent to Rebirth in Tusita Heaven.” In Taixu’s “On the Establishment of the Pure Land in the Human Realm,” Vol. 0452. Taisho 14. LONDON: Bloomsbury Academic, 2021.
and in full at
the Dharmachakra Translation Committee. “The Sūtra on Maitreya’s Birth in the Heaven of Joy.”
(Fo shuo guan mile pusa shang sheng doushuaitian jing 佛說觀彌勒菩薩上⽣兜率天經, Taishō 452).
84000: Translating the Words of the Buddha, 2021. https://read.84000.co/translation/toh199.html?part=UT22084-061-019-243
It seems possible that the 5 Maitreya Sutras translated into Chinese in the mid 5th Century on the Silk Route...
The Noble Sūtra “The Bodhisattva Maitreya’s Birth in the Heaven of Joy (Skt. Tuṣita)”
(Fo shuo guan mile pusa shang sheng doushuaitian jing 佛說觀彌勒菩薩上⽣兜率天經, Taishō 452).
...were the flowering of meditations based on the Buddhist Meditation Manuels compiled in the first half of the 5th Century.
The Zouchan sanmei jing the Sutra on the Concentration of Sitting Meditation compiled by Kumarajiva (360-409 CE), Translated by Nobuyoshi YAMABE and Fumihiko SUEKI. Berkeley, CA: Numata Center for Buddhist Translation and Research, 2009, which was the first sutra Kumarajiva translated on the request of Sengrui just days after his arrival in China
SOME IMPORTANT WRITERS ON SOCIALISM THAT MARXISTS MOCK AND DON’T WANT YOU TO BTING UP IN YOUR CONVERSATION.
Macdonald, Dwight. The Root Is Man. USA: Autonomedia (April 1, 1994), 1946.
I recommend organizing the Anarchist Library version @ https://theanarchistlibrary.org/library/dwight-macdonald-the-root-is-man. This seems appropriate somehow. Hannah Arendt said: "Macdonald has turned his back on every kind of doctrine that implicitly would treat man as an object, even from a benevolent point of view. What he is concerned with is to create a humanism that can hold its own in the face of enormous bureaucracies and the atom bomb. In so doing he has had to renounce many things which he had heretofore energetically championed. This is further evidence of what a really serious person he is".
ORWELL, George. The Road to Wigan Pier. George Orwell The Complete Works 5. London: Secker & Warburg, 1986.
George Orwell, A Famous Father of Science Fiction writes about the experiences that led him to and his ideas on SOCIALISM. Like Jack London, another SOCIALIST, he bought old clothes and descended to the depths of the English Economy to live as they did down there. Half the book is the tale of this, half his revolution in attitudes and thinking. A must read.
WEIL, Simone. Oppression and Liberty. Amherst: The University of Massachusetts, 1973.
My difficult Angel! Includes her infamous take down of the Marxism of her day. WARNING don’t get the amazon.com print-to-order version… it has been stripped of the introduction, footnotes and other apparatus. This is a little known classic. For me it was "our first kiss".
WELLS, H. G. New Worlds for Old. Chicago and New York: M.A. Donohue & Company, 1907.
H.G. Wells, A Famous Father of Science Fiction HOLDS FORTH on SOCIALISM. He was not a Fabian Socialist. He might have wanted to take over the Fabian Socialists, but it didn't happen. He holds forth well though. This man is a misremembered treasure.
VI. SUPPORTS TO PRACTICE: Buddhist Lists
Established by the twice monthly recommitment to TheTen Vows
Killing, Stealing, Sexual Misconduct
Lying, Divisive Speech, Harsh Speech, Pointless Gossip
Greed/Covetousness, Harmful Intent, Wrong View (denial of cause and effect)
The Ten Virtues
[not just the opposites of the non virtues
but a call to engage in these virtues.]
Protect Life, Give Generously, Maintain One’s Discipline
Speak Honestly, Reconcile, Speak Pleasantly, Speak Meaningfully
Generosity, Loving Kindness, Correct View of Reality
The Buddhist Perfections
The ten perfections in the Theravada tradition are
(1) generosity (dāna),
(2) morality (sīla),
(3) renunciation (nekhamma),
(4) insight (pañña),
(5) energy (viriya),
(6) patience (khanti),
(7) truthfulness (sacca),
(8) resolution (adhiṭṭhāna),
(9) loving-kindness (metta), and
(10) equanimity (upekkhā).
The Six Perfections in the Mahayana tradition are
The six are
(1) generosity (dāna),
(2) morality (śīla),
(3) patience (kṣānti),
(4) vigor (vīrya),
(5) concentration (dhyāna), and
(6) wisdom (prajñā).
This list was expanded to complement the ten stages (bhūmi) traversed by a bodhisattva in the course leading to full buddhahood.
The additional perfections are
(7) skill-in-means (upāya-kauśalya),
(8) resolution (praṇidhāna),
(9) strength (bala), and
(10) knowledge (jñāna).
VII. IN THE LAST DAYS OF THE DHARMA
see the Pureland Chapbooks #7 Maitreya