Reciting the Buddha's name

On reciting the Buddha's name: advice given by Master Hui Re during the July 2007 Pure Land retreat. Translated by Ben Le, edited by Maxine

Listen to the chanting coming from the speakers, listen to your mind reciting, feel your mouth moving and know your heart is reciting very sincerely. All you need to do is recite the Buddha's name very sincerely. Everything else that comes up is Mara: dreams and illusions. How does Mara enter your mind? Through greed, attachment and wanting. Even the image of the Buddha or any other holy image comes as a result of greed and attachment. You then want to see more and more of them. Whatever you see, smell, or hear is Mara. Do not give it any attention. Ignore it completely. Simply recite the Buddha's name, very accurately, with focused concentration.

In the Avatamsaka Sutra the Buddha says one should not interpret ones imaginings as holy or spiritual. Do not make them special. Do not think that a spiritual image means you have attained an advanced level of practice. Whatever your mind presents, always go back to your practice. Do not make a big show out of anything.

In this Dharma ending age, the most powerful practice is simply to recite the Buddha's name. Keep the Buddha's name on your tongue. Do not try and visualize anything. Keep it as simple as you can. Just recite the Buddha's name. It is easy to evoke greed and desire if you practice visualisations. Recitation of the Buddha's name is what will get you reborn in the Pure Land. There is no other cause for going to the Pure Land. Visualisations will not take you to the Pure Land. Only reciting the Buddha's name will do so.

There is a very powerful Ch'an saying, "If you see the Buddha, kill him. If you see Mara, kill him." This means we should not become attached to any appearances we see in our minds. Let them go. Mara will then not be able to obstruct us.