THE SAGELY CITY OF TEN THOUSAND BUDDHAS
Rebirth in the Pure Land
What is the wish for rebirth in the Pure Land? Progress on the spiritual Path is difficult when we cultivate in this world. But once we have been reborn in that world, becoming a Buddha is easy. Because cultivating is easy there, we can be successful in a single lifetime. Because it is difficult here, many kalpas have passed and we still have not accomplished our goal. Therefore, each and every sage and worthy of the past has taken the path that leads to that land. And passage after passage in all the thousands of sutras and myriads of Shastras points in this direction. For cultivators in the Dharma Ending Age, nothing surpasses this method.
The Sutra says, however, that we cannot be reborn there if our good deeds are few. Only through many acts deserving of blessings can we be successful. They say that none of the many acts deserving of blessings equals maintaining the recitation of Amitabha Buddha's name. They say that none of the many good deeds equals a great resolution of the mind. Therefore, reciting the Sage's name even briefly is superior to practicing giving for a hundred years. And by simply making the great resolve, we transcend kalpa after kalpa of cultivation.
Thus, we may practice mindfulness of the Buddha with the hope of becoming Buddhas, but if we fail to make the great resolve, our mindfulness will not be sincere. We may be determined to cultivate, but retreat is easy, despite our resolve, unless we are reborn in the Pure Land.
Therefore, plant a Bodhi seed. Till with the plow of mindfulness of the Buddha, and the fruits of the Path will naturally grow. Sail the ship of great vows to enter the ocean of the Pure Land. Then we will certainly be reborn in the West.
This is the ninth cause and condition for for making the resolve to attain Bodhi.