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Introduction to Pureland Buddhism


Introduction to Pureland Buddhism

A discussion group for those following the online introductory course and others who are interested in discussing topics relevant to understanding some basic Buddhist ideas.

Members: 58
Latest Activity: Oct 4, 2015

Online Pureland Buddhist Introductory Course


16 lessons guide you from Basic Buddhism to a deeper understanding of the Pureland Tradition. The course is now available on the Amida Academy site: here

Sujatin is currently the tutor on the course: you can contact her here, or email her on

There are further courses on Amida Academy - you will find them here

Discussion Forum

Lesson 4 Discussion Questions

Started by David Stupples. Last reply by Jnañamati May 5, 2012. 1 Reply

1. Discuss your image of a perfect world.In my perfect world there would be no suffering, all beings would would attain the state of bliss and bathe in the perfect light of Amida Buddha in joyful and…Continue

Lesson 13: Spiritual Salvation through a single Nembutsu

Started by Sanghamitra. Last reply by Mat Osmond Jan 1, 2012. 13 Replies

1. Discuss the idea that spiritual salvation may come through the recitation of a single nembutsu. If you are studying in a group, you could divide into two groups or into pairs and explore the…Continue

Meditation, Mantras and Chants

Started by Bhodi Anjo Daishin. Last reply by Floyd Smith Apr 8, 2011. 2 Replies

Peace!I just have a small question. I got my start in buddhism based in Zen and Tibetan Buddhism and found my path directed to Pure Land. I truly understand the recitation of Amitaba, Amida…Continue

Tags: chanting, Meditation

Lesson 10 Saigyo's poem

Started by Alan MacGregor Johnstone. Last reply by Alan MacGregor Johnstone Oct 27, 2010. 3 Replies

Has anyone had a go yet at writing a poem in the style of Saigyo?This would be an admirable intellectual exercise in scene painting and human reaction combined with extreme verbal economy, and the…Continue

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Comment by Sujatin on July 11, 2013 at 15:19

The updated link to the Introduction to Pureland Buddhism course, available via the Amida Academy site, is here:

Comment by Sujatin on May 17, 2013 at 12:32

The Introduction to Pureland Buddhism course is now available on Amida Academy - you will find more details as well as instructions as to how you can register here

Comment by Sujatin on April 20, 2013 at 9:33

Update - the Itroduction to Pureland Buddhism course is being added to the Amida Academy site - I'll let you know when the course is available there

Comment by Sujatin on February 13, 2013 at 10:57

There's a new eCourse starting in March - follow this link:

This course of 16 lessons, written by Dharmavidya, the Dharma Teacher of the Amida Order, guides you from Basic Buddhism to a deeper understanding of the Pureland Tradition. 

As a member of the study group, you will receive the lessons as email newsletters and will have access to an on-line discussions forum. Lessons will be sent out at a rate of one every 2-3 weeks and will take a maximum of 3 hours to complete, including engaging in discussion. The course will start during the first week of March.

Sujatin, a senior teacher with the Order, is tutor on the course, which she has taught on-line and face to face for over 7 years.

To sign up and pay for the course look here. A concessionary rate is available for people on benefits/pension etc

Previous participants have said:

"A thorough grounding in Pureland Buddhism, which doesn't just transmit the facts but also the warm heart and reassuringly human face of this school of Buddhism. I'd recommend this illuminating course to anyone who wants to find out more about Buddhist philosophy and practice." ~ Satyavani

"This course which introduces us to Pureland Buddhism became for me an intense personal journey into the spirit that Shakyamuni Buddha found and shared.  The interactive nature of the teachings and discussions is a most wonderful medium for reflection, both personally and within group process.........the discussion questions are good and part of this reason is that they confront our- selves....... to sit with a discussion question or a comment made by other participants, or by myself, for hours or sometimes days, weeks - this is such a gift of reflective space which is unavailable in the real time of a workshop or talk." ~ Rob

"I have found that the Introduction to Pureland Buddhism course has been interesting and also at times challenging. The course has given me the opportunity to be able to 'deepen my practice'. Along with having the forum to be able to share a few of my life experiences through these winter months, although this has felt challenging, it also has been cathartic. Gratitude to the other group members for given me the space to open my heart. Much gratitude to Sujatin for her support and spiritual guidance throughout. Namo Amida Bu." ~ Colin.

Comment by Sujatin on December 28, 2011 at 11:15

And it also means that, knowing how we are ourselves, seeing ourselves with a little more clarity and honesty, we are also able to see that others are just like this too...and thus our judgements of others can be more accommodating and less harsh.

Comment by Dharmavidya on August 28, 2010 at 11:34
I have put a short essay about morality at
Comment by Ravindra Narayanrao Mundre on August 28, 2010 at 4:53
I want to discuss of Buddha's teaching Morality. What is role of morality in Buddhism?
Comment by richard meyers on January 28, 2010 at 15:42
Hi Simon,
Just a quick response to say that I agree with your take on things as described below.

To touch momentarily on the 'liberation' I find in the bombu concept: I absolutely recognise what you are saying about the dangers inherent in it. The Summary of Faith and Practice quote about Contrition is spot on; being bombu (or bonpu - how's it spelt!?) doesn't mean that we can just behave badly. For me it is about not beating myself up quite so much in the light of my wayward passions. 'Liberation' in this context is perhaps overstating things.

I look forward to further discussions.

Namo Amida Bu
Comment by Jnañamati on January 28, 2010 at 9:38
Thanks for your reply Richard. I wanted to say that there is nothing I don't agree with in what you write and I too find the bonbu paradigm liberating at times. I just wanted to bring a sense of balance in that I find that I can't relate to being foolish as helpful in all circumstances. In addition the paradox I refer to is an important one in some interpretations of Pureland thought, namely that realising ones foolishness when 'authentically' felt or an 'accurate reflection' of the situation (as you describe it), is helpful spiritually when one has spent effort striving to attain something to maybe make a difference or create a better world for ourselves and others, but have failed and perhaps even caused some harm. We recognise perhaps that it is not within our power to change the karmic stream that leads to our fallibility at such times. This is not the same as what some commentators criticise about Pureland Buddhism, namely that it can lead some to the belief that they do not need to do anything or act ethically because they will be accepted by Amida regardless. I know that this is not what you are saying in your message and it is not as simple as it appears, but from a rhetorical point of view I wanted to point out this danger.
I am reminded of a sentence in the Summary of Faith and Practice: 'Thus we know that we are foolish beings of wayward passion. This knowledge of our condition is part of the essential basis when it gives rise to contrition'. Yes we are accepted whatever but we can also make reparation when we have realised our foolishness. This is also part of the meaning of 'bonbu'.
I do acknowledge the significance of this important aspect of the teaching and how it can have a profound effect on ones life, as it has in mine and in the way you describe it, it evidently has had in yours Richard.
I am now beginning to question whether I am being 'unskillful' and foolish in my reply! I'm touched and inspired by your relationship to faith and though we have known each other for only a short while I feel I know you well enough to trust that the liberation you find in the experience you describe true and heartfelt.
I look forward to further discussions.
What I think I will do is to put together some information offering different perspectives form Buddhist texts and create a separate discussion in this group on the topic of the Bonbu paradigm. I think it would also be interesting to hear from other people on this loop.
Much love to you Richard
Namo Amida B
Comment by richard meyers on January 27, 2010 at 16:59
Just a quick response as I am about to sit down to dinner!
'Just to say that I met the term 'Foolish being' with recognition and relief. No longer the pressure to 'get it right' In many ways the 'inner critic' is mitigated by the realisation that even though I AM foolish,( my god, I could list the times, as could we all..) I am still accepted. Recognising my Bombu nature, for me is more than what is usually regarded as a 'skillful means', it accurately reflects the situation. Rather than being alied to the inner critic, which is limiting, I find the concept liberating!

More anon,
Grub up!
Much love
& Namo Amida Bu

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