How Pure Land Works
Pure Land, symbolized by the Buddha Recitation Method, is a Mahayana approach that employs inter alia, the techniques of meditation-visualization (of Pure Land, Amitabha Buddha) and oral recitation of the Buddha’s name, to realize these paramitas. That is, when a practitioner is busy visualizing the Buddha or reciting the Buddha’s name, he cannot commit transgressions or violate Buddhist precepts.
Therefore, he has effectively fulfilled the paramitas of Discipline. Likewise, reciting the Buddha’s name with a complete focused Mind is nothing less than fulfilling the paramita of Concentration. Once Concentration is achieved, the practitioner’s Mind becomes empty and still, leading to the emergence of his innate Wisdom — the Wisdom of the Buddhas.
Thus, a sincere Buddha Recitation practitioner, by dint of his own effort, effectively attains Buddhahood. According to Pure Land doctrine, however, most practitioners in this Degenerate Age find the “self-power”, self-help approach too difficult and arduous; therefore, in their Pure Land teachings, the Buddhas and Sages compassionately emphasized the additional element of “other-power”.
This involves reliance on Amitabha Buddha’s Vows, made countless eons ago, to welcome and escort all sentient beings to his Land of Ultimate Bliss – an ideal training ground, an ideal environment. To benefit from these Vows, the cultivator still needs to do his part – and the easiest practice is Buddha Recitation.