Buddha land is everywhere. With a Buddha mind, we can sense Buddha’s presense around us ; therefore, this great Earth is a land of Buddha. Buddha land is not in the clouds, under the bodhi trees or somewhere faraway. It is right here, in the dewdrops, on a tree branch, in the green forest, in the field of grass, in the footsteps of a monk, in the hands of a baby, and in a mother’s speech. Everywhere is an embodiment of Buddha. It is not necessary to journey to Lumbini to look for Buddha. There is no need to go to pagodas to see Buddha. Needless to listen to Dharma talks to find Buddha. It is simply because everything we touch has been preaching to us.
A dewdrop is a Dharma talk about living beings existing in it, cause and effect, and reliance. A tree branch is a Dharma talk about environmental conservation, stability, life and death. A green forest is a Dharma talk about congregation of Shangha, exchange, and transformation. A meadow is a Dharma talk about nurturing, building, and cultivating. The footsteps of a monk are a Dharma talk about peace, calm, and freedom. A child’s hand is a Dharma talk about continuation, no birth no death, and life in the Earth. And a mother’s words are a Dharma talk about love, right speech, and sacrifice.
If we do not pay attention to them, we cannot hear the Dharma talks. They are the recondite sounds of life which, just listening to, the listeners will feel the happiness, take the peace, and immediately acknowledge that the Earth is the land of Buddha and Buddha exists in every corner of life. The dewdrops are Buddha, the tree branches are Buddha, the forests are nurture of Buddha, the fields of grass are the fields of mercy of Buddha, the monk’s footsteps are Buddha’s footsteps, the baby’s hand is Buddha’s hand, and the mother’s words are Buddha’s words. In every place, we see Buddha; and inside us, we have got Buddha.
Buddha mind lies inside our mind; Buddha energy is in our energy. When practicing Buddha’s conducts, we will become Buddha with no difference. We celebrate Vesak is that we celebrate the inception of Buddha nature inside us.. The Globe exists for the existence of mankind and every human is a Buddha; thus, the Globe is the land of Buddhas, where everyone practices, behaves, and loves with Buddha energy. This energy is not awarded to us by Sakyamuni Buddha or Amitabha Buddha, but it is the nature of every human. If humans act naturally, they will interact with the Buddha energy and help all of living beings.
In fact, what is naturalness here? It is love, mercy, magnanimity, non-discrimination, patience under provocation, and letting go. If humans act unnaturally, they will approach evil energy and destroy all of living beings. In effect, what is unnaturalness here? It is envy, feud, violence, bitterness, conflict, dispute, selfishness, greed, judgment, anger, dull addiction, and attachment. No one can save us and no one beg us to do it; only we can save ourselves and light the torch to move forward. Mankind is born to practice nothing else but being happy and transforming suffering. We do not ignore the beauty, the good, peacefulness, and joyfulness. We know who we are, where we are going to, what we are doing, what we are saying. We shelter peacefully in the reality to approach a myriad of Buddhas.
In the Lotus Sutra, it is said that there is a myriad of Bodhisattvas and Buddhas spurting out of earth. Who are these Bodhisattvas and Buddhas? Are they imposing sitting Buddha statues in Vinh Nghiem (Ever Solemn) Pagoda? They are not. We are born from earth, plants are born from earth, and all of beings are born from earth. All are born to practice and become Buddhas. In the Lotus Sutra, it is also said that carving a Buddha statue creates innumerable and boundless blessing. That is true; however, it does not mean carving a Buddha statue to place in a pagoda for people to contemplate and worship. It means carving that statue in our mind and practicing continuously Buddha’s conducts. When Buddha is in our mind, we will see Buddha everywhere and we ourselves are Buddha without a doubt. Thus, there are myriads of living beings on Earth, so there are countless Buddhas.
Buddha land has no boundaries. The Earth, Mars, the Moon, the Sun, planets, universe, or anywhere else are Buddha lands. The sunlight can be hidden by the journey of day and night, but the Buddha mind is not limited by the so-called space and time. Like the energy of mercy; wherever it is spreaded to, those places will become Buddha lands; spreading to heaven, heaven will become a Buddha land; spreading to hell, hell will become a Buddha land. Wherever politicians bring the Buddha mind to, that place is filled with peace and prosperity. This prosperity does not refer to materialistic wealth but peaceful prosperity, love, and moral values. It is one thing for politicians to make peace, but it is another thing for them not to condemn war but understand that, due to war, humans treasure peace pledge not to let war happen.
Buddha is a title and the Buddha is only a name. Everyone has Buddha nature. The Buddha land is not only in India, Nepal, Afghanistan, Iran or Kashmir area, but also in Vietnam, North America, North Korea, France, Venezuela, Britain, and all other nations. The Buddha energy is present everywhere, as a result, no matter which country you travel to, you are going to the Buddha land. It cannot be said that going back to the Buddha’s birthplace, where he first preached, or where he entered Nirvana, allows one to interact with Buddha energy. It cannot be said that building a pagoda, revering śarīra, painting a Buddha statue, translating and giving sutras, or worshipping and almsgiving allows one to approach Buddha energy. Buddha energy does not lie in such those things. Similarly, it cannot be said that an unwarlike nation, people involving in business, journalism being everywhere, developed technology, or modernization allows us to interact with peace. Peace energy does not lie in unwarlike factors.
People who know how to live consciously, practice right mindfulness, conduct and keep the precepts, control temper, convert dull addiction, etc. understand how to embrace happiness and generate Buddha energy. Peace is also the same. Only knowing how to live peacefully, quell violence, moderate demand, reduce consumption, listen to and give lovely speech, live deeply in the present moment, preserve and harmonize with nature, etc. brings us true peace. Peace is not a performance or something easy to achieve; on the other hand, it requires a continuous practice to reach to. Peace is already available; consequently, there is no need to perform or create it, only appreciating and welcoming it.
Translated from book "A Peaceful Mind A Peaceful World" by TG Minh Thanh
Book in Vietnamese “Ke Hoach Chan Hung Nhan Loai”