As we live, we must strive for a life of value. Buddhism is different from philosophy, for it does not only deal with knowledge and theory. Rather, Buddhism calls for devout faith, developed morality, and most importantly: spiritual practice.
–Venerable Master Hsing Yun
Daily practice is essential in a Buddhist’s life. We not only practice in all sorts of activities in everyday life, but we also need some time for the cultivation of the mind of wisdom and compassion. No matter if it is only five minutes or takes an extensively long time to recite more than one sutra a day, the practice plants the virtuous seeds in both our spirituality and secular life. When the time is ripe, we will harvest the fruit of awakening.
To know how to structure your daily practice, here is Venerable Master’s advice on daily practice.
The Amitabha Sutra as Discoursed by the Buddha
The Amitabha Sutra is greatly influential in Chinese Buddhism. Its practice has been highly emphasized in traditional monasteries and modern Buddhist temples. It introduces the wondrous Western Pure Land of the Amitabha Buddha and highlights the importance of being reborn there for one’s path to the final enlightenment. Learn more.
The Diamond Sutra
The Diamond Sutra is one of the most influential sutras in Mahayana Buddhism. Considered the essential object of devotion and study in Chan Buddhism, it explains the emptiness of all phenomena and the importance of liberating all living beings without attachment. Learn more.
The Difficulty of Repaying the Profound Kindness of Parents Sutra
The Difficulty of Repaying the Profound Kindness of Parents Sutra serves as another kind of reminder that we all owe a great deal to our parents. Best of all, it demonstrates a way to show our appreciation for them and to repay their kindness. Learn more.
The Flower Adornment Sutra’s Practices and Vows of Samantabhadra Bodhisattva Chapter
In The Flower Adornment Sutra’s Practices and Vows of Samantabhadra Bodhisattva Chapter, Samantabhadra teaches that there are ten great practices and vows for us to cultivate. This text outlines his vows for modern practitioners for better understanding and practice, with an emphasis on the last and most poignant vow: to dedicate all virtues and merits earned through good deeds to eternally benefit all sentient beings. Providing a modern interpretation, Venerable Master Hsing Yun explains how we can understand and practice each one. Learn more.
The Flower Adornment Sutra’s Pure Practices Chapter
The Flower Adornment Sutra’s Pure Practices Chapter offers Buddhists on the bodhisattva path guidance for firmly living the Dharma and attaining action of body, speech, and mind that is without flaw. This chanting book provides easy daily mindfulness practices in a variety of situations that benefit oneself and others. Learn more.
The Forty-Eight Vows of Amitabha Buddha
Out of his great compassion, Amitabha Buddha generated forty-eight vows and created the Western Pure Land for all virtuous practitioners. Regardless of whether we want to be reborn in the Pure Land, it is important for us practitioners to always be reminded of his great vows and to contemplate them in order to cultivate our own mind of compassion.
The English-only text is available to read online or download.
Great Compassion Mantra
The Great Compassion Mantra (Chi: 大悲咒) is associated with the bodhisattva of great compassion, Avalokitesvara (Chi: 觀音 Guanyin). Reciting and upholding this mantra can bring practitioners protection from all kinds of danger and help practitioners to cultivate compassion, and when one approaches death, all the Buddhas of the ten directions will come to take one to any Pure Land as one wishes.
The Chinese text with Pinyin is available to read online or download.
The Heart Sutra
Master Xuan Zang went through numerous extreme hardships and dangers on his way to India for requesting the Dharma. During his difficult journey, he heavily relied on The Heart Sutra (Prajñāpāramitāhṛdaya) and the profound meaning of Prajnaparamita. Eventually, he reached Nanlanda University, learned Sanskrit, and became the prominent master and translator in Chinese Buddhism.
The English-only text is available to read online or download.
An Inspiration to Give Rise to the Bodhi Mind
An Inspiration to Give Rise to the Bodhi Mind was composed by the 11th patriarch of the Chinese Pure Land School, Master Xing’an (1686–1734), when he experienced sudden enlightenment and generated the great vows of enlightenment for all sentient beings. He emphasizes the importance of generating the enlightenment mind and how to stabilize the vow in life-long practice. May it encourage the rise of your bodhi mind. Learn more.
The Lotus Sutra’s Universal Gate Chapter on Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva
“The Universal Gate Chapter” introduces the compassionate visage of Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva (Chinese: Guanyin), who has been a source of inspiration and devotion for Buddhists and non-Buddhists for centuries. This short chapter of The Lotus Sutra, chanted and memorized throughout East Asia, is believed to be a strong protection of our body and mind. Learn more.
The Medicine Buddha Sutra
Medicine Buddha, the Buddha of healing in Chinese Buddhism, is believed to cure all the sufferings (both physical and mental) of sentient beings. The Medicine Buddha Sutra is commonly chanted and recited in Buddhist monasteries, and the Medicine Buddha’s 12 great vows are widely praised. Learn more.
Original Vows of Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva Sutra
The Original Vows of Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva Sutra is Mahayana Buddhist teaching on Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva, who vowed not to attain final enlightenment until after the hell realm is emptied. The sutra has been widely practiced in Chinese Buddhism for centuries. As the Buddha discoursed in the sutra, there are 28 great benefits from reciting this sutra, such as being protected by devas and nagas, receiving abundant food and clothing, and accumulating superior causes for holiness. Learn more.
The text is available to read online or download:
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Many Buddhist terms and concepts are directly translated from Sanskrit and Chinese in FGSITC publications.
The Glossary will help readers understand their meaning and implied concepts in the Buddhist context.