Report - 7-Day Amitabha Chanting Retreat
July 8, 2019
7-Day Amitabha Chanting Retreat
Written by Cheng Xi Shou / Photo by Yinli Ting and CMC

Chan Meditation Center hosted a 7-Day Amitabha Chanting Retreat at Dharma Drum Retreat Center in Pine Bush, New York from June 30 - July 7, 2019. The retreat was led by Venerable Guo Kai and 7 monastics, and was attended by more than 80 participants from across the United States and Canada.

The retreat included ritual liturgies and ceremonies, chanting of Amitabha Buddha’s name while sitting, walking and running, prostrations, talks by Venerable Guo Kai and video lectures by the late Venerable Master Sheng Yen. According to venerables, there are only two Buddhist schools that still survive in China, Chan and Pure Land. The practice of chanting Amitabha Buddha’s name is practiced by both Chan and Pure Land schools. It is a Chan practice of calming and settling the mind, and a Pure Land practice of creating a pure land in one’s mind, in this world, and the Pure Land of Amitabha.

Report - 7-Day Amitabha Chanting Retreat

Out of approximately 400 sutras that were translated into Chinese, about 200 refer to Amitabha Buddha and the superlative benefits of being reborn in Amitabha Buddha’s Pure Land. Enlightenment is a long process and very difficult to attain. According to the sutras, it is recommended that practitioners practice in order to be reborn in this Pure Land for the purpose of learning and practicing in an ideal environment from Buddhas and bodhisattvas, attaining a state of non-retrogression and returning to the Saha world to benefit others. There were teachings on the nine levels of rebirth in the Pure Land, prerequisites for being reborn in the Pure Land, descriptions of the process of dying and how to prepare for death using this practice and method.

Report - 7-Day Amitabha Chanting Retreat