"Be with Buddha" - What does it mean?

Be with all Buddhas
In the past, Buddhists used to greet each other by saying "Amitabha".
However, when we use "Amitabha" in the western countries, they have difficulty understanding and articulating it. Jen Chen Buddhism began to use "Be with Buddha". This phrase is immediately understood and does not require further explanation.

Also, when we say "Amitabha", others would say, "Well, I practise Bhaisajya Buddha's teachings or I practise Sakyamuni Buddha's teachings or I believe in this or that Buddha". If we only say "Amitabha", it becomes very difficult to explain to these people. To resolve this, let us say "Be with Buddha". Whoever asks me the same question, I can easily reply, "Be with your Buddha".

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The phrase "Be with Buddha", actually takes on a more universal meaning, referring more specifically to the "Buddha-nature" potential in each of us. We all have the capability to attain Buddhahood. If you understand this truth, you are already with Buddha. But, because of the emergence of greed, anger, ignorance, killing, stealing and lust, etc. one can be very, very distant from the Buddha.

Buddha is compassionate. If we constantly think of the Buddha, always be with the Buddha, we too will gradually become compassionate. Buddha is the wise one. If we are constantly with the Buddha, we will also gradually develop wisdom. Buddha is the enlightened one - one who has eradicated all evils and cultivated all good deeds. If we are constantly with the Buddha, we will also learn to eradicate all evils and cultivate all good deeds. The Buddha mind is calm and pure. If we are constantly with the Buddha, we will know how to maintain calmness and purity of the mind. When we understand this truth, we will always be with Buddha.

Will " Be with Buddha" and "Amitabha" create confusion among Buddhists?

"Be with Buddha" and "Amitabha" confusion

"Be with Buddha" means be with all the Buddhas. If you follow the teachings of the Buddha and put them into practice; and when you have attained a higher level of understanding, you will begin to understand the meaning of "Be with Buddha". It does not create confusion and contradiction, and it also does not violate the truth. Because "Be with Buddha" also encompasses Amitabha Buddha, so why should there be confusion? If we approach this from a lay person's point of view, thinking that reciting "Amitabha" will increase our good fortunes and blessings, then not reciting it would imply that good fortunes and blessings will evade us. However, if you say "Be with Buddha", it encompasses all Buddhas. Therefore it is not contradictory. I do not think there will be any contradiction or confusion. You can say "Be with Buddha" and at the same time, say "Amitabha". Just now, when I came on to the stage, I greeted you "Amitabha, Be with Buddha", how can there be contradiction?


Why do Jen Chen Buddhists greet each other "Be with Buddha"?

Why use "Be with Buddha" ?

It is because of the concern that the Buddha may not exist in our hearts and minds, and that we are very distant from the Buddha, that we remind each other to be with Buddha. Moreover, constantly using "Be with Buddha" can eliminate the many hindrances due to negative karma.

The Buddha is full of compassion and is one who has attained the Supreme Enlightenment. On the other hand, sentient beings commit evil karma such as those due to greed, anger, ignorance, theft and adultery, etc. If one is with the Buddha at all times, then one can rectify all the undesirable conduct due to greed, anger and ignorance, and emulate the spirit of the great compassion of the Buddha. When we are learning Buddhism, we should not treat the Buddha as being so lofty that it is beyond us. What good does that do? The Buddha is full of compassion and relieves us of our sufferings and difficulties. If our mind is with the Buddha at all times, naturally we will have compassion and brightness.

voice-be1.jpg (10012 bytes) Once, when I was at the US immigration and I wished the officers, "May you be with Buddha!" They were very happy and quickly brought their palms together in salutation. Thus, I feel that it is very meaningful for each and every Buddhist to advocate using "Be with Buddha". If the whole world can use the phrase "Be with Buddha", and understand the need to be with Buddha at all times, then each and every person would have the seed of the Buddha in his mind. In this way, a day will come when this world becomes a pure Buddha land.

How to apply Buddhism in our lives?

Life and Buddhism

"Be with Buddha" means applying Buddhism in our daily lives. For instance, generally people like to be complimented, so we should abstain from being offensive. We should not do things or utter words that others dislike, for example, abusing others, criticising others, or the use of crude or vulgar languages. Instead, we should be ever ready to compliment, console, comfort and encourage others whenever the situation demands.

Being with Buddha, the expression of the Buddha is always one of contentment, peace and serenity, therefore our expression is one of peace and joy. The Buddha does not gossip, hence we do not gossip, and will only say what is necessary and appropriate. This is very important. As long as we maintain a pure and blissful mind, we are always with all the Buddhas. Sentient beings like Buddhas, therefore they will also like us when we are with Buddha.

When we understand and practise this, we are applying Buddhism and making Buddhism applicable to our daily lives.

How does "Be with Buddha" differ from those used by other religions such as "Be with God" or "Be with the Path"?

How does "Be with Buddha" differ from those used by other religions

"Be with God" is used by Christians. While "Be with the Path", is used by followers of Taoism. The Taoist notion of cultivating the path is different from the teachings of Buddhism. Buddhism speaks of "knowing the path", upon knowing the path, one seeks the path, embark on the path, walk on the path, realize the path and thereafter abandon the path.

We say "Be with Buddha", because the Buddha is one who is the ultimate, and with the highest wisdom and perfect enlightenment. Furthermore, the Dharma-nature, i.e. the nature underlying all things, permeates across the entire space. From the point of this world, it is called the Dharma-nature which can result in a pure Buddha land. From the point of sentient beings, it is called the Buddha-nature leading to Buddhahood. Since we are
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endowed with the Buddha-nature, and the Buddha-nature permeates across the entire space, the Buddha-nature of all Buddhas and our Buddha-nature are the exactly the same. In fact, the Buddha-nature does not leave each and every sentient being. It is only because sentient beings’ ignorance and illusions that they cannot see their own Buddha-nature; the Buddha in reality does not leave us. Since it is like this, we need to remind everybody to "Be with Buddha". Every human being has his own Buddha-nature and we must not forget this. Thus, we should always say "Be with Buddha".

Copyright 2001. Jen Chen Buddhism Centre