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Volume 5 no 4

The Voice of Bliss

Make an Early Start
By Venerable Shen-Kai

Some people think that they should begin to learn and practise Buddhism only when they are 'older'. The truth is that we are never too young. Indeed, Jen Chen Buddhism advocates that babies take refuge in the Three Treasures even before they are born. And when we start early, we build for ourselves a blissful life.

In the past, the Buddhist world generally concentrated on promoting the Pure Land method of cultivation. It advocates chanting "Amitabha Buddha" and that when people die; they will be reborn in the Western Pure Land. To this present time, Buddhism continues to give people a feeling that it is uninteresting, it is related to dead people and that the purpose of chanting "Amitabha Buddha is to seek rebirth in the Western Pure Land after their death. The Western Pure Land is perceived to be a place for old people not for the young. Jen Chen Buddhism is not like this. It advocates creating, right now in this lifetime, our own blissful land, happy family, happy society, happy country and happy world. Therefore, we have to purify the human mind, promote a blissful culture across the world and transform this Saha world into a Pure Land. This is the focus in the promotion of Jen Chen Buddhism.

The Pure Land method of cultivation upholds the view that there is too much misery in this world and therefore emphasises chanting "Amitabha Buddha". People can cultivate to be reborn in the Western Pure Land when they are older. Jen Chen Buddhism advocates that people should begin to cultivate as early as possible, and should take refuge in the Three Treasures even before they are born. This is because every person brings with him from his previous life effects of their karma, and through the compassion and blessing of the Three Treasures the hindrances of the baby's karma may be lessened. Perhaps, the child will be more intelligent, face fewer hindrances and so avoid many calamities in life. Therefore, we advocate Jen Chen Buddhism, to take refuge in the Three Treasures and to learn and practise Buddhism not only when we are old, but to do so right now and for babies, even before they are born through their mothers.

The general misconception that Buddhism is a matter for old people possibly arises from the practice of enlisting monks and nuns to chant at funerals to ensure a better rebirth for the dead. Jen Chen Buddhism wishes to eradicate this misconception.


Copyright 2002.Jen Chen Buddhism Centre