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Nembutsu

A brief explanation of the nembutsu which is the primary practice of the Amida Pureland School.

Nembutsu means keeping Buddha in mind. Nen (or nem-) translates the Sanskrit term smriti which means to remember or keep in mind. Smriti is often translated as mindfulness. The equivalent term in Pali is sati. Butsu is the Japanese word for Buddha. Nembutsu thus means keeping Buddha in mind. The nembutsu practitioner tries to keep Buddha in mind in all that he or she does. This is a bit like being in love with Buddha. When we are in love with somebody that person is always in our mind. Even if we are talking to somebody else, our beloved is somewhere in our consciousness. In Amida Buddhism, therefore, the Buddha is our beloved.

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