English | Vietnamese

Real Mark:

The real mark is apart from marks; it is not attached to any distinguishing characteristics. It has left all dharmas behind, and swept away all marks. This is the investigation of the dhyana [Ch'an] Dharma-door.

Those who truly practice dhyana truly chant the Buddha's name as well.

Those who can really recite the Buddha's name are, in fact, investigating dhyana. Dhyana practice and Buddha Recitation both help you to stop your idle thoughts and sweep away your personal desires and random thoughts, so that your original face can appear. This is called real mark recitation.

(The Ven. Master Hsuan Hua, Buddha Root Farm, p. 41.)

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Talks by the Venerable Master Hsuan Hua at Buddha Root Farm in Oregon, 1975

Editor's Introduction and Dharma Talks

Audio files (with instantaneous English translation)

Buddha Root Farm


1975, Buddha Root Farm, Oregon


1975, Buddha Root Farm, Oregon.
The Master led the four assemblies of young disciples in a Buddha Recitation Session under an open tent in the woods of Oregon. Himself an expression of Western Bliss, the Master explains the Dharma door of reciting Amitabha Buddha's name. The glow of a kerosene lamp sheds a canopy of light above the Master's head as he brings to life the method that leads to rebirth in the Pure Land.


In the summer of 1975 Bill Brevoort, owner of Buddha Root Farm on the Smith River, near Reedsport, Oregon, decided to host an outdoors Buddha Recitations Session on his land. He requested the Venerable Master Hua and the fourfold assembly of Gold Mountain Monastery to join in the session. The Venerable Master assented, and in August 1975, a group of over fifty cultivators from all over the U.S. gathered at the farm to attend a week-long session of reciting the Buddha's name.

This was the first time that a traditional Buddha Recitation Session was held in the open air, in the mountains. During the session Venerable Master gave talks twice daily, one in the afternoon and another in the evening. He brought the Pure Land Dharma-door alive, explaining the fundamentals of practice and revealing the fruits of cultivation. He spoke so simply that even absolute beginners could comprehend the principles, and yet his words awakened more experienced cultivators to the profundities of the Buddhadharma. The Venerable Master's words provided inspiration and instruction for all assembled at Buddha Root Farm, and they serve as a wealth of Dharma for cultivators now and in the future.

1975, Buddha Root Farm, Oregon

The Master is shown hosting the Great Transference of Merit performed on the Oregon Coast at the culmination of the Buddha Recitation Session held at Buddha Root Farm.

The Master's expedients in introducing young Westerners to the Dharma were many. On this occasion, he moved the entire Buddha Recitation Session from the Oregon woods to the Oregon coast. Everyone is facing West as the sun sets at the end of the Amitabha Buddha session, vowing to attain rebirth in the Western Pure Land, and to transfer the merit to all living beings.

Source: Venerable Master Hsuan Hua: His Life and His Legacy


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Buddha Root Farm

ISBN 0881394327

Pure Land Talks at Buddha Root Farm. Second Edition.

Student: "...when you eat one bowl of rice, you take the life of all the grains of rice, whereas eating meat you take only one animal's life."

The Venerable Master Hua replied: "On the body of one single animal are a hundred thousand, in fact, several million little organisms. These organisms are fragments of what was once an animal. The soul of a human being at death may split up to become many animals. One person can become about ten animals. That's why animals are so stupid. The soul of an animal can split up and become, in its smallest division, an organism or plant. The feelings which plants have, then, are what separated from the animal's soul when it split up at death. Although the life force of a large number of plants may appear sizable, it is not as great as that of a single animal or a single mouthful of meat. Take, for example, rice: tens of billions of grains of rice do not contain as much life force as a single piece of meat. If you open your Five Eyes you can know this at a glance. If you haven't opened your eyes, no matter how one tries to explain it to you, you won't understand. No matter how it's explained, you won't believe it, because you haven't been a plant!

"Another example is the mosquitoes. The millions of mosquitoes on this mountain may be simply the soul of one person who has been transformed into all those bugs. It is not the case that a single human soul turns into a single mosquito. One person can turn into countless numbers of mosquitoes.

At death the nature changes, the soul scatters, and its smallest fragments become plants. Thus, there is a difference between eating plants and eating animals. What is more, plants have very short life-spans. The grass, for example, is born in the spring and dies within months. Animals live a long time. If you don't kill them, they will live for many years. Rice, regardless of conditions, will only live a short time. And so, if you really look into it, there are many factors to consider, and even science hasn't got it all straight." 

(Buddha Root Farm, 64)

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8/2005 Retreat

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BRF034.jpg (127947 bytes) Video Clips:

WMV files, need Windows Media Player  


(8.8 Mb)

Morning Recitation  


Shurangama Mantra  


Reciting Medicine Master Buddha


Evening Recitation

(14.2 Mb)

Evening Lecture

(16 Mb)

Morning Exercise  


Reciting Kwan Shr Yin Boddhisattva  


Dedication of Merit  


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