Is Bodh Gaya the Holiest Place on Earth for Buddhists? Although it is actually particular, it is not the most sacred place on earth. Chamtrul Rinpoche tells us where we’ll find the Holiest Place in the whole Universe:
“The holiest place in the universe is in your mind. In there you will find the Buddha.”
Where is Buddha?
Where is Buddha, Dharma and Sangha? You’ll find them in your personal thoughts (Buddha), speech (Dharma) and actions (Sangha.)
What triggered this function, was a function on the 4 sacred websites of Buddhism. Certainly, these bodily locations are very particular. But they are not the Holiest Place in the Universe. Buddha, himself, cautioned his disciples in opposition to contemplating anyplace or merchandise (relic) as Holy. He was involved that his physique would change into relics — which certainly did happen, as stupa after stupa arouse following his Paranirvana.
Holy Pilgrimage Places — as shut as your personal thoughts
While it is true that the Digha Nikaya (16.5) particularly indicated that there is advantage in visiting “Holy” pilgrimage locations, that doesn’t imply these locations are Holiest. If you are in search of the “Holiest” place, look no additional than your personal thoughts.
Venerable Zasep Rinpoche, in an internet educating, whereas discussing “sleep yoga” and “dream yoga” that we are able to “visit all the Holy Places without a passport. We visit them in our mind. In our dreams. You can make a pilgrimage every day this way.”
Tripping in our desires and sleep is merely preparation for an precise journey into the “luminous mind” or “Clear Llight.”
Luminous Mind is a Holy Place
Your personal Luminous Mind — in Sanskrit prabhāsvara-citta or ābhāsvara-citta and in Pali pabhassara citta — is the Holiest of Places. This is why, in Vajrayana and Tibetan Buddhism, the phrases “mind of clear light” or simply “clear light” are used ceaselessly. The aim, in all visualizations — and in the end in our lives — is to purify our thoughts in order that now we have a luminous thoughts.
This is not only a Tantric Buddhist idea. Vajrayana focuses on Clear Light extensively, however prabhāsvara-citta (Luminous Mind) is in lots of Mahayana Sutras and a number of Pali Suttas. In Theravadan Buddhism, the luminous thoughts is recognized with Bhavana. In Mahayana, it is related to Tathagatagarbha (Buddha Nature, see beneath.) In Vajrayana, as a substitute of “meditating” on the luminous thoughts, we “play act” and visualize — a costume rehearsal that prepares us for the precise journey into clear gentle. It is that journey, that takes us to the most sacred of locations in our minds. Ultimately, in Vajrayana, once we are prepared, we meditate on this luminosity and brightly shining thoughts in Mahamudra and Dzogchen and Highest Yoga Tantras.
Making your Mind a Sacred Place
Daily Buddhists take Refuge in the Buddha, the Dharma and the Sangha. Where can we find these Three Precious Jewels. According to Chamtrul Rinpoche, “The holiest place in the universe is in your mind. In there you will find the buddha.”
Expanding on this perception, lets say we’ll find the sacred Dharma in our personal speech once we chant the mantras and sutras. We find the most sacred Sangha in the actions of Dharma individuals, together with ourselves. The Buddha was a pioneer.
Whether we are seeking to meet Shakyamuni Buddha, Avalokiteshvara, Tara, Hayagriva, Manjushri, or any Buddha, their precise PureLands are no different place, apart from our personal thoughts area.
Why is this essential? Purify the Mind and find the Pure Land
Why is it essential to know that our Mind is the final sacred place? Not solely is it as a result of each Buddhist meditation technique entails the “mind” — from mindfulness to visualization to veneration — however as a result of the thoughts, in Buddhism, is a continuum that transcends anyone life.
In the Vimalakirti Sutra, Shakyamuni Buddha taught us that to see the Pure Land, we solely have to purify our minds. He stated that we should purify our minds and we might see the purity of the universe. The purity of our personal thoughts is the Pure Land. He used the instance of a room with no doorways and soiled home windows. Outside is a good looking sky, a good looking world, however we are closeted in a tiny room of our will, unable to see the magnificence outdoors. If solely we took a second to scrub the window, we might see its purity. In the metaphor, the stunning day outdoors is the Universe of every thing (Oneness and Emptiness), the window is our thoughts and the filth that covers the window are the obscuring feelings of greed, anger, and ignorance that bind us to our samsara.
Powa Practice and the Purelands
One strategy to personally expertise the Purelands as “mind” is to apply Tibetan Powa. In Powa guided apply, we visualize our personal thoughts being “ejected” from the physique (a visualized astral out of physique meditation in Buddhism) and going as much as the “heart” of the Buddha. In Buddhism, the coronary heart chakra is typically where the “mind” resides. When we eject our consciousness from our coronary heart, to Buddha’s coronary heart, we are going to the “Pureland” of that Buddha. Purelands are the excellent minds of the Enlightened Buddhas. In our case, once we do “powa” it’s a “dress rehearsal” visualization.
Although it usually requires a trainer’s steering, Amitabaha Powa apply is thought of effective for anybody. Here is a brief video of Venerable Zasep Tulku Rinpoche guiding a Powa session with visualizations:
Video of Guided Power Purelands Meditation:
Different Levels of Pure Land and Pure Mind
Sister Annabel Laity, the Abbess of Maple Forest Monastery, wrote, ” There are totally different ranges of perception in the Pure Land, and the highest degree of Pure Land educating is that your thoughts is the Pure Land, the Pure Land is out there in your thoughts.”  That’s not meant to decrease the different ranges of understanding of the Purelands, corresponding to a spot we are able to really take start in — by way of our personal deserves and the assist of the Enlightened Ones, corresponding to Amituofo (Amitabha Buddha.)
Either method, thoughts Pureland or separate Pureland, all we have to do is wash the window to see it — or, metaphorically purify our mindstream. All beliefs in a Pureland train that Samsara (our struggling world) is sustained by deluded minds. All Purelands, on the different hand, are Buddha Minds (or Pure Minds.)
In Buddhist perception, we proceed from life to life, one delicate mindstream. Even extra importantly, if we perceive Shunyata and Emptiness philosophy, we perceive that our mindstream is not separate from “other.” Once we break previous the limiting idea of duality, we perceive that there is in the end no Buddha and different, and likewise to “self” and “other.”
Just as, in Quantum Physics, where “self” is a “persistent” phantasm (Einstein), likewise in Mahayana Buddhism. There is in the end Oneness. This is a key idea in the essential Mahayana doctrine of Buddha Nature. All sentient beings, from insect to human, have Buddha Nature. [For a feature on Buddha Nature, see>>]
Our sense of self arises, partially, from our “perceptions.” Buddha taught extensively on “perceptions” and the infallibility of our senses in decoding “perceptual reality.” Buddhism, in any case, is actually an amazing contemplative path. Similarly, Quantum Physics contemplates these notions of what is actual, what is an phantasm.
Quantum notion of perceptual actuality
Then, at the highest degree of “mind” area is the whole quantum notion of perceptual actuality. Albert Einstein wrote:
“A human being is part of a whole, called by us the ‘universe’, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings, as something separate from the rest — a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affectation for a few people near us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circles of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty. Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one.”
This phantasm is created by our personal perceptions, that mixture of physique, speech, and thoughts. For this cause, lets say: “everything is one with our own body, speech, and mind.” Nothing is separate from us.
Quantum idea goes a step additional. Werner Heisenber — together with many others — interpreted Quantum experiments to point that actuality doesn’t exist till noticed. He wrote:
“The idea of an objective real world whose smallest parts exist objectively in the same sense as stones or trees exist, independently of whether or not we observe them … is impossible” 
Where we find the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha
It could appear overly simplistic to conclude from Quantum Physics that where we’ll find the Body, Speech, and Mind of the Three Precious Jewels: Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha, is in our personal physique, speech, and thoughts. It is past the scope of this function to discover this idea, past utilizing it as the most elegant strategy to specific the concept that the “place” we are able to meet Buddha is in our personal Mind — fed by sensory stimuli. We examine Buddha, and think about. We recite the teachings and comprehend. Since our thoughts is not separate from Buddha’s thoughts, there is nowhere else to go looking.
This is additionally why in Vajrayana Buddhism, particularly, we emphasize visualization (visualizing the Enlightened deity utilizing our “mind”), mixed with mantra and recitation (speech), and mudras or actions (physique.) This symbolizes our understanding of Oneness with Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha. In reality, it goes past symbolism. We are really assembly the Buddha, listening to the Dharma, and connecting with the Sangha in a really possible way.
Mindfulness and Mind-Full-Ness
One cause Buddha taught mindfulness as a main car of our transformation was due to this emphasis on the Mind — not simply as a sacred place, however as the very factor that informs all or actuality (fed by sensory stimuli.) Mindfulness, in some methods, anchors all Buddhist apply, whether or not we’re targeted on ethical conduct in our moment-to-moment every day lives, or superior practices corresponding to visualization.
When Einstein wrote “our task is to free ourselves from this prison” (quote above) he was reflecting not solely his personal observations however these of the nice sages and scientists by way of historical past, stretching again to Shakyamuni Buddha. Buddha’s strategies — from easy mindfulness, to complicated Vajrayana visualization — all maintain as their essential aim an understanding of the true nature of actuality. Shunyata (Emptiness) in Buddhism is not totally different from Quantum theories of the universe.
Where will we meet the Buddha? Our minds. Where will we in the end “observe” the true nature of actuality? Our minds. There is nowhere else to go. No pilgrimage is vital. We are already at the “Holiest place in the Universe” — our minds.
 The Responsive Universe, John C. Bader, Wisdom Moon Publishing, ISBN-10: 1938459288, ISBN-13: 978-193845928
 Scientific American What Does Quantum Theory Actually Tell Us about Reality?
 Here Is the Pure Land. The Pure Land Is Here. Mindfulness Bell.