Caption of the Documentary about Solitary Retreat in Benxi Thatching(Chinese & English Version)
目录Solitary Retreat in Benxi Thatching
请师 To Invite the Master
选址 Site Selection
建舍 To Build the Thatching
楞严七 The Shurangama 'Qi(seven-days-meditation)'
茅蓬共住八项 The Eight Cohousing Rules of Thatching
闭关必须戒律清净 Obligation of Keeping Purity in Obeying the Vinaya Rlues during the Solitary Retreat
出关法会 The Ceremony of Solitary Retreat Consummation
解界 To Remove the Great Boundaries
Deep in the mountains in Benxi City Liaoning Province, there is a deserted hermitage where the Venerable Master MiaoXiang has practiced meditation in seclusion for three years.
Solitary Retreat in Benxi Thatching
A documentary of the tenth anniversary after the accomplishment of the Solitary Retreat by the Venerable Master MiaoXiang
To Invite the Master
In 1995, the Venerable Master MiaoXiang led Bhikkhu XingKong wandered around from Odaesan back to Liaoning Province where the destination was the Thatching in Gaixian County.
Then in the Thaching in Gaixian County, some lay people of BenXi were practicing Buddha's name-Qi(reciting Buddha's name uninterruptedly during seven days time.) In the admiration of the Master's behavior, they refered to how about the Master's purpose and knew that he wanted to cultivate in deep of mountains. So they said: there are proper mountains in Benxi. Afterward, they invited the Master to Benxi and then the Master dwelled in a tiny clay hut near a vineyard temporarily.
The criteria of selecting site is that, it should be soil without sands where plants can hardly grow up. Excavate a hole, put into it some water and wait for several days. If the water doesn't seep away from the hole, that means there is no outleakage, it would be called the Diamond Place(solid and pure).
Deep in the mountains area in Tongziyu Village Sishanling Countyside Nanfen DistrictBenxi City, there is a suitable empty ground with forest all around for more than ten meters away. After the selection of the site had been confirmed, the hilltribes talked about that: this site is a preparation for him. The reason being that they had tried to plant trees in there many times but none of the trees could grow up. If all were forests, they wouldn't agree to build a thatching for the Master in there.
(Talking about the Solitary Retreat with the Master of Jingjue Monastery, Daqing City:)
Otherwise, how to select the site is pretty important. For building the hut of retreat, its foundation must be very firm.
Dig with a shovel, dig a hole, and put into it a little basin of water, then leave away. Come back to see whether the water is still there after three or two days. If the water is still in there, then the place has no seepage. No seepage, then it is adequate to cultivate in there.
If after the water was poured, nothing remained, then there is aleak. A place with a leak means that there's no leakage on the ground but in the mind. Because the mind does not correspond to the place, there is outleakage in the mind, it's not solid enough, the determination to cultivate is not firm, so if you want to have a retreat in there for a long period, it's daring to say without any difficulty.
This method is worth to be considered when you decide to have a retreat or not, and where to have. It's somewhat interesting.
That place is quite rare and magnificent. That place, only that place is empty, all around there are forests, there are trees around but just that place is empty. Trees have been planted there but can't grow up, they all died, so that site is idle, vacant. It's vacant there. When we went to select the place, after the soil in surface was put away, there was no way to break up the strong ground even with a pick, also there were no stones at all. It's particularly rocklike, the yellow land, yellow sands, rocklike.
To Build the Thatching
In the spring of 1996, before the snow thawed entirely, the Master led Bhikkhu Xingkong came into the mountains. Then a crude hut was bolstered for dwelling purpose. After sometime, using soil, stones and asbestine-tiles the lay people of Benxi built a simply house as the thatching for the Solitary Retreat of the Master.
The Master BenYing of Jingjue Monastery, Daqing City: To persevere in is not easy!
(The Venerable Master MiaoXiang:)The focus on that house is that it must be built according with the principles established by the Buddha, such as the scale. Buddhism principles refer to that if there is a site for you(a bhikkhu) to make some building, you should build it "According to the Proper Scale", avoiding too big a size. It's necessary to be advised by other senior bhikkhu, he should be permitted to come to have a look, shouldn't he?
If the scale is mentioned in the principles, a ruler should be used to measure carefully during the construction, avoiding too big, a handful of superabundant mud should be pull down, never dare to keep overmuch, just as much as measured. All right, that's satisfying.
(According to the principles of bhikkhu and the rules of Shurangama Platform,)it's necessary to spread ten kinds of spicery around the ground, or it will not become the Pure Site. Sweep away the original soil in surface, then besprinkle the ground with clean soil, that's all. It will be filled with atmosphere of righteousness.
About lunar calendar August in 1996, the Master had stopped to talk. One day he went to the villages down of the mountains to practise a Dhutangha Observance(including alms-round).
Deep in the area there are mountains out of mountains. The thatching is about five kilometers away from the village, it needs about one hour to go by walking. The footpath to the thatching being incapable for an auto to pass. Food and timber were offered periodically by the lay people of Benxiwho conveyed these on their back when they went in the mountains.
The Shurangama 'Qi'(seven-days-meditation)
From lunar calendar 29th August in 1996 to 29th August in 1999, the Venerable Master MiaoXiang practised the Solitary Retreat in the thatching, three years time.
In the period of retreat he practised mainly in The Shurangama 'Qi'(seven-days-meditation); one meal before noon; sitting in meditation without laying down; stopped talking. About The Shurangama 'Qi'(seven-days-meditation), more details are mentioned in Charpter 7 of The Shurangama Sutra.
(Preaching to the nuns of Baolin Monastery):I had a retreat in BenXi for three years, in these three years what was practised especially is the Shurangama Mantra. About the Shurangama Mantra, I practised it as this way: in the first day, I secured the boundaries by reciting the Shurangama Mantra 108 times. When the practitioner begins to have a retreat, the boundaries must be secured, ground should turn into a Diamond Place. Then everything should be protected and supported by the Buddhas, Bodhisattvas and the guardians of Dharma. It can help you to accomplish your cultivation according to your will. So to secure the boundaries the Shurangama Mantrea is recited 108 times.
After the boundaries have been secured, recite one segment of the Shurangama Mantra in the first seven days. It can be the posterior segment or the anterior one. Pick one segment that is easy to be recited, especially to recite one segment uninterruptedly during days and nights. Sitting is not allowed but standing, standing for seven days and seven nights.
In the second seven days, according to the methods as to how to produce the Shurangama Platform and how to cultivate on it which is mentioned in the Shurangama Sutra, in this second seven-days-meditation the practitioner should wholly recite Ten Great Vows of The Bodhisattva Precepts, a reciting to last for senven days and seven nights.
In the first seven days, when I was standing, sometimes the body ran backwardly, jumped backwardly. When I walked forward for a while, suddenly it skipped up and jumped backward, sometimes with an impulse it rushed to the 'kang'(a kind of hearth in north China). That 'kang' was a tiny one. The whole body scurried out like an arrow. Whether jumping backwardly or rushing forward, it wouldn't be hurt, that's a bit interesting. It's discovered that the body of human possesses many functions we were never aware before. The body can jump up then ran backwardly, well, previously such actions like running backward were known only by autos, a body of human being can jump backwardly, that had never been discovered before.
Reciting the Ten Great Vows is very good. Vowing and reciting continuously for seven days and nights just at one go(/at a stretch).
（The lay people were saluting by prostration.）
After that, it is the third seven days. Then recite the Shurangama Mantra completly for seven days and nights（only by sitting）. When (in the first seven-days-meditation) with standing posture, it's not allowed to sit down except for meal, sitting is never permitted in other time. When in the third seven-days-meditation, with the sitting posture, standing is not allowed except for going to wash hands, standing is not permitted for other reasons, just keep on sitting.
While reciting uninterruptedly, sometime I had stomatitis. There was no medicine but some toothpaste could be applied. What was the brand of that toothpaste? Kangchiling, made in DanDong. Well when it was out of the Kangchiling, what should we do？So I went outside and picked up the cover of Kangchiling to apply after swilled it with some water.
To what extent did the Shurangama Mantra to be recited? The toothpaste had to be applied once after each sentence had been recited. For the ulcers in mouth were too much, although it eased for a bit after a sentence has been recited but pained soon, that's so.
The medicines for stomatitis ...there were several oral-tablets. Sometimes after the oral-tablet had stayed in the mouth just for a moment it should be given out, put it down immediately then keep on recite. After the reciting (of a sentence) then put it in the mouth again, keep it in the mouth then give it out once again. Sometimes half of a tablet should be remained to the next seven-days-meditation, for the absence of medicines.
After finishing a serial of seven-days-meditation, when I looked at the lapel of robes, there were bestrewn marks of toothpaste's suds. The slobber was exuding continually. Despite its driveling, my part, I was reciting myself, we were mutual indifferent. You were pained as you want, I was reciting as I like, the pain had nothing to do with me. My mindfulness must focus on the Shurangama Mantra.
Sometimes in course of reciting, the feeling of sleepingness came forth and then I flaked out, it was completely unaware. At that time there was no electric light, all reserved for illumination were candles, but it was not abundant in candle. Sometimes when it was burning, the head lolled to cause the hair burned, even the hat had been burned. Sometimes the eyebrow was burned too, until it felt pain that you knew the head had drooped touching the candle. It was some interesting at that time.
After the twenty two days long exertion, the next is a sitting meditation for one hundred days long. To sit in days and nights without lying down for one hundred days' time.
When (the practitioner in retreat) was sitting, it was not allowed to stand up or go for a walk. Sometimes people want to go outside to have a look, but that's not allowed at all.
At that time, the tiny hutch was in a prescribed scale, quiet narrow, and the windows were covered by gray bags, only a one-hand-long gap remained for light source, all parts had been covered to avoid seeing the scenery outside. Those who accompanied me were only the mice.
After one hundred and twenty two days in this way, that's so called an accomplishment of a serial of seven-days-meditations. It's mentioned in the Shurangama Sutra that, after a serial of seven-days-meditations, if the precept-master from whom a monk received precepts is pure, and all of the monks in his group are pure, (and if their roots in the Dharma are deep and strong, they will not rise from their seats during that time, )(see Reference I), they will become Arhats at the first stage. That's so rare and magnificent.
During the three years, the total eight Shurangama 'Qi' (seven-days-meditation) had been accomplished. Theoretically speaking, it's enough time to practise nine ones but actually not. Because of a period of 'Qi' needs four months, and after one 'Qi' the practitioner needs to bathe，shave the head and sew. For each time after one 'Qi', the robes were broken to pieces. So it's necessary to deal with such affairs in this ten-days-long interval. The practitioner should also cultivate with sitting meditation in the ten days, lying down is not allowed but only bathing, shaving the head or sewing and so on. In everyday self-control(or/contemplation) is indispensable, the practitioner should not spend too much of his mind to deal with the affairs above, for in the retreat he should continuously and wholly keep contemplation on mindfulness but nothing else.
So the Shurangama Mantra is very rare and magnificent. The Dharma can rapidly awaken us and the Shurangama Mantra is the special representative of Dharma. Now we are in the proper condition so we should realize that. In the future if there is a chance we'll build the Shurangama Platform to practise the Dharma of Shurangama and the Shurangama 'Qi'. Not only bhikkhus but also bhikshunis and lay people can take part in that. It's invaluable treasure in the time of Dharma's ending.
It's quite interesting. When I was going to have the Solitary Retreat and select the place, how long the retreat would last was not ascertained then, neither any preparation. At that time there was the lay woman Su and other lay people of Benxi. Su then said: 'Master will have a retreat in here, for three years.' She cried out that it's three years for me. So I said:'Ok, then it's three years.' So the retreat lasted three years.
Before the retreat, the lay woman Su said:'Master, you should stop talking, to keep on talking is too tiring.' For she found the fact that many lay people came up the mountain and the master had to always keep on preaching tired to talk, so you should stop to talk. I said:'Ok, then I stopped talking.' To stop talking for three years was also told by her.
At first, there was no plan to keep on sitting(without lying down). Some lay people came up the mountains and said outside:'The master is in a retreat, Ah! He is the master of strict morality, keeping on sitting all the time!' When I heard that these words have already been spoken aloud, then I must copy that, or it will offend 'to refrain from telling lies' of the five commandments if my action falls short of these words. So to sit without lying down, sitting for three years.
It's quite interesting how to cultivate. As long as you exert yourself in the cultivation, all of the living beings and Bodhisattvas will protect and support you. They will think an idea for you, and tell you how to do, we don't to worry about it, we can be very relaxed.
When in the Solitary Retreat never was there any shortage of foods. Moreover many delicious foods we have never seen before were offered, all were fine. So the Shurangama Sutra is invaluable treasure, the dragons and celestial beings all protect and support it, all of the human beings protect it too. Today we can learn the Shurangama Sutra and recite the Shurangama Mantra, it's too fortunate to us. Everyone should do the best.
During the period of 'Qi'(seven-days-meditation), it's not allowed to bathe, wash the feet, wash the face and sew, all the daily affairs should be ceased to contemplate on the mindfulness, except for brushing after meal at every noon to keep on the purity of purification.
(Talking about the Solitary Retreat with the Master of Jingjue Monastery, Daqing City:) During the interval between two serials of four-months-long 'Qi', there was one chance to bathe, shave the head and sew, for the robes were broken shapelessly. You could not cease the cultivation but should keep on doing. In the pause you can do some sewing, that's a kind of loose-mind. Sewing is like playing, that's loose-mind.
Ordinarily(when in the 'Qi') it's not allowed to sew, shave the head, the face or mustache. All are unallowed for it's a kind of loose-mind. If there're still some remains of loose and lazy mood in the heart, that is unallowed.
Doing in this way, it needs ten days for a period to resume. After the clothes have been washed it's time to prepare the next 'Qi'. Doing some exercise, keeping on being pleasurable and sewing clothes were all preparation for the next 'Qi'. So the 'Qi' was practised continuously for eight times totally. As the result of an aforehand calculation, the time was not enough to the ninth 'Qi', until the day the retreat was accomplished there are right eight 'Qi' have been practised.
For the purpose to control(or/strain) the eye-faculty, one should not look outward, so the window was covered by paper.
No talking during the period of the Solitary Retreat.
(The Venerable Master MiaoXiang:) The windows shloud be sticked by paper, to cover it. Although there're mountains around, it's not allowed to look at them. To have a look is not allowable, why do you try to look? The ancient Masters didn't look around loosely. Now so big a place has been provided and the small hut is big enough in its scale, why do you look the mountains and trees outside, isn't it?
The meal was offered(by the disciple).
Never go outside except washing hands. Even though going outside, I didn't dare to look at the flying airplane in the sky and the stars and the moon. Even knowing the planes were flying in the sky I didn't dare to look how big they were, I must restrain myself.
The territory for daily action had boundaries, the furthest was to the streamside, never over the stream. When it was needed to go to the washroom, stepping down from the platform was not allowed. That's entirely self-control. If you don't restrain but fool yourself, how can you exert yourself in cultivation? Furthermore, the lay people donated offerings so reverently, with the burden of offerings on their back, they climbed such high mountains. There were so many people sent the food to you, delicious food, if you don't cultivate the best, to whom can you let them down? They also protect you in retreat, are you devoid of anything？So it was nothing lacked, everything was fine.
The Eight Cohousing Rules of Thatching
At that time the Master QinZang was a novice monk.
At that time the rules of thatching were as follows:
The Eight Rules to Coexist in This Thatching
1. In this thatching one must obey the Vinaya rules that 'Abstaining from Money', which forbid the monks to touch money or keep or acquire or hoard money, or with any quibble to obey the so called restricted or temporary 'Abstaining from Money'.
2. In this thatching, eat one meal per day, that means only one meal before noon. It's never allowed a change by any pretext or expediency, except for those who are in sickness that a breakfast as medicine is needed, or to the aged people, babies(, little and teen-age children).
3. In this thatching, monastic disciples should always beg alms with the alms-bowl, it bears no runaround to obviate begging alms.
4. In this thatching, monastic disciples should always practise asceticism (wandering on foot) and Two-period Dhutanga(except for those who are in sickness).
5. In this thatching, keeping three robes and an almsbowl with him at all time along with the Eighteen Articles (the obligatory eighteen essentials when one practices asceticism )should be prepared all ready.(If there's no staff, a convenient shovel is proper.)
6. In this thatching, abstaining from accepting the salutation by prostration and any gifts offered by visiting monks. If the visiting monks salute by prostration, the host should salute back in time. If the samanera(novice monk) meets visiting bhikkhus or senior monks or Masters he should salute by prostration betimes.
7. In this thatching, all offerings belong to the Sangha, it's unallowable for any personal reserve, neither for superfluous storage of clothes nor acticles which should be inspected and clean up frequently.
8. In this thatching, abstaining from pleading for help. An aspirant should show much backbone that he would prefer to die instead of pleading for help and asking for money. Anyone who stays here is required to obey orders and work.
Attention Rules in the Thatching
1.Abstaining from reading newspaper, listening to the radio or recorder and watching TV(except for with permission).
2. Abstaining from talking about 'Faults of Four-fold Assembly(monks,nuns, lay men and women)', chatting or tittle-tattle.
3. Abstaining from going out of the territory casually, except with permission and being accompanied by more than one person.
4. Paying attention to protect the living creatures under feet while walking on the way, burying (by the samaneras) the dead bodies of living beings once seeing them, chanting charms at the same time for their spiritual deliverance.
5. There must be more than two people together when meeting lay women.
6. Lay women can't be quartered in this thatching except for with permission of Sangha.
(Postscript: The rules mentioned hereinbefore were written by disciples of the Master according to his will during the retreat in 1999. Despite of one or two disfluencies or errors, the synopsis can still be gotten easily. About the first rule in the above-mentioned rules, here to declare that there was no electricity, newspaper or magazine on the mountains at that time. )
Obligation of Keeping Purity in Obeying the Vinaya Rlues during the Solitary Retreat
(Talking about the Solitary Retreat with Master Ben Ying of Jingjue Monastery, Daqing)
Your mind will be taken upside down just without watchfulness in an instant, and once it is upside down, the sustained exertion will be retreated, which is turned and changed by circumstances.
Because you have cultivated to this extent, in the right instant you should realize it(the circumstance) and react such as 'what is it?' You ought to take the reins and never swallow the bait, then it'll disappear soon, or the whole situation will fall to change.
Why did many of the practitioners become mad? He was cultivating but turned into lunacy and being incapable of it. While previously he was pretty familiar in theories, it seems very well, what he said was very good, isn't it? But what he lacks is the actual capability, without this kind of ability.
The circumstances do not permit you to wait. It does not exist such as: 'please wait for me to think about what has happened', it doesn't permit you, you should handle it right in a blink. Because the transformation of substance will happen suddenly when you have practiced Dharma up to a certain level and your power of abstract meditation has been intensified to a degree, what will be transformed abruptly is also your mind.
This transformation must be well handled in a second. If you wait until you realize, this affair would have been seeded in your Storage Consciousness already. It is predeterminate whether you'll succeed or fail. Afterwards if you turn back to correct the effect it's too difficult.
Commonly, in this aspect what can you rely on? There're two proper methods. One is as said of The Chan School: Until one has achieved Po Can(be awake, in the Samadhi) he can't have a seclusion in the mountains. Because of the enlightenment you've attained you can live in secluded mountains. For there's nobody can instruct you but if you are awake you can worry along generally.
Another one is, you should be instructed by master. If it runs in this way, when an affair happens, the master who is aware of which step you have reached will tell you at once: 'you should pay attention in next time, when you encounter such condition you ought to do like this way...'
It should be directed and mentioned frequently. For the ray of lovingkindness and power from the master are as an additional umbrella, the mind is set at rest, he will feel secured, because the master is in the front, he will not be feeling scared. However the danger still exists.
The more important is the observance of precepts and discipline, or the demon will find you. Which kind of demon? It's the greed demon, greed ,anger and ignorance. If you don't pursue the precepts, you will not subjugate the greed demon, and it will have effect when it is time. When it works, you will lose control of it definitely.
Why? Because the indwelling greed locates in your mind. The demon is a transformation of yourself, you two are a combined unit. If you don't follow it, who will you follow? You do the same as how it does. If you are perfect in observance of discipline, because of the presence of your power of immovability, you'll never be cheated, and it will suspend its performance. If you observe the precepts then it will not destroy anymore, so in a minute you will be at ease. We should be perfect in observance of discipline.
Many of the practitioners have suffered losses right at this point. It was said that: 'I will cultivate easily.' As for a retreat and asceticism he can all practise but neglect the precepts only. The more he neglect the precepts the more he will be caught with chaff by the violation about discipline.
Sometimes people may say that the mind of Bodhi cannot be inspired. It's also because of the absence of the observance of the precepts. Or sometimes may say: I can't take solitary retreat for there is no proper chance for me to take. In fact it's for the sake of his lack of Karma(monastic assembly verdict about monastic affairs or inspecting the behave according to discipline.) He doesn't know the importance of precepts. If the mind is impure, everything would be impure; if the mind is pure all of the Buddhas would protect and bless you, help you to fulfill your wish.
He did ignore the observance of the precepts. It is not enough even to observe the precepts to an average degree, you have to observe the extreme precepts. Up to what degree? Till the embodiment of the commandments in your heart has worked. The various forms of commandments you received, not the forms of commandments, when you can feel in your heart that the embodiment of the commandments is working, without any concept of thought, then it is running in the right way of Dharma, and produces the real Warm-form(an achievement before the aiming at the intial fruit Shrotaapanna) （see Reference II）, up to now the cultivation starts to be a little effective. Just as it is said 'A Great Attachment'.
(翻译注10：戒体为 The embodiment of the commandments in the heart of the recipient. 戒相为The commandments or rules in their various forms.
The discipline defined by the Buddha should be observed to such a degree, then it can be called a little achievement, otherwise it would be…..
The Ceremony of Solitary Retreat Consummation
In lunar calendar 29th August in 1999, the Solitary Retreat lasting for three years has been consummated. It accomplished at noon, the Four-Assembly about four hundred people attended the celebration. The Venerable Master made a preaching for the consummation.
(The Preaching for Retreat Consummation)
Take off the plate 'No Talking'.
(To have stopped talking for three years)It's not easy to open the mouth for having stopped talking for three years. At first I should narrate the retreat for you.
In the retreat I practised The Shurangama 'Qi'(seven-days-meditation). The Shurangama 'Qi' is without sleeping for twenty two days, chanting mantras, walking meditation, vowing and saluting by prostration to the Buddha.
In the first seven days to keep on standing meditation, standing for seven days and nights; in the middle seven days to vow specially; in the last seven days to chant mantras specially. In total, it's twenty two days without sleeping. Then to sitting meditation for one hundred days. That's called one 'Qi'.
In the three years I have practised eight 'Qi', All have been consummated.
This is an illumination that it's entirely possible by practicing The Shurangama 'Qi' and The Great Shurangama Samadhi, it is not something that cannot be achieved, Those who say it is impossible are the people who look down upon living beings.
The deepest experience can be summarized by one sentence, that is: every living being has The Nature of Buddhahood. The Nature of Buddhahood does not come into being from practice but it's inherent, and there is nothing that comes into being or ceases to be（see Reference III）, it always stays there. So if being lost, that is inveteracy. (It means )there are five aggregates (the aggregate of form, sense-perception, cognition, mental formations, consciousness) shaded The Nature of Buudhahood, it is the five aggregates. The five aggregates have shaded The Nature of Buddhahood, so we cann't see the Buddha, that's all.（see Reference IV）
The reason why we have been lost and suffering in the sea of birth and death is because that we are oblivious, so we live in delusions everyday. As long as 'no thought emerged in the mind(contemplate to complete purity,delusions have all been eradicated)', and if everybody devotes to cultivation, in despite of any schools of Buddhisim, they all have the same aim: to achieve 'no thought emerged in the mind', and then we can see the Buddha, we can achieve Buddhahood.
The Buddha would never lie!
(The assembly:) Amitabha!
So I wish everybody can achieve Buddhahood as soon as possible. I have a wish, that everybody can achieve Buddhahood! When you've done it and are reborn in the Pure Land in the west, then you come back to moralise me, I'll become your disciple. My wish is that if any living being has not achieved Buddhahood I will never accomplish the achievement of the Buddha-Fruit! It's said that until having moralised the last living being in this world I would not leave away. Why? The Venerable Master LaiGuo has said: to stay and wait for the living beings of other plantes and other worlds coming to this world. So I will wait for them as far as all have been moralised. I wish you everybody refresh yourself to exertion.
For the time of Dharma's ending, what is the ending? It is the human being who doesn't want to cultivate, not the Dharma is ending. It is not because the foundation of human has been arid, but because there is no initiator. As long as there is one initiator, all of us will succeed. If not, I would fall into hell.
To cultivate in the time of Dharma's ending, there's something that should be noticed, which is - the observance of precepts and discipline. To observe the precepts as good as you can, that's an assurance. Without precepts it is the demon, with precepts it is a disciple of Buddha, a Boddhisattva, the Buddha. So what can we relay on for the cultivation in the time of Dharma's ending? It relays on precepts! If the precepts have been observed, the cultivation is directed by Mahayana Dharma, it will be definitely accomplished.
It wouldn't take too long time. Maybe someone can achieve the Real Nature in three days, seven days, one month, one year, two years, eight or ten years, they are all possible. Because everybody possesses the Buddhata(The Buddha-nature), it's right in front of you but you aren't aware of it. It is not oral existence but actual practice, you can only achieve it through 'no thought being emerged in the mind'.
(Rebirth in)The Pure Land in the west is also the same but not another, in the fact they are same. When the Buddha was preaching he enlightened the living beings respectively according to their tendencies. So in the future when we spread the Dharma the equality among the Five Schools must be promoted equally. Let every living being, in despite of what they prefer, we can all help them to achieve the Buddhata(The Buddha-nature) by any conceivable method, that's the only wish from the Buddh's ordained disciples.