Buddha field (Skt. buddhakṣetra; Tib. ཞིང་ཁམས་ or སངས་རྒྱས་ཀྱི་ཞིང་, Wyl. zhing khams or sangs rgyas kyi zhing) or pure realm (Tib. དག་པའི་ཞིང་, Wyl. dag pa'i zhing) — specifically, a buddha field is a pure realm manifested by a buddha or great bodhisattva. Beings born into a buddha field may travel the path towards enlightenment without falling back into the lower realms. More generally, any place that is seen as a pure manifestation of wisdom is a buddha field.
Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche says:
- In the sutras we can read how, on their eve of their attaining enlightenment, bodhisattvas such as Amitabha would make profound prayers and tremendous offerings to all the buddhas. They prayed that they might manifest a buddha field and then emanate themselves within that buddha field, so as to bring the greatest possible benefit to all sentient beings.
- From the Vajrayana perspective, however, the understanding of buddha fields is a deeper one. The root of the Vajrayana is "pure vision", or the perception of the perfect purity of all phenomena. To enact this purity of perception, we do not perceive the place where we are now as just an ordinary place; we imagine it to be a celestial buddha field."
Examples of buddha fields are:
- Sukhavati—Amitabha's buddha field, to the West (the first buddha field to appear in Mahayana literature)
- Akanishtha—Vairochana's buddha field, in the centre of the buddha fields of the five families
- Zangdokpalri—Guru Rinpoche's pure land in Chamara
Training in Pure Realms (zhing khams sbyong ba)
Khenpo Ngakchung wrote:
- Then, by relying on the six paramitas, we have to train in the pure vision of infinite realms. We train in both pure and impure realms. According to whichever realm we wish for, we pray: “Through the merits gained by practising the six paramitas, in the future may whichever realm, pure or impure realm, I wish to train in, come into being!” We train in them by making our merits the principal cause, and our prayers of aspiration the contributory condition. Examples of pure realms are the buddha-field of Manjushri, or the ‘Blissful’ pure land of Sukhavati, and impure realms are those like the buddha-field of our teacher, the Buddha.
Alak Zenkar Rinpoche explains that sbyong ba has the sense of preparing. In other words, by visualizing and praying and aspiring, we actually prepare and set up our pure realm for when we need it.
- Philippe Cornu, Manuel de bouddhisme — Philosophie, pratique et histoire. Tome II, Bouddhisme Mahāyāna (Editions Rangdröl, 2019), pages 61-66.