There are teachings called Pure Land teachings, as well as teachings about buddha fields. In the Bible are teachings about the kingdom of heaven and angels. In effect, they are all the same thing.
Most people can’t really see these buddha fields because they are obscured, but they could potentially. The beings who can see these fields are bodhisattvas, especially those in the upper parts of the bodhisattva levels. They are able to contact buddhas and interact with them without having a physical person there necessarily. They are telepathically connected to the buddhas, whereas most people on an earlier level need physical teachers to instruct them and be intermediaries between the buddhas and themselves.
The more beings see the masters, the more they can start to understand the pure realms where they live: heaven, Dewachen, Akanishta. There are countless names and countless realms. There is not just one realm; there are all sorts of creativities that occur out of pure potential, which is dharmata.
People have become used to samsara, so they think that samsara is what is. Consequently, they become engrossed in arenas such as politics and popular culture. They actually could awaken and be totally connected and enter the kingdom of heaven. The kingdom of heaven really is imposed and impacted here even within samsara, but beings don’t see it because of their marigpa, unenlightened state. Buddhas see heaven, but ordinary beings don’t because of their obscurations.
There are innumerable heavens, and some of them have purgatorial levels. In other words, certain beings like Amitabha set up systems. Another person who set up systems is Jesus Christ, so that some beings, who are disciples, could go into lower parts or certain sections of pure realms when they die. There they can work for a number of months, years, decades, even hundreds of years in an excellent environment where they can move through, attain enlightenment and rectify all the problems they have, instead of going into another samsaric lifetime like the last lifetime and the lifetime before that and the one prior to that. It’s not necessary to do that anymore. Beings can do two things: they can attain enlightenment and then they are done, or they can be in line to go into a pure land through their spiritual practice.
That is why it is so important that people have respect when they hear of the Pure Land teachings. Some people are very skeptical when they hear about heaven, buddha fields or pure lands. They doubt such positive worlds can exist. They think it is a fairy tale. But the pure heavenly lands are just as real as the sun, moon and stars. As beings aspire to join in Amitabha’s heaven, they also learn not to cling too much to a preconception of what that might be. But mainly, they lose the nihilism of believing only in the social construct of an earthly existence being the only possible one.
Most people aren’t going to do what it takes to attain enlightenment in this lifetime. But they could at least set themselves up so that they will attain enlightenment in a pure land. What an amazing deal that is, Lord Amitabha’s deal. They should buy into that system. If they can’t attain enlightenment in this life, this, then, is the deal of a lifetime! If they don’t quite have what it takes to attain absolute perfect enlightenment here and now, they still can aspire to bodhisattvahood and request to be reborn in a pure land where they will receive accelerated schooling right into enlightenment. Even if it takes a thousand years, they will be trained in a wonderful setting where things like food, drinks, smells, touch, water, gems, even locations may be used to gradually awaken them.
To go even further about buddha worlds, buddha lands and pure lands, the basis of everything as it exists is pure. The very beginning of the Bible discusses the mystery of the universe, that God created everything and it was good. It was all good, every bit of it. The mandala that was created is nothing but the bodies of buddhas and pure buddha activities, pure buddha materials and pure buddha elements, all absolutely intrinsically pure. That purity was never lost. Beings can return to that quite easily, but they have to overcome the faithlessness they have had for countless lifetimes.
People are rarely intelligent enough to be able to ascertain the meaning of profound teachings, even after hearing them ten times. They will need to keep listening to them again and again, a hundred times or even a thousand times, until they have that aha experience over and over, not just dozens of times, but thousands and thousands of times. It would be of great benefit to try to have a thousand awakening experiences every day. Just as there are a thousand awakening lights in Lovestream, if people have a thousand wakeup experiences every day, they will make some serious headway.
All lands are ultimately pure lands. All the different realms and everything that was created was absolutely and intrinsically pure originally. Everything that exists, even samsara, is a display of these buddha lands on some level. However, because beings became confused, marigpa, they still need to aspire to bodhisattvahood, the stage that brings them to buddhahood.
There are many different types of spiritual teachings, such as Pure Land Buddhism, which is very popular in China; Tibetan tantra; Zen of Japan; the Theravada of Thailand, Sri Lanka and India, to name only a few. Although there are many types of Buddhism, in the end they are all the same thing. They are all skillful means taught for people who have certain propensities to bring them upward.
At a certain point some people find out that there are pure worlds. Some people are doubtful, others intrigued. These teachings are for that latter person, who responds, “I’m interested. I want to go there. I want to experience these pure worlds.” There are worlds that are pure, and they are not a myth that somebody fabricated. They are of the original, pure wisdom of God; they are the pure localities as God created them. Buddha fields are the realized pure mandala of all localities, of worlds. The places in which beings live, should they be able to see them, are the buddha lands. The beings in them are buddhas.