Dharma Master Cheng Yen's teachings in the Three Ways to the Pure Land: The Three Essential Principles for Cultivating Pure Causes are based on the "three blessings from pure actions" described in the Amitayurdhyana Sutra (Sutra of Contemplation of the Buddha of Infinite Life).
In the traditional interpretation, cultivating "pure causes" will allow us to be reborn in the Pure Land of Amita Buddha, the Buddha of Infinite Life and Infinite Light. However, the way that Master Cheng Yen teaches about pure causes is different - her focus is on how we can work to establish a pure land right here and now, in this world, in this life.
The teachings presented in this book can be interpreted as a graduated course of action, allowing us to first perfect our human nature and cultivate blessings through good deeds, then, to attain liberation from the suffering of birth and death, and finally, to reach the state of Buddhahood through walking the Bodhisattva-path. Still, Master Cheng Yen emphasizes that every stage in this practice is a step on the Bodhisattva-path, creating the positive affinities that will allow us to save and transform others and at the same time eliminate our afflictions and negative habitual tendencies. In this way, we can cultivate pure causes, perfect our character, and manifest our full potential as human beings.
In this new edition of the book, the cover and inner design, the translation, contents and organization have been updated to make it more accessible for an audience unfamiliar with Buddhist teachings. Therefore, we have avoided the use of specialized Buddhist terms as much as possible, and have added footnotes to explain specific terms that might be unknown to the reader.