As the Aquarian full moon approached, Bill Brevoort decided that the very best way to honor the occasion would be by hosting a recitation session so that the name of Amitabha Buddha could echo through the hills and valleys, across the Smith River, and over the acres of Buddha Root Farm. With the idea firmly planted, he began preparations, which started with letters to Gold Mountain explaining his plan and respectfully requesting the Venerable Abbot and the Sangha and lay communities to join in the session.

      Having received acceptance to his invitations, he set to work to ready the banks of the Smith River for the session.  He is shown above constructing the framework for the main tent, where lectures were held and ceremonies conducted through the week of recitation.


Planks laid on the rock bed of the Smith River provided a walkway to the main tent where ceremonies were held. Here participants are shown carrying gear in for the session.

The session began with recitation of the Amitabha Sutra and the Pure Land Mantra for-Going Off to Rebirth. These were followed by praises to Amitabha Buddha. This ceremony was repeated all week.

      Although publicity was limited, people came from all over the country to join in the session. More than fifty people participated daily in the session, and several dozen visitors came during the course of the week to learn about the Pure Land practice and join in the meditation.

This session on Buddha Root Farm marked the first time an orthodox Buddha-recitation session had been conducted under open skies in the mountains. As the days progressed the sound of the chant became clear and harmonious and many who participated found their concentration deepening significantly and their wisdom opening to an understanding of the profound principles of the Dharma.

      A circular path was cleared beside the main tent and here members of the fourfold assembly circumambulate to the right as they chant the name of Amitabha Buddha.

On the banks of the Smith River, the fourfold assembly circumambulates for half-hour periods reciting the name of Amitabha Buddha.

      Meditation under the main tent brought a sense of "light ease" to more experienced participants and a chance to work on quieting the mind ground for all concerned. The half-hour sitting meditation periods alternated with half-hours of walking meditation while chanting aloud the name of Amitabha Buddha.  An hour sit each evening from 5:30 to 6:30 was a popular part of the session and many guests who came for the evening lectures arrived early enough to join in the one long sit of the day. The large main tent provided ample cover from the hot afternoon sun and from the downpours of rain, which occurred during the week. It is said:

With both dhyana and the Pure Land

One is like a tiger with horns;

In the present age a teacher of men,

In the future a Buddhist Patriarch.

With dhyana, but without the Pure Land,

Nine out of ten will take the wrong road;

Without dhyana and with only the Pure Land

If ten thousand practice, ten thousand will go.

Meditators recite the name of Amitabha Buddha silently or use a Hua-t'o such as "Who is mindful of the Buddha?"

      Bhiksus and bhiksunis (monks and nuns) lead the line followed by the novices, the sramaneras and sramerikas. The precepted members of the lay community follow in turn and all disciples and friends join in the circle.  The name of Amitabha Buddha was recited by one and all, the object being to gain a single-minded concentration. When Amitabha Buddha was cultivating the Bodhisattva Way he made forty-eight vows which insured that any living being who recited his name with single-minded concentration would be reborn in his Buddhaland, the Land of Ultimate Bliss. This Dharma-door--but one among 84,000--is said to be the most universal, and the easiest to practice. All it takes is for one to recite the Buddha's name with single-minded sincerity.  Young, old, rich, poor, educated, illiterate—all have a share. And, for many, diligent practice results in the ability to predict one's own day of death, and to die without fear or confusion, but with a vision of the Buddha of
Limitless Light and Life coming to greet one and lead one off to the Western Paradise.

Rain or shine the chant continued all day for seven days accentuated by the beat of the small wooden fish and the chime of the hand bell.

After chanting the High Meal Offering before the Buddhas, everyone winds down the hill, across the Smith River and through the fields for the one main meal of the day.

Before every meal praises are chanted to the Buddhas, Bodhisattvas, and Dharma protectors and during the meal everyone vows to cut off all evil, to do good deeds, and to save all living beings.

      Each day the Venerable Abbot of Gold Mountain gave two instructional talks, which included extensive question and answer periods. The Master brought the Pure Land Dharma-door alive as he explained the fundamentals of practice and revealed the fruits of cultivation.

The Master spoke with such simplicity that even the most beginning beginners could comprehend the principles, and yet the profundity of his words lead even the most informed members of the assembly right into the realm of the ineffable, inconceivable, miraculous vastness of the Dharmarealm. From a detailed explanation of the cosmology of plant "and animal transmigration to an intricate mathematical calculation of the number of Amitabha Buddhas to be found in the Land of Ultimate Bliss, the expedient methods used to teach and transform reached not only those present in the assembly but will provide a wealth of instruction for those of the future.
      Before each lecture the monks, nuns, laymen, and laywomen made the traditional formal request for instruction in the Dharma that forms a central part of a Buddha recitation week.


      At the end of the week a take refuge ceremony was held and seventeen people took refuge with the Triple Jewel and bowed to the Venerable Abbot as their teacher.

Bill Brevoort and his wife Peggy, who hosted the session and their son Joshua, are shown in the photograph. They took refuge and received their Dharma names. Bill is Kuo-ying, Peggy is Kuo-chieh, and together their names mean they will welcome (ying) the Buddhadharma to the Northwest and lead (chieh) others to believe in it. Joshua received the name Kuo-gen "Fruit of Roots" because he is a strong young root of Buddha Root Farm.

      On the far left in the photograph is Pip Cole, who received the Dharma name Kuo-chieh, "Fruit of Morality."

After taking refuge everyone made the four great vows:

Living beings are boundless, I vow to save them.

Afflictions are endless, I vow to cut them off.

Dharma-doors are limitless, I vow to study them.

The Buddha-Way is unsurpassed, I vow to reach it.

At some special events during the week...

Above, memorial slips bearing the names of deceased relatives and friends are burned as mantras are chanted to send them to rebirth in the Pure Land.


Here, those who are seeking to take refuge with the Triple Jewel are shown making full prostration’s before the Buddhas during the refuge ceremony.


The spectacular close to the session was the Great Transference of Merit performed on the Oregon dunes looking out across the Pacific to the West, the land of Amitabha, as the sun set.


The Venerable Abbot and disciples chant sutras and mantras as they transfer the merit from the week of recitation to all living beings that they might all be reborn in the Pure Land.



Truly recognize your own faults,

And don't discuss the faults of others.

Other's faults are just your own--

Being one with everyone is called great compassion.