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Who you are mindful of (e.g. Amitabha Buddha),
you will eventually be with (e.g. in Pure Land),
and become (i.e. a Buddha) too.

~ Stonepeace

‘”Holding the name” Buddha Recitation’ can be practiced by both the young and old, and those in the prime of life. It is suitable for everyone. Sick people can recite the Buddha’s name. You who are sick suffer from the pains of disease because of karmic obstacles. You should hold the Buddha’s name in order to lessen these obstacles. Those who are healthy should take advantage of their health to recite the Buddha’s name and dedicate their recitation to insure their perpetual good health. Old people who are approaching the end of the road should follow the good path to the end. They should recite the Buddha’s name. Young people whose road ahead is filled with limitless light should recite ‘Na-mo A-mi-tuo-fo,’ to make the light appear. Thus, the Dharma-door of Buddha Recitation is suitable for every type of person.

You can chant while walking, standing, sitting, or reclining… The busiest people can recite the Buddha’s name, and people who are the most at leisure can also recite the Buddha’s name. How do you practice recitation when you are very busy? You practice the ‘Morning and Evening Dharma Method of Ten Recitations.‘ In the morning and the evening do ten recitations. Recite for the length of a single breath, ‘Na-mo A-mi-tuo-fo’ repeatedly and that is one recitation. Ten such ‘breaths’ is called ‘ten recitations.’ In the morning when you get up, wash your face and brush your teeth. Then face the West, or better still face an image of Amitabha Buddha… join your palms together very respectfully and bow three times. Chant ‘Na-mo A-mi-tuo-fo’ for the length of ten full breaths. Do this ten times in the morning and ten times in the evening.

Don’t deliberately stretch out the length of your breath or cut it short. It should be very natural… Do this every day without interruption; it will only take five or ten minutes. Can you recite at other times during the day? Of course you can. The more you recite, the better. With the skill derived from your practice of this Dharma you can be reborn in the Western Land of Ultimate Bliss. This method of Buddha Recitation is the most convenient Dharma door. As I said, ‘Those with wisdom should recite the Buddha’s name, stupid people should do it, too.’ Suppose someone says, ‘I’m very stupid. Probably it’s useless for me to recite.’ In using this technique, the more stupid you are, the better! The wiser you are, the better! No matter how wise you are you cannot exhaust the method of Buddha Recitation. No matter how stupid you are, you are still included within it and it can be your guide. [The above is just one of many ways to practise Buddha Recitation.]

– Pure Land Talks at Buddha Root Farm: Instructions Given by Venerable Master Hsuan Hua

3 Responses to “A Way To Practise Buddha Recitation”

  1. Is it okay if I face an image that is of a card size which I carry along with me and practice this? Or does it has to be an image that is immobile like a figure or portrait that is placed somewhere in my house?

  2. Either way is okay as long as you’re comfortable. Even if a Buddha image is not available, you can still nianfo!

    😉

    Amituofo

  3. The point of all recitation, mantra, parikamma or however you wish to refer to them; is to do them with full awareness. That means the only thing that should be going on in the mind at the time of recitation is recitation. If you wish to visualize the buddha or look at an image that’s fine. As long as your mind is fully aware and one pointedly focused. The visualization is your support to help hold your mind in place. If you are unable to mentally recite and or visualize, then as you do it verbally, focus on the sounds and movement of the lips and tongue.However you do it, do it with full awareness.

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