How To Send Off Unexpected Ghostly Guests

Question: There is an unexpected guest at home – a ‘man’ in olden Chinese attire. Please advise.

Answer: Note that those dressed in traditional clothes might not be from ancient times as some modern folks are changed to similar clothes when deceased. Unseen beings can manifest in their last worn clothes after beyond 49 days in the intermediate (bardo) state.

It is best to offer words of guidance at the area sighted and around the house, before substantial Nianfo (sincere recitation of the name of Amitabha Buddha – ‘Amituofo’), and sharing of merits for birth in Amituofo’s Pure Land –


In English: ‘Amituofo. As you have passed away for some time already, please let go of all your attachments. Please be sincerely mindful of Amituofo’s name together, wholeheartedly aspiring that Amituofo comes to guide you to his Pure Land Of Ultimate Bliss. There, is no suffering, only with pure bliss. If you do not chant along, and become a hungry ghost and such, there will be much suffering. Please do not think of anything else, and only sincerely be mindful of Amituofo, so as to swiftly depart from suffering to attain blissfulness. Amituofo…’

You can also sign up for ‘karmic creditors’ (冤亲债主) during Dharma ceremonies (法会) to dedicate merits to the being too. If there is fear, remember this – when there is sincere Nianfo, even if in terms of one Buddha (Amituofo) only, there is the protection of all Buddhas as they are interconnected. Have courageous compassion instead.

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