Q&A

Should We Have High Quality Or Quantity In Nianfo Practice?


Question: Is the quality of Nianfo (mindfulness of Amituofo’s name) or its quantity more important?

Answer: If we can choose only either quality or quantity, going for high quality makes more sense. However, there is no need to choose only one. As much practice makes perfect quality, we should have a higher quantity of practice initially. Yet, it does not mean that we have to go for too high a quantity straightaway, as it can cause burnout easily – when it comes to sustainable daily practice.First, aim for a lower quantity of high quality Nianfo, as this is more easily achievable, without possibly ‘stressing’ oneself too much, or making practice sessions feel like a hassle. This can be chanting just 10 chants in a row for a start, but as sincerely as possible. Next, aim for ever higher quantity of ever higher quality. The quantity does not have to be measured by the number of chants, as it can be by duration of chants too, using a quota of time to set a focused discipline. Eventually, extend the duration to five minutes, 10 minutes, 15 minutes or more, while making it a point to attend some occasional Nianfo retreats for deepening practice in both quality and quantity.

Q: Does Nianfo as much as possible in spare time, while multi-tasking, and even 24/7 count as having having high quantity?

A: 24/7 Nianfo in a non-retreat setting is near impossible, since we have to use the thinking mind at times, which interrupts wholehearted Nianfo. In this sense, such Nianfo is not as high in quality and quantity as hoped for. Of course, it is wonderful to Nianfo as much as possible, but it is also important to have Nianfo sessions daily for focused practice, to have more substantial progress.

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