As I was recently diagnosed with cancer, I am really grateful to Bro. (Shen) Shi’an and Sis. Weiya, who took time to meet up with me despite their busy schedule. Bro. Shi’an shared some tips on how going vegan can help, and reiterated the importance of sincere and diligent Nianfo (practice of being mindful of the name of Amitabha Buddha – ‘Amituofo’) during everyday life and difficult times. (It was like a refresher as I had previously attended Bro. Shi’an’s ‘Understanding Amituofo Via The Amitabha Sutra’ course: http://thedailyenlightenment.com/?s=understanding+amituofo+run.)
That night, I followed Bro. Shi’an’s summarised instructions on ‘How To Start Nianfo Practice’: http://purelanders.com/2016/02/17/how-do-i-start-nianfo-practice. As I do not have a Buddha image at home, I simply prostrated thrice and started to Nianfo seated. A few minutes into the chanting, I suddenly felt bright golden light shining upon me. At that moment, I felt exceptionally calm, blissful and protected. This lasted for a few seconds. After the Nianfo session, I told my husband that I indeed felt the difference with sincere Nianfo. It was what I have never experienced before!
Being ignorant then, I could not confirm what the experience meant… until Bro. Shi’an shared a testimonial on ‘The Importance Of Sincerity In Nianfo’ during the subsequent Pureland Practice Fellowship session on a somewhat similar experience: http://purelanders.com/2016/03/30/testimonial-the-importance-of-sincerity-in-nianfo. There was reference to Amituofo’s 33rd vow, on how those who Nianfo sincerely will receive blessings through his bright light, to have peace and bliss of body and mind that surpasses that of gods and humans. (‘蒙我光明触其体者，身心柔软，超过天人’) [More on the 48 great vows of Amituofo can be learnt in this course: http://thedailyenlightenment.com/?s=48+vows+run]
I found the timely ‘coincidence’ amazing, as it explained my experience while further strengthening my faith in Amituofo! This is especially amazing since I did not tell anyone in the fellowship about it yet! It was as if Amituofo’s way of doubly assuring me that my Nianfo practice is on the right track. Upon hearing the testimonial that explains this very testimonial of mine, I felt so touched, and filled with utmost gratitude to Amituofo for embracing me with his golden light.
Since then, I practised Nianfo daily, while preparing for surgery. Surprisingly, I felt more calmness than fear. Nianfo truly helps to gather peace of mind! On the day of surgery, I kept my mind busy, with only chanting of Amituofo until I was unconscious under anesthesia. The 11-hour surgery was completed smoothly. Amituofo! Upon waking up, I just focused on chanting Amituofo again. I did not take any painkiller as I strongly believed that Amituofo will help to relieve my pain.
Moving forward, as a once ‘lapsed’ Nianfo practitioner, Nianfo will now definitely be an essential part of my daily life. I would like to thank my Sister-in-law for introducing me to the ‘Understanding Amituofo Via The Amitabha Sutra’ course, in which I first learnt about Nianfo. Thank you, Bro. Shi’an, for tirelessly sharing the precious Pure Land teachings, which can truly benefit all beings, including myself, and for your constant reminder to Nianfo as sincerely and diligently as we can! Through this sharing, I hope more will be inspired to learn and practise Nianfo.
Faye (name changed for privacy)