Question: As I’m estranged from my family due to some past conflicts, I find it difficult to practise mindfulness of Amituofo well. This is especially so due to my sentimental nature, which makes me feel very sad about not being able to reconcile with them. This grief is a great and constant distraction. Do you have any advice?
Answer: Do ensure you are doing your best to resolve your family problems using various moral ways. If you are certain that you have done your best, but to no avail, it is good to put these problems aside for the time being, and focus on transforming your karma by changing yourself for the better spiritually. Since your main practice is mindfulness of Amituofo, you should practise it more often. Doing so increases your connection to Amituofo, which increases your blessings and helps to purify your karma. If you practise well, this will transform your character and bearing, which can help to reconcile differences. Remember to dedicate merits from practice to your family too. This can help to resolve animosity over time.
The more sentimental you are about your family, the more should you let go of your grief in the moment to practise mindfulness of Amituofo to transform yourself for them. Even if you are not accepted by your family by the end of this life, having the right Faith, Aspiration and Practice, you would be born in Pure Land, which will provide you with better spiritual training and future conditions to meet your family to benefit them. It is not kind or wise to yourself to let your sentimentality affect your mindfulness of Amituofo. Remember – If you do not practise well before death due to this, it would be difficult to let it go in time and be born in Pure Land successfully. Being reborn elsewhere due to the habitual forces of karma does not help you in any way to reconcile ideally with your family too.