Question: We are taught that we should nianfo (practise mindfulness of Amituofo’s name) whenever and wherever we can. We can chant Amituofo, audibly or silently, when we are walking, standing, sitting, lying down, waiting… etc. But when we do that, it can be very tiring and quite meaningless? What do you think?
Answer: Something becomes tiring only when we wear ourselves out. If we nianfo mindfully in a calm and clear manner, it is actually positively energising. When we entertain ‘random’ stray thoughts instead, when we don’t nianfo, this drains more energy. Nianfo is not meaningless if we do not simply go through the motion of ‘parroting’ the Buddha’s name, if we are clear of why we nianfo – to connect to our Buddha-nature and to Amituofo, to train well in everyday life, so as to prepare ourselves to be able to depart well when it is time. If we abide in the here and now when we nianfo, based on right Faith and Aspiration, each chant is anew, never merely repetitive. Nianfo then becomes the most meaningful thing to do, in comparison to whiling our spare time away.