Q: What can I do about recurring nightmares of being chased and killed by monsters and evil spirits?
A: The easiest yet most effective way to protect yourself is to be sincerely mindful of Amituofo by chanting his name.
Q: Will this work in a dream world?
Q: What if the antagonists are just my own hallucinations?
A: As mindfulness of Amituofo brings peace of mind by Self and Other-power, this dissolves them.
Q: What if they are not illusions?
A: All the more should you be mindful of Amituofo then – to protect yourself and guide them to Pure Land.
Q: Will there really be protection?
A: The Amitabha Sutra states that all Buddhas are mindfully protective of those who are mindful of Amituofo.
Q: What if I cannot chant aloud (e.g. when I’m being strangled in a dream)?
A: You can still practise mindfulness of Amituofo in your mind.
Q: I tried doing so, but it is not easy due to fear.
A: This is why practice is needed! There should also be building up of solid faith for mindfulness of Buddha, to be more instinctive than fear.
Q: Can I just ignore my nightmares? (They are very realistic though.)
A: Why suffer for nothing? Every nightmare is a golden opportunity to practise and gauge your practice.
Q: Is there a way to prevent such nightmares in the first place?
A: Practising mindfulness of Buddha well in everyday life creates blessings that prevent nightmares.
Q: Why is it important to practise even in dreams?
A: Death can come any time, and hallucinations or evil beings might be present when dying too.
Q: How do I make it easier to be mindful of Amituofo in a nightmare?
A: The more you practise habitually and well in everyday life, the easier it will be to do likewise in a dream.
Q: Okay, but I still lack confidence at the moment…
A: Just do your best. With great faith, even a single moment of mindfulness can ‘save’ you! Below is an example. Amituofo!
Mindfulness Of Amituofo In A Nightmare
The nightmare started with me and a friend chatting happily while walking down a street. As we made a turn to enter a train station, a grotesque looking man suddenly appeared and beckoned to us. His features were so badly deformed that I wasn’t sure if he was a ghost or a man. His skin was slowly melting from his face while a strange fluid oozed from his mouth.
Screaming in terror upon seeing this, he was startled and tried to come closer, stretching his melting limbs to grab us. Our first instincts were to run, but I couldn’t as I was rooted to the ground. My friend grabbed my hand hysterically and asked me to run. Knowing I wasn’t going anywhere with my legs heavy as steel, I urged her to run for her life first. Reluctantly, she ran off.
As I turned to face that ‘monster’, I noticed he hadn’t been able to come too near, even though we weren’t far from each other before. My sense of panic started to fade away, and I calmly began to recite the name of Amitabha Buddha (in terms of Namo Amituofo: 南无阿弥陀佛) aloud. Scaring him off wasn’t my intention, but at that moment, there was nothing I could do but to recite his name, to mentally prepare myself for the worst. The more I recited the Buddha’s name, the more peace I felt within.
After a few recitations, I noticed some changes with the ‘monster’. He had stopped melting; his features were slowly morphing back to normal. Filled with joy, I coaxed him to recite after ‘Na-Mo-A-Mi-Tuo-Fo’ after me, carefully enunciating the words. (For ease with brevity, just ‘Amituofo’ recited sincerely will do too.)
He mumbled a bit, trying his best to do the same. As he tried, I continued to recite… and he began to regain his composure. When I awoke, I was still reciting the Buddha’s name. Though it was just a dream, it felt real enough. What’s important to me is that it attested to how I could be calm and safe under pressure with mindfulness of Buddha! Amituofo!