Should We Expect Special Signs During Nianfo?

Question: How do we practise sincere mindfulness of Amituofo while tuning to one’s Buddha-nature?

Answer: To do so, we should nianfo wholeheartedly (sincerely), single-mindedly (with focus, concentration) and diligently, based upon strong faith, aspiration and understanding. If faith and aspiration is weak, it is good to strengthen them by more study (e.g. attending of Pure Land courses) coupled with more sincere nianfo practice.

Question: When the mind is sincere and attuned to Amituofo and one’s Buddha-nature though mindfulness of Amituofo’s name (nianfo), one can experience auspicious signs such as seeing Amituofo’s light and such. Does this mean that if one does not have such special experiences, one has not been practising mindfulness properly?

Answer: There are various depths of sincerity and attunement to Amituofo. Even without or before any auspicious signs being experienced, there can be the experience of greater calmness, concentration, clarity and blissfulness, according to the extent of the connection with Amituofo. With more practice, more auspicious signs will be clearly experienced in good time. However, we have to remember not to crave for special experiences, as such craving disturbs sincere nianfo. In fact, most special experiences come about with the absence of such expectations. Such experiences are thus definitely genuine, not due to preconceived ideas or the mind playing tricks on oneself.

Please be mindful of your speech, Amituofo!

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