Hi Purelanders, Amituofo!
My first Zhunian (Support-chanting using the name of Amituofo) experience was at my good friend Margaret’s home in February this year (2014). It started as a wish to give terminally cancer-stricken Margaret the best parting gift a friend can give, and it turned out to be the beginning of my personal aspiration to assist in Zhunian for any person in need should conditions arise.
To date, I’ve attended four Zhunian sessions and have seen and experienced the goodness and meaningfulness of Zhunian, which mafe me realise that it is also an excellent way to inspire more people to Nianfo (Practice of being mindful of the name of Amituofo), and to know and learn more about Amituofo and the Pure Land teachings.
Margaret introduced me to Amituofo and the Pure Land teachings four years ago. Having such an enthusiastic friend, who kept telling me how great Amituofo’s aspirations are, I signed up together with Brother Tio Siang to attend the ‘Understanding Amituofo Via The Amitabha Sutra’ course taught by Brother Shi’an three years ago, after my daughter told me about it. We benefited greatly from attending more of Brother Shi’an’s courses thereafter, and continued to discuss Pure Land teachings with Margaret to strengthen one another’s faith.
Although stricken with cancer, Margaret continued to Nianfo and practise Zhunian for others. On the day of her Wangsheng (Rebirth in Pure Land), Margaret had the very good Fubao (blessings) of having her family members, good friends and two Zhunian groups to Nianfo with her for half an hour before her passing, and eight hours after. Her funeral rites were arranged the Pure Land way just as she wanted.
What a difference it makes when people sincerely practise Nianfo every day when they are still alive! On their Wangsheng day, they can be assured of much Fubao. Margaret’s eyes were half-closed when she passed away. Her mouth was open due to the tubes and respirator being inserted during her stay in the hospital’s ICU. However, after 8 hours of Zhunian after her passing, her eyes closed in a peaceful manner, as if in deep sleep, and her mouth closed, revealing a gentle smile. Her face wasn’t pale and her cheeks were slightly rosy. Amituofo!
I thank Margaret for giving us the opportunity to practise Zhunian as it was our first time. I gave Sister YJ (leader of a Zhunian group) my contact number so that she can inform us of future Zhunian sessions. Brother Tio Siang and I will continue to practise Zhunian, thanks to Margaret, and to Brother Shi’an who paved the way, inspired us, and shared a lot of knowledge and experiences with us during Friday PPF (Pureland Practice Fellowship) sessions.