(Why We Should Nianfo Wholeheartedly)
A chat between some Purelander friends…
J: My Mum saw a little boy crying in the market. Passers-by told him to stop crying. One wanted to give a sweet to comfort him. When my Mum appeared, she told him, ‘You must cry, and cry loudly!’ Others gave her a strange look then. Next, she said, ‘You must cry loudly, so that your Mum will hear you and come back for you!’ So he cried with all his might, and his Mum appeared shortly!
S: This is amazing reverse psychology, opposite of conventional so-called wisdom! (Makes good material for a short story. You should start compiling your Mum’s wisdom!)
W: We ever taught a nephew and niece to scream for us if they are lost! If not, how do we look for them?
S: No one else is going to cry for you. It is like Nianfo practice (of mindfulness of the name of Amitabha Buddha – ‘Amituofo’). Even group cultivators and support-chanters are just there to support, to encourage you to do your own Nianfo! They cannot do it for you. You have to Nianfo as sincerely, earnestly, wholeheartedly as possible with the right Faith and Aspiration to connect to Amituofo, to create a link to him, for him to be able to guide you to his Pure Land. Like the boy’s Mum, Amituofo is already always on standby, waiting for the child to connect.
J: Also, those who told the boy not to cry were as if those who tell us not to Nianfo! Once again, it is proven that the majority is not aways right. Following conventions seems safe and sensible, but they are not always the most effective methods for problem-solving.
S: This reminds us of the following teaching by 大势至菩萨 (Great Power Arrived Bodhisattva) in《大佛顶首楞严经大势至菩萨念佛圆通章》(‘The Great Buddha Crown’s Śūraṅgama Sūtra’s Section On Mahāsthāmaprāpta Bodhisattva’s Perfect Penetration With Mindfulness Of Buddha’) –
For example, there are persons, of one focused on recollecting, and one person focused on forgetting. Such two persons, if they come across each other, it is as if they do not come across each other, it is as if they do not see each other. If these two persons mutually recollect each other, with the duo’s mindful recollection being deep, thus, even from life to life, similar to form and shadow, they will not depart from each other. The ten directions’ Tathāgatas are sympathetically mindful of sentient beings, like a mother recollecting her child. If the child runs away, although there is recollection, what is the use? If the child recollects the mother, like when the mother recollects the child, the mother and child, in life after life, will not be far away from each other. If sentient beings’ minds recollect the Buddha [Amitābha; Amituofo], and are mindful of the Buddha, now or in the future, they will definitely see the Buddha. With the Buddha not far away, without use of expedient means, they will, by themselves, attain awakening of their minds. [See full text at http://thedailyenlightenment.com/2013/10/mindfulness-of-buddha-card]