Question: Can Pure Land practitioners combine practices such as Nianfo (practice of mindfulness of Amitabha Buddha’s name – ‘Amituofo’) with Metta (loving-kindness) meditation (of radiating loving-kindness to all beings)? For example, can I start Nianfo with the wish for ourselves to be well and happy, before gradually extending this to our loved ones and more?
Answer: No, the practices should not be combined, as this will make neither Nianfo nor Metta meditation wholehearted or focused. What you can do, if you wish to practise both, is to practise Nianfo by itself, after or before some Metta meditation by itself. Nianfo should always be the main practice, that we spend more (most) time and effort on, as our primary spiritual aspiration is to reach Pure Land via Nianfo itself. The above answer likewise applies to all other similar questions on ‘combining’ practices.