[37] Why Join Pureland Practice Fellowship? 为何参加净行会?

Founded in 2008, Pureland Practice Fellowship (PPF) sessions are only for those who have completed at least one of our Pure Land courses at TheDailyEnlightenment.com/courses. One of the special features of PPF is that it facilitates sharing on practical issues and ironing out of challenging life, death and rebirth issues, for peace of mind now, when departing, and helping others to depart well. Below is some feedback from PPF participants to share. Namo Amituofo.

DAMIEN: By using mundane events in our lives as examples, Shi’an 老师 manages to explain and bring the Buddha’s lofty teachings and the Pure Land Patriarchs’ explanations closer, to be more accessible to everyone.

JANET: PPF sessions are my instant antidote to a dull and dreary day, a dose of positivity for progressing towards the Western Pure Land. Teacher Shi’an and team devote much time and efforts to impart to students teachings from the profound sutras. Following religiously, you will discover that Laoshi is constantly in search of easier methods to bridge the secular us to the Buddha. Hence, I am able to practise with greater understanding. My utmost and sincere gratitude to Shi’an Laoshi and team! Thank you! Amituofo.

WING GOK: Teacher, your patience, kindness and understanding have helped me to grow and succeed in a way that l have never thought possible. Thank you for everything, for being more than just a teacher. Amituofo

MELVIN: Having joined PPF sessions only in March 2023, I cannot over-emphasise how useful these sessions have been for my own cultivation and learning process. This applies especially to Teacher Shi’an’s Q&A sessions. Every question posed is met with a clear and succinct answer, which is what we need given the information overload and mix of misleading perspectives available on the internet…

And then, the causes and conditions to put my learning to practice arose naturally. On 31 July, a Buddhist friend asked for help in support-chanting for his ailing Mother. [I applied everything I learnt from PPF sessions… Encouraging signs of successful rebirth were noted, which brought great joy and comfort to us.]… I sincerely hope all of us can hop onto the PPF travelator, hold tight, and enjoy the ride as we make our transit to the Western Pure Land of Ultimate Bliss (西方极乐世界)! (Read complete testimony here.)

BRO. WONG: PPF sessions are precious opportunities to learn new teachings and get refreshers of teachings previously learnt or read at purelanders.com. They help me to better understand the Pure Land teachings and clarify any doubts. The sessons also give us the precious opportunity to Nianfo together, to create collective merits beneficial to participants and even unseen beings who may be present.

The sharing of testimonies by Purelanders in person is very beneficial as each may have his or her skilful means to practise Nianfo for their family members, that also result in inspiring auspicious signs. This is especially so during the pandemic, without the assistance of other Purelanders. Each really knew how to apply what learnt. My salute to them. The lunch gathering is also enjoyable, especially when there is sharing of experiences of how each encountered the Pure Land Dharma. I look forward to such gatherings.

ANG SHEN: 2018年上完《净土归宿》(Destination Pureland) 的课程后,我没有继续参加净行会的共修课,渐渐地就把所学的给忘了。2023年2月3日上了第一堂 PPF 后很感动。一向不爱上课的我,这一年下来,竟然上了39节课。(今年一共有42节课。)我从来没有见过一位那么满怀热忱的老师。他恨不得想把所知道的都传授给我们,尤其是上课前的 Q&A,有问必答,过后有补充的话,老师还会个别发信息给同学。很感恩每个星期能和那么多善知识一起念经念佛学习。在现场听同修的经历胜过在家中阅读大家在 purelanders.com 的感应录。工作很忙碌的我,已把 PPF 当作我的 weekly retreat。

After completing the Destination Pureland course in 2018, I did not continue to attend PPF sessions and gradually forgot what I have learnt. I was very moved after attending the first PPF session on 3 February this year (in 2023). I have never been fond of attending classes, but to my surprise, I managed to attend 39 PPF sessions this year. (There were 42 sessions in all.) I have never met a teacher who is so enthusiastic and so willing to share. He is so encouraging during the Q&A sessions before class and will answer every question. If he has further points to add, he will also remember to send private messages to the students concerned. I am very grateful to be able to Nianfo with so many good-knowing friends (善知识) every week. Listening to other Purelanders’ experiences on site is so much more impactful than just reading their testimonies at purelanders.com. In the midst of my busy work schedule, PPF sessions have become my weekly retreat.’

IRIS: I support PPF sessions as I think we should not stop learning, with this being bad for the brain. The Dharma is so profound and we still have so much to learn from Teacher Shen. Over 20 years, having learnt the Dharma from different overseas teachers and those who station here, I still found this to not be enough. I strongly support Teacher Shen as he is one of the best teachers in terms of teaching skills. Lessons are interesting and never dry. This is my true feedback.

I prefer coming to attend Dharma lessons, which is more meaningful than to watch drama shows. As time is running out, I wish to learn as much as possible. From my nearest train station, my transport takes one hour, and I still have to wait to take a shuttle bus, which takes about 15 minutes more. Yet, I still come to attend every lesson. This just shows how important the sessions are to me, as I want to reach Pure Land. The Buddha walked for miles and miles, going around to teach the Dharma. What is taking this train and bus ride in comparison?

HWEE SIM: Thank you for your continuous efforts to make PPF sessions interesting and relevant to our daily lives. Also, for your constant reminder to Nianfo daily. PPF sessions are like a lighthouse in the sea of Samsara, which guides us to Amituofo’s Pure Land through 信愿行. Amituofo

WILSON: Thank you Shi’an Teacher, for your hard work.

HONG BENG: Teacher Shi’an, it’s great to have PPF back to regular sessions (after the pandemic). There’s always good learning in each session and it definitely helps to strengthen my 信 and 愿 in Amituofo’s Pure Land, to 念佛 even more regularly and often. 南无阿弥陀佛.

HELEN: When Teacher Shi’an restarted PPF in 2023, it was supposed to be on every Saturday morning like before. I am not able to attend because I have to work every Saturday. I mentioned this to him and he did a poll to see how many could attend on Friday evenings, before deciding on having PPF sessions on 2 Fridays and 2 Saturdays a month. Gan en (感恩) to Laoshi because twice a month is better than nothing at all for me. I believe I was not once absent for Friday sessions, even though I had severe osteoarthritis in February. I do not want to miss the teachings by Laoshi and the sharing by Purelanders. Coming to PPF helps me to have more focused and longer Nianfo… Laoshi’s constant urging with his recent many reflections and Purelanders’ sharing encourage me to embrace any difficulties I face, and to do more Nianfo.

EUNICE C: Thank you very much for preparing so much materials for our weekly PPF sessions. I enjoy and benefit from your teachings and the sharing of testimonies.

PETER: Earnest gratitude for your tireless effort in facilitating such meaningful and reflective engagements, which, most importantly, translate into purposeful applications. Amituofo.

JACQUELINE:  I’m extremely grateful to be attending PPF since 2009, and to have attended Teacher Shi’an’s many courses, and benefiting from each session. Each session of teaching and sharing affirms and increases our faith in Amituofo and Buddhist teachings. I’m grateful to learn more and more and strive to put the Dharma knowledge into practice in everyday life.

Very importantly, PPF allows us to ask questions which Teacher Shi’an would answer to the best of his ability. By having our doubts cleared, we can learn even more effectively and practise well. Teacher Shi’an is effective in linking current news to our Dharma learning. In the PPF session yesterday, he explained how people overwhelmed by the three poisons can fail and fall badly, and how we can avoid being similarly sucked by the poisons. In explaining the gold ore analogy yesterday, Teacher Shi’an explained very well why we should strive to continue purifying ourselves – mind, speech and action (i.e. smelting the gold ore).

By highlighting many everyday incidents which we can link to our Dharma learning, Teacher Shi’an encourages us to be more steadfast in following the Buddhist precepts and to also understand why such incidents happen. Thank you very much, Teacher Shi’an, for your ongoing hard work and diligence in Dharma work. Amituofo.

HWEE SIM: Amituofo, Teacher Shi’an. I am very thankful and grateful to be able to attend your PPF sessions. It was a very great sharing last night which I nearly missed… Thank you for clearing my doubt, by answering my one question with ten further questions with answers. I am now very clear that I can reach Pure Land with Faith, Aspiration and Practice. I will continue to practise diligently. I will follow your advice to take life as it comes and Nianfo (念佛) more.

MELVIN: Dear teacher, thank you very much for your generous sharing and for bringing Dharma joy (法喜) to us… Am glad I attended today’s session… The clarity and depth of the answers you have provided far exceeded what I expected… I am very grateful. Will look forward to attending more PPF sessions and courses.

DAMIEN: Thank you brother Shi’an, for a great lesson this morning. My Faith battery has been charged again… Thank you teacher Shi’an, for your efforts! And another great lesson… This [message sent] is very helpful. I’m a brooder, leading to overthinking, causing undue fears and worries. I need something to put me back on track when I’ve veered off again. 阿彌陀佛.

RUTH: I am very thankful for PPF. I have learnt much from you and fellow Purelanders, from testimonies and experiences shared during the discussion and Q&A sessions. I am also very thankful that PPF has started again in a comfy location with convenient timings.

Attending PPF reminds me to practise and not give up, although practice is at times like snakes and ladders, with some steps forward and some steps back. PPF also gives me answers when I am at a roadblock or encountering low points in my life. Amituofo.

KC Leo:
 It is certainly an enlightening experience hearing real-life stories of people transcending this world to be reborn in the Land of Ultimate Bliss. Attending PPF sessions has definitely enhanced my conviction and consolidated my confidence in Nianfo (mindfulness of Buddha). I have started to find every opportunity to share it with my family, especially my ageing parents.

We often plan ahead for our trips, be them local or overseas ones. Likewise, the end-of-life is our final journey and we should all the more plan ahead and plan sufficiently to ensure a smooth journey reaching our ultimate destination, Amituofo’s Land of Ultimate Bliss.

KIM: I now have better understanding of Amituofo and clarified on much superstitious hearsay. I now chant Amituofo everyday and at any time. My faith in Amituofo keeps me calm and to have a clearer mind.

I chant Amituofo when driving too.  In 2021, I encountered two road accidents. During those moments, I knew I was being protected. I can’t explain the special feeling, but it guided me to react in split seconds to escape from any injuries.

CRYSTAL: I enjoy the PPF sessions. Especially for a beginner like me, I have learnt many teachings through your explanations. Am also gradually building up faith through the sharing and Q&A sessions, which help to clear doubts. I appreciate everyone’s efforts in sharing.

WING GOK: Your commitment to make every hour count is deeply appreciated. Thank you very much. Amituofo.

ADELINE: As spiritual development is not a linear progress, I backslide or become stagnant at times. PPF sessions remind me of the Three Provisions and help to boost my confidence. Through repeated sharing, the dying guidelines are now in my long-term memory. Testimonials by fellow Purelanders are very encouraging. They remind me of all the training necessary, to prepare for guiding my family and friends, and eventually myself, to reach Pure Land.

IRIS: I always look forward to our PPF sessions. Am very happy to attend them because of the knowledge we are going to gain. Rain or shine, I will attend them. I love coming for (PPF sessions and) Dharma class because there is so much to learn, which we cannot find in textbooks. Especially when fellow Purelanders share their experiences on how they overcome obstacles, seeking Amituofo’s help through chanting. I live very far away but never want to miss any (session and) lesson.

MEOW LIN: Thank you Laoshi, for your sharing and constant reminder to Nianfo today. It is very inspiring, motivating and encouraging, as it has always been! There’s seldom a dull moment listening to your sharing… 感恩. Amituofo.

HONG BENG: I’ve attended 2 fellowship sessions so far and I must say that I enjoyed them. Also, it helps me to have a regular Nianfo group to support my practice. Really appreciate the group and your teachings. Namo Amituofo! / I’ve been attending the fellowship sessions on Saturday and find them most interesting and inspiring to help me continue to Nianfo.  Thank you, Teacher for sharing your knowledge with us.

JACQUELINE: I like attending PPF because each week, we listen to and actively engage in one interesting topic after another – topics that are relevant in helping us advance our understanding, faith, aspiration and practice of the Pure Land teachings. There is always opportunity for anyone to ask questions and Teacher Shi’an strives hard to answer the questions and clarify some points during discussions. With deep gratitude! Amituofo!

DAVIZON: Yes, 100% agree with Jacqueline. Every week, we are spiritually advancing ourselves. Learning and practising are lifelong tasks until we reach Pure Land. So, come and immerse in the wonderful energies of all like-minded brothers and sisters to achieve the same goal. Thank you, thank you. thank you. Amituofo.

BRO. KEE: I like attending PPF because every week I learn more Dharma teachings and sharings from Teacher Shi’an. He shares practical daily issues which greatly help me in Nianfo practice. I am also happy to be with liked-minded and good people, who encourage each other to Nianfo and reach Pure Land. Amituofo!

IRIS: I fully agree with the rest. There is definitely very rich lifelong learning during each session. It is very meaningful… especially at our age when we are walking the return journey… My friend had been persuading me to join your class – not once but for a few times. I was not sure… but after my first lesson of Destination Pureland, I realised that this is the right class, which is why I keep attending class after class. Everybody keep mentioning that the last thought is very important… Every funeral, [most of the] the presiding monk[s] always ask family members to chant ‘Namo Amituofo’, so we can’t be wrong. Teacher Shen, you had cleared all my doubts, especially on the Five Percepts. Other classes I had attended elsewhere are very brief but yours is in-depth. In fact, I am slowly changing my diet to vegan food too.

MEE NAH: Really appreciate Shi’an’s tireless efforts in initiating and leading the group, where we all can gather, learn and share on Nianfo practice. As we involve very much in worldly matters daily, this gathering platform provides me with constant reminders on mindfulness of Buddha. I also see that we encourage each other on our learning path. It always motivates me to practise Nianfo sincerely after the session. Amituofo.

KELLY: Heartfelt 感恩 to Teacher Shi’an for teaching the Pure Land teachings to us, without which, I’ll still be groping in the dark, unable to see the fastest way out to get out of Samsara for myself, and for helping others too. Amituofo.

AI HUA: The answers and teaching points provided by Teacher Shi’an during every session always reinforces my faith and thus the motivation to continue to Nianfo. In this Dharma Ending Age, this PPF platform proves to be indeed very valuable. Amituofo.

KEN: 老師’s PPF sessions help many’s 法轮 to be moving – so as to 不退转。殊胜。阿弥陀佛。

SU ANN: Great opportunity to practise Nianfo. Always grateful if I can make it. And thank you for sharing through the [Whatsapp] chat group though this may result in reduced attendance. [Shi’an: Actually, most sessions are not summarised and shared by messaging, while there are many more details we share ‘live’.]… I find discussions useful… Thank you for teaching and improving… Amituofo.

BENG HUA: I like to be there to clear any doubts arising from practice of Nianfo, so as to strengthen my belief in 今生成佛。南無阿弥陀佛。

BEE LAY: If on my own, being not a disciplined person, I certainly don’t Nianfo for so ‘long’. PPF is a good opportunity to me to Nianfo for a ‘longer’ duration, to practise more seriously. It also creates an environment or circle conducive for Pure Land practice, to steer us to the right path. Thank you, Shi’an Laoshi for the continuous efforts and contributions to keep PPF alive all these years.

KHUAN HENG: PPF provides a platform for continual learning. Very often, when I am stuck with an issue, Laoshi can offer different perspectives to resolve it. He provides a positive environment for all to question without hesitation when in doubt. Thanks, Laoshi, for your passion, conviction and relentless efforts. 感恩。阿弥陀佛!

PAULINE: [Coming to PPF] is a good practice, and [for getting] good understanding… especially when I didn’t really know how to pray or chant. After attending some sessions, I became aware of the procedure. It also gives me an opportunity to do chanting for a longer period. TQ Laoshi.

JANET: Indeed, though unable to attend the PPF weekly sessions, I am never spiritually detached. This chat group continues to lead, connect busy ‘souls’ 24/7 to 阿弥陀佛, to have inexorable faith, with efforts for practice of 念佛!Utmost gratitude to Shi’an 老师 for your unrelenting efforts to make this possible and sustainable!

HVI CHUN: Me too. Thanks much, Laoshi. Amituofo.

SHEILA: I like PPF sessions. Teacher Shi’an always mentions about the 3 Provisions for mindful Nianfo. The environment provides me more confidence to Nianfo. Teacher Shi’an is extraordinary. 我要加油, 加油, 加油。感谢 Laoshi. Amituofo.

WEI PENG: PPF is a wonderful weekly reminder about the importance of 念佛. When i get sluggish about practice, there’s always PPF to bring me back on track! The sharing by Shi’an 老师 is also invaluable. We can always find new insights even if we are going through oft-discussed topics. Thank you, Bro Shi’an! 阿弥陀佛。

BAY CHOO: It keeps me on the right track. There are several occasions when I’m not sure if some Buddhist associations are legitimate. Laoshi never failed to clarify my doubts. Many thanks.

JANICE: Same here, thank you Shi’an Laoshi for your guidance. Amituofo.

MAY: PPF provides a platform for like-minded people to practise, share experiences and clarify doubts. Very often we have taken many things for granted, including such opportunities to learn and practise. Without a committed teacher, a conducive environment and spiritual friends, such sessions will not be possible. We are indeed blessed to have all the conditions, and may we all treasure these opportunities to strive on with diligence.

SHAROL: Thank you, both of you, for all the PPF sessions, the creative books and cards that are received.

CHWEE NEO: Teacher Shi’an is a good teacher. He’s not selfish. He doesn’t think of going to Pure Land alone, but practises veganism and teaches the Dharma to help people like us who find it difficult to practise the Dharma, to go towards liberation in Pure Land. Amituofo.

CHIEW THIAN: Thank you, Bro. Shi’an, for showing us the path to Amituofo’s Pure Land, and also being a good mentor along the way. Hope PPF will continue to benefit more people in the years to come.

CANDY: When I first joined PPF, I was not sure if I was in the right group. Because it seemed to me that every 宗教/派 would claim that theirs is the best. After attending a few PPF sessions, I could sense that the main differentiating factor is that we have a sincere 老师 in guiding us. If you have attended his lessons, you will know. 感恩老师 and to those supporting him. Amituofo.

CHIN KIAT: PPF provides a simple and conducive environment for 念佛 without complicated rituals. The atmosphere is very relaxing for Q&A. Questions and doubts can be raised freely without much hesitation. I enjoy the sessions very much. 阿弥陀佛。

VICKY: I’ve been attending PPF lately and found it beneficial, both spiritually and knowledgeably. Thank you.

Related Article:

[23] Top Ten Reasons To Join Pureland Practice Fellowship Sessions

Please be mindful of your speech, Amituofo!

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