Question: Should one who got injured (or sick) repent for having created negative karma that caused it, or practise Nianfo sincerely for healing?
Answer: Sincere Nianfo can be used to express repentance, which can lead to healing too, especially if the injury is not too serious. In other words, sincere repentance and Nianfo can be practised at the same time. If the injury is serious, Nianfo should only be in terms of reaching Pure Land more swiftly, so as to avoid needless prolonged suffering.
Prostrate at your home shrine, while sincerely chanting the below verse for expression of repentance. Having set the attitude to be repentful, follow with sincere Nianfo for as long as you can. You do not have to think of repentance in the midst of wholehearted Nianfo, or it will be a distraction.
However, since this particular Nianfo session is with sincere repentance as the motivation, it will naturally create merits with the blessings of Amituofo to dilute the negative karma that sustains the injury. As usual, do dedicate merits after the session to all beings. Of course, there should be mindful care of the injury with proper medical attention too, unless it is totally unavailable. As one’s negative karma might be strong, one should maximise efforts for healing, and not just practise Nianfo, which will not work well if not done with adequate sincerity.
– 普贤菩萨 (华严经)
Verse For Repentance
Of all my past created evil karma,*
all by beginningless greed, anger and delusion,
from my body, speech and mind as arisen,
for all I now express repentance.**
– Samantabhadra Bodhisattva (Avatamsaka Sutra)
* Intentional deeds
** Remorse and resolution to make amends
Should I Let Karma Take Its Course When Sick?