Shi’an 老师 (teacher), I would like to share with you a piece of good news today, on how Repentance (忏悔), Nianfo (念佛) and Dedication Of Merits (回向) helped to improve our relationships with our three teen kids.
Before that, a bit about me and my wife’s affinity with PPF (Pureland Practice Fellowship). My initial encounter with Buddhism was mainly through Thai Buddhism. Every year, for the last five years prior to joining PPF, I would make a 6-day trip to Chiang Rai to partake in a new year celebration and to seek blessings. During my last trip in April 2014, it occurred to me that I would really like to learn more about Buddhism, rather than to just seek blessings. However, due to the Thai language barrier, I could not proceed further.
It was about then that my brother-in-law, who wanted to reconnect with PPF, which he joined in during earlier days, invited me to sit in one of the PPF sessions (though PPF is ideally for those who had completed at least one Pure Land course, so that they will know how to Nianfo properly). My wife and I were excited to join in as it would be our first Dharma lesson.
We tried to be as inconspicuous as possible by sitting behind. In that session, there was reciting of the Amitabha Sutra followed by Nianfo and Dharma discussion. Both my wife and I were deeply moved and motivated. More importantly, we found a connection with Shi’an 老师. Since then, we have attended most of his courses and PPF sessions.
We have three children, a daughter aged 21 and two sons aged 18 and 15. Prior to joining PPF and practising Nianfo, I was a stern father. Often, I was also not able to control my temper when they were naughty, as I scolded and shouted at them (though I stopped using the cane when they reached Secondary 1, at around 13).
After joining PPF and practising regular Nianfo, I mellowed down, but situations at home were not getting any better. My two boys (16 and 13 then) would often quarrel with each other, and things got so bad and beyond control, that the police had to be called once, before they got worse.
I consulted Shi’an 老师 on what more I could do (other than the usual). Keeping calm to practise more sincere Nianfo was the main key. My wife and I have been doing Repentance (忏悔), Nianfo (念佛) and Dedication Of Merits (回向) to all my three kids daily since. Although I had noticed improvement, in the last few months, in his overall behaviour, today (18th March 2017), my eldest boy (now 18), messaged to thank me and my wife for taking care of him, expressing how much he loves and appreciates us. We could not describe the joy that we felt.
I know that all these are only possible through the blessings of Amituofo (Amitabha Buddha), practising patience, and looking inwards to first improve ourselves, as taught by the Buddha. This recent change is definitely the best encouragement for me and my wife, to be more diligent in our practice. The journey ahead is still full of challenges, but with Nianfo as our central focus (中心), I am confident that we can overcome them. Of course, we will also constantly remind ourselves that our ultimate goal is to reach Amituofo’s Pure Land.
Without my brother-in-law introducing us to PPF, and without knowing a wonderful teacher like yourself, I dare not think of what the outcome would have been for our family. Through this sharing, I hope to encourage fellow Buddhist Brothers and Sisters, who are also facing similar challenges, to not be disheartened, to have patience, and to have confidence in Amituofo, to leave the rest to Amituofo after having done your best, for we are truly powerless when our karmic debts are heavy.
Sincerely, my wife and I would like to thank Shi’an 老师 for all his selfless teaching and sharing. Wishing you best of health, so that more can benefit from the most special and wonderful Dharma door of Nianfo (念佛法门).
Namo Amituofo: M & R
(pen names for privacy)
How To Connect Family Members To Amituofo