During a wake of a student from a Buddhist centre that strongly discourages learning and practice of Pure Land teachings (due to their teachers’ lack of right understanding while clinging to wrong understanding), there was ironically and eventually still chanting of Amituofo’s name, as this is the most common, relevant and time-tested Chinese Buddhist funeral practice.
What a pity that the student was unlikely to have learnt enough of the Pure Land teachings in time before death. The final teachings to be practised in this life when departing should be the first ones we master now, because any time can be sudden departure time! First things first! Indeed, we must focus on the last thing we have to do well first! The swiftness of impermanence is a key truth to always remember!
At the end of the day, with much or little theoretical Dharma teachings picked up here and there, we have to honestly realise that we are still not great practitioners, thus still subject to the ravages of karmic rebirth, that will ‘wipe out’ our past memories. This is exactly why we recall absolutely nothing from even our most immediate past lives now. Why keep returning to square one?
Why not make it to Pure Land decisively then, as recommended by all Buddhas, to recall everything learnt, and to progress on the fastest expressway through the ranks of Bodhisattvahood, towards Buddhahood without fail? This is after all the swiftest way to help oneself and others to be liberated.