Question: Though I have intentions to do good, it seems difficult to do them, perhaps due to shortage of merits. Is Nianfo (practice of mindfulness of the name of Amitabha Buddha – ‘Amituofo’) a way to accumulate merits, to overcome this problem?
Answer: Nianfo is the FASTEST way to accumulate merits, as it requires only the sincere mind to do so. Nianfo is tremendously meritorious because it is mindfulness of the most meritoriously virtuous subject possible – a Buddha (Amituofo) who also represents all Buddhas collectively (in terms of the Dharmakaya).
Nianfo is also meritorious as it awakens our Buddha-nature. Exactly because Nianfo is so meritorious, it is able to clear our karmic obstacles due to negative karma, and increase our merits – not just for doing more good, but also to reach Amituofo’s Pure Land, progress towards the purity of Buddhahood, and guide others to the same goal.