Question: For peace of mind, after attending wakes, I always follow the superstition of going elsewhere before home – to ‘shake off’ any spirits who may follow me. What do you think?
Answer: Spirits are already in many places; not just at wakes, though some might be attracted by the rituals going on there; not to you. Generally, there are not many cases of spirits following those who attend wakes home, for the simple reason that there is no particular benefit. Of course, one should be respectful at wakes, lest some offended spirits follow to ‘punish’ one.
How should we make wake visits meaningful? There are three things to do… First, by consoling the bereaved. Second, by offering guidance and merits sincerely to the deceased person, whose consciousness might still be around, as explained at https://purelanders.com/wake. Third, by offering the above also to any potentially present unseen beings.
For self-protection, it should be remembered that all Buddhas are mindfully protective of those who are mindful of the name of Amituofo (Amitabha Buddha). This is the greatest spiritual protection we can have. With this, what need is there to fear of spirits following one?
If still fearful, you should simply do Nianfo (practice of sincere recitation of ‘Amituofo’) on the way home, and even after reaching home. There is then no need to try to ‘shake off’ any spirits. Do consider attending this related course to learn more on how to help the deceased too: http://thedailyenlightenment.com/2017/06/destination-pureland-how-to-have-the-best-rebirth-7th-run.