Question: Does Nianfo (practice of mindfulness of the name of Amitabha Buddha [念佛] – ‘Amituofo: 阿弥陀佛’) have benefits similar to loving-kindness (Metta) meditation, in terms of improving relations and affinities, to get the love and respect of others?
Answer: As Nianfo practice that links to Amituofo’s Other-Power is ‘unsurpassable, profound and wonderful meditation‘ (‘无上深妙禅’), not only are the mentioned benefits included, they will surpass that cultivated by only Metta meditation, which is a Self-Power practice.
According to Amituofo’s ‘Thirty-Seventh Vow Of Gods And Humans Being Moved To Take Refuge’ (第三十七归依感动天人愿 ): ‘… [S]hould all the ten directions’ immeasurable and inconceivable Buddha lands’ gods and humans, who hear my name [Amituofo: i.e. practise Nianfo], throw their five limbs to the ground, prostrate to pay homage, with joyful faith, and cultivate Bodhisattva practices, of all gods and humans of the world, there is no one who will not pay respects…’ (‘ 十方无量不可思议诸佛世界，诸天人民，闻我名字，五体投地，稽首作礼，欢喜信乐，修菩萨行。诸天世人，莫不致敬。’)
Thus, anyone who practises Nianfo with utmost sincerity while benefiting others, which can be as ‘simple’ as, for example, dedication of merits from Nianfo to all beings, will receive utmost respect from others. This is so as it is of utmost meritoriousness to be mindful of Amituofo, who is connected to all other Buddhas. There is simply no more meritorious subject for mindfulness!
Beyond connecting to Amituofo for blessings, utmost sincere Nianfo also aligns to one’s own Buddha-nature, which decreases self-centredness, and increases selfless (i.e. more compassionate) connection with others. This in turn makes one more greatly respected and warmly welcomed by others.