Good evening. The plane I was in today, while approaching Singapore, was hit by severe turbulence. Children screamed and adults muttered under their breath, while my wife gripped my palm tightly. I thought this may be it.
At this moment, the sound of the Buddha-name recitation device (念佛机) you play before class started playing automatically in my mind. I could hear the 4-word chanting of Āmítuófó’s name, as at https://purelanders.com/mp3. Automatically, I just followed.
Throughout the five minutes or so of turbulence, I wasn’t totally focused on mindfulness of Buddha (念佛: Niànfó), as my mind was darting here and there. Maybe at the back of my mind, I thought my time wasn’t up yet. Maybe I lacked deep practice, thus distracted. Still, it was a rewarding religious experience for me. It made me appreciate the importance of the Three Provisions of Faith, Aspiration and Practice more strongly. Thank you, teacher Shi’an. Námó Āmítuófó, Ch’ng (Name changed for privacy)
This is wonderful! First, you did not forget to Niànfó during such a fearful experience. Second, in a sense, there was ‘support-chanting’ to inspire and remind you to Niànfó! To further build in this ready response, by deepening connection of your Self-power with the Other-power of Āmítuófó, it is best to have more daily Niànfó practice.
This is also a good reminder of what mentioned often in class, that death will come, and it can come at any time. Although this incident was not the ‘end’, it is still true that it could had been, just as any future moment might just as unexpectedly be. This reminds us to all the more practise Niànfó sincerely in everyday life, for safety and protective blessings.
Guanyin Bodhisattva’s Wake-Up Call