Hi Bro. Shi’an, you have been emphasising on the importance of having daily Niànfó (念佛) practice (of mindfulness of the name of Amitā[bha] Buddha – ‘Āmítuófó; 阿弥陀佛’) for protection in everyday life. It is indeed so, due to this following incident…
Just two weeks ago, on a windy afternoon, my spouse and I left a food centre after lunch. We were walking along a road corner towards a traffic light. Suddenly, we heard a loud ‘Bang!’ behind us. My husband pulled me away immediately. We quickened a few steps forward, turned back and looked.
Goodness! A tree branch about half a foot thick, and 5 to 6 feet long had missed us by a second. Both of us were shocked, as we chanted ‘Námó Āmítuófó’ together in exclamation.
As we do our daily Niànfó practice together, we agreed that not being hit was truly due to blessings from Āmítuófó. It is true, as you have always said, that ‘mindfulness of Āmítuófó ensures our safety’ (念佛保平安)!
Námó Āmítuófó :
Ellie (Name changed for privacy)
 This is an excellent example for reflecting on how, if we do not practise Niànfó sincerely and regularly, to clear or reduce our heavy negative karma, that might unexpectedly ripen with full impact, our near misses could had been direct hits.
 Yet, with Niànfó, all potentially worse suffering become less harmful, as Āmítuófó’s blessings and the meritorious virtues from Niànfó dilute away our negative karma. Though our negative karma can ripen at any time, the effect of protection from reduction of negative karma can occur both during and after Niànfó.
 ‘Niànfó [is the cause that] eradicates negative karma’ (念佛消业障), to have the effect of once ‘heavier [negative] karma lightened [when] received’ (重业轻报). Every single sincere chant of Āmítuófó’s name is never wasted, helping us to lessen potential suffering accordingly.
 We should also remember, that since we have much negative karma, as demonstrated by such incidents, we should strive to increase our Niànfó practice in both quality and quantity.
 In this case, what could have been physical injury or even death was reduced to just brief mental shock. In other cases, with greater calmness and clarity from more practice, such shock might even be totally absent.
 This experience is a good reminder of why we must all continue to Niànfó in everyday life – for physical and spiritual protection when living now, and also when departing, so as to reach Āmítuófó’s Pure Land safely.
 As taught by the Buddha, upon sincere taking of the Threefold Refuge, there will be 36 Dharma Protector gods (and their followers) looking after us. With commitment to the Five Precepts, there will be 25 more. And with Niànfó practice, there will be the mindful protection of at least 25 Bodhisattvas, with all Buddhas. Thus, we should encourage more to take refuge, commit to the precepts and practise Niànfó – for maximum protection!