General Articles

Pure Land Practice For Those With Dementia

General Information:

https://www.healthhub.sg/programmes/74/understanding-dementia
(On diet, the version taught by the Buddha is preferred:
https://thedailyenlightenment.com/2016/10/how-should-all-aspiring-for-buddhahood-eat-and-drink)

Dementia & Such Illnesses:

For those with forgetfulness or confusion, beyond regular guided Niànfó in everyday life to create strong mental impressions of Āmítuófó, guidance and support-chanting before and after death should be similarly offered. All brain-related mental illnesses cease when the consciousness cease operating through the brain after death. Even if still in the body, the mind will have clarity magnified beyond the normal then. This moment, which should be anticipated, is when guidance and support-chanting is extra important and effective. (See GRAM below for daily practice.)

Dietary Cause:
https://moonpointer.com/new/2018/04/dementia-from-meat-dairy-eggs

Prevention:
https://purelanders.com/2011/12/15/can-those-with-dementia-practise-buddha-mindfulness

Helping Those With Dementia To Reach Pure Land:
https://purelanders.com/2013/09/04/how-to-help-those-with-dementia-reach-pure-land

Successful Case Study:
https://purelanders.com/2016/09/07/how-my-grandmothers-angry-scowl-became-a-beautiful-smile

Curative Effect Of Nianfo:
(Complete and lasting healing is guaranteed in Pure Land)

东林寺方丈大安法师:老人痴呆或失忆症的人能否往生?

问:有两个疑问请解答。第一,如有老人痴呆症或失忆症的人,是否能够往生?

答:这个你不要去怀疑。首先,信愿念这个名号,能够对这些痴呆症、失忆症有疗效; 第二,这句名号,它是无碍光啊,是能够在我们众生的神识的内心——黑暗的内心放光啊。 我们的痴呆、失忆是我们的表层的意识出了问题,但深层的意识我们是能够蒙阿弥陀佛的光明注照的——他心里会明白的。所以他只要在内心深处保持了这个信愿持名的这个善根、这个熏习的种子,那么临命终时,这个种子被这种愿力,被阿弥陀佛的光明一摄受,也能够到西方极乐世界去。

那么一些有精神障碍的人,实际上真的是能治疗他,在东林寺有。我听一个居士在我那儿讲,她就说她有一个婆婆得了精神病,而且是20多年了。 由于她自己学佛,对婆婆还是比较孝顺,就常常跟她端饭啦,端水呀。她由于学佛了,她端饭端水的时候就会跟她婆婆说一句话,说:“阿弥陀佛,请用餐; 阿弥陀佛,洗脸水来了。”

但这个婆婆呢,精神病者她都是颠倒的,她媳妇念这个阿弥陀佛,她就以为“阿弥陀佛”是骂她。精神病人想:你骂我,我也骂你;你念阿弥陀佛骂我,我也念阿弥陀佛骂你。所以她媳妇念一句阿弥陀佛,她要念三句来骂她:“阿弥陀佛!阿弥陀佛!阿弥陀佛!”恶狠狠地念——就是骂。诶,骂来骂去啊,骂到忽然有一次,她恶狠狠地念“阿弥陀佛!阿弥陀佛!”骂对方的时候,忽然一下哭起来了——嚎啕大哭。这一哭,好了,哭醒了! 你看看。那这个大家都觉得很奇怪:“20多年的疯子啊,怎么就好了呢? 医院都治不好。”

左邻右舍旁边人都来看她——都看奇怪的事情。她看别人来看她,她也坐在那说:“看什么呀?念阿弥陀佛就好了!” 临命终时,她真的就是预知时至,念阿弥陀佛往生了——20多年的疯子。

所以有时候我们看《无量寿经》讲佛的光明现前,那些狂者,就是尪狂者,都能得到点慧,那真的是千真万确的。你劝他好好念佛,你作为家人,也把你的念佛给他回向

Daily GRAM Practice For Dementia Patients:

In everyday life, there should be the following practice, on behalf of the patient, and with the patient. Even if the patient is not clear-minded enough to recite accordingly, the practice should still be done, to keep creating and deepening impressions in the mind. Even if the patient only listens, Āmítuófó’s name will still provide blessings. The following should be shared using language familiar to the patient. GRAM is an acronym for easy remembering, standing for the 4 steps of [1] Guidance, [2] Repentance, [3] Āmítuófó-Chanting (Niànfó) and [4] Sharing Of Merits.

[1] Guidance:

[Ideally seated upright before statue or picture of Āmítuófó]:

‘Dear _____, it is time for us to do our practice. We are going to chant the Repentance Verse, so that we can express apologies for all past mistakes made, and promise not to make them again, so that we can have peace of mind. Next, we will Niànfó together, chanting “Āmítuófó” as sincerely as we can, and listening to “Āmítuófó” as sincerely as we can, without thinking of anything else, so that we can connect to Āmítuófó for his blessings, and prepare for reaching his Pure Land later, where there is no more suffering, only bliss. It is where we will all go. Lastly, we will chant Sharing Of Merits, to share our blessings from chanting with all beings, including our family, for all to be well and happy, so that we can all reach Pure Land when it is time to go.’

(The above can be repeated, as below, if needed. When dying, use version at section [8] of https://purelanders.com/2015/12/30/important-guidelines-2-during-dying-pure-land-passport-section-4b)

[2] Repentance:

NOW, we are going to chant the Repentance Verse, so that we can express apologies for all past mistakes made, and promise not to make them again, so that we can have peace of mind.’ (Use simpler words to explain the technical terms in the verse first if needed.)

忏悔文

往昔所造诸恶业,
皆由无始贪瞋痴,
从身语意之所生,
一切我今皆忏悔。

Verse For Repentance

Of all my past created evil karma,
all by beginningless greed, anger and delusion,
from my body, speech and mind as arisen,
for all I now express repentance.

(Recite and prostrate before Buddha image)

[3] Āmítuófó-Chanting (Niànfó):

NOW, we will Niànfó together, chanting as sincerely as we can, and listening as sincerely as we can, without thinking of anything else, so that we can connect to Āmítuófó for his blessings, and prepare for reaching his Pure Land later, where there is no more suffering, only bliss. It is where we will all go. Āmítuófó, Āmítuófó, Āmítuófó…’ (Use ‘Āmítuófó’ track at purelanders.com/mp3 as guide)

[4] Sharing Of Merits:

NOW, we will chant Sharing Of Merits, to share our blessings from chanting with all beings, including our family, for all to be well and happy, so that we can all reach Pure Land when it is time to go.’ (Use simpler words to explain the technical terms in the verse first if needed.)

回向文

愿以此功德,庄严佛净土,
上报四重恩,下济三途苦。
若有见闻者,悉发菩提心,
尽此一报身,同生极乐国。

Verse For Sharing Of Merits

May these meritorious virtues, adorn the Buddha’s Pure Land [so as to be born there], repay the four weighty sources of kindness [which are our parents, the Triple Gem (Buddhas, Dharma, Saṅgha), society (country) and all sentient beings] above, and relieve suffering of the three paths [of hell-beings, hungry ghosts and animals] below. If there are those who see or hear this, may all give rise to the Bodhi Mind [(Bodhicitta) which is the aspiration to attain Buddhahood while guiding all sentient beings to the same goal], and at the end of this one retribution body [that is karmically subject to suffering], be born in the Land Of Ultimate Bliss [which is Āmítuófó’s Pure Land] together.

Please be mindful of your speech, Amituofo!

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