[60] How Nianfo Alleviated My Fears & Worries Of Pain & Dying

Testimonial (Part 1):

Hi teacher Shi’an, the very moment I was diagnosed with breast cancer, I was shocked, scared and worried. I was crying that whole day, while I had to do scans and other tests, as I was afraid to undergo surgery. As I easily worry, the thought that I will be under anaesthesia made me more worried as I was afraid of waking up during surgery. At times, due to stress while sleeping, I would have bad dreams or wake up breathless, thinking I was going to die. As my Nianfo practice was not so frequent then, I sometimes forgot to Nianfo. When I remember to do so, the breathlessness would be over. Although we often speak of Aspiration to reach Pure Land, I was still afraid of death.

Notes (Part 1):

More cancer patients are effectively cured these days with early detection and proper action. ‘Accidental Awareness during General Anaesthesia’ (AAGA) occurs only to 0.2% to 0.4% of patients, which is about 2 to 4 in 1000. If this is experienced, which is not always with sensation of pain, but usually with inability to respond, there should be sincere mental Nianfo – by mindfully abiding upon the name of Amitabha Buddha – ‘Amituofo’. With connection to the blessings of Amituofo via Nianfo, fear and pain, imaginary or real, will subside, and there will peace and even bliss of mind.

The above should be swiftly practised during panic attacks too – when awake, dreaming or when awakened, silently or verbally. With peace of mind through Nianfo that heals the mind, there will be less stress and better sleep. It is with habitual everyday life practice, that Nianfo will become a strong instinctive habit. When practised well in moments of crises, there will be more Faith in the power of Nianfo. When it is time to depart from this life, we will then have swift and firm connection to Amituofo without any fear. This is why those who depart for Pure Land have peaceful and blissful smiles.

Testimonial (Part 2):

Thank you teacher, and K, for explaining the importance of sincere Nianfo and going vegan to me, also for introducing Faye (who had a more complicated experience). She shared on having a healthy diet and lifestyle, with many valuable tips on what to do before and during chemotherapy. She also reminded me to practise sincere Nianfo. Teacher also sent me her testimonial on how she prepared for her long surgery with sincere Nianfo. Thus, during the next few days before surgery, I practised sincere Nianfo too. I reread many times, what teacher sent on how to Nianfo too. I felt much calmer after doing the above, compared with the day when I was crying. On that day of the surgery, I had to admit at 10 am, though surgery is at 4 pm. During the 6 hours of waiting at a normal ward, I occasionally sipped water as I had to fast. My husband suggested watching TV to relax, but I only wanted to concentrate on Nianfo.

Notes (Part 2):

Some messages shared are summarised here:

First, you MUST read this experience by another Purelander: https://purelanders.com/2016/04/22/testimonial-embraced-by-amituofos-golden-light. She is alright now. Second, you MUST avoid ALL meat and dairy products (animal milks, cheese, butter, cream,…) because they can promote growth of cancer cells: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/foodanddrink/healthyeating/10868428/Give-up-dairy-products-to-beat-cancer.html. For further reading: https://nutritionstudies.org/t/dairy. This site is run by Dr Colin Campbell, who led the most detailed nutrition study in history. On the recommended Whole Food, Plant-Based Diet, here is a guide: https://nutritionstudies.org/whole-food-plant-based-diet-guide. Do eat a wide variety of vegan foods, while adhering to these guidelines by the Buddha: https://thedailyenlightenment.com/2016/10/how-should-all-aspiring-for-buddhahood-eat-and-drink

Third, as anaesthesia is meant to knock you out physically, waking up is rare. Just Nianfo as sincerely as you can before entering surgery and after. If there is any waking up while with anaesthesia, continue to Nianfo sincerely too. Remember this principle: https://purelanders.com/2016/01/13/how-to-handle-pain-with-nianfo (念佛不念痛,念痛痛更痛,念佛不会痛。Be mindful of Buddha and not be mindful of pain, as thinking of the pain will make it more painful, while mindfulness of Buddha will lead to no more pain.) Here is a case on how Nianfo during local anaesthesia relieved pain: https://purelanders.com/2016/04/13/testimonial-how-nianfo-alleviated-my-suffering

Fourth, for daily Nianfo practice, do follow this sequence for better effect: https://purelanders.com/2016/02/17/how-do-i-start-nianfo-practice. On worrying, that might even arise during Nianfo, remember that there is no need to worry. See worries as reminders to Nianfo for peace of mind. As long as you are doing what should be done already, there is no reason to worry at all. You can Nianfo verbally or silently, but always sincerely and clearly in the mind. Using a tune is optional. If preferred, you can use this simple tune: https://purelanders.com/mp3. Once stray thoughts arise, do not entertain them – simply return immediately to sincere Nianfo.

Remember this – the main cause of the problem in the first place is stress, meat and dairy, not so much due to pollution here. You will have to ensure the preventive measures are there, or there might be recurrence. Being vegan and practising Nianfo (吃素念佛) together are really very powerful. One is physical nutrition and the other spiritual nutrition.

Testimonial (Part 3):

At 3.30 pm, I was transferred to the operation bed, and wheeled to the theatre. My husband reminded me to Nianfo, to not worry. On the way, I continued to Nianfo silently, only with my mouth moving. In the theatre’s waiting area, the nurse asked if I wanted to watch TV. I replied that I want to do my chanting. I did not care about how the doctor and nurses might look at me when I was doing so, as I only wanted to concentrate on my chanting. As I kept chanting, my mind remained calm, while I was given anaesthesia, and until I was unconscious. I was then woken by the doctor after the 3-hour surgery, who told me that it was over, and that everything is fine. I was then wheeled to the normal ward for rest.

Sincere Nianfo really helped to calm my mind. I was without fear, even as I was wheeled into the theatre, and during further waiting. All my worries about bad dreams and being breathless during surgery were actually unnecessary. With this experience, I now have complete faith in Nianfo. What more, with so many similar testimonials, the universal benefits of Nianfo are definitely true. Although my Nianfo practice was not so frequent earlier, as I do attend Pureland Practice Fellowship sessions, I believe merits from Nianfo did help to alert me, for detecting the cancer through a check-up.

Before surgery, some family members came to visit, telling me much to ‘Don’t worry; stay positive…’ However, nothing said was as effective as Nianfo itself. I know they had good intentions to console, but no words were as effective as Amituofo’s name. Nianfo really eased and calmed my mind, while their sometimes emotional ‘encouragement’ made me more worried. By writing this, it again reminds me of how sincere Nianfo in our daily lives can truly help us, especially during desperate moments! With Regards, TJ

Notes (Part 3):

Indeed, sincere Nianfo in everyday life creates merits to alleviate our suffering. It was wonderful that the whole otherwise traumatic ordeal was transformed into a short retreat with as much sincere Nianfo practised as possible! This is a great breakthrough – to realise what sincere Nianfo really means, and to experience how it can be practised to overcome habitual worry and fearful of pain and death. This is as if having passed a great test of Faith, which increases Faith. With deepened Faith, powered by more sincere Aspiration, Nianfo Practice can surely lead us to Amituofo’s Pure Land at the end of life, where we will be free from physical and mental suffering once and for all! Namo Amituofo.

Please be mindful of your speech, Amituofo!

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