Mindfulness Of Buddha Eradicates
Afflictions & Karmic Obstacles
If there are those who take refuge in Buddha World-Honoured Ones, if they recite their names, this eradicates hundreds of thousands of kalpas of afflictions and heavy obstacles, what more with the upright mind cultivating concentration from mindfulness of Buddha?
(The Sûtra In Which The Buddha Speaks Of
The Ocean-like Samādhi From Contemplation Of Buddha)
Question: I heard about one, whom after practising mindfulness of Buddha, his child died. How should we see this?
Answer: If he did not practise at all, the death would had come sooner. As mindfulness of Buddha eradicates karmic obstacles, those with close collective karma with the practitioner will have their heavy negative karma lighten in effect.
Of course, as relatives also have their own distinct karma, it is not possible that one person’s limited practice enables the whole family to never age, get sick or die, as this is the nature of beings still trapped in rebirth after all.
Question: When he was dying later, as he felt that he could not focus his mind on mindfulness of Buddha, he also did separate practices for repentance and giving rise of aspiration, hoping to eradicate afflictions and karmic obstacles. Since already with mindfulness of Buddha as the Main Practice, are these Supportive Practices still needed?
Answer: He should had paid attention on having the utmost sincere mind when mindful of Buddha, not the focused mind. See the last letter at https://wp.me/p5Bdbv-pk on this. See too, on how the sincere mind connects to Buddha, to naturally attain the focused mind at https://wp.me/p5Bdbv-1Ov As the line in the sûtra above says, mindfulness of Buddha is already adequate for directly eradicating afflictions and karmic obstacles. To falsely imagine mindfulness of Buddha is not enough might be due to lack of Faith in Buddha, which obstructs connection with Buddha.
Some are already attached to their negative karma being heavy, also attached to the idea that they have to do more, to express repentance and aspiration. Due to having a strong sense of differentiation, they see the practice of mindfulness of Buddha to be totally separate from practices for repentance and giving rise of aspiration.
The truth is, the sincere mind when mindful of Buddha already is able to include the mind of repentance and giving rise of aspiration.
《净土圣贤录》的张善和，张钟馗，二位极重恶业的屠夫是很好至心念佛，而得生净土的例子: https://wp.me/p5Bdbv-Kd 专修念佛为正行已经足够忏悔罪业，发愿往生。
In the ‘Record Of Pure Land Sages’ are the cases of two butchers, Zhāng Shànhé and Zhāng Zhōngkuí, who are very good examples of those who had extremely heavy negative karma, who practised mindfulness of Buddha with the sincere mind and reached Pure Land: https://wp.me/p5Bdbv-Kd Focused cultivation of mindfulness of Buddha as the Main Practice is already adequate for repentance of transgressions, and expression of aspiration to be reborn.
When approaching the end of life, to swiftly put the minds of the dying at peace, who still feel that they have to do separate practices, at most encourage them to chant the four-lined Verse For Repentance, so as to let go of their transgressions, followed by guidance to remind them to use the sincere mind to be mindful of Buddha, until the Buddha is seen, to follow the Buddha, to be reborn in his Pure Land. Using this attitude, every chant already is with the mind of repentance, and aspiration to seek birth.
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.
The truth is, our negative karma is so much, that ‘exhausting empty space, it cannot be contained’. As such, it is difficult to be completely repented in one lifetime. Thus is there need to be mindful of Buddha, to attain his Other-power’s blessings, with his great awe-inspiring power, eradicate our karmic obstacles, to then be able to attain birth in his Pure Land.
Some who cultivate repentance practices focus more on Self-power, while mindfulness of Buddha with the sincere mind is already the perfect repentance method that completely utilises both Self and Other-power, to eradicate extremely many karmic obstacles. To conclude here…
Verse On Repentance & Aspiration
With the utmost sincere mind,
of Faith and Aspiration mindful
of [Amitā(bha)] Buddha’s name: [Āmítuófó],
this is able to express repentance,
and already expresses giving rise
to the Aspiration [to reach his Pure Land].
Verse On Self Inclination
Overly-emphasising on Self-power,
is yet to take refuge for life in Buddha,
yet to truly be mindful of Buddha.
Verse On Ordinary Inclination
Overly-emphasising on one’s ordinary mind,
slighting the Buddha’s enlightened mind,
is yet to truly understand,
knowledge on mindfulness of Buddha.
Recommended Pure Land Practices
Record Of Zhāng Zhōngkuí’s Rebirth
Record Of Zhāng Shànhé’s Rebirth