[6] Three Methods To Uphold Mindfulness Of Buddha’s Name 持名念佛之三法


[Part 6]: Mindfulness [of] Buddha has silent upholding, has aloud upholding, [and] has vajra upholding.

[Note 1: Silent upholding is to mentally chant and mentally listen to the Buddha’s name sincerely. Aloud upholding is to audibly chant and physically listen, with chanting loud enough for oneself to hear. Vajra upholding is to move the lips and mouth the Buddha’s name, which is halfway between silent and aloud upholding.]


However, aloud [upholding might] feel [to be] too exhausting [in] energy, [while] silent chanting [is] also easy [to become] drowsy.

[Note 2: This is why aloud upholding might need to become silent upholding when tired, and why silent upholding might need to become aloud when sleepy.]


Only [with] continuity [and] closeness, [with the] sound between [the] lips [and] teeth, then [is] called vajra upholding.

[Note 3: This is with volume even lower than aloud upholding. If still exhausting, there can be just movement of lips and mouth silently.]


[There] also [should] not [be] grasping definitely [to any method, as] perhaps feeling exhausted, then might as well [having] silent upholding.

[Note 4: There should be changing of method to adapt to the conditions present. However, there should not be excess changing or it might mean one is simply not focused enough for proper practice.]


Perhaps feeling drowsy, then might as well [having] aloud [upholding].

[Note 5: This is so as like playing of sports, exerting more physical energy can energising. However if overly exerting, it will soon be exhausting. Beginners are usually advised to start with aloud upholding to express more deliberate mindfulness, with vajra upholding when a somewhat exhausted, and finally silent upholding when even more exhausted, but also more settled. This is usually the natural process for those practising when departing for Pure Land too. Even as physical energy runs out gradually, mental energy should not be exhausted.]


Nowadays, [as] those mindful [of] Buddha, [are] only [with their] hands striking small [wooden] fishes, [while] thoughtlessly shouting, [they] therefore [do] not attain benefits [from such ‘practice’].

[Note 6: As the wooden fish is for pacing of others chanting together, it is not needed for personal practice. For more wholehearted practice, there should just be sincere chanting with sincere listening to that chanted.]


[There] must [be with] line [by] line out [of the] mouth entering [the] ears, [with] sound [after] sound awakening one’s mind.

[Note 7: Staying in this feedback loop of chanting clearly and listening clearly allows single-minded focus to arise and increase.]


For example, like a person deeply asleep, [with] a[nother] person calling, ‘Certain person!’, then [with] that [first person] immediately waking, therefore [is such] mindfulness [of] Buddha most able [to] gather [the] mind.

[Note 8: This is to further awaken oneself with the Buddha’s name and his blessings, also ‘waking up’ all virtues, such as generosity, compassion and wisdom. Focusing on chanting and listening to his name thus gathers all the other five senses with the mind.]

Pure Land Tradition’s 8th Patriarch Great Master Liánchí
(Collection [Of] Yúnqī’s Pure Land Sayings: Eight Articles [As] Warnings [For The] Masses)

Namo Amituofo : Translation and notes by Shen Shi’an

Previous Article:

[5] With Mindfulness Of Buddha Sever Deluded Thoughts

Next Article:

[7] Transforming This Sahā World To A Pure Land And Birth In Heaven Are Both Not Easy

All Eight Articles:

Great Master Liánchí’s Eight Articles Of Warnings For The Masses

Please be mindful of your speech, Amituofo!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.