Poems Encouraging Leisurely And Busy Persons To Be Mindful Of Buddha 劝闲忙人念佛诗



[To Leisurely Persons]:
Leisurely Persons In Advance Preparing [The] Provisions

Leisurely persons [should have] mindfulness [of] Buddha exactly [since they are] carefree, not having [their] time for nothing within thrown [away]. Ageing has ‘letters’ [sent, with your] hair gradually whitening, [while] death [is] without [an] official invitation, [with] life difficult [to] retain.

[Note 1: There should be disciplined use of free time available now, which is karmically hard to come by, even if taken for granted, to practise mindfulness of Buddha more diligently, instead of wasting precious time to indulge in the spiritually unsubstantial.]

[Note 2: We should be mindful that we are are ageing all the time, while death can arrive at any time. Thus, there is no time to squander away – not a decade, a year, a month, a week, a day, an hour, a minute, or even a second.]


While living, in advance with [the Three] Provisions [of Faith, Aspiration and Practice be] prepared, in [your] eyes stopping, for sons [and] daughters, [excessive] worrying. [With] home in [the] Blissful Country [of Pure Land], ‘returning’ to [it is] good, [to] naturally [have] clothing [and] food, not needing strife.

[Note 3: All should start to accumulate the Three Provisions adequately now, with diligent learning and practice of mindfulness of Buddha, lest it be too late or too challenging later, when very sick and dying. After tending to reasonable worldly concerns for family members responsibly, excessive worries should be dissolved quickly, as they tend to go on unceasingly, thus distracting from practice of mindfulness of Buddha without end.]

[Note 4: While we did not come from Pure Land, since we do not remember so, all should see Pure Land as our true spiritual and physical home home to ‘return’ to, so as to return to our Buddha-nature, to realise its potential fully there. Once in Pure Land, there will be great spiritual and physical ease, with no more need to worry about necessities being adequate or not, which we tend to be bothered by now.]


The Pure Land Tradition’s 11th Patriarch Great Master Xǐng’ān
(Poems [For] Exhortation [To] Cultivate [The] Pure Land [Path]: 69th Poem)



[To Busy Persons]:
[In] Busy Places [With] Additional ‘Whipping’ [To Be] Mindful [Of] Buddha

[When] urging you [to be] mindful [of] Buddha, [you say are not] yet able [to attain] leisure, [but with] waiting [for] attaining [of] leisure [to] come, sickness [then] presently. [The] mind when reaching scatteredness must keep [its] focus, [for] mindfulness to go on [in] busy places, [there] must [be] additional ‘whipping’.

[Note 5: Due to sickness being able to strike at any time, not just for the very old, also possibly for the very young, that might make it more challenging to practise well in time, there should be disciplined scheduling of free time to practise mindfulness of Buddha in daily life now.]

[Note 6: If doing that in Note 5 is challenging, there should be even more disciplined practice of mindfulness of Buddha while doing tasks that do not require much deliberate thinking, such as walking, cleaning, waiting, riding vehicles… Ideally, there is both practice in this way, and as in Note 5.]


[In a] thousand armed troops inside, [with a] single blade enter, [in] long boiling soup within, [add a] ladle [of] water [to] dissipate [its heat]. [As mindfulness of] Buddha [does] not obstruct [the] busy, [while the] busy self-obstructed, then from today, offer [to the] golden immortal [Āmítuófó, with sincere mindfulness of his name].

[Note 7: The practice of mindfulness of Buddha is like a single yet powerful blade, that is able to cut through the entire army of all afflictions. The practice of mindfulness of Buddha is like a cooling ladle of water, that if added even to long boiling ‘soup’ of all afflictions, is able to instantly dissipate its heat.]

[Note 8: Since the practice of mindfulness of Buddha can still be done despite being busy, it is only obstructed by the lack of discipline to exert enough efforts.]


The Pure Land Tradition’s 11th Patriarch Great Master Xǐng’ān
(Poems [For] Exhortation [To] Cultivate [The] Pure Land [Path]: 70th Poem)

Related Verses:

Verses For Universal Exhortation To Be Mindful Of Buddha For Rebirth In Pure Land

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