Q&A

Q&A On Right Mindfulness When Approaching The End Of Life 临终正念问答题 Verses On Right Mindfulness For Eradication Of Obstacles 正念消障偈 Verse On Only That Lacking 只缺偈

正念消障偈

信愿念佛,即最正念。其余念头,即颠倒念。
佛他力大,不怕障多。念佛消业,如雪近炉。
一心念佛,速感佛力。颠倒成正,业障成空。

Verses [On] Right Mindfulness [For] Eradication [Of] Obstacles

[With] Faith [and] Aspiration mindful [of] Āmítuófó, is [the] most right [of] mindfulness. [All] other thoughts, are inverted thoughts [for Pure Land practitioners. With the] Buddha’s Other-power [being] great, without fear [of] obstacles [being] many. [With] mindfulness [of] Buddha eradicating [negative] karma, like snowflakes nearing [a] furnace. [With] wholehearted mindfulness [of] Āmítuófó, quickly connect [to the] Buddha’s power. [With the] inverted becoming [the] right, [with] karmic obstacles becoming empty.

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问 [1]:什么是正念?

答:对净土修学者而言,信愿念佛(‘阿弥陀佛’之圣号)就是正念,是最正的念头。其余念头都算颠倒念或杂念,因为它们不能引向净土。

Question [1]: What is Right Mindfulness?

Answer: For Pure Land practitioners, being ‘with Faith and Aspiration mindful of the Buddha’s name (i.e. Āmítuófó)’ is Right Mindfulness, and is the most right of mindfulnesses. All other thoughts are considered inverted or stray thoughts, as they cannot lead to Pure Land.

问 [2]:临终还没提起以上的正念怎么办?

答:觉知无正念者应当马上直接信愿念佛。

Question [2]: What if, when approaching the end of life, yet to give rise to the above Right Mindfulness?

Answer: Those aware of being without Right Mindfulness should immediately be ‘with Faith and Aspiration mindful of the Buddha’s name’.

问 [3]:临终时还没有以上的觉知怎么办?

答:所以净土祖师劝勉应当有莲友以开示助念提醒

Question [3]: What if, when approaching the end of life, yet to have the above awareness?

Answer: Therefore, the Pure Land Patriarchs urge that there should be Pure Land practitioner friends, with their offering of guidance and support-chanting to remind of this.

问 [4]:临终业障或颠倒念先现前怎么办?

答:所以平时应当信愿念佛,以提起正念的功德,多消业障。孰能生巧。要确保临终能如此,应当现在以至诚心勤修行。以此至心感佛他力加持,颠倒念必成正念,业障必消除。临终也如此修,乃至见佛往生。

Question [4]: What if, when approaching the end of life, karmic obstacles and inverted thoughts first arise?

Answer: Therefore, in ordinary times, there should be, ‘with Faith and Aspiration mindful of the Buddha’s name’, with giving rise to Right Mindfulness’ meritorious virtues, having many karmic obstacles eradicated. With this familiar practice, give rise to skilfulness. To ensure being able to do so when approaching the end of life, have sincere and diligent practice now. With this utmost sincere mind connecting to the Buddha’s Other-power’s blessings, inverted thoughts will become Right Mindfulness, and karmic obstacles will be eradicated. When approaching the end of life also as such practising, until seeing the Buddha, to be reborn in his Pure Land.

问 [5]:往生净土是否全靠死亡前的最后一念?

答:往生净土全靠往生前的最后一念。因为一般人多非一死就往生,应当继续开示助念数钟头。丧礼与四十九天中也应当继续。

Question [5]: Does rebirth in Pure Land all depend on the last thought before death?

Answer: Rebirth in Pure Land all depends on the last thought before rebirth. As many common people are not reborn once dead, there should be continuation of offering of guidance and support-chanting for some hours. This should also be continued during the wake and 49 days.

问 [6]:死亡后是否更难信愿念佛?

答:死亡后也能有正念。因为已经没有由于身体业障病痛而引起的颠倒念,心更清醒,若有莲友继续开示助念提醒,当时反而可能更得力。

Question [6]: After death, is it more difficult to be ‘with Faith and Aspiration mindful of the Buddha’s name’?

Answer: There can also be Right Mindfulness after death. As there are already no more inverted thoughts that arise from karmic obstacles from sickness and pain of the body, with a clearer mind, if there are Pure Land practitioner friends’ continuation of offering of guidance and support-chanting, one can instead be more capable then.

问 [7]:临终时如何关注第六七八意识?

答:临终时应当摄心,不可把一心分为两三个心,只须一心念佛。能信愿念佛就是一心念佛,必能感佛见佛跟佛生佛国。

Question [7]: When approaching the end of life, how should one note the sixth, seventh and eighth consciousnesses? 

Answer: When approaching the end of life, there should be the gathered mind. There must not be the splitting of wholeheartedness (i.e. the singular mind) into two or three minds. There should only be wholehearted mindfulness of the Buddha’s name. Being able to be ‘with Faith and Aspiration mindful of the Buddha’s name’ is to have wholehearted mindfulness of the Buddha’s name, which is definitely able to connect to the Buddha, to see the Buddha, to follow the Buddha, to be born in his Buddha Land.

为确保临终能成功一心念佛,应当现在用正常的第六识,以至诚心,精进定时念佛,不断把佛号的种子种植于八识田中,通过第七识加以培植与熏陶。

To ensure there will be successful wholehearted mindfulness of Buddha when approaching the end of life, with the normal sixth consciousness, with mental awareness we are using now, sincerely, diligently and regularly plant, grow and perfume pure seeds of the Buddha’s name in the field (or storehouse) of the eighth consciousness (through the seventh consciousness, which acts as a buffer between the sixth and eighth).

如此修持,不须讨论深奥道理,只须要直接以念佛为正行。平时日常生活中,心中不应生起更多贪嗔痴三毒的杂念,反而常时随时念佛。这将逐渐制服与消除杂念。唯值净念时,不净之念将自然隐退根除。

Without need to talk much complex theory, simply have more direct proper practice. Instead of entertaining more stray thoughts arising from the Three Poisons (of attachment, aversion and delusion) in everyday life, keep conditioning the mind to readily be mindful of the Buddha’s name. This will overwhelm, subdue and rid the stray thoughts over time. Only planting such pure thoughts, impure thoughts will naturally be ‘weeded’ out.

若常常习惯性用佛号塞满象巨大容器的第八识,临终时,佛号必定容易自然‘涌出’,导致再次以一心念佛。如此修行即是善巧运用因果之理。与其不断为临终可能生起的状况起烦恼,不如现在加以老实念佛。

With the eighth consciousness functioning like a huge mental receptacle, that is constantly fully filled with the Buddha’s name habitually to the brim, when approaching the end of life, it will be easy for it to naturally ‘spill over’, to influence the mind on the whole to be mindful of the Buddha’s name again. To practise accordingly as above is to apply the truth of cause and effect skilfully.
Instead of fretting endlessly about the possible state of the mind arising when approaching the end of life, there should simply be more down-to-earth practice now. (For more details on the workings of the first to eighth consciousnesses, do read the last set of Q&A at https://purelanders.com/2019/03/18/can-the-consciousness-suffer-after-death.)

问 [8]:临终’无法’一心念佛怎么办?

答:如净土宗十三祖印光大师所教,「欲心不贪外事,专念佛。不能专,要他专。不能念,要他念。不能一心,要他一心等。」《复邓伯诚居士书二》是故,只要有心有决心出声念或默念,不可能不能一心念佛。不该任性相信或咬定自己不可能一心,因为所须要的只是至诚心,不是高深的定力。当然,有更多的定力是好事,但如果真的须要很多定功才能往生净土,念佛法门就不成易行道。

Question [8]: What if, when approaching the end of life, ‘unable’ to wholeheartedly be mindful of the Buddha’s name?

Answer: As the Pure Land Tradition’s 13th Patriarch Great Master Yìnguāng taught, ‘If wishing your mind to not crave after external matters, focus only upon [utmost sincere] mindfulness of Āmítuófó. If not able to focus, you must will it, [i.e. your mind] to focus. If not able to be mindful, you must will it to be mindful. If not able to be wholehearted, will it to be wholehearted.’ (Second Reply Letter To Layperson Dèng Bóchéng) Therefore, as long as having the intention (or will) and determination, it is not possible to be unable to be wholeheartedly mindful of the Buddha’s name, be it verbally or only in the mind. There should not be wilful belief or insistence that it is not possible for oneself to be wholeheartedly mindful, as this does not require high concentration; just utmost sincerity of the mind. Of course, having greater concentration is good, but if it really requires much concentration skills to reach Pure Land, the Dharma Door Of Mindfulness Of Buddha would not be the Easy Practice Path.

只缺偈_

佛力法力已具足,
只缺心力信愿行。
至诚一心念佛到,
此已是最易行道。

Verse [On] Only [That] Lacking

[As the] Buddha’s power [and the] Dharma’s power [are] already complete, only lacking [is your] mind’s power [to, with] Faith [and] Aspiration, [have] Practice. [With] utmost sincerity wholeheartedly mindful [of] Āmítuófó [until he] comes [to guide to his Pure Land], this already is [the] most Easy Practice Path.

相关教理
Related Teachings:

如何无正念而得正念  
How To Be Without Right Mindfulness Yet Attaining Right Mindfulness
https://purelanders.com/2020/03/24/how-to-be-without-right-mindfulness-yet-attaining-right-mindfulness

为何念佛是最佳修正念的方法?  
Why Is Niànfó The Best Practice For Right Mindfulness?
https://purelanders.com/2016/03/02/why-is-nianfo-the-best-practice-for-right-mindfulness

何时能往生净土?  
When Can There Be Rebirth In Pure Land?
https://purelanders.com/2019/08/16/when-can-rebirth-in-pure-land-be-attained

丧礼后的助念该多久?
How Long Should Post-Wake Support-Chanting For The Deceased Be?
https://purelanders.com/2021/04/20/how-long-should-post-wake-support-chanting-for-the-deceased-be

如何一心专念佛?
How To Wholeheartedly Focus On Mindfulness Of Buddha?
https://purelanders.com/2018/07/27/how-to-wholeheartedly-focus-on-mindfulness-of-buddha

《临终三大要》第一大要
The Three Great Essentials When Approaching Death: The First Great Essential
https://purelanders.com/2015/12/30/the-first-great-essential-%e7%ac%ac%e4%b8%80%e5%a4%a7%e8%a6%81-pure-land-passport-section-3b

《临终三大要》第二大要
The Three Great Essentials When Approaching Death: The Second Great Essential
https://purelanders.com/2015/12/30/the-second-great-essential-%E7%AC%AC%E4%BA%8C%E5%A4%A7%E8%A6%81-pure-land-passport-section-3c

《临终三大要》第三大要
The Three Great Essentials When Approaching Death: The Third Great Essential
https://purelanders.com/2015/12/30/the-third-great-essential-%e7%ac%ac%e4%b8%89%e5%a4%a7%e8%a6%81-pure-land-passport-section-3d

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