General

[3] Top Ten Wake Support-Chanting Challenges 十大丧礼助念挑战

[3] Top Ten Wake Support-Chanting Challenges
十大丧礼助念挑战

The following is not in order of occurrence, frequency or severity.

[01] No Guidance: There is no simplified, personalised and streamlined guidance text (开示文) offered to the consciousness of the deceased who might still be around, to explain what is going on and what he or she should do.

[02] No Focus: There is overly complex and long guidance offered, (that might not even be understood by the family member reciting it), with too many points to focus on, thus losing the main focus.

[03] No Relevant Sūtras: Sūtras chanted are not directly relevant for reaching Pure Land (净土). They might also be too long, leaving little time for reciting the Buddha’s name (Niànfó: 念佛) later, if at all. For a concise introduction or reminder of the core Pure Land teachings, only the Amitābha Sūtra《阿弥陀经》which is of medium length should be chanted.

[04] Not Enough Niànfó: There is not enough Niànfó with the shortest format (Āmítuófó: 阿弥陀佛) for easier focus, for both the deceased and support-chanters. Other than offering of guidance, offering of support-chanting with ample Niànfó is the most important.

[05] No Need For Circumambulation: There is no need to circumambulate the casket. If the consciousness of the deceased is near the body, he or she will be distracted by the circling support-chanters. The support-chanters will also be distracted by the casket and by walking. They should be seated (or standing), to more easily focus on sincere Niànfó.

[06] Not Enough Participation: There is not enough participation by family members, who should join in sincerely, as they are usually the ones whom the deceased are most concerned about. Thus, their participation will encourage the deceased to also have sincere Niànfó.

[07] No Monitor: There is no one ensuring other visitors not participating are not noisy with their chatting nearby, which might be louder than the chanting, thus distracting the support-chanters and the deceased. Some visitors might even come forth to ‘interrupt’ by offering incense, with its fumes making it difficult for the support-chanters to breath and chant properly.

[08] No Repetition: There are not enough repeated cycles of support-chanting during the wake, which is to waste precious time before cremation or burial, missing the point of the wake. There might also be many other mixed chants and rituals, that might confuse the deceased on what to do and expect.

[09] No Niànfójī: There is no Niànfójī (念佛机: Buddha recitation device) or other player being played continuously, before and after the support-chanting, to encourage the deceased to continue Niànfó practice, if Pure Land is not yet reached.

[10] No Post-Wake Support-Chanting: There are no cycles of support-chanting done after the wake, especially on the seven seventh days at home, in case the deceased has yet to reach Pure Land.

Solution: After noting the above, so as to prevent making such mistakes, it is advised to conduct support-chanting according to that listed at https://purelanders.com/wake.

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[2] Top Ten Obstacles When Guiding The Dying To Reach Pure Land
https://purelanders.com/2022/11/02/top-ten-obstacles-when-guiding-the-dying-to-reach-pure-land

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