[22] Top Ten Pointers On Skilful Use Of Buddha Recitation Devices 十大善巧运用念佛机的指示

[22] Top Ten Pointers On Skilful Use Of Buddha Recitation Devices

[01] Kinds: There are many kinds of Buddha recitation devices, such as handphones, tablets, computers (e.g. using, speakers running by batteries and powered by wall sockets. Each has advantages and disadvantages.

Those running by batteries are more flexible for use but need changing of batteries, thus needing to look out for when they run out of power, with extra batteries on standby.

Those powered by sockets are less flexible but need no changing of batteries. However, the nearest socket might be too far for playing without ‘disturbing’ others uncomfortable with it. If there is power outage, they will not work too.

Thus, it is good to standby both kinds for different situations.

[02] Selection:

[i] Tune: The tune of ‘Āmítuófó’ (阿弥陀佛) chosen should be with four-words and four-tones (四字四音): This is to ensure it is brief, not too complex in pacing and tune, and is easy to recite, for both patients and support-chanters (助念者). If it is too long and complex, it will be difficult or even impossible.

[ii] Speed: With the pacing as above used, it will not be too fast or slow for most people in all conditions. If it is too fast, there will be inability to keep up, possibly leading to panic and frustration. If it is too slow, it can possibly lead to impatience and stray thoughts seeping in between.

For those dying short of breath, who are gasping for air, it is difficult to chant with long gaps between words, while possible to chant in shorter bursts. They should be encouraged to listen sincerely to conserve energy too.

[iii] Volume: The volume should be loud enough for the intended person to hear, but not too loud, which might prevent natural resting by the patient when needed, or be uncomfortable for non-Buddhists nearby, who might feel disturbed and complain. The volume should not be too soft to be unnoticeable and ignored too.

[iv] Hearing Devices: There should not be use of earphones, headphones, earbuds or bone conduction headphones as the volume is difficult to control for comfort due to increased sensitivity when entering deeper into the dying phase. Earaches can also be caused when worn for too long, while patients might not be able to remove them.

[03] Personal Recitation: Even with the Buddha recitation device turned on, there should be ‘live’ support-chanting (助念) to guide patients to chant too – after offering guidance (开示: regularly, perhaps on the hour. It is with ‘live’ chanting, that there is offering of motivation, along with creating of blessings and protection.

There should be clear explanation that although mindfulness of Buddha can lead to some healing, complete and lasting healing will be attained by reaching Pure Land. There should be sincere mindfulness to reach Pure Land, so as to not miss this. If pining for healing, not only might it not be attained here, Pure Land might not be reached too.

[04] Reminders: There has to be a brief reminder to the patient when support-chanters are going away on breaks, to continue practising mindfulness of Buddha when they are away, by following the Buddha recitation device.

[05] Instruction To Others: Inform medical personnel, caregivers and family members to never turn off the Buddha recitation device. To lessen potential ‘disturbance’ of others at night, it can be turned to a lower volume and put nearer to the patient.

[06] Wake And Home: Keep the Buddha recitation device on at all times, at the wake and home of the deceased – to remind all to also be mindful of Āmítuófó sincerely. The Buddha recitation device can play the Amitābha Sūtra《阿弥陀经》at the wake when guiding with fuller support-chanting sessions too, in the format of

[07] Maximum Volume: A powerful Buddha recitation device should be turned on at maximum or near maximum volume on the way to the crematorium (or cemetery) and at the location to drown out potential crying that might distract the deceased, to remind the deceased and bereaved to continue chanting.

Before entering the furnace (or burial site), loudly offer the final short guidance (i.e. 念佛,见佛,跟佛。[Be mindful of the Buddha, till you see the Buddha, to follow the Buddha.]), followed by loud reciting of Āmítuófó’s name together all the way.

[08] Independence: Do not be overly reliant on Buddha recitation devices as they are external aids only. They should be regarded as bonus aids. They might not be available when needed. Only serving as reminders, they cannot recite on the behalf of patients and support-chanters, as they only provide a guiding track. Personal sincere recitation with Faith and Aspiration is essential for reaching Pure Land.

[09] Batteries: Buddha recitation devices with removable batteries should be removed when not to be used for some time, to prevent leakage. The devices should not be placed where it might become too hot or cold too, to prevent damage. They should be used or tested regularly in case they are needed during emergencies.

[10] Download And Share: Āmítuófó and Amitābha Sūtra tracks can be downloaded at for phones and speakers (via SD cards). These tips should be shared too, so as to prevent making mistakes, and to maximise benefits from proper use of Buddha recitation devices.

Related Articles:

Pure Land Teachings’ Top Ten Series

Please be mindful of your speech, Amituofo!

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

error: Alert: Content is protected !!