When Already Old, What Should Be Done? 已年老,该如何?

[When] Already Old, What Should [Be Done]?


[As] your father’s age [is already] old, [he] should immediately [be with his] whole body put down, [to] wholeheartedly [be] mindful [of the] Buddha[‘s name (Āmítuófó: 阿弥陀佛), to] seek birth [in his] Western [Pure Land Of Ultimate Bliss (极乐世界)].


When reciting, [there] must [be], within [the] mind, reciting [that] must [be] clear, within [the] mouth, reciting [that] must [be] clear, within [the] ears, listening [that] must [be] clear. Even if not opening [the] mouth, [with the] mind within silently reciting, [there] also must [be with] word [to] word, line [to] line, listening [that] must [be] clear. With [the] mind together reciting, then having sound’s form. [With the] ears of oneself, listening [to the] sound of oneself within [the] mind, [that] is still loud [and] clear.


[If] able [to] constantly [be with] listening [that] must [be] clear, then [will the] mind return [to] one place, [with the] consciousness not [towards that] outside chasing. Thus [with the] eyes also not [at] others looking, [the] nose also not [at] others smelling, [and the] body also not lax, thus [is this] named ‘gathering all six roots.’

[Note: With the tongue root (舌根) not used for tasting anything, it is effectively ‘disabled’, thus also gathered with the other five roots above.]


Like this mindful [of the] Buddha, [with his] name as ‘pure mindfulness.’ With gathering of [the] mind with [the] Buddha’s name, then [even if with] mixed thoughts, although still yet [to be] completely without [them], however [with them] already lightened [and] reduced [by] very much.


If able [to] often [be with] ‘continuous succession’, then can [that] shallow attain wholeheartedness without [being] scattered, [that] deep then attain Samādhi [From] Mindfulness [Of] Buddha.


This [is] connected [to, in] ordinary days, enjoining [to] enable [the] essential meaning of [having the] focused mind [with] devotion. Every day constantly having [the] thought [of] going [to be] reborn, [with the] mind within not retaining one [other] matter.


[If] having those [which] should [be] handed over, immediately, in advance hand over them. [If] children [and] grandchildren have those [which] should [be] asked, immediately, in advance ask them. Waiting until approaching [life’s] end, then [with the] whole family reciting [the] Buddha[‘s name]. Without one matter [that] can [be] asked, also without one matter [to] hand over [then], everyone [should] together [with the] same voice recite [the] Buddha[‘s name].

Pure Land Tradition’s 13th Patriarch Great Master Yìnguāng
Reply Letter [To] Layperson Xià Shòuqí

Namo Amituofo : Translation and note by Shen Shi’an


Related Teachings:

The Great Buddha Crown’s Śūraṅgama Sūtra’s Section On Great Power Arrived Bodhisattva’s Perfect Penetration With Mindfulness Of Buddha

How To Have Thought Of Being Reborn In Pure Land?

Please be mindful of your speech, Amituofo!

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