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念佛四十八法 11) 到处持名 Buddha recitation Can Be Practiced Anywhere
 
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11) 到处持名

Buddha recitation Can Be Practiced Anywhere

Whether you are in a clean or a dirty place, a quiet, out-of-the-way location or the marketplace, a place you like or a place you abhor, you need only engage in introspection and “return the light inward”, thinking thus: I have encountered situations like this countless times throughout numerous lifetimes, yet there is one thing I have not been able to do: it is to recite the Buddha’s name and achieve rebirth in the Pure Land. Therefore, even now I am still subject to the cycle of Birth and Death. By now I should not worry about where recitation takes place. I need only hold securely to this ‘m ind of Buddha Recitation’ – even if it costs my life. I must recite without interruption, one recitation after another without a single gap.

Why is this? It is because if there is a single interruption, all kinds of sundry thoughts

– good, bad or neutral – will arise. For this reason, even when in the bathroom, even in the process of giving birth, you should concentrate on reciting the Buddha’s name. The greater the hardship, the greater the suffering, the more you need to recite –just as an infant cries out for his mother, unafraid that she will become upset or angry…

不问净处秽处、闲处忙处、高兴处失意处,但自迥光返照,自思曰:此等境界我从久 远劫来,经历过百千万亿遭也,惟于念佛往生一事,未能办得了当,所以轮迥辗转, 不得出头。我今亦不他念,但誓此念佛心,至死也不断此念头,何以故?念佛的念头 一断,一切善恶无记种种杂念则又生也。虽至大小便时,女人生产时注一,只管念, 越苦越念,越痛越念,如儿呼母,那管母之嫌与不嫌,若怕他嫌我,便不呼唤,则小 儿之堕落坑厕者,只有一死而已,何日见母哉!

Commentary

Those who lack a deep understanding of the Dharma genera ly believe that to recite in dirty places such as bathrooms creates bad karma. However, this is not true in Pure Land Buddhism because the Buddha’s name should be ever present in our minds. If we interrupt our recitation when taking a meal, urinating, defecating, etc., sundry delusive thoughts will insert themselves between the recitations. If sundry thoughts arise, one after another without interruption, how can we avoid committing transgressions and revolving in the ocean of Birth and Death?

At present, most of us are not fully committed to uninterrupted Buddha Recitation and thus improper thoughts arise – countless afflictions, sufferings and hardships. We should therefore redouble our efforts to practice more and practice harder, always reciting the Buddha’s name – except when we are busy. Nothing worthwhile

happens naturally. Everything requires a great deal of work and effort before success is achieved. So many things in life will try our patience and make us grieve. To avoid them, there is nothing better than holding firmly to the Buddha’s name.

Buddha Amitabha is lik e a compassionate mother watching over her infant child. There is no mother who does not care for her children. Buddha Amitabha will never abandon sentient beings, nor will he ever be angry with them, otherwise, he could never have become a Buddha! It is the same for all Buddhas and Bodhisattvas; none lack mercy or compassion. I exhort all of you to engage in Buddha Recitation and not belittle this practice.


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