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潘佑笙 文 By Mark Y. S. Poon





(二)若生活工作特別繁忙,略無閒暇者,當於晨起盥漱之後,有佛向佛,無佛面西,正身合掌三拜,即念「南無阿彌陀佛」。盡一口氣為一念,念至十口氣,即念「願生西方淨土中,九品蓮花為父母;花開見佛悟無生,不退菩薩為伴侶。」四句偈,念畢又合掌三拜而退。晚上睡前,照行一次。行此儀規,每次時間,僅需兩分鐘。此名「十念法」,是古時大德慈雲懺主,為王臣政務繁劇、無暇修持者所立也,此法門坐立跪行,均無不可。 以上兩種日課儀規,為早晚必修正行,不可一日間斷,行時必須竭誠恭敬,方能感應道交也。 至於平時,一有時間,隨時可念,隨處可念。或出聲念、或默念。可作助行,亦有功德。但要切記:在不潔之處,如廁所、浴室,或躺臥床上時,只可以默念,出聲則不恭! 此外,如修三福,或持其他經咒,以作助行者,須念「南無阿彌陀佛」若千聲回向,方合淨業之宗旨。


善導大師云:「信願持名,求生净土,萬修萬人去。」此言不虚,有《淨土聖賢錄》及《古今往生傳》可作證明。 蕅益大師云:「信願行三,聲聲圓具。」所以多善根福德因緣,稱佛洪名,念念中除八十億劫生死重罪,是故今生成佛,應無疑惑。更有妙者,行人敬誠念佛,自然身心康健,智慧增長。人事兩順,甚至能使其家庭和樂。人人若能學佛,修此念佛法門,社會必得安寧,國家必能豐盛,世界可獲太平。




Reminder from last Issue: Important Points of Cultivation

III. The Method of Cultivation

Briefly described below are the steps involved in two daily ceremonies for proper practice:

A. After rising and washing up in the morning, light incense and, with palms together, make three bows to the Buddha. Those who do not have Buddha images and incense burners at home can bow toward the west. After bowing, sing the Incense Praise. For those who have not lit incense, this can be skipped. Then, recite in order: The Buddha Speaks of Amitabha Sutra; the Rebirth Mantra thrice; the Praise to Amitabha Buddha; and “Namo Amitabha Buddha," either three hundred, five hundred, or a thousand times. (This can be done either circumambulating the Buddha, standing, sitting, or kneeling.) After the recitation is finished, remain in place and recite “Namo Guanshiyin Bodhisattva," "Namo Great Strength Bodhisattva," and "Namo Great Pure Sea-like Assembly of Buddhas and Bodhisattvas," three times each, followed by the Vow to be Reborn in the West, the Three Refuges, and the Verse for Transferring Merit. Finally, make three bows to the Buddha and depart. Repeat this ceremony in the evening after dinner, before bedtime. The whole ceremony takes about an hour.

B. Those who are extra busy and have little spare time can just stand up straight, put their palms together, and make three bows to the Buddha, or towards the west if there is no Buddha image, after rising and washing up in the morning. Then, recite “Namo Amitabha Buddha." Recite it as many times as you can in one breath, and recite for ten breaths. Next, recite this verse: "We vow to be reborn in the Western Pure Land, with the nine grades of lotus flowers as parents. When the flowers open, we will see the Buddha and become enlightened to non-birth. We will have irreversible Bodhisattvas as our companions." Then, make three bows to the Buddha and depart. Perform this ceremony once again in the evening before bedtime. It takes only two minutes. This is called "The Dharma of Ten Recitations"; it was formulated by a virtuous monk of the past, the repentance host Master Ci Yun, for those busy royal officials who had no time to cultivate. This ceremony can be performed while sitting, standing or kneeling. There are no fixed rules.

The above two daily ceremonies are the proper practice which must be performed every morning and evening. When we practice this ceremony, we should bring forth the utmost sincerity and respect so that we can obtain a response.

As for other times, we should recite whenever and wherever we can. We can recite either silently or aloud. Such recitation will help our regular practice and also create merit and virtue. However, remember that when we are in impure places such as the toilet or shower, or lying on the bed, we can only recite in silence; otherwise, it would be disrespectful.

If we also do other types of cultivation to aid our practice, such as cultivating the three blessings or holding other Sutras or mantras, we must recite "Namo Amitabha Buddha" a certain number of times and transfer the merit and virtue, so as to accord with the principles of the Pure Land Dharma-door.

IV. Conclusion

Great Master Shan Dao said, "Out of ten thousand people who uphold the Buddha's name with faith and vows, seeking to be reborn in the Pure Land, ten thousand can obtain rebirth." This statement is by no means false; it is substantiated by Records of the Sages of the Pure Land Sect and Ancient and Contemporary Stories of Rebirth.

Great Master Ou Yi said, "With the three aspects of faith, vows, and practice, every recitation is full and replete." With abundant good roots, blessings, and causes and conditions, each recitation of the great name of the Buddha can eradicate eight billion eons of offenses created in birth and death. Thus, one should have no doubt that it is possible to become a Buddha in this very life. What is even more wonderful is that when a cultivator recites the Buddha's name with respect and sincerity, his mind and body will naturally be healthy and his wisdom will increase. He will get along well with people and handle matters smoothly, and his family will be harmonious. If all people could learn Buddhism and cultivate this Dharma-door of reciting the Buddha's name, the society would surely be calm and secure, the country would be prosperous, and the world would be at peace.

V. Afterword

This article was written after respectfully reading the works of contemporary monks of great virtue, bringing those works together, carefully selecting the principles, and simplifying the writing. It was written in the hope that learners of Buddhism will take a tiny bit of time from their busy schedule to understand the true meaning and supreme, inconceivable benefits of “studying Buddhism, reciting the Buddha's name, and becoming a Buddha in this life"; and further, that they will resolve with faith and joy to uphold this Dharma-door with proper mindfulness. Then, when they are in the world, they will surely benefit the society and the country; and in the future when they are reborn in the Pure Land, they will reverse the ship of compassion and return to extensively save living beings in the ten directions as well as their grieving relatives from past lives.

- To be continued


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