Unimpeded Practice of Amitabha-recitation Despite Dementia
By Master Jingyu
Dear Lotus Friends, Namo Amituofo!
Elder Lin Yu is 90 years old this year. When he was in his 30s, his boss bullied him, and squeezed him out of the salary he was due. However, he dared not fight back, being burdened with the responsibility of providing for his family. The accumulated stress over the years led to mental illness, resulting in numerous hospitalizations and periods in nursing homes. After his condition stabilised, his devoted children taught him to recite the name of "Namo Amituofo." Even though he didn't fully grasp its meaning, he faithfully repeated it, much like a parrot.
In recent years, Elder Lin's advancing age brought about dementia and Parkinson's disease. He cannot remember much of his life and the world around him, to the point of even forgetting his children's names. His ability to lead a normal life has gone. Remarkably, despite his memory loss, the name of the Buddha "Namo Amituofo" remains clear in his mind. He recites it all day long, sometimes even loudly in his sleep.
On September 21st this year, when his wife Lin Shen Ai passed away, Elder Lin, despite his frail health, joined a group to recite Amituofo’s name for the deceased for 12 hours. His spirit and resilience is truly admirable.
These days, Elder Lin practises Amitabha-recitation at the Xinying Pure Land Association. Throughout each recitation session, he recites "Namo Amituofo single-mindedly." He refrains from any idle chatter. His intense concentration and devotion to reciting the Buddha’s name is inspiring and commendable. I have recorded a segment of Elder Lin's reciting to share with you all.
(Translated by the Pure Land School Translation Team;
edited by Householder Fojin)
- Recitation of Amitabha’s name, relying on his Fundamental Vow (the 18th)
- Rebirth of ordinary beings in the Pure Land’s Realm of Rewards
- Rebirth assured in the present lifetime
- Non-retrogression achieved in this lifetime
The 18th Vow of Amitabha Buddha
If, when I achieve Buddhahood, sentient beings of the ten directions who sincerely and joyfully entrust themselves to me, wish to be reborn in my land and recite my name, even ten times, should fail to be born there, may I not attain perfect enlightenment. Excepted are those who commit the five gravest transgressions or slander the correct Dharma.
Faith in, and acceptance of, Amitabha’s deliverance
Single-minded recitation of Amitabha’s name
Aspiration to rebirth in Amitabha’s Pure Land
Comprehensive deliverance of all sentient beings