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If you are familiar with chanting, then you can do chanting. If you are just a beginner or not familiar, you can just chant
“Namo Tassa Bhagavato Arahanto Samma Sambuddhasa” (Repeat 3 times)
(Translation: Homage to the Blessed One, the Worthy One, the Rightly Self-awakened One.)
If there is no time to meditate, it is alright to start from 5, 10 or 15 minutes.
If during meditation the mind starts to think a lot, do this:
Breathe in, pause for a while, then let the breath go out long and slow.
Keep doing this until the mind stop wandering. If the heart is experiencing hardship, slowly breathe out and let the unhappy things go out with the breath. Repeat this continuously until your heart feels comfortable and less burdened.
Recall past merits that you have done- for example donating to temples, volunteering, helping others, taking care of your parents and transfer these merits to your guardian devas, parents, kammic debtors, family, etc.
If you are experiencing some difficulties, for example in your job and how sure how to solve your problem, take 9 jossticks and face the North East direction. Invite the power of the Buddha to protect you (say out your full name and address) and enable you to be able to solve your problems. And may we be shown a clear path and enable what we do to be successful.
Make an aspiration that if our wish comes true, then we would meditate and do chanting as an act of gratitude. Please note that we should not be offering money or dana as the Buddha also observe Vinaya (precepts) and money should not be used as a ‘bargaining chip’. Instead, if we meditate and chant- and if we do that, it would enable us to meet with success.
When we make the sincere effort to meditate, our heart would gradually calm down. A calmed heart is radiant. Sometimes when we pass along places that gives us goosebumps, tell the beings that ‘I have not intentionally done anything wrong to disturb you. I wish to transfer the merits based on the good deeds that I have done in the past to you. I hope you will be well and happy’.
Whatever you do, have compassion and always transfer merits. Even if you are at a T junction, crossroads or places that people say has high accident rates, you need not be afraid. Always practice transferring merits and you will be safe and proctected.
When you have faith and do good, the merits would come and protect you. The Buddha taught us Dhamma- have faith and practice the teachings of the Buddha. Once the mind continuously have faith and respect in the Buddha, we not only get merits through this life but the life after.
When the time comes for us to die, our body will decompose. What follows us? Only our heart (citta). All the wisdom lies in our heart. At that time, recall our past merits and tell our heart that we want to go and pay respect to the Buddha. Our heart would then go to a higher plane of birth, and not down to unwholesome birth. We always need to take care of our heart to ensure it is in wholesome state as much as possible.
(excerpt from talk given on 26 June 2010 at Genting Buddhist Society)