Q: Master Lu, I made a resolution to help people become spiritually awakened by introducing Buddhism to them, but I have not been successful in my attempts. I also have headaches and become ill every time. Is it because my approach is inappropriate, or is it because I should not be doing this?
- There are several reasons for being unsuccessful when introducing Buddhism to others:
- Insufficient merits and virtues. If this is the case, then we need to enhance our daily recitations and eliminate karmic debts in order to spiritually awaken ourselves as well as others more effectively.
- The karmic obstacles of the other party may be too severe. This prevents them from attaining a clear understanding of themselves and realising their true nature.
- The karmic conditions of the other party are not yet fully mature. Everyone has Buddha nature, but for some, their karmic conditions have not yet ripened.
- The karmic connection between you and the other party may not be strong enough. This results in the other party not agreeing with what you say.
- When we introduce Buddhist teachings to others, we need to be mindful of our approach. If the other party still shows little interest after half an hour of interaction, then it is possible for the foreign spirits of that person to occupy us. In addition, if the other party creates karma of speech during the interaction, then we will also share some of the responsibilities.
- As a beginner with limited spiritual power, you can start by giving out Master Lu’s books or radio program recordings, and briefly describing Master Lu’s transcendental ability to help people become spiritually awakened. You can also refer them to Master Lu’s blog or website and encourage them to read about the inspirational experiences shared by other Buddhist friends who have recovered from various illnesses.
- Avoid having selfish thoughts when introducing Buddhist teachings to people. We need to bring forth our innate compassion to benefit and help people, so that there will be no outflows of our merits and virtues when we perform meritorious deeds.
- We should be sincere when promoting Buddhist teachings. We can share our own experiences of practising Buddhism, including the way our lives have changed after reciting Buddhist scriptures. Although our experiences may be limited, as long as we are sincere in sharing our stories, Buddhas and Bodhisattvas will give us their blessings, and we will then encounter more miraculous experiences ourselves.
- With limited power, we may experience some physical discomfort if the other party has severe karmic obstacles. It is because we are likely to attract the foreign spirits or the karmic obstacles of theirs. When we help others we often do so at a cost to ourselves. However, this form of sacrifice leads to great merits and virtues as small deeds add up. We will be rewarded in the end for accumulating merits and virtues in our lives. Nothing comes for free. Do not let the fear of hardships get the better of you and cause you to give up helping others.
- We also need to bear in mind that the physical discomfort that we experience may not be entirely due to the other party’s karmic obstacles. It could also be caused by our own karmic obstacles.
If we are unsure of the situation, we can do recitations of the Heart Sutra for ourselves first, as the recitation of the Heart Sutra provides immediate benefits. Avoid reciting the Great Compassion Mantra too many times, as it may create conflicts with foreign spirits. We should also recite the Eighty-Eight Buddhas Great Repentance, and Little Houses for our karmic creditors. Say the following prayer to Guan Yin Bodhisattva, “May the Greatly Merciful and Greatly Compassionate Guan Yin Bodhisattva protect and bless me, <your full name>. I will offer <number of> Little Houses to the karmic creditor of <your full name>. Other karmic obstacles and karmic debts will be shouldered and repaid by <full name of the other party>. May Guan Yin Bodhisattva grant me safety and good health.” Generally, we can offer 7 Little Houses to our karmic creditor.
- We can say the following prayer before we introduce Buddhism to others, “May the Greatly Merciful and Greatly Compassionate Guan Yin Bodhisattva protect and bless me, <your full name>. I will be introducing Guan Yin Citta Dharma Door to <full name of the person> today. May Guan Yin Bodhisattva grant me spiritual power and energy, so that their foreign spirits would not come to me. I will teach him/her how to practise Buddhism and recite Buddhist scriptures.”
- If we experience physical discomfort during or after the process, you can say the following prayer: “May the Greatly Merciful and Greatly Compassionate Guan Yin Bodhisattva protect and bless me, <your full name>, so that I can help <full name of the other party>. I am helping him/her become spiritually awakened, and I am performing meritorious deeds. May Guan Yin Bodhisattva have compassion on him/her, so that the karmic creditor of <full name of the other party> will allow him/her to awaken spiritually. <Full name of the other party> will pay the karmic debts he/she owed to the karmic creditor directly. May Guan Yin Bodhisattva have compassion.”
- The Buddha can only help those who have affinity with Him. The spiritual state of each person is different. Their level of cultivation from previous lives, and the quantity of karmic obstacles, also varies. Thus, if we are truly unable to do something or help someone for the time being, then it would be best to act in accordance with karmic conditions and let it be.