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Q&A 128. Performing recitations for people with dementia

Q: Dear Master Lu, one of my family members has been diagnosed with dementia, what sutras and mantras should we recite?

A:

  • Dementia is a physical illness caused by spirits and karmic obstacles. Generally, it cannot be completely cured by modern medical science. We must learn to use the Three Golden Buddhist Practices well to help those suffering from dementia. The Three Golden Buddhist Practices, namely performing recitations, performing life liberations, and making vows, are bestowed upon us by Guan Yin Bodhisattva.
  • It is recommended that you recite the following as part of your daily recitation for the family member with dementia: The Great Compassion Mantra 21 times, Heart Sutra 49 times, and the Eighty-Eight Buddhas Great Repentance 5 times.
  • Dementia is to a large extent related to the karma of killing (animals). If the patient or family members killed or ate too many freshly killed animals in the past, then they should include the Amitabha Pure Land Rebirth Mantra in their daily recitation. Recite this mantra 21 or 49 times per day.
  • It is best if you can recite and burn at least 3 Little Houses per week. Generally, for this type of illness, you can recite 49 Little Houses for the first batch, followed by 7 Little Houses for every subsequent batch until the patient has fully recovered.
  • Meanwhile, you should also make vows and perform life liberations.
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