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Every Body Cell Is Chanting ‘Amitofo’

“We will be chanting ‘A’ ‘Mi’ ‘To’ ‘Fo’ four syllables throughout the day with our mouth, our feet and our body. As well, every cell in our body will be chanting.”

Venerable Guo Xing’s opening remarks continued…

…Today we do not practice for the purpose of being reborn in the Pureland, but, for actualizing our intrinsic nature. Chinese Ch’an School teaches that Ch’an is in everyday activities. In every moment, chanting ‘A’ ‘Mi’ ‘To’ ‘Fo’ to replace our wandering thoughts is an effective tool for managing our emotions. Through mindfully chanting ‘A’ ‘Mi’ ‘To’ ‘Fo’ with every cell in our body, we can experience the Prajna Samadhi (perfect wisdom and compassion), and further actualize the eternal true mind. “You can chant ‘Maria’, if you are Catholic…. it will lead to the same effects.” the Venerable added.

The dharma instruments led the way into this One-Day Chanting Amitabha Chan Retreat. When we were still trying to synchronize the chanting of ‘A’ ‘Mi’ ‘To’ ‘Fo’ with our footsteps of right, left, right and left, the rhythm of dharma instruments had sped up. And, the body picked up the speed spontaneously, then turned into running with a hint of out-of-breath sensation that was manageable, just like the Venerable had described…

At lunch, the Venerable reminded us to continue silently chanting ‘A’ ‘Mi’ ‘To’ ‘Fo’ when we were picking up the food from our bowl, biting into the food, swallowing the food; one movement, one syllable, one bite, one syllable. These four syllables, ‘A’ ‘Mi’ ‘To’ ‘Fo’, were also in concert with our body movements during the work practice after lunch.

As the Venerable explained, while we were continuously, silently chanting ‘A’ ‘Mi’ ‘To’ ‘Fo’ four syllables, we can still clearly hear his teachings. Throughout the afternoon, the sound of chanting came in waves of silent and vocal forms, which permeated the Ch’an Hall and the body, through walking, running and sitting, weaved in with ‘A’ ‘Mi’ ‘To’ ‘Fo’.


The sun was still shining at 5 o’clock in the afternoon of August 5th when we left the Dharma Drum Mountain Vancouver Center. As well, every cell in our body was continuously chanting ‘A’ ‘Mi’ ‘To’ ‘Fo’….


Jen-ni Kuo
August 10, 2013



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