When chanting and a wandering thought arises...
Updated: Jul 6, 2021
When chanting "Amituofo" and a wandering thought arises, which remains in the front of your mind and which recedes to the back?
Initially, wandering thoughts will continually derail our chanting.
As our chanting becomes established, wandering thoughts will arise less often and retreat more quickly. As we chant with patience and diligence, wandering thoughts will cease, slowly. Since few of us have reached this last level, it will be helpful to determine at least if we are progressing.
As a wandering thought arises, observe which recedes. "Amituofo"? Or the wandering thought? Next, determine how soon we notice what just happened. A few seconds? A minute? Longer?
Thoughts, good ones or bad ones, seem to arise from nowhere.
One moment "Amituofo" is at the front of our mind, and the next, wandering thoughts can take over and "Amituofo" is gone. Identify what just happened, then quickly return to the safety and joy of "Amituofo".
— Our Daily Practice, Venerable Wuling