Author Topic: Practicing Buddhism Results in Longer Life?  (Read 18495 times)

nagaseeker

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Practicing Buddhism Results in Longer Life?
« on: January 05, 2012, 04:34:55 PM »
A 112-year-old nun who is one of the two oldest currently living in Taiwan, proclaimed that her secret to a long life was simply to practice Buddhism. She is from the central area of Taiwan’s Nantou County.
Liu Ching-huan was brought to Taiwan from China’s Sichuan Province, where she was born, when the late President Chiang Kai-shek’s forces pushed her along with many others out of the province. In 1965 at a young age, she was ordained at a Buddhist temple in the county’s Puli Township.
She is currently taken care of by a nurse at a government-funded nursing home since August of 2010 and is in overall good health although she is in a wheelchair.
Liu’s caregiver said that just last month, Liu travelled on the Taiwan High Speed Railway to attend the Face of Changing Phase which is a photo exhibition that highlights Taiwan’s centenarians and the Republic of China centennial.
Liu who has devoted her life to the teachings of Buddhism still enjoys reading the religious classics related to the religion.
Liu told the Nantou Magistrate Lee Chao-ching that chanting “Nam Amitofo” is the secret to a long life. Chao-ching presented her with the centenarian cash gift plus a gold pendant with a peach-shaped “Shoutao.” This is a symbol commonly used to celebrate the birthdays of elders in the community.
Director general of the county’s government department of social affairs, Lin Jung-sen said that the other oldest living women is coincidentally also the same age as Liu and lives in Hulaien County in eastern Taiwan.
Currently in the Nantou County, there are 13 men and 29 women equalling a total of 42 centenarians. Majority of the living individual practice Buddhism and 14 of them will be celebrating their 100th birthday this year, Jung-sen said.

Galen

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Re: Practicing Buddhism Results in Longer Life?
« Reply #1 on: January 05, 2012, 04:58:54 PM »
It is good news that this practicing Buddhist has a long life and can talk about it. This will surely encourage more people who wants to live long to start practice. Chanting "Namo Amituofo" is really great as Chinese Mahayana Buddhist believes that by chanting Amithaba's name, we could aspire to go to his Pure Land in the Western World when death arrives. Pure Land is a place of ultimate bliss where you can cultivate easily towards your enlightenment.

Even if you do not practice everyday, it is believed that if you are able to recite "Namo Amituofo" (or Namo Amitabha) for 10 times before your death, then Amitabha himself will come and take you to his pure land.

Maybe for this lady, it is a form of meditation for her which leads her to longer life.

To me, practicing Buddhism will lead you to a better life. This is because as you practice, you are gaining merits and also purifying your bad karma. You can't change your karma of when to die, but you at least lessen your suffering at death. When the time comes, it comes. I have seen it with my own eyes!


nagaseeker

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Re: Practicing Buddhism Results in Longer Life?
« Reply #2 on: January 05, 2012, 05:12:55 PM »
yup galen , it is true that we can't change our karma when to die but at least lessen the suffering at death .Faith is very important as usual , theres no point for you to do the whole practice of 100 pages if you does'n have faith while recite Migtsema with faith in Lama Tsongkhapa give you protection , calm your mind , wealth....ect.. the power of the mantra is there,if we belief.

hope rainbow

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Re: Practicing Buddhism Results in Longer Life?
« Reply #3 on: January 06, 2012, 03:24:58 AM »
A 112-year-old nun who is one of the two oldest currently living in Taiwan, proclaimed that her secret to a long life was simply to practice Buddhism.

This is totally true.

However it must be understood in a larger-than-one-life context otherwise it will lead to disappointment, and one runs the risk of loosing faith in Buddhism for a wrong expectation applied to its practice.

bambi

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Re: Practicing Buddhism Results in Longer Life?
« Reply #4 on: January 06, 2012, 05:14:08 AM »
Practicing Dharma can help transform our mind to be better.  When we do certain practices with the mantras, it will help to heal our body and mind to practice more. I believe that if the motivation is good that our lives can also be prolonged to do more hence, yes, I believe that practicing Dharma can result in longer life.  But it is also depending on the weight of our karma...Don't forget, doing Dharma practices will also purify the negative karma that has yet to open up.

lightning

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Re: Practicing Buddhism Results in Longer Life?
« Reply #5 on: January 06, 2012, 11:32:48 AM »
Practicing Long Mantra of Ushnisha Vijaya (NAMGLYMA) will help to prolong life and clear negative karma.
If you try to chant it fluently for a few times, you will feel the tremendous amount of positive energry that it gives off. Best is to aquire oral transmission from your guru, if not you still can chant without tranmission too and you still feel the amount of strong energy the mantra gives off.


negra orquida

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Re: Practicing Buddhism Results in Longer Life?
« Reply #6 on: January 06, 2012, 03:31:25 PM »
I think there's definitely more to chanting mantras and practising Buddhism to prolong one's life... surely karma is also at play here.  However I would think that such proclamation is the 112 year old nun's way of promoting Buddhism and mantras.

Soeaking of mantras, here are 2 interesting articles on how chanting mantras work from the Hindu and Buddhist perspectives:

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A Mantra chanted correctly or incorrectly, knowingly or unknowingly, carefully or carelessly, is sure to bear the desired result for physical and mental well being. It is also believed by many that the glory of Mantra chanting cannot be established through reasoning and intellect. It can be experienced or realized only through devotion, faith and constant repetition of the Mantra.

http://hinduism.about.com/od/prayersmantras/a/mantrachanting.htm

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Mantra meditation existed at the time of the Buddha but was not practiced by Buddhists and was closely tied to the ancient, Brahminical Vedic religion in which sacrifices and prayers to the gods were considered to be a major spiritual practice. It wasn’t until many centuries after the Buddha, and with the arising of the Mahayana, that mantras became incorporated into Buddhist practice.

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Mantras can help us to develop mindfulness. The sound of the mantra is a mental object, and paying attention to the sound of the mantra can be a form of meditation, just as paying attention to the sensations of the breath is a meditation. By bringing the mind back over and over again to the mantra (getting away from the kind of multitasking where we’re “kind of” chanting the mantra while also thinking about work, relationships, and shopping) the mind can become more unified and less scattered. We become more attentive and present.

If we pay attention to the correct pronunciation of the mantra (and I encourage you to do that) then that becomes another way to be mindful — making sure that the lips, mouth, tongue, vocal cords, etc, are all working together in a very precise way. Being conscious of one’s posture and breathing can also feature here.

http://www.wildmind.org/mantras/method

I understand that when chanting mantras, one of the methods to gain benefits from it is to visualise the Buddha or deity whom the mantra relates to.  I find this rather difficult to do, the image is very fuzzy and pale... would love to hear from anyone on how to do this visualisation properly?

pgdharma

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Re: Practicing Buddhism Results in Longer Life?
« Reply #7 on: January 06, 2012, 03:59:47 PM »
Practicing the dharma will give us a better quality of life as we are able to purify our negative karma and gain merits. Yes it is true we can’t change our karma, but at least we are able to purify some of our negative karma before death catches up with us.  A life that is short but is used to serve and benefit others is better than a life that is long and wasting away in samsaric pleasures.

I rejoice for this 112 year old nun. She is a living example of how Buddhism has helped her have a long life.

dondrup

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Re: Practicing Buddhism Results in Longer Life?
« Reply #8 on: January 06, 2012, 05:18:35 PM »
Lord Buddha taught many methods to prolong our lives.  Animal Liberation is a method commonly practised to extend our lifespan.  When we practise giving medicine to the sick, giving of love and care to the elderly people, we can have healthy bodies and hence a longer life.  Pureland practitioners as mentioned by Galen can control their death & rebirth in the Western Pureland by accomplishing the perfect recitation of Buddha Amitabha.  Yidam practices of White Tara, Namgyalma, Amitayus & Tsongkhapa will extend our lifespan.   A practitioner can  control his death & rebirth to a Pureland if he had accomplished the highest yoga tantra practices of yidam like Vajrayogini, Yamantaka, Heruka and Guhyasamaja.  Accomplished Powa practitioners can eject their minds from their bodies any time to the Pureland of a Buddha.

It is not the length of lifespan that really matters.  It is the quality of our lives that we put to meaningful use e.g. benefiting others that matters. A person may have very short life but if that person had spent his entire short life benefiting others, he would have accumulated vast amount of merits for a better future next life.  Someone may live very long in a present life but had never done anything virtuous or meaningful does not generate sufficient merits to ensure good future life.

Our mind travels from one realm of existence to another realm of existence upon expiry of our lifespan. Our mind will continue to experience the ordinary process of death and rebirth over and over again until we gain total liberation from samsara.  In actuality our mind does not die.  Dying here means the ordinary death.  When we realize our mind cannot die, we should have no fear of dying.  We should be concerned and fearful of our ordinary death instead. If we hadn’t trained and prepared for our ordinary death, we may end up taking a bad rebirth into the 3 lower realms of existence.

To conclude, we strive to purify our karma, accumulate merits and transform our mind as fast as possible until our gain liberation and enlightenment.  We want to ensure we are in control of our ordinary death and rebirth along the journey to liberation and enlightenment.

valeriecheung

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Re: Practicing Buddhism Results in Longer Life?
« Reply #9 on: January 07, 2012, 04:54:31 PM »
This is very subjective due to individual karma. Buddha will guide you the best if chant his mantra for longer life so you may practise dharma ONE DAY.

I'm totally agreed if time has come you have no way can stop it ! It just can purify bad karma may future life less suffering.

Gypsy

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Re: Practicing Buddhism Results in Longer Life?
« Reply #10 on: January 07, 2012, 05:55:40 PM »
Personally i think this is quite true. As we understand karma, we know that when we practice dharma, we collect merits and purify negative karma. The more we practice the more we are benefitted, be it increase of merits or transform to a better person.

I believe the nun has done a lot of good deeds and the merits she collected in her previous life made her live long. On the other hand, i've heard of people actually says that they do not want to live that long in their prayers, so that they can take another rebirth to continue to serve dharma in another way. Perhaps this is an act of compassion?

hope rainbow

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Re: Practicing Buddhism Results in Longer Life?
« Reply #11 on: January 08, 2012, 04:36:38 AM »
I believe the nun has done a lot of good deeds and the merits she collected in her previous life made her live long. On the other hand, i've heard of people actually says that they do not want to live that long in their prayers, so that they can take another rebirth to continue to serve dharma in another way. Perhaps this is an act of compassion?

Dear HG, indeed, what is our motivation to practice Buddhism, is it to live long?
It can be a propelling motivation perhaps, but with proper practice, that motivation is meant to shift...

Then , when it really shifts to Bodhichitta, we have the tools to create the causes to live long, but we may prefer to live a shorter life because we've figured out that it would be more beneficial after all, or maybe a long life, whatever is most beneficial to OTHERS.

Mana

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Re: Practicing Buddhism Results in Longer Life?
« Reply #12 on: January 08, 2012, 10:08:44 PM »
Practicing Buddhism Results in Longer Life - not necessarily true.

I heard that for some phowa practice, it actually shortens one's life so that one can go to the pureland faster, only Vajrayogini's phowa practice does not shorten one's life when practising it.

So, Practicing Buddhism may actually shorten one's life! Of course long or short is not good or bad, it is really subjective, because if life in samsara is shortened so that we can go to pureland quicker, that is defenitely better.

But just to answer the question, the answer is "BOTH".

nagaseeker

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Re: Practicing Buddhism Results in Longer Life?
« Reply #13 on: January 09, 2012, 03:25:53 AM »
Practicing Buddhism Results in Longer Life - not necessarily true.

I heard that for some phowa practice, it actually shortens one's life so that one can go to the pureland faster, only Vajrayogini's phowa practice does not shorten one's life when practising it.

So, Practicing Buddhism may actually shorten one's life! Of course long or short is not good or bad, it is really subjective, because if life in samsara is shortened so that we can go to pureland quicker, that is defenitely better.

But just to answer the question, the answer is "BOTH".

Never think of that before , i guess it is because most of us though that having a long life is the best/meritorius result to get from practicing dharma ~ while actually shortens one's life so that one can go to the pureland faster is much much more benefit to ones ! thanks mana ~!

kris

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Re: Practicing Buddhism Results in Longer Life?
« Reply #14 on: January 09, 2012, 09:18:04 PM »
I strongly believe that those who REALLY practice Buddhism can result in longer life. I believe that if Buddha knows if we are doing virtuous deed and benefit others, then they will make our life longer if we request it. In the mean time, how long we live also depends on our karma.

However, "longer" does not necessary means "long". For example, let's say I am supposed to live until 25 years old, but since 10 years old, I come to know Dharma and REALLY practice and benefit others, Buddha may extend my live to, may be say, 30. It is "longer", but may still be short compared to people who lived to 80.

This is what I believe in... :)