Special Topics

Q4: What can be done if someone is sick in bed for a very long time and feels hopeless about life?

A: Even when we are lying in bed at hospital and receiving care from medical professionals and family members, we can still help others. How can we help? By reciting the Buddha's name. There are so many people in the hospital, but how many of them know about reciting Buddha's name? Reciting the Buddha's name not only calms our own mind, but also serves as a spiritual practice of meritorious virtue. When you are bored lying in a bed with nothing to do, you can recite the Buddha's name more often. Before going to bed to sleep, join your palms together and dedicate the merit: "Amitabha Buddha of loving-kindness and compassion, now I am dedicating the merit of today's recitation to every bodhisattva practitioner in the hospital, wishing them a speedy recovery." By continuously generating good thoughts and wishing blessings for others, you are helping them in another way, even while being confined to bed. This shows that you can still help others. Having the ability to bless others is the greatest happiness.

The value of life does not lie in its length, but in its meaning. Life is limited, and human birth is hard to attain. As long as we are still breathing, each and every day of cultivation brings corresponding merits. Therefore, seize every moment and recite Amitabha Buddha's name whenever we have the time.


Extended Reading:

Taking illness as teacher and learning to live well with illness

Buddha's Teachings on Suffering from Illness

Practicing the Dharma While Ill

Q1: Why am I getting this illness?

Q2: I've been in and out of the hospital so many times. When will I recover?

Q3: Why do some infants get sick immediately after birth? How does Buddhism view this?

Q4: What can be done if someone is sick in bed for a very long time and feels hopeless about life?

Q5: I have recited the Buddha's name, practiced generosity, and performed good deeds, so why do I still get sick?

Q6: When a family member of mine is suffering from an illness, what can I do to alleviate his fear and pain?

Q7: If the body is in unbearable pain, isn't reciting Buddha's name an additional burden?

Q8: My health is deteriorating, and I feel like there is not much time left for me. How should I prepare myself for death?

Resource: Issue 380 of Life Magazine, Dharma Drum Publishing Corporation
Photos: Issue 380 of Life Magazine, Dharma Drum Publishing Corporation 
(Photos painted by 劉建志)
Translation: Olivia
Editing: Keith Brown,
Chia-cheng Chang (張家誠)