Thursday evening, December 7, 1972

On Seven-day Revitalization

Venerable Master Hsuan Hua


Why do we recite for seven days? The blood and fluids in our bodies go through a complete cycle in seven days. On the first day, our blood and energy begin a process of change and renewal. That process continues through the second and third days, all the way up to the seventh day. At that point our blood and energy are completely revitalized, and that is conducive to enabling our great wisdom to unfold. Revitalizing means casting out the darkness. We no longer engage in deluded thinking, and so we can recite the Buddha’s name single-mindedly.

We may request, “Namo Amitabha, please come rub the crown of my head.” Or maybe we will see light, or flowers, or the Buddha’s fine hallmarks and characteristics. We may have any number of these greater or lesser responses. Although these can’t be counted as completely good states, nonetheless they indicate a certain degree of response in our recitation. Therefore, having become revitalized and full of new blood and energy, we no longer have false thinking, our great wisdom can unfold, and we can plant deep good roots, which are the seeds of bodhi.

It is extremely hard to get an opportunity to join a session for reciting the Buddha’s name. We have only one such session each year. The seventeenth day of the eleventh lunar month is AmitÁbha Buddha’s birthday. It is very fitting that we are holding the session right before Amitabha Buddha’s birthday. All the monasteries that I’ve been to in the past held sessions for reciting the Buddha’s name around the time of Amitabha Buddha’s birthday.

All of you, whether you are monastics or laypeople, should participate in this recitation session now that you have such an opportunity. Do not miss your chance. This is a  Bodhimandala for realizing Buddhahood. This is a chance for you to become a Buddha.

Timely Teachings, page 264.