Performing Life Liberation accumulates tremendous virtues. Life Liberation takes three forms of dana (meaning “the practice of giving” in English), including the giving of materials, the giving of Dharma, and the giving of fearlessness – the virtues accumulated are immeasurable. The greatest benefit that we receive from performing Life Liberation is that our calamities will be dispersed and our lives will be extended. During major events when you are asking the Great Merciful and Great Compassionate Guan Yin Bodhisattva for protection and blessings, if you perform Life Liberation in addition to performing recitations, you would achieve better results.

1. The groups that particularly need to perform Life Liberation include: Buddhists, seniors and middle age people, elders with health problems, and people showing filial piety to their parents and grandparents. People in the following occupations should also perform Life Liberation: kitchen staff, chefs, surgeons, doctors who perform abortions, funeral and burial workers, pesticide and sanitation workers, animal farm butchers, crime detectors, forensic and medical examiners who perform post mortems, etc. People in these occupations should frequently perform Life Liberation to offset the karmic effects from their jobs. But it would be best to seek opportunities to change careers.

2. Time to perform Life Liberation: Any time during the four seasons throughout the year would be suitable. For people who would like to pray for longevity, it is best to perform Life Liberation on their birthday. Other significant dates include Chinese New Year’s Eve when people farewell the old and welcome the new, the 1st and 15th of the lunar month, and the Birthdays of Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, etc. You can also perform Life Liberation when you are experiencing Karmic Passes. Karmic Passes is the predetermined period of time which follows a karmic pattern that calamities are destined to occur. Typical Karmic Passes include before hospitalisation or major operations, after being diagnosed with severe illness, and after being involved in a car accident. To achieve the best results, it is best to go on a sunny day when the “Yang” energy is at its peak. Try your best to avoid performing Life Liberation at night time. But during day time on cloudy or rainy days, it would be alright.

3. It is best to release animals that are commonly eaten by humans, including fish, shrimp, prawns, crabs, and clams, etc. Other animals that tend to be killed or eaten by humans would also be suitable.

4. You should recite sutras and mantras when you perform Life Liberation. Performing Life Liberation helps us to eliminate calamities and extend life, and reciting sutras and mantras helps to protect us. For best results, it is suggested that you perform both. You can start reciting on your way to the releasing site. It is best to recite the Great Compassion Mantra (Ta Pei Chou). Before you recite, you should state your full name: “May the Great Merciful and Great Compassionate Guan Yin Bodhisattva protect and bless me, <your full name>, help me to eliminate calamities and extend life. I will continue to cultivate and perform virtuous deeds.” Then you can recite the Great Compassion Mantra (Ta Pei Chou). The greater the number of times you recite, the better the effects you would experience. If you are releasing on behalf of someone else, you can say, “May the Great Merciful and Great Compassionate Guan Yin Bodhisattva protect and bless <full name>, help <full name> to eliminate calamities and extend life.”

5. Once you have arrived at the releasing site, you can face the sky and say the following three times, ”Sincerely invite the Great Merciful and Great Compassionate Guan Yin Bodhisattva”. Then you can recite the Great Compassion Mantra (Ta Pei Chou) and Heart Sutra (Hsin Ching) 3 or 7 times each. Just before you release the fish into the water, you can say the prayer once again, “May the Great Merciful and Great Compassionate Guan Yin Bodhisattva protect and bless <full name>, help <full name> to eliminate calamities and extend life. <Full name> is releasing <amount or total weight> of <fish, shrimp, or other aquatic creatures being released>.” While you perform Life Liberation, you can recite the Great Compassion Mantra (Ta Pei Chou), Heart Sutra (Hsin Ching), and Amitabha Pure Land Rebirth Mantra (Wang Sheng Chou) many times, and it would be better to recite more if possible. Be gentle when you release the fish into the water to minimise the potential harm.

6. If any of the aquatic creatures die during the Life Liberation, you need to recite the Amitabha Pure Land Rebirth Mantra (Wang Sheng Chou) to transfer merits to them. Generally, you need to recite 3 times for every shrimp or prawn, 7 times for every crab, and 7 times for every fish that died.

7. It is best to use your own money to purchase the animals or aquatic creatures to be released. If you are releasing on behalf of your family members or friends, it is also best to use their money to make the purchase. Before you use your own money to perform Life Liberation on behalf of your family members or friends, you should say the following prayer to Guan Yin Bodhisattva, “May the Great Merciful and Great Compassionate Guan Yin Bodhisattva forgive me, <your full name>, I am now using my money to perform Life Liberation for <full name of the family member or friend>.” Another method would be: before you perform the Life Liberation, you can say the following prayer, “I, <your full name>, will give <amount of money> to <full name of the family member or friend>. Please regard the money as their own.”

8. If your family members or friends do not believe in Buddhism, or are even opposed to you learning Buddhism, then the effects of performing Life Liberation on their behalf would be reduced. However, performing Life Liberation for them would be better than not performing it at all.

9. If you are performing Life Liberation on behalf of someone else, then once you have arrived at the releasing site, you should not mention your name again. If you frequently state your name, or think about your name in your mind, then a portion of the virtues from performing the Life Liberation would be allocated to you. You should only say the following, “<full name of the family member or friend> has contributed <amount of money>, to purchase <amount or total weight> of <fish, shrimp, or other aquatic creatures being released>. May the Great Merciful and Great Compassionate Guan Yin Bodhisattva protect and bless <full name of the family member or friend>… (followed by the rest of the prayer).”

10. After you have performed Life Liberation on behalf of your family members or friends, it would be best if you could let them know the amount of fish that you have released for them. However, if they are completely opposed to the practice of performing Life Liberation, it would be best not to mention anything to them at all. This is to prevent them from generating negative verbal karmas.