Q006: During one of Master Lu’s radio programs, he mentioned that we can write the name and date of birth of our family member(s) on a piece of paper, and bring it to Guan Yin Tang to pray for our family member(s) so that they will soon believe in Buddhism. I want to give this a try. Can I do this at the altar at home? Do I need to lodge an application for this?
- It requires tremendous merits to have both partners cultivating together, or to have the entire family performing recitations and learning Buddhism. If you have already started your cultivation, you can gradually introduce your family members to the Guan Yin Citta Dharma Door. You can give your family members some of Master Lu’s books, and ask them to listen to the radio program if they understand Chinese. If your family members are not interested, you cannot force them. It is best to respect the karmic conditions and go with the karmic flow, rather than to go against it.
- You can recite the Heart Sutra (Hsin Ching) at least 7 times per day for each of your family members. Before you begin your recitation, you can say the following prayer, “May the Great Merciful and Great Compassionate Guan Yin Bodhisattva protect <your family member’s name>, help <family member> to gain wisdom, believe in Buddhism and start performing recitations.” You can continue doing this for as long as necessary.
- When you recite the Heart Sutra for your family members, it is best not to tell them to prevent their negative emotions from arising, as this can easily lead them to generate negative verbal karmas.
- If after 6 months, your family members still do not believe in Buddhism, you can lodge an application to Guan Yin Bodhisattva and state your prayer.
- Download the Application for Convincing Family Members from <www.GuanYinCitta.com> [See Appendix E: Application for Convincing Family Members]. Print the application form on an A4 sized, yellow piece of paper (note that this application should NOT be burnt).
- Use a black or blue pen to write the full name and date of birth (e.g. 2001/12/31) of your family member (according to the Gregorian calendar), and your full name.
- Every day during day time (the best time is 8AM), make oil lamp offerings, candle offerings and incense offerings at your home altar.
- Read out the text on the application form once, and then place the application form on the altar. If your altar has limited space, you can place the application form underneath the urn.
- Make full prostrations.
- Recite the Heart Sutra, generally 7 times or more.
- The above procedure for lodging the Application for Convincing Family Members can be performed once a day, every day.
- This is a very serious Dharma Service and it is best to be performed after you have recited the Heart Sutra for your family members for a long period of time (usually longer than one month). You should perform this without informing your family members to prevent their negative emotions from arising, as this can easily lead them to generate negative verbal karmas.
- Once the application has been successful, the application form can be put aside for 1 to 2 months. After this time, you can place the application form in an envelope and then discard it. Please note that the application form should NOT be burnt.
- If you do not have an altar at home, please refer to QA106, “Lodging the Application for Convincing Family Members without having an altar at home”.