Many people believe in, pray to, and prostrate to the Buddha. However, a significant number of these people do not recognize the two earthly buddhas in their lives—their parents.

Why recognize your parents as the buddhas by your side? Your mother nurtured you with unconditional love and care; your father, being the family pillar, worked hard to provide security and necessities for the family. Parents’ love for their children infuses every facet of life; it’s called great compassion.

By being respectful, grateful and showing filial piety to your two buddhas, will your life become healthier, wealthier,easier, and more auspicious? Definitely! Grandmaster JinBodhi says that the way you treat your parents affects your own life and your descendants. We welcome you to chant sincerely alongside Grandmaster JinBodhi for your parents to be blessed, whether they are living or deceased. May they receive beautiful blessings!

【You will learn】

  • The benefits of chanting
  • The selflessness of parental love
  • How to chant for your parents

【Featured aphorisms】

  • The buddhas are everywhere; in fact, your parents are buddhas who have always been around, but you just haven’t appreciated or understood them.
  • Ignorance is the reason why we fail to recognize a Buddha standing before us.
  • No sense of gratitude is the first obstacle in self-cultivation.


Some people have learned different forms of chanting. How does chanting benefit us? In many ways. First is wisdom; second, prosperity; the third is energy. Whether it is health or wisdom, these benefits are the result of energy.

Without energy, our brain cannot function. A smart brain lacking energy is like a car lacking gasoline. You are alive because you have energy. Say, your car needs 90-octane gas. If I give you 20 octane, how would the car run? It would shake and tremble, and after a while, it would stop altogether. It couldn’t fully reach its potential. The car must have energy to be of use. It is the same for humans. With energy, wisdom arises; with that, prosperity ensues. Then this person will become truly outstanding. In a group, their various qualities set them apart from others.

People achieve Buddhadharma and wisdom at different times. Those who manage to attain them early are truly blessed. A dharma teacher told me that he had no inspiration. The fact you are here shows you have great spiritual inspiration and blessing. The sooner you learn the truth, the sooner you achieve liberation. Having obtained the 3 benefits, you will then become outstanding among all people. After you have studied with me for 3 months, you will find that when you interact with your old friends, their tastes seem coarse. You were like them before. Today, you have risen above; that is why you feel that way. The things they talk about and pursue are so base, disappointing and selfish. You are different now.

These 3 benefits are from my own experience. As for other benefits, let’s not talk about them for now. Some talk about abilities such as rising to the sky or entering the ground. Nobody has actually witnessed those who have risen to the sky. It isn’t as easy as watching a rocket. As for entering the ground, we see people entering cellars or being buried in the ground. Normal people don’t “enter” the ground. We will talk about metaphysics another time.

So, the aforementioned 3 benefits are the most precious things to obtain in life. We have a disciple named Fen. Many people know her. She lives in Canada. Something miraculous happened to her. At the 7-Day Chanting Retreat, she cried from beginning to end. During the sharing session, she told us she had received a lot from the retreat. “Chanting is really unimaginable!” she said. “Oh, really?” I said. “Tell us about your experience.”

She said her parents were challenging: They fought constantly, day in and day out for decades, from youth to old age. That was why she left Taiwan. She said, “I love Taiwan. I left only because of that. Starting in my teens, I looked for ways to leave them and lead an independent life.” Their daily fights made her feel that her head was going to explode. But during the chanting class, we taught a new understanding of our parents’ loving-kindness. I also gave a tip: When chanting, if you wish someone well or want to dedicate merits to someone, just think of that person. Think of that person while chanting and at the close of chanting.

As a result of this tip, a miracle arose. She said, “My parents stopped fighting for more than 10 days! ” It may not sound like a miracle to you, but her parents had always fought. Nothing else at the time prompted them to stop arguing. There were no guests or any other events. Her parents stopped fighting during her chanting retreat for more than 10 days. I don’t know if they resumed fighting or not after she left the retreat. She said her parents had never “ceased fire” for more than 2 days since getting married. It was indeed a miracle.

There was another disciple whose name I forget. Her mother, who lived far away in the U.S., had a chronic headache. She practiced here, thinking about her mom as she chanted. She was grateful to her mother, and wished she didn’t have a headache. It turned out her mother’s headache vanished. Months later, she wrote to us, saying her mother was still free of headaches. The benefits of chanting are too amazing to be fully described.

Who doesn’t have a mother? Who wasn’t birthed by their mother?

Please raise your hand. Then you were birthed by your father? No. Who has no father? Those whose fathers have passed don’t count. If you think you don’t have a father, please raise your hand.

The highest state of chanting helps us to achieve enlightenment and buddhahood. The most common state is the 3 benefits. What is the first? (Wisdom.) Wisdom. The second? (Prosperity.) Prosperity. The third? (Energy.) Energy. Then we understand what a buddha is. A buddha is a being of great wisdom. In addition to wisdom, what is the most important, the most indispensable quality? Great compassion. A buddha is an All-Compassionate being. Then where are the buddhas? In our heart! Is there another answer? Buddhas are everywhere! Is there a buddha in your life? Have we ever encountered a buddha in our life?

Many people don’t think so. But let me tell you today, everyone has met buddhas in the form of their parents. Think about it. Even before your mother gave birth to you, she had already begun to protect you and teach you. Ever since you were an embryo, all her heart, love and care have been for you. Do you agree?

I have found many parents do far more for their children than for themselves. I go to temples occasionally. Besides paying homage to the Buddha, I go to observe those who are prostrating to Buddha, chanting and asking for oracle readings. I have found most parents go to temples to pray for their children, not for themselves. However, few people pray for their parents; most pray for their children.

I used to live in Qinghai. Qinghai and Tibet are neighbors. They are both Buddhist areas. There was a very famous temple. I was outside, at the temple’s door. It was snowing heavily. The road was not like the paved roads we have here; rather, it was made of gravel mixed with soil. I saw a mother who looked older than 60. The front of her coat was all worn out. The filling was wool, not cotton. The front of the coat was worn through. The knees of her pants had big holes in them. Her knees bled as she prostrated on the ground around the temple. The father had prostrated so much that he could neither walk nor kneel, so he crawled.

I lived at the temple for many days. Every day I saw these 2 elderly people. When they rested, I went over to talk to them. I said, “What suffering has made you pray to Buddha with such devotion and sorrow? Your bodies are hurting. Do you know the danger?” The man said, “I want to do it even if I die from it.” Why? Very simple. Their daughter got married but could not conceive. They prostrated for such a small thing.

To anyone who is unrelated to them, this sounds like a small matter. To the parents, it was a big deal. The father said, “If my daughter can’t conceive, her in-laws will not be happy. Also, she hasn’t fulfilled her duty as a wife. I feel embarrassed, and my daughter will suffer.” Because he was Tibetan, he believed in causality. He said, “Maybe I did too many bad things in my past lives. I want to redeem myself. No matter how much it hurts and how hard it is, I must continue until the day I can’t do it anymore. I must make up for my sins to give my daughter a chance to bear a child. “

Later, I met their daughter. The daughter told me, “At first, I didn’t understand them. When they did too much, I even scolded them to stop them.” But later, the daughter joined them. She prostrated to thank her parents for their love. These were ordinary parents. Some said, “Oh, what a foolish thing to do! After you bow to Buddha, your daughter will get pregnant?” You never know.

They continued for a year. Their daughter didn’t live up to their hopes, bearing no child. During the 365 days, many tried to dissuade them from prostrating, as they were too tired to continue. But after a year, they were used to it and no longer afraid of doing it. 3 years later, their daughter finally got pregnant. In the fourth year, the fruit of their labor appeared. Their daughter gave birth to a beautiful buddha-like baby, awe-inspiring and dignified. A great ending. The story is short, but as a witness to all of it, I was very touched.

Many women here have taken care of babies. When the child was less than 6 months old, was a bottle of milk sufficient for a day? No! Especially in the old days, mothers breastfed their babies. Every day, a baby needs to be

fed every 2 hours. Babies digest faster than adults. Their appetites are big. They eat every 2 hours, and their diapers need changing all the time. As they don’t know how to use the bathroom, they rely on their parents’ loving care. From the time a baby is born, the mother won’t have a single night of good sleep. If your child is less than a year old, can you sleep uninterrupted till morning? I don’t believe so. If so, you wouldn’t know if your child was dragged by a cat. It would be dangerous.

So, being a mother is totally different from being a girl. Maternal, compassionate love and care have arisen. You give all your love to your baby. What about your father? Your father may not have taken care of and protected you like your mother, but he was the spiritual pillar of the family who worked in the outside world. Your mother could raise you at home, as your father worked and sacrificed a lot; even if he was exhausted, he continued with his work. Our parents have given us their blood, sweat and tears.

That is why I asked you just a moment ago: Who has no father, who has no mother? Who thinks that they actually have none? We have our parents’ love and care; they give us more than they give themselves. They would sacrifice their lives for us. They wouldn’t hesitate to shed blood for us.

A few days ago, I read a story: A father learned his adult daughter had liver disease. The doctor said it was best to have a liver transplant. The father said immediately, “Take mine! Can you check right away if it is a match?” But a month after the transplant, the father died. Grief-stricken, the daughter said at his deathbed, “Father, you did all that for me, now you are about to lose your life.” But her father was not sad, he was happy when he passed. Why? He said, “I did one last thing for my daughter.”

So, everyone has at least 2 buddhas: their parents! I can regard my parents as my past life, the present “I” is my present life, and tomorrow’s “I” will be my future life. Or we may say that our children are our future life. If we want to make everything in the present better, we should make up for our past life. It is causality. If you owe others from your past life, in this life you are surely a poor person. If you’re poor in this life, it is unlikely that you will become rich in your future life.

Then how to get rich? Accumulate prosperous merits which will manifest into concrete wealth in the future. If you want a better life in the present and in the future, firstly repay the debts from your past life, truly understand the buddhas in your life, and chant for them with utmost sincerity, OK? If you like, you can join me now.

Look at the Buddha’s image and think of your parents. Sometimes when thinking of your parents, you may not know which to start with. Start with your father. In this world, people always praise their mothers. I think this is a little unfair to fathers. Fatherly love, in my opinion, is not lesser than motherly love, absolutely not. I said both parents are the embodiment of Buddha. Thus, it is said that “Buddha is everywhere.” He is in our lives. But we haven’t cherished him or understood him. If there is no Buddha in your heart, even if the true Buddha were right before you, you wouldn’t believe in or cherish him, as you wouldn’t recognize him.

Thus, our first demonic obstacle is that we don’t know to be grateful. Everyone has stories about how fathers and mothers love their children. In your life, you must have the most authentic, unforgettable and joyful love between father and son, father and daughter. Countless such stories have happened, or are now happening in your life. So, let’s chant together most sincerely for our fathers.

Today, whether your father is alive or lives with you or not, we now think of him. We sincerely pray to Buddha to honor and pray for our fathers: “My father is your embodiment.” Though he has given us all his compassion and love, we have never expressed our sincerest love and devotion to him. After we get married, we often give all our love to our children, rarely to the older generation, our parents. So, today we learn for the first time to give the best blessing and prayer to our father. If he is alive, chant for his health, longevity and happiness. If he has already passed, let him live in the Pure Land with no pain, sorrow or worry.

Now, let’s start chanting. While chanting, you can sit or kneel, as it suits you. You decide the way you chant and the level of your voice.