• By Nhat Quan
               Eliminate accidents, increase blessings, and increase longevity, this phrase in the Buddhist chant:
    - Namo eliminates accidents, increases blessings, increases longevity, Medicine Buddha.
    Medicine Master means physician. Reciting the name of the Medicine Buddha will eliminate disasters and increase blessings and longevity. That is the great vow of the Medicine Buddha. Before becoming Medicine Buddha, he was also a sentient being like you, but because of his spirit of progress, he set a goal of practice, and in the end, he achieved enlightenment. Likewise, if you want to become a Buddha and practice, you also need to set goals to aim for. However, if it's too low, it won't go anywhere and will disappear over the years. But if the goal is too high, you won't reach it.
    Therefore, if you have to set a goal, you must always set a goal that is both within your reach and your ability on the path of spiritual practice. Most importantly, you must follow the example of the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas to see that they also set goals, not in one day or one lifetime, but over many lifetimes to be able to achieve them. Therefore, Buddhas are Buddhas who have become, and you are Buddhas who will become. Therefore, you should choose a Buddha as your goal to strive towards, then you will definitely be able to reach it.
    Thus, if you choose the Medicine Buddha as your goal to strive towards, you will begin to understand the behavior that is His work. Or you can choose Sakyamuni Buddha as an object closer to you, he is right in Saha and is also the symbol that you have worshiped and respected up to now.
    In almost all the Sutras you see the Buddhas of the ten directions praising Amitabha Buddha and also praising Shakyamuni Buddha. The Buddhas of the ten directions praise Amitabha Buddha for skillfully creating the means for people to practice, so in his land, there is the sound of streams flowing, birds singing, heavenly music crackling day and night, etc. All lead to the purpose is to remind people to always practice reciting Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha, and not doing evil. Shakyamuni Buddha also said that the lifespan of sentient beings in the Pure Land is long, ten lifetimes before Shakyamuni Buddha, and still exists today and will exist for a long time to come. On the contrary, Amitabha Buddha also praised Buddha Shakyamuni in the world of five impurities to become unsurpassed, righteous, and enlightened, and he also skillfully used means to guide sentient beings out of the Fire House of the Three Realms. This makes you see that the Buddhas of the ten directions often rejoice and praise each other to promote each other. Those of you who follow Buddha's footsteps must also practice the same, that is:
    - Whoever has good conduct, you all rejoice and praise...
    - Whoever does something good, you must happily praise...
    Jealousy and badmouthing each other is evil. In the eyes of practitioners, there are no bad people, but all monastics and lay practitioners are good. Buddhists who do not go out on Saturday or Sunday but return to the temple to practice and study are also good people doing good things.
    If you want to walk a good path, you must see the good deeds of others and praise the good things, don't see the bad things, because if you take bad things to heart, you will be bad and if you criticize others, you will be criticized back. In my experience, I've found that people who criticize often do what they criticize. So you have to see all the good things so that you can be happy and the more good you see, the more you have been on the path towards goodness, you have made a connection with Bodhi, and you have made a connection with Buddha and Bodhisattva. That way, you will not see human suffering, pain, or sorrow, but you will only see the Pure Land. Therefore, those who see you will also be freed from greed and selfishness and will follow you to live in the pure land. If you don't like them, they will also be upset with you, so you have unintentionally turned your pure land into a house of fire in the three worlds.
    All Buddhas become famous through practice. Just like Shakyamuni Buddha means omnipotent, that is the goal of his striving, he can do anything, and those who follow or oppose him can be saved, he knows everything so he has such a revered name.
    Shakyamuni Buddha also told us:       
    - The Medicine Master set the goal of striving to eliminate all disasters of sentient beings and achieved that goal, so he became the Eliminating Disasters, Increasing Blessings, Adding Longevity, Medicine Buddha, his name shows that, that goal.
    The goal of the Medicine Buddha is to eliminate karmic obstacles for sentient beings, so it is called eliminating disasters. But you don't understand this method of eliminating negative karma from the Medicine Buddha, so it is called the mantra to eliminate negative karma. You really don't understand, but you know this is the place of His practice. You recite this mantra to feel the power of the Medicine Buddha, so you feel a shock in your heart and a change occurs, all disasters are burned away. You can temporarily understand it as the heat from the essence of your mind. When you recite the mantra, it can burn away disasters. The situation is difficult and cannot be overcome, but by reciting the Medicine Buddha mantra with sincerity, believing in the supreme practice of Medicine Buddha, and relying on His power to dispel disasters and calm the mind, you are at peace and clear-headed, so the sutra is called:
    - The stars appear in your heart, causing the dark sky of your mind to disappear.
    If you chant the Medicine Master's mantra, but think this person is bad and that person is evil, then evil has taken hold in your heart, so the disaster not only does not go away but also befalls you.
    In addition, Shakyamuni Buddha said that the Medicine Buddha also achieved the goal of increasing blessings and longevity, that is, prolonging a person's life. If you want to prolong your life, along with feeling the blessings of the Medicine Buddha, you must also keep the eight precepts. If you do not keep it like that, the Medicine Buddha Sutra will not be effective, or the Medicine Buddha cannot bless you. The Astanga-samanvatgatopavasa is to practice the Eight Precepts.
    Practicing the eight precepts requires staying overnight for a full 24 hours. Nowadays, because conditions don't allow it, you can only practice from morning to afternoon. Currently, Buddhists come to Duoc Su Temple to practice meditation twice  a month, although they do not mention the eight precepts, they only impart and review the five precepts:
    - Do not kill living beings
    - No stealing                           
    - No adultery
    - Do not lie
    - Don't drink alcohol
    Although the remaining three precepts are not officially reminded, deep down you still keep them. The remaining three precepts are:
    - Don't eat at the wrong time
    - Do not wear gold and diamond bracelets
    - Don't lie on a nice high bed.
    When you practice one day and one night, you must keep the precepts truly pure. If you do not keep the eight precepts, you will not be able to seek increased blessings and longevity. Not only do you have to keep the eight precepts, but you also have to open alms stores for the poor and make offerings to monks. Give alms and offerings according to your conditions. If you follow the Dharma correctly, firstly all disasters will be gone, then your life will be prolonged, all difficulties and dangers will not come, your mind will be at peace and you will have a long life.
    When you first start changing your habits, your body is not used to it and cannot accept vegetarian food, so it tortures you. But everything depends on the habits you practice. Reality makes you think, why do elephants and cows eat grass and stay healthy? People also say:
    - As strong as a buffalo, or as strong as an elephant.
    You realize that you don't have to eat the flesh of living beings to be healthy, but you can eat anything as long as your body's habits accept it. Your illness or premature death is due to the karma of killing living beings. If you want to live a long and healthy life, the Buddha advises you to release living beings. But releasing animals also has two sides. Because you kill living beings, you should release living beings to change karma; But if you see an animal caught and about to die, saving it will also release life, but will increase blessings and longevity. Nowadays, Buddhists think that releasing living beings is a blessing. For example, an 80-year-old person orders 80 birds to release for blessings. This is completely wrong, because if you had not placed an order, those birds would not have been caught and they would have been locked up for a long time, hungry and exhausted, unable to fly when released, and become prey for cats. Releasing animals like that is not a blessing, there is also a sin, and praying to the Medicine Master will not cure the illness, but it will get worse. On the way, when you meet a person in distress or have been unjustly accused, you save them, or you meet an animal that is about to be killed. If you save it, you are releasing it, not ordering it to be released.
    Giving alms, helping poor people suffering from natural disasters, and hunger, helping them prolong their lives, Buddha will bless you to prolong your life. Giving alms must be in accordance with the dharma, then disasters will be eliminated and life will be prolonged.
    Medicine Buddha can eliminate accidents, increase blessings, and increase longevity, and his name is also accompanied by Lapis lazuli light. The light here is the light of the heart gem. Medicine Buddha's mind is like a lapis lazuli gem, which is completely pure and clear, so he sees people worth saving and helping.
    In the sutra, Shakyamuni Buddha taught:
    - If those who want to eliminate accidents, increase blessings and increase longevity, practice according to the Medicine Buddha method, they must practice for three months every year:
    - January, May and September
    In January, the beginning of the year, you should try to practice this month so that the Medicine Buddha will illuminate your mind into pure Lapis lazuli so that Buddha's wisdom can shine in. If you practice in January and keep the eight precepts, Buddha will illuminate your mind clearly, you can see February, March, and April. At the end of April, your lapis lazuli mind will dim, because three months of approaching society will give you the joys, sorrows, honor, and shame of life, so the Lapis lazuli gem in your heart is dimmed. Therefore, you must keep the eight precepts and practice one more month, which is May, then your heart will light up and you will see what June, July, and August are for. And in September, you practice again, then in October, November, and December you will behave without mistakes.
    If you practice like this, all year round you will be healthy, your blessings will increase, your longevity will increase, and you will have many children and grandchildren, making you worthy of the saying:
    - Good children and grandchildren will prosper forever.          
    In short, the Medicine Buddha method is a simple and practical method, because living in this world, no matter who you are, what profession you do, or what method you practice, you need to be healthy.
    If you want to practice the Medicine Buddha method, first and foremost:
    1- You must have the right knowledge and the right view. If you don't have the right knowledge and the right view, you will definitely stray into the path of evil, being led down the wrong path by friends who lack mindfulness.
    2- Once you have chosen the Medicine Master method, you must specialize, because:
    * The most specialized is the spirit.
    Dispersion is hindered.
    Specializes in eliminating desires and cravings. If you do not eliminate desires and cravings, no matter how long you practice, you will still not succeed. Therefore, this is very important.
    3- Must always cultivate virtue. When your virtues are full and your practice is complete, that's when you reap the rewards.
    4- In addition, you must also spread the spirit of the Medicine Master as a healthy and practical spirit for life and society so that everyone can practice together. Because propagating Buddha Dharma is the duty and responsibility of Buddhist disciples. Therefore, in every thought you must always propagate Buddha Dharma, and all actions and gestures are Dharma lectures for sentient beings to follow and practice.
    I hope that all Buddha's disciples light the lamp of their minds and see that things are worth doing so that merit can be born and their lives can be prolonged, without encountering disasters.
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