As Nichiren Shoshu Buddhists, we chant to the Gohonzon with our eyes fully open. We try to focus on the character Myo, the third Chinese character from the top in the main inscription of Nam Myoho Renge Kyo down the center of the Gohonzon. A passage from in the Juki chapter of the Lotus Sutra reads:
Single-mindedly, with hands together in reverence, they respectfully gazed up at the World-Honored One, without lowering their eyes even for a moment.
Closing your eyes or looking around restlessly is not an appropriate Buddhist practice. Sixty-seventh High Priest Nikken Shonin stated in his guidance to members:
The most vital thing is to chant Daimoku* with the correct posture, reverently looking at the Gohonzon with your eyes wide open. If your eyes wander here and there, or your body is crooked, or your hold your hands in a slip-shod manner, that is proof that you are already losing the spirit of Buddhist practice.
Chanting is a powerful engine for building a happy life.
All of us live in the Ten Worlds. Throughout our day, we can go from one of them to another within a single life-moment. The Ten Worlds are: Hell, Hunger, Animality, Asura, Humanity, Rapture, Learning, Realization, Bodhisattva and Buddhahood. Chanting gives us the wisdom to make the right choices for a happy life.
Our Chief Priest, Rev. Murata, will be lecturing on the meaning of the Buddhist concept of the Ten Worlds this Sunday, August 17th, at 11:00 am. Please join us to learn how you and your daily life are impacted by the Ten Worlds and how you can become truly happy.
* Daimoku is chanting Nam Myoho Renge Kyo.
Reference: Nichiren Shoshu Basics of Practice, pages 12-13.