Every day I chant Nam Myoho Renge Kyo and recite the Lotus Sutra. The best way to explain why I do this is with the words written by Nichiren Daishonin, the founder of Nichiren Shoshu Buddhism in 13th century Japan:
Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo is like the roar of a lion. What sickness can therefore be an obstacle? It is written that those who embrace the Daimoku [chanting] of the Lotus Sutra will be protected by Kishimojin and her ten daughters. They will enjoy the happiness of Aizen and the good fortune of Bishamon. Wherever your daughter may frolic or play, no harm will come to her; she will be free from fear like the lion king.
Engaging all my senses to singularly focus on the object of worship, called the Gohonzon, makes me feel I’m taking control, taking responsibility for my life. I feel empowered in a persistently peaceful way. It’s a good feeling.
Many of my work colleagues and friends have turned to meditation to calm their mind, to feel in control. With the exception of deep breathing in high stress moments, meditation as a Buddhist practice never worked for me.
I’ve always known that my mind, how I think, often exacerbates my troubles. Relying only on my own mind to solve my problems is not enough. That’s why chanting appeals to me. It lets me create new mental habits, like asking myself hard questions like “What do I need to do differently?” “How do I need to think differently?” Most importantly, it causes me to think about others in new and more compassionate ways.
Chanting with eyes wide open to the Gohonzon lets me acquire the wisdom of the Buddha. That’s where I feel real change happens in my life.
Start your Buddhist practice…
Start chanting 5-10 minutes in the morning and 5-10 minutes at night. Visit our Buddhist Temple for our Introductory Series and learn more.
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