One of the frequent questions guests ask at our Introduction to Buddhism meetings is:
Is chanting the same as prayer?
At our What is Buddhism? Introduction meeting, our Chief Priest, Rev. Murata, often answers this question by explaining the differences between chanting Nam Myoho Renge Kyo, Buddhist prayers and meditation. This is an important question to understand as you begin your Buddhist practice. Hopefully, you can join us tomorrow, Saturday, May 10th, at 2:00 pm for our What is Buddhism? Introduction meeting and learn more about the proper way to chant, what are Buddhist prayers and what is meditation.
Fifty-ninth High Priest, Nichiko Shonin, stated the following on the practice of Shodai (chanting Nam Myoho Renge Kyo):*
“The Daimoku that we chant must be performed attentively and diligently. When chanting, we should not have trivial thoughts in our minds. The speed should not be too fast and our pronunciation should not be slurred. We must maintain a medium pitch and chant calmly, resolutely and steadily. There is no established number of Daimoku that we must chant. The amount depends on individual circumstances. . . . When we chant, the entire body should feel a tremendous surge of joy. We must persevere until we become totally one with the Gohonzon.”
*Reference: Nichiren Shoshu Basics of Practice, pages 18-19