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Why We Face East: My Buddhist Practice

. . . even if the ebbing and flowing of the tides were to halt, or even if the sun were to rise in the west, the prayer of a votary of the Lotus Sutra would never fail to be answered . . . . Even if a votary of the Lotus Sutra is insincere, even if his wisdom is on the level of a fool, even if his body is impure and even if he does not possess virtue from keeping the precepts, if he chants Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo, [the Shoten Zenjin] will never fail to protect him.

written by Nichiren Daishonin, 13th century Japan

Our primary Buddhist practice is chanting Nam Myoho Renge Kyo (called Daimoku). Our supplementary practice is the recitation of the Hoben (2nd) and the Juryo (16th) chapters of the Lotus Sutra. We call it Gongyo. We perform five prayers in the morning and three prayers in the evening.

First Prayer: Facing East

In morning Gongyo, for the first prayer, we face east and offer our Daimoku (chanting) to the Shoten Zenjin. The innate protective functions and powers of the universe are called Shoten Zenjin. The Shoten Zenjin are nourished by Nam Myoho Renge Kyo and function through the power of Nam Myoho Renge Kyo. In the first prayer, we offer Daimoku to the Shoten Zenjin, with central focus on Dainittenno (the powers and function exhibited by the sun), and pray that their protective functions may thereby increase.

Visit Myosenji Temple – REGISTER TODAY

Sunday, June 16th, our Chief Priest, Rev Sakabe will share his Introductory lecture on the core Buddhist concept, the Ten Worlds.  You will also learn how those who chant Nam Myoho Renge Kyo are protected by the innate protective functions and powers of the universe (Shoten Zenjin).

  • Learn how to chant Nam Myoho Renge Kyo and properly use the Juzu Beads, Buddhist prayer beads.
  • Q&A with our Chief Priest.
  • The meeting starts at 2:00 pm and concludes around 3:15 pm. Open to the public.
  • 310 University Blvd West, Silver Spring, MD 20901 entrance on Brunett Ave

If you have decided to become a Buddhist or are interested in learning how to become a Buddhist, after Sunday’s meeting (about 3:30 pm) Rev Sakabe will be performing the Acceptance of the Precept Ceremony, the ceremony where you become a Buddhist.

Excerpted: Nichiren Shoshu Basics of Practice, Chapter 5.