Are you in the position of putting everything else in life before your practice? We’re trained to do that in our culture. We are taught to plan and strategize and talk over things with our friends. When someone starts to chant they are taught to chant first when dealing with an issue before doing anything else. It’s called practicing the Strategy of the Lotus Sutra.
Why is it so Important to Chant First?
Bring out Deeper Wisdom
If you want your life to work well you want to bring the deeper wisdom and wider vision to bear on your activities made accessible to you when you chant. One member described it this way. If you are in the middle of the scrimmage on the football field, it is hard to see the direction of the action. But if you climb up into the bleachers, and look down on the action then you can see the direction the game is going. When you chant first you bring that deeper wisdom to bear on anything you are dealing with. “When the sun of wisdom arises in our lives, the correct path is illuminated.” Learning from the Gosho, p. 43
Life comes into Order
Chanting will bring your whole life into order. While chanting, important things you need to do and have forgotten will come to mind. So after you finish you are more purposeful and efficient, not wasting time.
You’ll Become Grounded
While chanting your life will calm, so that when you are finished you will feel grounded.
Your Life will Come into Rhythm
Consistency places your life into rhythm with the universe. To look at this in a practical way, it means you will make the invisible connections needed to accomplish your goals so that your life will work better. You’ll start being in the right place at the right time. Increase Your Life Energy
You will infuse your life with the vitality of increased life energy. This means you will have the necessary energy to grapple with your concerns. Raise Your Life Condition
You will be able to raise your life condition out of fears, anxieties and worries and into courage and purpose.
Get the Perfect Answer
People who chant about issues find that answers never thought of come to mind. These answers work better than anything they could think of on their own.
Simplify Your Life
Chanting first tends to simplify your life so you don’t feel so breathless. If you are feeling breathless you have probably taken on too much. Being able to simplify your life is a great benefit.
Come into Balance
If you put chanting first you are going to find that before long your life will work out
so there is plenty of time to chant, and time to do everything else too.
4 Steps to Establishing Consistency
This is the challenge of the first year or any time when you are establishing a new habit.
- Make a determination you are going to become consistent.
- Chant to be willing to be consistent.
- If you want to experience the benefits in your life, then resolve to chant right after you finish breakfast so you can lay a good foundation for the day before you get involved in the days’ activities. Then chant again, when you first come home from work. Doing it at such natural break times makes it easier to establish the habit. If you get involved in your daily activities before chanting, it’s unlikely you’ll remember to chant.
- Forgive yourself and get back on track if you slip. Establishing a new habit may result in some fits and starts.
When you do this, you’ll be able to really see what chanting does for your life. When you are inconsistent, it’s hard to see the benefit. If you want to see some real change in your life, try hard to be consistent until you see what happens in your life. It won’t take long