The Daily Practice

Nichiren Buddhists use a chanting practice which was developed by Nichiren Daishonin, a 13th century Japanese Buddhist monk. The mantra-like name of the Lotus Sutra, Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, is repeated over and over. The repetition is called daimoku. In addition, twice a day there is a recitation of two parts of the Lotus Sutra. Both the chanting and the recitation of two parts of the Lotus Sutra are called gongyo and takes about 15 minutes twice a day.

The Gohonzon

A practitioner chants in front of a mandala called a Gohonzon. If you decide this path is for you, you can get a Gohonzon for your home. It is written in ancient Chinese and Sanskrit. Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, representing your Enlightened nature, is written down the middle and around it are all the internal life conditions you live everyday of your life. You are not praying to something outside of yourself. The Gohonzon acts as a mirror so that you may deeply reflect on your life.

You may be dealing with a major transition, or internal barriers to happiness such as depression or anxiety. You might have a problem in a relationship or a problem at work or a health problem. Any issue may be a barrier to happiness and so be an obstacle to overcome through this practice.

Many kinds of support are available as you work to make changes in your life. There are monthly meetings, called discussion meetings, where practitioners share experiences and learn about Buddhist philosophy. Practitioners support one another, chanting together and discussing issues related to the practice. There are lectures on Nichiren Daishonin’s  writings, and study meetings. The goal of every activity is the happiness of each practitioner.