Sunday, June 23, 2013

Meeting Buddha Shakyamuni in our minds:

While we chant Daimoku in Kempon we at the same time do a meditation,

which is pretty cool. It's Shakyamuni Buddha teaching  the great assembly

at Eagle Peak. Here it is:

Meditation While in chanting Daimoku

As Nichiren shonin described in Gohonzon,

1.You place the Four-Quarter kings in the cardinal points to draw a boundary for protection against evil at first.

2.You send for guardian deities, Acala and Ragaraja that destroy evil spirits. Acala changes your anger to justice, Ragaraja change your love and hatred to mercy.

3.Many gods beat a heavenly-drum and heavenly-flowers are rained from the sky.

4.Nichiren shonin and Nichijyu shonin and so on sit in front of you. Then invite the Buddha Sakyamuni, the Buddha of Many Treasures and four bodhisattvas together with them. A lot of your colleagues sit down with you and chant Daimoku with you.

5.You hear the teachings from the Buddha Sakyamuni and receive the five character of Myoho renge kyo. 

And here is a photo of Mt. Grdhrakuta in India to give you

some inspiration!
Remember chanting Daimoku be conscious of the real existence of the 

Eternal Buddha Shakyamuni, listen to him and feel his encouragement.


  1. That would be an excellent meditation while chanting. Essentially, you'd be taking part in the Ceremony in the Air...fabulous!

  2. Are we to have "colleagues" on grdhakuta? The afterlife is organized as a corporation, too? Ugh.

    I'm teasing. But a better word might be "fellows" or something that invokes spiritual relations rather than occupational or professional relations.

    Where does Nichiren describe this meditation?

  3. A colleague could also be synonymous with "friend" as well. A "fellow" is also considered a colleague. Let's not get into a semantics war LOL

    Since the Gohonzon essentially depicts the Ceremony in the Air, it makes sense to meditate on being present during that ceremony while chanting O-Daimoku.

  4. I bet Chinese Buddhist would adore colleagues! lol..., you're very droll Queegueg & I like your teasing, keep going. Anyway I don't think a native English speaker made that translation and I'm on Kanji 24# 行 so give me 10 years or so to get there:)

  5. Takamori-san, I agree that it makes sense and I have performed this contemplation for years. However, I have been looking for any indication of what Nichiren counseled on contemplative practices, and have found very little. Certainly no instructions on what to contemplate while chanting. He offers a description of what is depicted on the Gohonzon, but does no go so far as to "visualize" it.

    Visualization contemplation is more closely associated with Tantra (Mikkyo) teachings, and all indications I read of Nichiren is that chanting is an exoteric practice. Even the passages from the Lotus Sutra that describe practitioners seeing the Buddha after his passing tend to read like exoteric practices, rather than visualizations. The Lotus Sutra seems to have been compiled before Tantra had been incorporated into Buddhist practice. It is interesting that Nichiren speculated that there were versions of the Lotus Sutra that included Tantric instructions.

    Anyway, I get the impression that Nichiren saw no need to teach such visualization contemplations because the ceremony in the air is depicted in two dimensional form right there on the Gohonzon. No need to visualize what appears on the mandala.

    The only question I am raising is: did Nichiren teach this visualization contemplation? I think the answer to that is "no".

    Also - and this is not a volley in a semantic war, its just that I am very particular about language - synonyms are not necessarily interchangeable words; they carry shades of meaning that can imply very different things. I'm going to guess you are a native Japanese speaker? That is a very subtle language - so subtle that a professor I know joked, Japanese all have telepathy. In the USA anyway, I have never heard of someone referring to a friend as a "colleague". That word just carries a connotation of business association. You're not wrong, and the word may have had a more general meaning at one point. However, in contemporary usage, its awkward when applied outside a work environment. "Fellow" is a word that is more commonly used to describe colleagues in a spiritual endeavor. :)

  6. I would say that you are correct...I don't recall Nichiren Shonin teaching that form of visualization. It's a means to an end, I suppose. By the way, I was trying out the name "Saigo Takamori"...I wanted to see how people use a "pen name" on these blogs. I will go back to using my regular, droll name LOL

    I meant no disrespect when I mentioned semantics, by the way.

    There are a lot of things that Nichiren Shonin never wrote about. For example, I don't recall him teaching that we need to have an altar or, if we do have one, how we adorn it. Nichiren Shonin taught to chant Odaimoku and to embrace the Gohonzon.

    I think for me, during Gongyo, visualizing being at that great assembly depicted on the Gohonzon brings me that much closer to the spirit of Nichiren Shonin and the Eternal Buddha.

    Just my two cents :)

  7. I did a little more research into this. If you read in the "Honzon Mondo Sho," Nichiren Shonin does make reference to a "Lotus Meditation" (Answer 3 of the Honzon Mondo Sho) which could be interpreted as something very similar to what Claudia posted.

  8. Hi Fred-san,

    Honzon Mondo Sho - That is interesting. The mention of the Lotus Meditation wherein Shakyamuni and Prabhutaratna are the honzon is dismissed, though. Instead, Nichiren explains that his honzon is the Daimoku itself and the precedent for this is the Lotus Meditation Repentance Ritual by Zhiyi. He goes so far as to say that the Daimoku is the honzon of Shakyamuni and Prabhutaratna and all the other Buddhas throughout the universe.

    Contrast with the description of the honzon in Kanjin no Honzon Sho, where the whole scene of the ceremony in the air is described as the honzon. Notwithstanding, Daimoku as honzon is consistent with the Hokke Daimoku Sho.

  9. Thank you, Queeqegg-san. You've brought out some very good points! I'm ashamed too say that ibhave not studied as much as I should. You've given me the incentive to do that! Thank you...

  10. Comrade would be a good word there. Fred, your profile says you are a "proud Catholic."

  11. Shows you how long my profile has been up here LOL I never changed that. Thank you for pointing that out to me...seriously! I never think to go back once I write these things...

    Not too many proud Catholics have a Gohonzon in their home...I had a blog here a long time ago and it's been down for quite some time. Thanks, Vanya!

  12. Fred, thank you for giving me the incentive, too. Vanya - comrade sounds too... red... LOL