"You must believe AND understand the Tathagata’s words of sincerity and truth." Three times. The Boddhisattvas ironically respond by promising not to understand, but to take the Original Buddhas word on faith. And on that basis, Nichiren (I am assuming here), at times in his writings defended his disciples saying just because they don’t read and write the Lotus Sutra or maybe understand its meaning, the fact that they are chanting is enough to bring them the wisdom they need to live the Lotus Sutra.
However, the Kempon Hokke sect studies, reads directly from the Lotus Sutra and discusses it in terms of trying to understand it. It is through the dharma school headed by Rev. Tsuchiya and his lectures that has spurred the membership to find (or open) their copies of the Lotus Sutra and study Buddhism from the source of Buddhist teachings.
After so long in another sect busying myself with meetings and other distractions, I think now that somewhere along the line, I lowered my own expectations about what I really needed to know about Buddhism in general. One thing that I did know, was my practice, that is to say my chanting and recitation of gongyo was not very dignified and felt wrong to me for years, going after things, my head full of my own desires that I was to extinguish by showing proof of this practice thereby having to make all these desires come to fruition.
But, after being on my own and having only the writings of Nichiren to hang onto for six or seven years, I was able to clear a lot of old terminology and buzz words, misleading understandings of true Buddhism and read Nichiren’s teachings without some editor in my head telling me what was important and what to ignore.
For me it took that kind of redirecting my mind and interest in real Buddhism to recognize the Kempon Hokke Sect as a true and valuable source for living Nichiren’s teachings when I ran across it.
And now, after meeting and discussing some pretty heady concepts from the Lotus Sutra and other real issues of Buddhism with very a well read, (and out of my league) group of people, it feels like I am attending the Oxford school of Buddhism, and I’m so excited and enthusiastic to see what Reverend Tsuchiya gives us and then how it is received by this very studious group of people, myself included . It had never occurred to me to find a copy of the actual Lotus Sutra, (let alone the ‘correct’ translation . . . ) and being up for the challenge of discovering the truths of Nichiren's teachings. It is a privilege to be in front of my Gohonzon (with Eyes Open), chanting to hear the Dharma, acknowledge Shakyamuni as the Original Buddha and finally as I sit down to practice dignifying the true Ceremony, with relevant prayers and vows, and to know inside that I am practicing True Buddhism the way Nichiren taught with a true teacher and sincere fellow believers. I am happy and at ease.