Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Daily Practise (Gongyo and Daimoku)

Hello all and welcome back ! :)

Now about daily practise, there is a lot to tell about his, yet i feel like it should be plain and simple since there is no need to make things more complicated than they are.

One thing before starting that i feel is most important and that is Faith, genuine Faith!

This applies mostly to chanting the Odaimoku or Daimoku, which is the chanting of Namu Myoho Renge Kyo.

When summon up deep faith, one will be able to connect with the Buddha mind.
Not in the sense that we are buddha inside ( which is a different approach) but through chanting the Daimoku, we can connect with the Buddha mind and through this, there is no doubt we will gain the Supreme Enlightement as is mentioned many times in the Lotus Sutra.

First we open the ceremony ( if you will) with lighting a candle and burn some incense.
When done we chant Namu Myoho Renge Kyo 3 times ( as a token of appreciation)
We then usually start with reciting the 2 important portions of the Lotus Sutra, these parts are from chapter 2 and chapter 16 on the Lotus Sutra, now , i mention parts, since we do not recite the complete chapters, but instead we recite the most significant parts of those two chapters.

In Japanese the Hoben and Juryo chapters. ( these can be found in the blog i posted earlier.)

First we recite the two chapter parts, my advise is to take it slow, since focus is easier to maintain at a slow pace. Also it gives better attention to the right pronounciation of the text.

I'd like to point out that the last part of the Hobenpon is repeated 3 times, before moving to the Juryo chapter.

When are done reciting, we then move on to the chanting of the Daimoku, which is Namu Myoho Renge Kyo.

In chanting one places both palms of the hands together at chest height,fingertips pointing upwards, this is called the Gassho position.
We can chant for as long as we wish, set an amount of Daimoku counts, or set a time limit for chanting, any way will do, just remember, Faith is the most important thing when chanting!

If  one wishes to create some sort of altar, then this okay, we can place a Buddha Shakyamuni statue in the center, put an candle next to it and an incense burner on the other side.

Normally, if  one has a Gohonzon, we chant to that, we do however make sure that the nothing is placed before the Gohonzon so that we have a clear view on it.
Obviously, if we have a wallmounted Gohonzon it's okay to place a Buddha Statue underneath it, again, as long as the Gohonzon is not obstructed.

The daily practise can be as colorfull as one wishes, yet this is all up to your own preferences.

I hope i have helped you get a start in the daily practise, should you have any questions, then please feel free to send me a message and i will try to do my best to answer!




Saturday, January 4, 2014

Nichiren Shonin on the 14 Blasphemies (Slanders)

I was reading through Rev. Kubota's book, "The Tradition of Nichiren Doctrine" and came across something that a few people have asked me over the years and I didn't really have a good answer. People always talk about blaspheming (slandering) the Lotus's Nichiren Shonin's explanation of what blasphemy (slander) is..

"Nichiren Shonin taught Lord Matsuno about 14 types of blasphemers with the "Chapter of the Parable 3" as the proof text:

1. Haughtiness: being arrogant and self-important, looking down on others.
2. Laxity: being negligent in one's faith.
3. Egotism: not listening obediently to Nichiren Shonin's teachings but having a self-made faith.
4. Shallow Consciousness: superficial thinking.
5. Attachment to Desires: obsessive attachment to the Five Desires (for wealth, sex, food and drink, fame, and sleep)
6. Non-understanding: not trying to comprehend the Lord Buddha's Teachings.
7. Non-belief: not trying to believe the Buddha's Preaching in an humility.
8. Frowning: to despise the Hokke faith with knit brows and scornful look.
9. Doubts: holding doubts about the Hokke, the True Dharma.
10. Blasphemy: blaspheming (slandering) against the Hokke faith and practice.
11. Slighting the Good: slighting the Hokke faith and practice.
12. Hating the Good: hating the Hokke faith and practice.
13. Envy of the Good: envying the Hokke faith and practice.
14. Resentment of the Good: Resenting the Hokke faith and practice.

Since these Fourteen Types of Blasphemy are common to both laity and clergy, he says believers and seekers of the Dharma should beware."

With Sincere Gassho,


Kaimoku Sho - about evil monks and icchantikas

Lotus Sutra chapter 13 - Encouragement for Upholding This SutraWe beseech You not worry
We will expound this sutra
In the frightful world
After Your death,
Ignorannt people may speak
Ill of us and slanders us,
Or abuse us with swords or sticks.
We will endure all of them.
Monks in the evil worldand arrogant,
Cunning, crooked, flattering,
Boast themselves enlightened
While they are not.
Some monks will stay in a monastery,
Wearing robes, sitting quietly,
Claiming to be practicing the true way
Despising others staying among the people
Attached to profit making
They will preach the dharma for lay people
And will be revered by the people
As though they were arhats with Six Superhuman Powers
They will have evil thoughts
Always thinking of worldly matters,
Taking advantage of being in a monastery
They will be happy to find our faults.

Grandmaster Miao Lè explains this citation in the eight fascicle of his Commentary on the Words and Phrases of the Lotus Sutra.
        "This citation from the thirteenth chapter of the Lotus Sutra could be divided into three parts.
The first line (four phrases) refers to the evil people as a whole, that is, the so-called self-conceited lay people.
The next line refers to self-conceited monks while the following seven lines refers to those arrogant monks who consider themselves sages. Of the three, persecution by the first group of arrogant people is endurable. That of the second group is harder to endure, while that of the third group, self-styled sages, is most difficult to endure. The second and third groups are more cunning and less likely to reveal their faults."

Monk Chih-tu of Tung-ch'un states in his Commentary on the Lotus Sutra:
         "First, in the five lines starting with "ignorant people", in the chapter on the "Encouragement for Upholding This Sutra",the first line refers to those who commit three kinds of evil acts"- physical, verbal, and psychological acts- which are visible. The next line beginning with  "monks in the evil world"referss to self-conceited arrogant monks. Third, the three lines following "some monks will stay in a monastery"refer to the acts of evil monks representing those of all the wicked people."

From: Writings of Nichiren Shonin -  Volume 2
Kaimoku Sho chapter 14 - page 92

And so it happens, SGI , Nichiren Shoshu, Nichiren Shu, all seem to prefer money and followers over the True Teachings ...
Once power and influence gain the priority, the merits of the lotus sutra will be lost .
It is up to Thos Who Receive and Keep the Lotus Sutra, to truly and dilligently uphold This Sutra .
When all these schools keep this up, it will be no wonder that they will come tumbling down eventually, exposed as traitors of the Law.



Friday, January 3, 2014

How Should One Practise the True Teachings ?

And more important, what do we need and what do we have to do ?

The most important thing is to chant the Daimoku of the Lotus Sutra, According to Nichiren Shonin, the Daimoku is the very essence of te Lotus Sutra, thus , once we chant the Daimoku, all the Teachings of the Lotus Sutra and the wisdom of Shakyamuni will be therefor befall upon us.

We need no to fully understand the Lotus Sutra, since the daimoku encompasses the full range of the Lotus Sutra, and all that has been taught within this Sutra.

All we need is a firm belief that we can become Buddhas ourselves and we actually can tap into the Buddha wisdom, just by chanting the Daimoku.

The Buddha himself said in the Lotus Sutra:
"if a person rejoices upon even hearing one single phrase of this sutra and keeps it, this person can be assured of becoming a buddha in the future."
How much more when a person hears the core of the Lotus Sutra, Namu Myoho Renge Kyo ?

So, 2 things we really need to gain Buddha wisdom:
- Unconditional faith
- The chanting of the Daimoku.

Nothing more, nothing less.

My sincerest regards,


Namu Myoho Renge Kyo !