Nichiren buddhist practice

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mansurhirbi87
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Nichiren buddhist practice

Post by mansurhirbi87 » Fri Mar 08, 2019 8:56 pm

Dear ones,

beside daimoku recitation, lotus sutra and gosho reading and study, what else do you consider important Nichiren buddhist practice ?


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Queequeg
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Re: Nichiren buddhist practice

Post by Queequeg » Fri Mar 08, 2019 11:12 pm

"accepts, upholds, reads, recites, and copies"
Lotus Sutra Ch. 17

And

"After I have passed into extinction, in the last five-hundred-year period you must spread it abroad widely throughout Jambudvipa and never allow it to be cut off, nor must you allow evil devils, the devils’ people, heavenly beings, dragons, yakshas, kumbhanda demons, or others to seize the advantage!"
Lotus Sutra Ch. 23

Practice for others... ie. propagation, causing the Saddharma to be heard.
At first only Nichiren chanted Namu-myoho-renge-kyo, but then two, three, and a hundred followed, chanting and teaching others. Propagation will unfold this way in the future as well. Does this not signify “emerging from the earth”?
Shohojissosho
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.
-Ayacana Sutta

mansurhirbi87
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Re: Nichiren buddhist practice

Post by mansurhirbi87 » Sat Mar 09, 2019 1:03 am

thank you, Q.

I would add that. but i'm wondering if there is more .


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如傑優婆塞
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Re: Nichiren buddhist practice

Post by 如傑優婆塞 » Sat Mar 09, 2019 1:09 am

Would 折伏 & 摂受 be regarded as part Nichiren practice?

mansurhirbi87
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Re: Nichiren buddhist practice

Post by mansurhirbi87 » Sat Mar 09, 2019 1:40 am

Translation, please

如傑優婆塞
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Re: Nichiren buddhist practice

Post by 如傑優婆塞 » Sat Mar 09, 2019 2:13 am


markatex
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Re: Nichiren buddhist practice

Post by markatex » Sat Mar 09, 2019 2:21 am

Shakubuku and shoju would fall under the practice of expounding the Lotus Sutra. They are methods for doing so.

narhwal90
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Re: Nichiren buddhist practice

Post by narhwal90 » Sat Mar 09, 2019 3:34 am

vipasanna and samatha meditation methods, to augment daimoku and recitation practice.

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Re: Nichiren buddhist practice

Post by Queequeg » Sat Mar 09, 2019 3:33 pm

As a daily religious practice, one should recite the daimoku, Namu-myoho-renge-kyo. Those persons who are able to do so should further recite a verse or a phrase of the Lotus Sutra. As a supplementary practice, if one wishes, one may offer praise for Shakyamuni Buddha, Many Treasures Buddha, or the Buddhas of the ten directions, for all the various bodhisattvas or the persons of the two vehicles, the heavenly beings, the dragon deities, or the eight kinds of nonhuman beings [who protect Buddhism]. Since we live in an age when there are many uninformed people, there is no need for believers to attempt at once to practice the meditation on the three thousand realms in a single moment of life, though if there are persons who wish to do so, they should learn how to practice this type of meditation and carry it out.

-On Reciting the Daimoku of the Lotus Sutra

To accept, uphold, read, recite, take delight in, and protect all the eight volumes and twenty-eight chapters of the Lotus Sutra is called the comprehensive practice. To accept, uphold, and protect the “Expedient Means” chapter and the “Life Span” chapter is called the abbreviated practice. And simply to chant one four-phrase verse or the daimoku, and to protect those who do so, is called the essential practice. Hence, among these three kinds of practice, comprehensive, abbreviated, and essential, the daimoku is defined as the essential practice.

-The Daimoku of the Lotus Sutra

As for the Lotus Sutra, one may recite the entire sutra of twenty-eight chapters in eight volumes every day; or one may recite only one volume, or one chapter, or one verse, or one phrase, or one word; or one may simply chant the daimoku, Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, only once a day, or chant it only once in the course of a lifetime; or hear someone else chant it only once in a lifetime and rejoice in the hearing, or rejoice in hearing the voice of someone else rejoice in the hearing, and so on in this manner to the fiftieth hearer. And if one were to be at the end, even if one’s faith were weak and one’s sense of rejoicing diluted like the frailty of a child of two or three, or the inability of a cow or horse to distinguish before from after, the blessings one would gain would be a hundred, thousand, ten thousand, million times greater than those gained by persons of keen faculties and superior wisdom who study other sutras, persons such as Shāriputra, Maudgalyāyana, Manjushrī, and Maitreya, who had committed to memory the entire texts of the various sutras…

First of all, when it comes to the Lotus Sutra, you should understand that, whether one recites all eight volumes, or only one volume, one chapter, one verse, one phrase, or simply the daimoku, or title, the blessings are the same. It is like the water of the great ocean, a single drop of which contains water from all the countless streams and rivers, or like the wish-granting jewel, which, though only a single jewel, can shower all kinds of treasures upon the wisher. And the same is true of a hundred, a thousand, ten thousand, or a million such drops of water or such jewels. A single character of the Lotus Sutra is like such a drop of water or such a jewel, and the hundred million characters are like a hundred million such drops or jewels…

But to return to your question. As I said before, though no chapter of the Lotus Sutra is negligible, among the entire twenty-eight chapters, the “Expedient Means” chapter and the “Life Span” chapter are particularly outstanding. The remaining chapters are all in a sense the branches and leaves of these two chapters. Therefore, for your regular recitation, I recommend that you practice reading the prose sections of the “Expedient Means” and “Life Span” chapters. In addition, it might be well if you wrote out separate copies of these sections. The remaining twenty-six chapters are like the shadow that follows one’s body or the value inherent in a jewel. If you recite the “Life Span” and “Expedient Means” chapters, then the remaining chapters will naturally be included even though you do not recite them. It is true that the “Medicine King” and “Devadatta” chapters deal specifically with women’s attainment of Buddhahood or rebirth in the pure land. But the “Devadatta” chapter is a branch and leaf of the “Expedient Means” chapter, and the “Medicine King” chapter is a branch and leaf of the “Expedient Means” and the “LifeSpan” chapters. Therefore, you should regularly recite these two chapters, the “Expedient Means” and “Life Span” chapters. As for the remaining chapters, you may turn to them from time to time when you have a moment of leisure.

-Expedient Means and Life Span Chapters

We speak of upholding the Lotus Sutra. But although there is only one sutra, the manner in which we uphold it may vary from one period to the next. There may be times when a person literally rends his flesh and offers it to his teacher, and in this way attains Buddhahood. Or at other times a person may offer his body as a couch to his teacher, or as so much firewood. At yet other times a person may bear the blows of sticks and staves for the sake of the sutra, or may practice religious austerities or observe various precepts. And there may be times when, even though a person does the things described above, he still does not attain Buddhahood. It depends upon the time and is not something fixed.

Therefore, the Great Teacher T’ien-t’ai declared, “The method chosen should be that which accords with the time.” And the Great Teacher Chang-an said, “You should let your choices be fitting and never adhere solely to one or the other.”


-Letter to Horen
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.
-Ayacana Sutta

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Queequeg
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Re: Nichiren buddhist practice

Post by Queequeg » Tue Mar 12, 2019 4:10 pm

Narhwal brought up Samatha and Vipasyana practice...

Growing up I was advised things like, "In Mappo, silent meditation is not an appropriate practice." Worse, it was suggested that such practices would be harmful.

As a fellow on the path who has maybe walked down a little further than others, I am going to say something I wish I had heard someone tell me long ago:

Its OK to take up silent meditation practice. (Its also OK not to.)

That said, learn proper methods. Avoid the popular mindfulness stuff; its not Buddhism. At best, its neutered Buddhism. Its practice devoid of the Essential Teaching. Practice without the Essential Teaching, as Nichiren explained, is just a painful austerity. Life without the Essential Teaching is just a painful austerity. And this is the critical point:

The passages I quoted above emphasize the Essential Teaching. Whatever you do, so long as your primary practice is embrace of the Essential Teaching, you will not go wrong.

And if one were to be at the end, even if one’s faith were weak and one’s sense of rejoicing diluted like the frailty of a child of two or three, or the inability of a cow or horse to distinguish before from after, the blessings one would gain would be a hundred, thousand, ten thousand, million times greater than those gained by persons of keen faculties and superior wisdom who study other sutras, persons such as Shāriputra, Maudgalyāyana, Manjushrī, and Maitreya, who had committed to memory the entire texts of the various sutras…

Samatha which is the practice of stilling the mind is like flossing it. By bringing concatenating thoughts to an end, you clear the way for clear thinking. Vipasyana is the practice of clear observation. The object the clear observation is directed to can change, but followed through with the Essential Teaching as the guideline, every object inevitably leads to liberation, some faster than others. The Buddhist teachings are guides for that clear observation.

In the Lotus Sutra traditions, ichinen sanzen is taken as a definitive guideline, but so are the threefold inclusive truth, the mutual possession of the ten worlds, the thousand factors, the theoretical and essential teachings, etc.

The observation of the mind means to observe one’s own mind and to find the Ten Worlds within it. This is what is called observing the mind. For example, though we can see the six sense organs of other people, we cannot see our own. Only when we look into a clear mirror do we see, for the first time, that we are endowed with all six sense organs. Similarly, various sutras make reference here and there to the six paths and the four noble worlds [that constitute the Ten Worlds], but only in the clear mirror of the Lotus Sutra and of the Great Teacher T’ien-t’ai’s Great Concentration and Insight can one see one’s own Ten Worlds, hundred worlds and thousand factors, and three thousand realms in a single moment of life.
Kanjin no Honzon Sho (True Object of Devotion)

To be warned off of observing your mind because its an outdated practice is bad advice. That's like someone telling you - "Don't try and learn how your digestive system works" when you're trying to eat a better diet. These practices are not some harmful activity - they're just application and refinement of the natural functions of your mind. Your mind functions anyway. This is just making effort to have your mind function better than just letting is run free and untamed.

The warning is, keep the Middle Path in mind. Falling exclusively into contemplation is unbalanced and harmful. Falling exclusively into study and theory is unbalanced and harmful. Falling exclusively into action in the world of conditions is unbalanced and harmful.

Practice for oneself, and practice for others. Study, but also meditate. Study and meditate, but also take action in the world, engaging with and for the sake of others.

I don't often come out and offer direct advice like this. I feel its important and necessary to counter some of the things that are said and passed on in various Nichiren traditions. This may mark me as a pariah and slanderer. Life is too short for me to take account of nonsense that is clearly wrong in light of what I've seen and experienced. Your mileage, however, may vary, and maybe something else is right, I'm wrong. I don't see how embrace of the Essential Teaching ever goes wrong, though.
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.
-Ayacana Sutta

narhwal90
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Re: Nichiren buddhist practice

Post by narhwal90 » Tue Mar 12, 2019 8:55 pm

Thanks for emphasizing that Q, for my part vipassana/samatha methods are absolutely in addition to daimoku, recitation and gosho/sutra study. Flossing is a great analogy. Using those techniques to establish a more spacious mind helps me chant as my primary practice with greater focus and appreciation. I get a lot of mileage from sitting with a nearby meditation group. They use chairs but have been meeting weekly for ~15-years in a church chapel. The group reads from a meditation book of episcopalian heritage but there is plenty to hear in it.

I've shared this sort of thing with other SGI folks in conversation, mostly they don't comment. I get the sense they're thinking that as long as I'm doing the normal SGI practice then other stuff isn't an issue.

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justsomeguy
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Re: Nichiren buddhist practice

Post by justsomeguy » Wed Mar 13, 2019 11:39 am

narhwal90 wrote:
Tue Mar 12, 2019 8:55 pm
Thanks for emphasizing that Q, for my part vipassana/samatha methods are absolutely in addition to daimoku, recitation and gosho/sutra study. Flossing is a great analogy. Using those techniques to establish a more spacious mind helps me chant as my primary practice with greater focus and appreciation. I get a lot of mileage from sitting with a nearby meditation group. They use chairs but have been meeting weekly for ~15-years in a church chapel. The group reads from a meditation book of episcopalian heritage but there is plenty to hear in it.

I've shared this sort of thing with other SGI folks in conversation, mostly they don't comment. I get the sense they're thinking that as long as I'm doing the normal SGI practice then other stuff isn't an issue.
I cannot speak for SGI, but Nichiren Shoshu isn't exactly encouraging of meditation practices. This always comes up in introductory meetings when people visiting from the outside bring up meditation (because everyone seems to think all Buddhists meditate). The priest makes it clear that we don't do meditation as a religious practice, but he doesn't come out and say to NOT do it at all, either. In fact, he has stated that he used to meditate as a means to clear the mind. Given the shared history, I'd guess that SGI isn't too encouraging of meditation, either.

Now the setting being a Christian church and given that you are reading from an Episcopalian meditation book, that's a bit problematic (at least from the NShoshu perspective), so I am surprised you haven't resistance for that.

narhwal90
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Re: Nichiren buddhist practice

Post by narhwal90 » Wed Mar 13, 2019 12:08 pm

I recall a similar attitude towards other meditation practices from the old NSA days, these days in SGI I think a moderated form of it persists. As far as meditating with the christians goes and listening to the reading they offer (John Maine in this case), there is a lot to agree with wrt handling the mind. Doesn't mean I'm adopting christian methods, but I do appreciate the perspective. The group suggests a christian mantra which I don't employ, but they are good company to meditate with. To your last point, what an SGI leader or an officiant of any other tradition thinks about my attendance and fraternity with such folks is entirely their business.

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