Introducing the practice of Daimoku to friends and relatives

ananda
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Introducing the practice of Daimoku to friends and relatives

Post by ananda » Wed Aug 17, 2011 4:43 am

Today me and a relative were doing some Yoga poses and I thought it would be nice to introduce them to the practice of chanting the Daimoku. So I explained to her that the purpose of chanting Daimoku is to tap into the hidden strength and potential hidden within ourselves. I used the analogy of a cluttered consciousness and a dusty mirror and how chanting Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo is like polishing that mirror clearing the consciousness. I suggested that she think of anything whatsoever that she might need or want and to paint a picture of that in her mind while chanting and after that brief explanation we chanted. So I introduced the Daimoku to her with the chanting being directed towards the desires which is a Soka Gakkai approach (I'm not a member of the Gakkai) that I find practical. I suggested that she try to find a Nichiren Buddhist group like Soka Gakkai, Nichiren Shu, or Nichiren Shoshu so that she could get more out of the practice. I didn't explain the concept of Buddha-Nature and I'm hoping that if she get's involved in an organization (Which I think she will) she'll be taught everything that she needs to know.

My question is if the manner in which I introduced her to the Daimoku appropriate if no then why not and how should I properly teach Daimoku practice ?

P.S I found a gosho by Nichiren titled 'Earthly Desires are Enlightenment which judging by the title should justify chanting for earthly desires
It can be found at this link: http://www.sgilibrary.org/view.php?page ... &q=desires" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

My apologies for any spelling errors
"Suffer what there is to suffer, enjoy what there is to enjoy. Regard both suffering and joy as facts of life, and continue chanting Namu-myoho-renge-kyo. no matter what happens. How could this be anything other than the boundless joy of the Law? Strengthen your power of faith more than ever." - Nichiren Daishonin

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Tatsuo
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Re: Introducing the practice of Daimoku to friends and relatives

Post by Tatsuo » Thu Aug 18, 2011 2:56 am

First of all I have to say I am not a regular practitioner of the daimoku, so I probably do not belong to the group of Buddhists you are addressing - but I think teaching a Buddhist practice like you did is very meritorious. Nevertheless I personally would not introduce people to Buddhist thought and practice unless they've asked me about it. Not because I think that conversion is a bad thing, but because I doubt the efficiency of trying to conversion. Normally people in the West do not know much about Buddhism and are not really interested in learning it - and not few people take only some aspects of Buddhism like meditation or Buddhist artwork, reinterpret it according to their religious background and have no intention of learning Buddhism properly. So unless people are really willing to learn Buddhism I would not talk much about my Buddhist background and practice. And I think, that this kind of interest cannot be aroused by approaching people and teaching them Buddhism - but it's great if that worked in your case :)

As for the second part of your question, I personally would only talk about those interpretations of the daimoku, which are either traditional or have their foundation in the Lotus Sutra. Is there a verse in the Lotus Sutra, that talks about the practice of daimoku to fulfill desires?

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Re: Introducing the practice of Daimoku to friends and relatives

Post by DGA » Thu Aug 18, 2011 3:37 pm

Tatsuo wrote: Is there a verse in the Lotus Sutra, that talks about the practice of daimoku to fulfill desires?
This is an excellent question.

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Re: Introducing the practice of Daimoku to friends and relatives

Post by Malcolm » Thu Aug 18, 2011 4:10 pm

Chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo during the physical union of man and woman is indeed what is called “earthly desires are enlightenment,” and “the sufferings of birth and death are nirvana.”

I wonder if this applies to chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo while watching porn.

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Re: Introducing the practice of Daimoku to friends and relatives

Post by Astus » Thu Aug 18, 2011 4:21 pm

Namdrol wrote:Chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo during the physical union of man and woman is indeed what is called “earthly desires are enlightenment,” and “the sufferings of birth and death are nirvana.”

I wonder if this applies to chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo while watching porn.
:popcorn:
1 Myriad dharmas are only mind.
Mind is unobtainable.
What is there to seek?

2 If the Buddha-Nature is seen,
there will be no seeing of a nature in any thing.

3 Neither cultivation nor seated meditation —
this is the pure Chan of Tathagata.

4 With sudden enlightenment to Tathagata Chan,
the six paramitas and myriad means
are complete within that essence.


1 Huangbo, T2012Ap381c1 2 Nirvana Sutra, T374p521b3; tr. Yamamoto 3 Mazu, X1321p3b23; tr. J. Jia 4 Yongjia, T2014p395c14; tr. from "The Sword of Wisdom"

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Tatsuo
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Re: Introducing the practice of Daimoku to friends and relatives

Post by Tatsuo » Sat Aug 20, 2011 4:35 am

Namdrol wrote:Chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo during the physical union of man and woman is indeed what is called “earthly desires are enlightenment,” and “the sufferings of birth and death are nirvana.”
I don't know if that is the answer to my question, but this quote is obviously not taken from the Lotus Sutra, as the daimoku (namu myoho renge kyo) is not explicitly mentioned in the text. From which text did you take the quote?

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Re: Introducing the practice of Daimoku to friends and relatives

Post by Malcolm » Sat Aug 20, 2011 5:08 am

Tatsuo wrote:
Namdrol wrote:Chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo during the physical union of man and woman is indeed what is called “earthly desires are enlightenment,” and “the sufferings of birth and death are nirvana.”
I don't know if that is the answer to my question, but this quote is obviously not taken from the Lotus Sutra, as the daimoku (namu myoho renge kyo) is not explicitly mentioned in the text. From which text did you take the quote?
http://www.sgilibrary.org/view.php?page ... &q=desires" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

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Re: Introducing the practice of Daimoku to friends and relatives

Post by ananda » Sun Aug 21, 2011 5:53 am

The link from Namdrol contains a letter written by Nichiren Daishonin the votary of the Lotus Sutra
"Suffer what there is to suffer, enjoy what there is to enjoy. Regard both suffering and joy as facts of life, and continue chanting Namu-myoho-renge-kyo. no matter what happens. How could this be anything other than the boundless joy of the Law? Strengthen your power of faith more than ever." - Nichiren Daishonin

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Re: Introducing the practice of Daimoku to friends and relatives

Post by Tatsuo » Tue Aug 23, 2011 2:34 pm

Nichiren himself always reminded his disciples to follow the law and not the person, therefore even as a follower of Nichiren it is not enough to read only texts written by Nichiren, but first and foremost one has to read the Lotus Sutra. And this is, what the Lotus Sutra has to say about desires:
"He* sees how all living creatures are scorched by [the fires of] birth, old age, disease, death, grief, and sorrow, and suffer various kinds of distress by reason of the five desires** and [the greed for] gain [...] As long as all these creatures have never escaped birth, old age, disease, death, grief, and suffering, [...] how can they understand the Buddha-wisdom?" (The Threefold Lotus Sutra, Chapter 3, p.88)
Desires are here characterized as an obstacle to achieve Buddhahood and as reason for suffering and for falling into the three lower realms.
I don't recall any pasage of the Lotus Sutra, that a) speaks affirmatively about desires and b) teaches practices (let alone the daimoku) to achieve desires (instead of bodhicitta or Buddhahood).
Can you quote the passage of the Lotus Sutra, that makes you believe, that the daimoku is a practice to achieve desires?


* the Buddha
** "(1) The desires of the five senses - sight, hearing, smell, taste, and touch; (2) the desires for wealth, sex, food, fame and sleep" (The Threefold Lotus Sutra, p. 374)

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Re: Introducing the practice of Daimoku to friends and relatives

Post by illarraza » Sun Mar 25, 2012 6:08 am

Namdrol wrote:
Tatsuo wrote:
Namdrol wrote:Chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo during the physical union of man and woman is indeed what is called “earthly desires are enlightenment,” and “the sufferings of birth and death are nirvana.”
I don't know if that is the answer to my question, but this quote is obviously not taken from the Lotus Sutra, as the daimoku (namu myoho renge kyo) is not explicitly mentioned in the text. From which text did you take the quote?
http://www.sgilibrary.org/view.php?page ... &q=desires" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Hello Venerable Namdrol. It has been a long time. "This Sutra" [Myoho renge kyo], for example, " 'This Sutra' is that which can save all the living" is mentioned 171 times, if my memory serves me correctly. The Lotus Sutra also states,

"Constellation King Flower! If a person who brings forth the resolve desiring to obtain anuttarasam yaksambodhi can burn off a finger or a toe as an offering to a Buddha stupa, his offering will surpass that of one who uses as offerings countries, cities, wives, and children or even the three thousand great thousand worlds with their mountains, forests, rivers, ponds, and precious objects.

"If, further, a person filled the three thousand great thousand world system with the seven treasures and offered it to the Buddha, to the great Bodhisattvas, Pratyekabuddhas, and Arhats, the merit and virtue that person would obtain would not be equal to that of one who receives and upholds even a single four-line verse of the Dharma Flower Sutra, for the latter's blessings are greater by far.

The fourfold verse is Namu[1] Myoho[2] Renge[3] Kyo[4]. Now my dear Namdrol, you are an emminent Bodhisattva but Nichiren Daishonin was the Supreme Votary of the Lotus Sutra. He too agrees that the formula for delivering all the living is Namu Myoho renge kyo. I suggest you take the Lotus Sutra's and Nichiren Daishonin's Excellent medicine and then you too will be saved [anuttara samyak sambodhi].

Illarraza

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Re: Introducing the practice of Daimoku to friends and relatives

Post by gohonzon » Mon May 27, 2019 7:43 am

Nichimoku Shonin, the third High Priest of Nichiren Shoshu met the Daishonin at age 14 to 15. He was practicing as a student in a Shingon Temple of Vajrayana Buddhism but was convinced by the argument of Nikko Shonin who eventually took him as a disciple, from Mount Izu to Mount Minobu where he served the Master for seven years and honed debate skills.

The Gohonzons he inscribed for people, 32 in total are well kept preserved, including one who had a very bad poison drum against the Lotus Sutra but was converted by the legend of the mother goddess Hariti (Kishimojin). He truly gave his life to propagate the Rissho Ankokuron to his last breath and remonstrated with the Emperor without restraint. He may have failed but his past Karma to accomplish this role is not yet finished and we memorialize his great endeavor during the Ushitora Gongyo as we wait the dawn of wide propagation, Kosen Rufu no matter how many rebirth is demanded by the Buddha of Compassionate Wisdom who is Nichiren Daishonin.

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Re: Introducing the practice of Daimoku to friends and relatives

Post by Minobu » Mon May 27, 2019 4:10 pm

gohonzon wrote:
Mon May 27, 2019 7:43 am
Kosen Rufu no matter how many rebirth is demanded by the Buddha of Compassionate Wisdom who is Nichiren Daishonin.
Two questions:

what do you mean by
no matter how many rebirth is demanded by
and

Let's make things clear for the new people who are being introduced to Buddhism, specifically Nichiren Shonin's teachings.

We now know the Gohonzon called the Dai Gohonzon was not inscribed by Nichiren Shonin and is a Nichiren ShoShu teaching.
As well as this concept of replacing Lord Sakyamuni as the Eternal Buddha with this concept of Nichiren Shonin being The Buddha inscribed on Gohonzon. This was a fundamental teaching started by an obscure sect hundreds of years after Nichiren Shonin's death.


my own 2 cents on the whole deal...somewhere some priest or priests thought these concepts were like coming from some enlightened thought process. I'm sure they meant well and gushed with fanatical belief in their enlightenment on the subject.

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Re: Introducing the practice of Daimoku to friends and relatives

Post by gohonzon » Tue May 28, 2019 11:26 pm

Please go back to reading the "Nichiren Shoshu - Basics of Practice" to refresh your old doctrines on Hokkeko teachings.

Or it may be apparent that you never learned them correctly on the first place so now you have no current understanding of my statement. :yinyang:

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Re: Introducing the practice of Daimoku to friends and relatives

Post by Minobu » Wed May 29, 2019 3:56 pm

gohonzon wrote:
Tue May 28, 2019 11:26 pm
Please go back to reading the "Nichiren Shoshu - Basics of Practice" to refresh your old doctrines on Hokkeko teachings.

Or it may be apparent that you never learned them correctly on the first place so now you have no current understanding of my statement. :yinyang:
So no answer,or discussion, just negate the poster tactic.

i cry fowl !
Please go back to reading the "Nichiren Shoshu - Basics of Practice" to refresh your old doctrines on Hokkeko teachings.
yes indeed old doctrines ...where did they come from ? why were they initiated ? Who came up with the dogmatic doctrines that only seem relevant and true to Nichiren shoshu and some of the ShoShu narrative still lingering in the SGI .

this is gone off topic and yet, to properly introduce the practice one needs to stick to what Nichiren Shonin taught . The man carried a Statue of Lord Sakyamuni Buddha in his sleeve after it was presented to him after showing up in a fishing net. Statues of Lord Sakyamuni are outlawed as well as any meditation He may of left.

The degradation of Lord Sakyamuni and the subsequent teachings that make like he was some transient Buddha...Gakki and ShoShu words...is not really going to bring a newcomer to the table with reality .

Once realized that The Gohonzon is basically all about Lord Sakyamuni Buddha and His retinue of helpers one finds pleasure and peace in their daily lives practicing within the Mandala of Lord Sakyamuni Buddha.

Nichiren Shonin opened the gate to Lord Sakyamuni's Mandala for everyone to realize they are a" part" of "IT".

it's that simple...to take away and defile this is tantamount to what? I ask you.

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Re: Introducing the practice of Daimoku to friends and relatives

Post by gohonzon » Wed May 29, 2019 11:24 pm

You have a habit of going outside the topic and provoking Trollish reactions to which I make no interest to engage. My post did not include anything about the Dai Gohonzon of the High Sanctuary nor the Doctrine of Hombutsu, but you felt the need to Troll incessantly to justify your Nichiren Shu heretical beliefs.

Since you obviously need a refresher course in the old Hokkeko doctrines you used to practice but which you obviously never learned correctly, please take a moment and brush up in your obsession of interest through this complimentary link. Best of luck, :yinyang:

Nichiren Shoshu - BASICS OF PRACTICE - http://www.buddhistcentre.net/download ... ctice.pdf

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Re: Introducing the practice of Daimoku to friends and relatives

Post by Minobu » Thu May 30, 2019 4:19 pm

gohonzon wrote:
Wed May 29, 2019 11:24 pm
You have a habit of going outside the topic and provoking Trollish reactions to which I make no interest to engage. My post did not include anything about the Dai Gohonzon of the High Sanctuary nor the Doctrine of Hombutsu, but you felt the need to Troll incessantly to justify your Nichiren Shu heretical beliefs.

Since you obviously need a refresher course in the old Hokkeko doctrines you used to practice but which you obviously never learned correctly, please take a moment and brush up in your obsession of interest through this complimentary link. Best of luck, :yinyang:

Nichiren Shoshu - BASICS OF PRACTICE - http://www.buddhistcentre.net/download ... ctice.pdf
Look..in order to properly maintain the correct view i have endeavored to ask questions seek out the factual history and turned to the east , Did a gongyo facing the east instead of the Gohonzon and demand of the DaiGohonzon the truth...I have more than a close relationship with Gohonzon , "STUFF" that i would never say ....

so what happened...the split happened..less than a year after that moment...in my lifetime..after i prayed to know what was happening..

it just did not happen for me...it happened for everyone....a peak behind the curtain of power struggles...everything Nichiren shonin stood for...

is now available to any curious thinking person. the whole creation of the new sect ShoShu and the Daigohonzon and the attitudes of the sect, like yours, is a clue for others.....

And just for the record
but you felt the need to Troll incessantly to justify your Nichiren Shu heretical beliefs.

I'm not Shu yet, but they are the source..the original...Shoshu was developed well after Nichiren Shonin's establishment of this practice on this planet.

ShoShu stuff is based on divide and hold power...the creation of a super gohonzon and other things like The Buddha of Kuon Ganjo...All to set them apart and above everyone else and you end up with people thinking and with an attitude like you...

You too can eventually attain Buddhahood. I have faith that eventually your fortune will build and you shall see the truth or born into.

:group:

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Re: Introducing the practice of Daimoku to friends and relatives

Post by justsomeguy » Fri May 31, 2019 11:35 pm

The degradation of Lord Sakyamuni and the subsequent teachings that make like he was some transient Buddha...Gakki and ShoShu words...is not really going to bring a newcomer to the table with reality .
I will attest that this is a huge hurdle to overcome, and one that some simply will not overcome. The replacement of Shakyamuni with Nichiren as "The Buddha" is jarring. I'm Shoshu myself, and to be honest I'm still not 100% on how I feel about it. I don't stop practicing because of it of course, but the concept is a struggle nonetheless, as I'm simply not willing to suspend academic evaluation... not for anything, not even Buddhism.

I think it is important to understand that pounding dogma, whether it be the Honbutsu or Kuon Ganjo or whatever else, is not the way to cultivate faith in the Lotus. To the actual topic of this thread, introducing others to the Daimoku, I believe people who are receptive (or at least not hostile) deserve realistic, relatable explanations for the things we believe and do in our practice. For example, the Shoshu "Basics of Practice", while it deserves merit as an instruction book for someone taking up the path, simply doesn't meet the mark. It's even better if they observe first-hand positive changes in our lives and character as a result of our practice. Rational humans will relate more to experiences, either their own or those shared by their peers, than they will doctrines. Example, if someone asks me why I sit and chant at those Chinese characters scribbled on a scroll, I don't say something like "to fuse with the power of the Gohonzon" or something similarly nebulous; I'd tell them that doing so focuses the mind, much like meditation, on the meaning inscribed, which then begs the next question of what they mean. They're both the same, but the second obviously invites more curiosity and a deeper understanding.

Just as important as introducing others to the practice is the converse notion of not repelling others from the practice, the latter of which I think is, sadly, forgotten too often. I can only speak of my experience with the Hokkeko as I have no experience with any other Nichiren Buddhist group (never even involved with SGI). Here's what rational, curious and sincere people are not impressed by: charges of heresy (the "H" word is very weighty in the context of Western history), dogmatic proclamations without any explanation as to how the practice relates to and improves the human experience, being told to "don't worry, just chant about it" (yuck), and hostility toward other 'flavors' of Nichiren Buddhism. To the latter of these, I am not saying one should not be convinced that his or her way is correct, and it's even OK to think that other ways are incorrect, but we should recognize our common ground and use that for dialogue. I would expect any newcomer off the street, if she were to witness any of the conditions I just laid out, to turn right around and walk away, and with good reason.

Anyway, it's been a while since I have posted. Enjoy my $0.02, or even rip it to shreds. I love learning from you all. :)

~Bobby

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Re: Introducing the practice of Daimoku to friends and relatives

Post by Queequeg » Sat Jun 01, 2019 1:22 am

Bobby, I think ya done nailed it.
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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Re: Introducing the practice of Daimoku to friends and relatives

Post by narhwal90 » Sat Jun 01, 2019 2:55 am

Eloquently put Bobby, many thanks!

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Minobu
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Re: Introducing the practice of Daimoku to friends and relatives

Post by Minobu » Sat Jun 01, 2019 3:09 pm

justsomeguy wrote:
Fri May 31, 2019 11:35 pm
The degradation of Lord Sakyamuni and the subsequent teachings that make like he was some transient Buddha...Gakki and ShoShu words...is not really going to bring a newcomer to the table with reality .
as I'm simply not willing to suspend academic evaluation... not for anything, not even Buddhism.



~Bobby
This is exactly what Lord Buddha Sakyamuni the once prince of the Sakya tribe wanted of us.
Lord Buddha showed us through the theatre of his human life here with us what it is all about.

His words "Always question authority "

Like one of my favourite songs from an 80's group the Psychedelic Furs said in a line :
There's too many kings
Want to hold you down
It's actually quite the piece of music.




Yo BOBBEEEE !!! you Da Man.

your post gives me pleasure....real pleasure.

it's not 2 cents it's GOLDEN .

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