Beginning Your Practice

The Daily Practice

There are three basics in applying Nichiren Buddhism to your daily life: faith, practice and study. They are the primary ingredients in the recipe for developing our innate enlightened condition, or Buddhahood. All three are essential. With this recipe, we will experience actual proof of our transformation in the forms of both conspicuous and inconspicuous benefit. The recipe is universal. These basics are the same in every country where this Buddhism is practiced.

Faith

In Buddhism, faith is based on experience. Nichiren Daishonin’s Buddhism emphasizes obtaining “actual proof” of the teaching’s power. Faith begins as an expectation or hope that something will happen. At the start of our journey, if we are willing to try the practice and anticipate some result, we will then develop our faith brick by brick as examples of actual proof accrue.

Practice

To develop faith, we must take action. We strengthen our wisdom and vital life force by actualizing our Buddhahood each day in a very concrete way. Practice in Nichiren Daishonin’s Buddhism consists of two parts: practice for ourselves and practice for others. Practice for ourselves is to chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo each morning and evening along with reciting Gongyo (two chapters of the Lotus Sutra). Practice for others consists of action based on compassion to help give others the means to make fundamental improvements in their lives.

Study

To gain confidence that this practice is valid, and to understand why your efforts will bring about a result, it is essential to study the tenets of this Buddhism. The basis of study comes from the founder himself, Nichiren Daishonin. More than 700 years ago, he instructed followers in the correct way to practice; and his writings, which have been preserved and translated into English, give us valuable insight into how this practice will benefit us today.

Resources for New Members

Encouragement for new members:

“When your determination changes, everything will begin to move in the direction you desire. The moment you resolve to be victorious, every nerve and fiber in your being will immediately orient itself toward your success. On the other hand, if you think, “This is never going to work out,” then at that instant every cell in your being will be deflated and give up the fight. Then everything really will move in the direction of failure.”
Daisaku Ikeda, Faith into Action, page 108

Resources for New Members

Want more information? Check out our Members’ Resources section!

Meetings and Activities

SGI members participate in various activities to develop a better understanding of the practice and to support other members in their practice. The SGl-USA has many different kinds of meetings that people can attend, ranging from introductory Buddhism meetings, discussion and study meetings to divisional meetings, World Peace Prayer meetings and specific interest groups. The function of these meetings is to enable members to deepen their understanding of the profound principles of life as taught by Nichiren Daishonin.

The pivotal meeting of SGI-USA is the neighborhood discussion meeting. It is at this gathering, usually monthly, where members and their guests come together to discuss a theme or topic relevant to everyone. It is the heart of the organization and key to the members growth.

To attend an introductory to Buddhism meeting, discussion meeting or any activity in your neighborhood please contact the community center closest to you. If you can’t find a community center, that doesn’t mean there aren’t members in your neighborhood! Please contact the center closest to you to find a discussion meeting near you. Click here to find a Community Center.

The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin

The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin are a compilation of letters and treatises written by Nichiren himself to his followers. He was persecuted throughout his life by the Japanese government and by religious leaders who considered his revolutionary teachings a threat to their continued authority. Nevertheless, the letters he wrote to his followers, often under the most dire conditions, illustrate that even in the midst of the greatest challenge, he was able to realize the great beauty of life and feel joy and compassion for others. These letters and treatises, more than 400 of which remain today, are collected in English as The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, vols. I and II, and are the primary study material for SGI members. Search The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin online: http://www.sgilibrary.org

ALL OF THE ABOVE COPIED FROM www,sgi-usa.org

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