35-Day Practice Outline; Introduction to the Lotus Sutra and beginning practice. This 35-Day guide presents an organized introduction to the study of the Lotus Sutra, the sutra revered by Nichiren Buddhists all over the world. Using this book along with a translation of the sutra the practitioner will gain an overview of the entire Lotus Sutra as well as a systematic approach to beginning to practice Nichiren Buddhism. This guide is not intended as an in depth study of the Lotus Sutra, but as a way to begin to establish a greater relationship with one of the most highly respected of the Buddha’s teachings. It is recommended that this serve as a companion book to your own Lotus Sutra translation book.
The practice of Buddhism isn’t so much about becoming someone different, as it is about becoming who we really are. We do not take on enlightenment from outside ourselves, but develop what we already have. We have the gem, we just need to take it out and use it, there is no need for us to continue our sufferings. Practice Guide
In Buddhism and especially as we chant Namu Myoho Renge Kyo we are engaging not in this manner of praying but from the perspective of praising the Lotus Sutra, of celebrating the truths contained within this teaching of the Buddha, and of rejoicing. Our praying is not about something coming into our lives or something being done for our lives, our praying is about the changes that take place in our lives because of our practice and our celebration of those changes.
Joy and gratitude are fundamental practices of Buddhism. We say Namu because we appreciate our lives, we appreciate our practice and relationship to the Lotus Sutra or Myoho Renge Kyo. Namu is an expression of our relationship to the Lotus Sutra. Namu is not a question, it is not a seeking for something outside our lives, Namu is an expression of what is already in our lives and our ever-deepening relationship to those truths. Namu is not ‘I want this’, it is instead saying ‘I am this’. Practice Guide
The life you are is perfect for becoming a Buddha like no other. You have unique qualities and talents and are perfectly suited to become enlightened. You do not need to become someone else, you merely need to become your true self. So do not think less of yourself. We all have faults and shortcomings but we can polish those rough spots up and reveal the true gem of our lives. Practice Guide
I have frequently spoken with people who are the only practitioner in their household and sometimes they express concern that the other person doesn’t practice. To this I have to say, yes they do! By their indirect support of you as a person, and especially if they do not interfere with your belief in and practice of the Lotus Sutra, they are in fact indirectly having a deep relationship with the Lotus Sutra through your practice.