After work I finally made it to my first Buddhist meeting, I found out about Nam-myoho-renge-kyo! on the internet and felt very compelled to go chant in a group and receive Gohonzon (the object of fundamental devotion or the embodiment of my life) so after stopping off at my home to see my girlfriend I printed directions on Mapquest and drove out to the meeting. As listened to some tunes on my way a rush of positive energy was overwhelming me with anticipation and joy for what lied ahead. Now Getting there was very simple, finding parking was another story. Living in a metropolitan jungle really adds an extra element of surprise to possibly mundane occurrences but in any event finding parking was as easy and doing "the Hustle or electric slide" after a few laps around the block. So when I did finally reach my destination I ran two blocks and ran into the building huffing and puffing only to be greeted by extraordinarily friendly people! The people at the door directed me to the beginner slow gongyo meeting upstairs. This SGI facility is very large consisting of two big floors with various rooms. I was very happy at that moment and ready to engage whomever came next. So I walked up the stairs and was directed into a conference room with 4 people sitting in there discussing something which I interrupted with shaking hands and introducing myself to everyone! I was still out of breath but ohh so very happy! I told them who I was, and that I have been meaning to come here for approximately a month and half! I proceeded in apologizing for my tardiness but then the most peculiar thing occurred! 3 out 4 suggested to me that they knew me from somewhere. I kinda felt that way about 2 of the people in the room but there was something very vaguely familiar about being in their company, I really did belong in that room last night. I told them about SGI and that I found it through the internet, they asked me where in the internet I said sgi bloggers that discuss Nicheren Daishonin's Buddhism and its quickly become my personal SGI support family and group through frequent emails to various members with sincere questions regarding the Buddhist practice. Their faces changed a little at point because they seemed to fear I was from some other sect or something of that nature it seemed. They began to discuss how the laypeople of sgi were excommunicated by the priesthood of Nicheren Daishonin;s Buddhism and how there are other forms of Buddhism that are not on the same page as them, I assured them as best I could I have encountered the same issues here on the internet and stand by 1000% by my personal brotherhood here on the "internet" and with SGI. They were pleased and asked me if I had any questions, I said I have a more than I can think of right now, but I expressed that I wanted to share my first gongyo experience and I think I missed it so they immediately suggested that I go see the Gohonzon and then come back into the room for the slow gongyo with them! That was right up my alley and I went into another larger room that seemed like a chapel with a very expensive looking Butsudan and the most incredible thing it made me even shake a little was seeing the Gohonzon and coming within an arms reach of the Gohonzon, the actual words of Nichiren "Nam-myoho-renge-kyo!" right down the middle!! I was very pleased and knew I was in the right place immediately! they took me back into the conference room and asked me to sit down everyone next to each other (including me 5 total people) and I pulled out my recently gifted gongyo book and beads (sent in the mail from a member on the other side of the country to encourage me to start chanting, and today a very good friend) and again they were so happy and impressed that we immediately began. Ken was our leader and began for us, he was raised a buddhist and did not have to look in a book to recite gongyo, so we began a I continued and kept pace and felt awesome! then as it progressed I will have to say the most incredible miracle occurred and that was,
NAM MYOHO RENGE KYO! I never said it in unison with anyone before and when I tell you that not only did we vibrate in unison and were in perfect harmony throughout we essentially were one huge vibrating force of purity! It was incredibly beyond words to say the least. I was entranced happy smiling joyous honored all at once. Nam Myoho Renge Kyo!, is THE PRAYER! Embrace it Nam Myoho Renge Kyo! as I have and immediately watch the chains of your former life abolish themselves and bond you to the truth, to the amazing forgiving truth waiting inside of yourself! We completed gongyo with the personal prayers and then they were very happy I was so loud and into it like they were. I could see how happy they were.
I asked them what should I read now, what texts do I need to familiarize myself with, they said first The Goshos which are Nicheren's writings and then this other book called "The Buddha in the Mirror". I noted them and then they gave me a magazine and a flyer for an upcoming event that will be open to all everyone and they expect many people to attend. So they were so pleased with my unbridled enthusiasm that they said faith should not be like a flame (very powerful yet it could burn out) but flow like water and maintain its course. Two of the four excused themselves at that point and the other two seemingly more senior members stayed back and discussed the local group in my area with me. Apparently there are thousands of us in my area! WOW. I was shocked, they asked for my phone numbers and email address and I took down theirs also and they said they would be hooking me up with someone in my immediate area very soon. I guess people will be coming over to help me set up a place for the Butsudan or to chant or whatever I dont care I am in this for the long haul! Chanting Buddies! how cool is that.
I was brought down to the first floor again and this time shown a huge auditorium and they could seat 400 people approximately. In there was a huge huge Perfect Butsudan with a couple chairs in front of it and the bell. They have a Sunday gathering there at the beginning of every month and I will be going to one. Then saw about another 10 members just buzzing around the place making friendly faces so I said hello to everyone and ken the nights moderator walked me out and said goodnight.
The future is now the present has been come and gone, why not try chanting "NAM MYOHO RENGE KYO", my most recent revalation goes as follows;
Can you be raised believing in a concept like "Original Sin" or can you be aware of all the wrongs you have done bearing down upon your conscience or just remembering events your senses picked up as something negative in any degree?
I know I can, for most people the sum of your past equals your present. Your future is being determined as you read this but will you accept that there is a remote possiblity that devoting yourself to a the purity of Nam Myoho Renge Kyo is tantamount to the daily web we spin. Lets examine what I am asking you to look into......
| The invocation of Nam-myoho-renge-kyo was established by Nichiren on 28 April 1253. Having studied widely among all the Buddhist sutras, he had concluded that the Lotus Sutra contains the ultimate truths of Buddhism: that everyone without exception has the potential to attain Buddhahood. The title of the Lotus Sutra in its Japanese translation is Myoho-renge-kyo. But to Nichiren, Myoho-renge-kyo was far more than the title of a Buddhist text, it was the expression, in words, of the Law of life which all Buddhist teachings in one way or another seek to clarify. What follows is a brief and unavoidably limited explanation of some of the key concepts expressed by this phrase. |
The word nam derives from Sanskrit, a close translation of its meaning is "to devote oneself." Nichiren established the chanting of Nam-myoho-renge-kyo as a means to enable all people to put their lives in harmony or rhythm with the law of life, or Dharma. In the original Sanskrit, nam indicates the elements of action and attitude, and refers therefore to the correct action one needs to take and the attitude one needs to develop in order to attain Buddhahood in this lifetime.
Myoho literally means the Mystic Law, and expresses the relationship between the life inherent in the universe and the many different ways this life expresses itself. Myo refers to the very essence of life, which is "invisible" and beyond intellectual understanding. This essence always expresses itself in a tangible form (ho) that can be apprehended by the senses. Phenomena (ho) are changeable, but pervading all such phenomena is a constant reality known as myo.
Renge means lotus flower. The lotus blooms and produces seeds at the same time, and thus represents the simultaneity of cause and effect. The circumstances and quality of our individual lives is determined by the particular of causes and effects, both good and bad, that we accumulate (through our thoughts, words and actions) at each moment. This is called our "karma". The law of cause and effect explains that we each have personal responsibility for our own destiny. We create our destiny and we can change it. The most powerful cause we can make is to chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, the effect of Buddhahood is simultaneously created in the depths of our life and will definitely manifest in time.
The lotus flower grows and blooms in a muddy pond, and yet remains pristine and free from any defilement, symbolizing the emergence of Buddhahood from within the life of an ordinary person.
Kyo literally means sutra, the voice or teaching of a Buddha. In this sense, it also means sound, rhythm or vibration. Also, the Chinese character for kyo originally meant the warp a piece of woven cloth, symbolizing the continuity of life throughout past, present and future. In a broad sense, kyo conveys the concept that all things in the universe are a manifestation of the Mystic Law.
Do you see what I see? KOSENRUFU IS POSSIBLE! IT BEGINS WITH YOU!
Nam Myoho Renge Kyo!
*I implore all beginners like myself to further attempt to uncover more understanding of nicheren's teachings, they truly lead to big changes in the right direction. In a couple of months my life has come full circle, I thought I was doing well before I found sgi and the true knowledge within this thread, but I am just scratching the surface. So to take a little bit from this thread you must be willing to give a little of your time and patience. its for a most worthy cause and the road is paved with all the goodies within your heart and shared on a universal level!
Nam Myoho Renge Kyo!
The triumph of invoking your Buddhahood is relative to light passing through a prism. You will uncover the various shades within the light!
Your path in life coincides with the path of every other Buddha in this existence, embrace the potency of the unification of practice. Invoke the Bodhisattvas of the Earth to release our total potential!
I am and have always been your brother. MYOHO!
This thread is a lotus flower within a murky pond. RENGE!
Read the explanations and The Goshos to be posted here, they are nourishment to your soul. KYO!
Nam Myoho Renge Kyo!
Today was the first day I chanted in front of my Butsudan with the Gohonzon inside. It will be enshrined on Wednesday night and I will host a small meeting in my abode! I am very very excited!
Yesterday was incredible at the meeting where I received my Gohonzon there was about 20 others receiving their Gohonzon and over 1500 people in a very large city auditorium! It was exceptional! The presentations, the speakers, and most importantly my first fast Gongyo (super fast gongyo) was great! Then when I received my Gohonzon on the stage my area leader whom I just recently met a few minutes prior to the commencement of the ceremony greeted me at the bottom of the stage while I was holding my membership certificate into SGI and my Gohonzon in my right hand high in the air with a sincere feeling of triumph, and the district leader Augustine gave me a bouquet of flowers! My friends I almost cried from the joy! The practice of Shakubuku has propagated a new member, a new Bodhisattva of the Earth to realize that reaching out to others is another gem within Nam-myoho-renge-kyo!! I have told everyone I know about this because its thrilling to be among kindred spirits. I did Gongyo this morning at my own pace and very happily chanted Nam Myoho Renge Kyo while meditating on the good in my life.
I love you all as I love the world we live in! Together we are making a difference, initiating me into SGI has been a triumph! If you only knew what I went through to get HERE to this moment in my life! The victory is the faith in commencing my own Human REVOLUTION will lead to what I have been seeking most of my life, which is PEACE! Peace within myself, Peace within my environment, Peace for those around me and most IMPORTANTLY PEACE FOR ALL ON THE UNIVERSAL SCALE!
Tonight, I had a great 2 hour and 15 minute meeting and then 3 members came over my house they took out my Gohonzon from the box and wrappings and then place the Gohonzon in the Butsudan then adjusted the Gohonzon nicely and we then did gongyo again. Three new friends, I have met over 2000 SGI members in less than a month, each one different each one part of our family! A friend of Sensei's is a friend of mine, the people I was with tonight I never met before yet we all "knew" each other! How trippy is that. In the greater scheme of things its becoming clearer. On Monday I will go chant for someone that needs people to chant for her and others will be coming,, she's sick. Its called a toso and is japanese for "battle" we will chant for a couple hours together at her home, daimoku tosos are "prayer get-togethers" in which everyone chants for a specific purpose among their personal reasons.
A new friend shared his faith experience with me:
Two friends walking down a street in the city, one is a senior SGI member the other is just starting the understand Buddhism in general and has attended a few meetings.
They see a homeless person in the street and the homeless person asks for money. The senior SGI member says here I will give you one pound (franc, euro, etc.) if you say these words "NAM MYOHO RENGE KYO"
The homeless person says "Say that again? It sounds very familiar!"
So the SGI member says "Nam Myoho Renge Kyo" and the homeless person says " What does it mean... I have heard this before, its familiar"
The new member to sgi says "at that moment I got goosebumps and fell in awe with the power of Nam Myoho Renge Kyo!" clearly planting a seed of for another to blossom their Buddhanature in their life and keep the propagation of The Lotus Sutra flowing not only brings amazing fortune but leads to really good things in my life as well...
Thanks so much for digesting my first post, as you can see I am applying previous thoughts and mini-experiences as neatly as possible for now as I begin to paint the mosaic of my life and reignite my desire to compose prose and share my thoughts.