Northern Light wrote:I first learned to meditate (FWBO Centre) 16 years ago. And for 16 years I had tried to find comfort, growth, peace and stillness from various meditation practices... and I have failed. I know they work for some. I really acknowledge that. But for me, I found no peace in any meditation practices. I was thus drawn to Pure Land practice and initially got some comfort from this but after some time I just struggled to sit back, accept I was a hopeless human and put all my faith to Amida to 'save me'. I abandoned Pure Land practice.
The Pure Land Sutras do not say you are hopeless and cannot attain Enlightenment,this view is a common "interpretation" in Japan but other Pure land groups in China,Vietnam and elsewhere do not share these views,but instead incorrperate meditation and self based practices in their Pure Land faith.
why abandon Pure land practice....Amitabha's Pure Land is taught in the Lotus Sutra.
In the past I had looked (as many people do) at Nichiren Buddhism and thought a variety of 'opinions' such as "that's not real Buddhism".
Nichiren Buddhism is very much real Buddhism.unfortunately many people see something that is different from what they are doing and they treat it as a witch that must be burned at the stake.just ignore the "haters"
I also looked at the SGI and found some things about it alarming. I am in the North of England where there is absolutely no SGI presence, or meetings that I am aware of - but I found a website that was set up by a guy in the US who is an independent but fully commited Nichiren-Shu Buddhist. Inspired, I printed off the Gongyo liturgy, I bookmarked a YouTube video that helps with pronounciation and I started to practice each day. This was only a few days ago. I do Gongyo in the morning (about 15 mins), followed by 10 mins of Namu Myoho Renge Kyo, and then 2 or 3 more sessions of Namu Myoho Renge Kyo throught the day.
Unbelievably (I can be a cynical guy), I am starting to feel better already. My depression is lifting, and I am feeling more positive, more engaged. Perhaps this is a psychological effect but I don't care. My Daimoku practice is making me feel better, happier and more positive than I have done in years. Also (although I am practicing alone), less isolated somehow. After Gonyo and Daimoku I feel better than I have after 2 hour sessions of trying sitting mindfulness meditations.
For me, this really works.
Regardless how you may feel about Nichiren Buddhism and/or SGI, you should try practicing Daimoku; especially if you have or are finding more mainstream Buddhist practice is not enriching your life or giving you peace and happiness.
Namu Myoho Renge Kyo!
this is awesome,do what you feel is right and what you have experienced to actually work for you. Find like minded people to support you and never look back.
Namu Dai-hatsu Nehan Kyo