Introducing the practice of Daimoku to friends and relatives

Introducing the practice of Daimoku to friends and relatives

Postby 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

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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Re: Introducing the practice of Daimoku to friends and relatives

Postby 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

Postby Jikan » 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

Postby 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

Postby 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:
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This face, the face at birth."

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Re: Introducing the practice of Daimoku to friends and relatives

Postby 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

Postby 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
http://www.bhaisajya.net
http://atikosha.org
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔

Though there are infinite liberating gateways of Dharma,
there are none not included in the dimension of the knowledge of the Great Perfection.

-- Buddha Samantabhadri
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Re: Introducing the practice of Daimoku to friends and relatives

Postby 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

Postby 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

Postby 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


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].

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