Yuren wrote:Perhaps genuinely and intensively asking: "What is the practice of the Lotus Sutra?" is already "meditating on the Lotus Sutra".
The Lotus Sutra is like a very powerful object that has a soul of its own. I don't mean this in a magical way. But sutras are not merely books. Have you ever experienced how, while reading a sutra, you feel certain special things that are not merely thoughts, but vistas, visions, sometimes feelings of bliss, sometimes even a trance?
I have first experienced this most curious event while studying the Lankavatara Sutra, and then again during my second reading of the Diamond Sutra, and then again when studying the Lotus Sutra. But a Dharma friend told me each person is attracted to different sutras. Are you a person that is attracted to the Lotus Sutra?
According to Zhiyi (who is, I think, the greatest Buddhist philosopher since Nagarjuna) the Lotus Sutra is the king sutra ,the highest teaching. If you one day have faith in this, that this is true, and tell this to others, and keep studying the sutra - this itself is "practicing the Lotus Sutra" I believe.
I also believe the Sutra tells us these practices are ultimately higher than any meditation as commonly understood (such as breathing meditation). Of course a practice such as a breathing meditation is something beneficial that is not negated by the Sutra. But it's not the Great Practice pointed to by the sutra.
The main meditation of the Lotus Sutra is the samadhi pointed to by the Lotus Sutra called "ichinen sanzen" or 3000 world in one thought-moment. But until one is able to practice this samadhi, why not practice some kind of daily meditation like breathing meditation, or whatever you learned from a meditation teacher, and couple it with reading the Sutra, a portion in the morning, a portion in the evening?
In time, the sutra ITSELF will reveal to you what it means by the "ichinen sanzen" samadhi or the 3000 worlds in one thought moment, and the everlasting Buddha which is dormant as a potentiality in all beings.
Let the Sutra guide you, that's the true practice of the Lotus Sutra. The Sutra comes before everything else. Let the Sutra itself become the primary object of your study, practice and worship.
I hope that makes sense?
My 2 cents,
Yes, you made sense. And yes, I do feel a great pull toward the Lotus Sutra. Sometimes I feel odd about it, being a Zen Buddhist, and the Lotus is so unlike the Lankavatara and Prajnaparamita sutras, but I still feel this great pull nonetheless. So, I've been trying to incorporate it's practice into my repertoire. Zazen then Lotus Sutra recitation.
I've been attempting to find ways to incorporate both Zen and Tientai/Nichiren practice together, which is why I was initially curious about the practice of the Lotus Sutra.
I have a question though: what exactly is ichinen sanzen? I've seen it mentioned a few times, but don't really know what it is.
"If you want to travel the Way of Buddhas and Zen masters, then expect nothing, seek nothing, and grasp nothing." -Dogen