Do you practice with Nichiren Shu, SGI or Nichiren Shoshu?

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bcol01
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Do you practice with Nichiren Shu, SGI or Nichiren Shoshu?

Post by bcol01 »

May I ask, why you follow the teachings of your particular sect? The intention of my post is to learn more about the different sects of Nichiren Buddhism.

Also, if you are an independent practitioner, what led you to be one?

Thank you all for everything and I hope you are all well.

- Gassho
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justsomeguy
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Re: Do you practice with Nichiren Shu, SGI or Nichiren Shoshu?

Post by justsomeguy »

Hey there!

Nichiren Shoshu, checking in. :twothumbsup:

There were a couple of reasons I chose this path: (1) practicality - I live in the Washington, D.C. area and there is a temple here, and (2) I left the Catholic Church when I was young (16 or so), but I always did miss the formality of the ceremonies and the structure provided by an organized priesthood. Shoshu provides for that, I guess. I haven't been practicing long enough to give an opinion on doctrinal preferences, though. That's one of the reasons why I like to come here and view other people's stances on things.

~Bobby
narhwal90
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Re: Do you practice with Nichiren Shu, SGI or Nichiren Shoshu?

Post by narhwal90 »

SGI, formerly Nichiren Shoshu

I started practicing in late '80's because of the NSA lay outreach, and the message of the practice was appealing to me. I kept in the practice because of the people and relationships, which I suppose is why I stayed with SGI after the schism. I've spent several periods away from the organization, currently closer to it- I find I practice more often and more deeply when in company with others. No interest in SGI leadership, but lending a hand in activities and participating in meetings seems like a good match.

I also practice in the DC area, where I started. I got my NSA gohonzon at the temple in Sept '88 and attended a few functions there until the situation changed. I have little interest in cultural expressions of Buddhism, which is one reason I like SGI OTOH I also really appreciate exposure to such things because they add so much dimension and contrast. I come here because becoming acquainted with others' practices clarifies, informs and strengthens my own- pointing out sutras, commentaries and so on.
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gohonzon
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Re: Do you practice with Nichiren Shu, SGI or Nichiren Shoshu?

Post by gohonzon »

We are also practitioners of Nichiren Shoshu Buddhism.

I like the fact that all the original/older Soka Gakkai beliefs and religious practices are fully found intact within Nichiren Shoshu doctrines, and that the Head Temple protects these traditionalist teachings through our Hokkeko practice.

Going on a Tozan pilgrimage to visit the Daishōnin’s ashes and the Dai Gohonzon of the High Sanctuary is a permanent cornerstone of this Buddhist religion, which I also like very much. You get to learn so much from the heritage of Nikko Shonin who kept such a meticulous practice when he also handed down the Head Temple to third High Priest Nichimoku Shonin and passed down to the heritage line of the current High Priest Nichi Nyo Shonin. Another like: our Buddhist liturgy (Gongyo) is preserved in its long-standing format and there is intense focus are the Buddhist teachings taught by Nichiren Daishonin, not on humanistic theories (Human Revolution et cetera) that are highlighted by the SGI. So I feel immense gratitude to the Priesthood who protects these extraordinary beliefs and teachings throughout the 800 years of humanity, flaws and all.

To that extent, I absolutely rejoice that Soka Gakkai has been expelled permanently from the Head Temple moving on forward, which purified this Buddhist practice and made a concerted effort to instill a more impactful and intense Buddhism for its Nichiren Shoshu practitioners to uphold both the Lotus Sutra, the Gosho and the Three Treasures of Buddhism, the Buddha of Nichiren Daishonin, the Law imbued in the Dai Gohonzon and the Priesthood who protects this sacred religion. The current 68th High Priest Nichinyo Shonin is also an exemplary model to the wide propagation (Kosen Rufu) of this goal, and much of his specific Buddhist lectures actually make sense to me. I know there are other “flavors” of Nichiren Sects out there, but having studied them and participated in their services, I find no direct lineage, no exacting consistency and no solid proof in actuality and theory that I have found in practicing in Nichiren shoshu. I have yet to be convinced or swayed away by the slanderers from the genuine fact that this is truly the Orthodox practice of Nichiren Daishonin.

Also, the Ushitora Gongyo is an incredible experience. So it there and breathe in the same air of the Gohonzon of Nikko Shonin is mind boggling. Of course it’s not the same as the Gokaihi to the Dai Gohonzon but the experience is phenomenal nonetheless.

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justsomeguy
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Re: Do you practice with Nichiren Shu, SGI or Nichiren Shoshu?

Post by justsomeguy »

gohonzon wrote: Sat Jun 22, 2019 3:51 am To that extent, I absolutely rejoice that Soka Gakkai has been expelled permanently from the Head Temple moving on forward
On the contrary, rather than celebrate a schism, I find it to be absolutely disheartening. That it not to say it wasn't necessary; I believe SGI and Nichiren Shoshu have different objectives, but the fact is that the whole affair has a souring effect on any prospective practitioner. I implore my fellow Shoshu brethren, should they truly care for the future of the Temple and its advancement in modern times where civility and critical thinking are valued, to observe their behavior online and temper their appetites for conflict. Why are Shoshu believers so combative online? It's not like this at Temple. Honestly, had the temple not been my primary experience with Nichiren Shoshu and I had relied on the internet to make my choice, I'd never be here.

Gohonzon, this is not an attack on you, but I feel you need to understand: In your response, I detect enmity over sincerity of faith. This original post was a neutral query as to what the folks here practice and why, not an open invitation to attack. My knowledge of the Gosho is not as expansive as others here, but I have enough under my belt to know that the Daishonin valued an intelligent approach to debate. Tact, brothers and sisters, is a critical element of this.

Of course you know how to reach me through other channels, so please feel free. We can probably learn from each other. :smile:
markatex
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Re: Do you practice with Nichiren Shu, SGI or Nichiren Shoshu?

Post by markatex »

Nichiren Shu since 2006, Soto Zen before that.

I was always interested in Nichiren Buddhism, but not interested in SGI. As for why Nichiren Shu, I could give a few reasons. My interest in Buddhism has always been primarily in East Asian Mahayana and Nichiren Shu feels more closely connected to that. Nichiren Shu is where I was able to connect Nichiren Buddhism to that larger tradition, and my practice is better for it.
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rory
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Re: Do you practice with Nichiren Shu, SGI or Nichiren Shoshu?

Post by rory »

justsomeguy wrote: Sat Jun 22, 2019 2:05 pm
On the contrary, rather than celebrate a schism, I find it to be absolutely disheartening. That it not to say it wasn't necessary; I believe SGI and Nichiren Shoshu have different objectives, but the fact is that the whole affair has a souring effect on any prospective practitioner. I implore my fellow Shoshu brethren, should they truly care for the future of the Temple and its advancement in modern times where civility and critical thinking are valued, to observe their behavior online and temper their appetites for conflict. Why are Shoshu believers so combative online? It's not like this at Temple. Honestly, had the temple not been my primary experience with Nichiren Shoshu and I had relied on the internet to make my choice, I'd never be here.
This is spot-on Justsomeguy. It happened to me, I was so turned off when in '96 I thought I'd investigate Soka Gakkai or Nichiren Shoshu (I'd made no progress in any kind of zen/TB sect, was drawn to chanting as a practice). When I called the Nshoshu temple I was told all kinds of bad things about SG , when I went to the Union Square, NYC Soka Gakkai center to chant, I had to hear about awful NShoshu and the Sho Hondo. Who would voluntarily want to join this? I washed my hands of both and went to a Pure Land temple instead. Sad...
gassho
Rory
Namu Kanzeon Bosatsu
Chih-I:
The Tai-ching states "the women in the realms of Mara, Sakra and Brahma all neither abandoned ( their old) bodies nor received (new) bodies. They all received buddhahood with their current bodies (genshin)" Thus these verses state that the dharma nature is like a great ocean. No right or wrong is preached (within it) Ordinary people and sages are equal, without superiority or inferiority
Paul, Groner "The Lotus Sutra in Japanese Culture"eds. Tanabe p. 58
https://www.tendai-usa.org/
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justsomeguy
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Re: Do you practice with Nichiren Shu, SGI or Nichiren Shoshu?

Post by justsomeguy »

rory wrote: Tue Jun 25, 2019 7:52 pm
justsomeguy wrote: Sat Jun 22, 2019 2:05 pm
On the contrary, rather than celebrate a schism, I find it to be absolutely disheartening. That it not to say it wasn't necessary; I believe SGI and Nichiren Shoshu have different objectives, but the fact is that the whole affair has a souring effect on any prospective practitioner. I implore my fellow Shoshu brethren, should they truly care for the future of the Temple and its advancement in modern times where civility and critical thinking are valued, to observe their behavior online and temper their appetites for conflict. Why are Shoshu believers so combative online? It's not like this at Temple. Honestly, had the temple not been my primary experience with Nichiren Shoshu and I had relied on the internet to make my choice, I'd never be here.
This is spot-on Justsomeguy. It happened to me, I was so turned off when in '96 I thought I'd investigate Soka Gakkai or Nichiren Shoshu (I'd made no progress in any kind of zen/TB sect, was drawn to chanting as a practice). When I called the Nshoshu temple I was told all kinds of bad things about SG , when I went to the Union Square, NYC Soka Gakkai center to chant, I had to hear about awful NShoshu and the Sho Hondo. Who would voluntarily want to join this? I washed my hands of both and went to a Pure Land temple instead. Sad...
gassho
Rory
I was put off by it too, and to an extent I still am. At the time I arrived, I had no idea what SGI even was, much less the history it shared with the Temple. I think one area of improvement would be to understand now that almost two decades have past. We are at the point where a new generation of practitioners is likely to show up, folks who aren't aware of or invested in the acrimonious past shared by the two sides, so that initial bombardment of correctness may do more to drive newbies away rather than keep them around. It's perfectly OK to discuss the schism civilly and explain why this or that way is correct. That shouldn't be the welcome mat, though. I will give Rev Sakabe and his assistant priests credit though. In no sense have any of them ever relayed the level of hostility and condescension I have witnessed from some lay (most of which seems pretty chill, just with some exceptions). During introductory meetings, he doesn't really bring up SGI at all unless someone asks something about it.

I am actually OK with any group claiming they are right above others, so far as that leads to intelligent and civil discourse. The real problem I have is the tendency to pepper even the most benign conversation with belligerent claims against the other, that righteous mission that some feel (on both sides) to break backs with dogma, especially when it isn't even the topic at hand.

Those caught up in this don't seem to understand the damage they are doing.
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rory
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Re: Do you practice with Nichiren Shu, SGI or Nichiren Shoshu?

Post by rory »

justsomeguy wrote: Tue Jun 25, 2019 8:57 pm I am actually OK with any group claiming they are right above others, so far as that leads to intelligent and civil discourse. The real problem I have is the tendency to pepper even the most benign conversation with belligerent claims against the other, that righteous mission that some feel (on both sides) to break backs with dogma, especially when it isn't even the topic at hand.

Those caught up in this don't seem to understand the damage they are doing.
I agree with you, I have no problem having a civil and informed discussion about why priests, kaigen etc are necessary (normative Mahayana) with those who would disagree. I had friends, when I lived in Ireland around 20 years ago, some with Soka Gakkai and others with Nichiren Shoshu and both groups yearned for the previous happy united past. I see it as a big psychic wound and I am sorry for all their suffering, I think that's what is going on....
gassho
Rory
Namu Kanzeon Bosatsu
Chih-I:
The Tai-ching states "the women in the realms of Mara, Sakra and Brahma all neither abandoned ( their old) bodies nor received (new) bodies. They all received buddhahood with their current bodies (genshin)" Thus these verses state that the dharma nature is like a great ocean. No right or wrong is preached (within it) Ordinary people and sages are equal, without superiority or inferiority
Paul, Groner "The Lotus Sutra in Japanese Culture"eds. Tanabe p. 58
https://www.tendai-usa.org/
narhwal90
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Re: Do you practice with Nichiren Shu, SGI or Nichiren Shoshu?

Post by narhwal90 »

It is possible the schism business will fade over time, though memories are long in many quarters and bashing other schools is an easy habit to fall into. Every few years the SGI pubs rehash the "temple issues", recounting the reasons and justifications and so on but its all 20+yr old material republished. I can't imagine much will change SGI-wise while Mr Ikeda is still alive in any case. One thing for sure I no longer stand by if temple bashing starts up in a meeting, or bashing of another school in general. That stuff is nothing more than the 3 Poisons all over again far as I'm concerned.
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