Buddhism Applied

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Thinking about experimenting with Buddhism? Here are the elements of a daily Buddhist practice as well as a few simple how-tos to get started.

Chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo

We may understand theoretically that we have great potential within us, but to actually believe in ourselves each day is pretty hard. That’s why Buddhists chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo.

Nam-myoho-renge-kyo is a wondrous expression of the Buddhist principle that we all possess infinite courage, wisdom and compassion. That’s why chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo is a daily practice for opening our eyes to our Buddhability within, each day.

That's why chanting Nam-myoho-renge kyo is a daily practice for opening our eyes to our Buddhability within, each day.

Helpful Tips

1. Set a daily goal. Try setting a daily goal for how much you would like to chant each day. Whether it’s 15 minutes or 5 minutes, it’s all good. The most important thing is to try to do it each day, that way you’ll know for sure if Buddhism works for you. However, if you miss a day, no need to panic. Just try again tomorrow.

2. Posture.  To chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo is to call up our most dignified, powerful self. That’s why sitting up straight is a good idea instead of slouching in a chair, which doesn’t look so dignified and powerful. It’s also good to press your palms together, which helps us stay focused.

3. Find a good place to chant. You can chant anywhere! But it’s a good idea to not have too many distractions so you can really focus. An uncluttered space in your place is a good spot! There is little to no formality in Buddhism, though, so in the end it’s up to you.

4. Set a personal goal. Think about something you really want to see change in your life, then think about it while you’re chanting. Watching the situation change over time will also help you see clearly if Buddhism is working for you.

Do Gongyo

Buddhists who practice with the SGI chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo and recite two portions of the Lotus Sutra (gongyo) morning and evening daily. Starting off our morning with chanting and gongyo is how we get to start fresh every day.

Here’s a video to practice gongyo together with. 

Of course, gongyo can take a bit of practice. So, if you can’t do gongyo like a pro when you start out, don’t worry. Just keep going and it will come in no time.

Read About Buddhism

person sitting on the couch while reading a book

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How do we know if we’re doing it right? As we try out chanting, studying about Buddhist concepts informs us on how to apply our practice to whatever situation we’re going through.

What should you read? Here’s a great Buddhist magazine. There are also loads of great Buddhist books. Buddhability articles and videos are fine too!

But we’ll stop here so you can get started. There’s always more to learn so here are a few articles you might like.

Don’t Know Much About Buddhism?

Here’s the Secret to Lasting Happiness

Practice Doesn’t Make Perfect and That’s OK

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