Monday, 30 July 2012

Chanting for Material things

Treasures of the heart are the priceless jewel in our lives. 

Can you point in a direction where I could find more information on the practice of Nichiren Buddhism? I'm new to the practice and I'm specifically trying to understand what Nichiren taught (first hand) about chanting. I've met some people in SGI that talk about chanting for "things" like financial gain, cars, jobs, girlfriends/boyfriends, etc., which I found a little shocking. Is this part of the practice?

Thanks in advance! - M


Hey M, thanks for your message. SGI is a lay organisation tasked with keep the teachings of Nichiren alive.

Chanting for things (Treasures of the storehouse) is not wrong. There are many things in our lives that can support us and help us get by and aid our path to happiness.

Happy and fulfilling Relationships, money, good health etc

However, Nichiren and SGI always stress that treasures of the heart are the jewels of our lives. Friendship, love, compassion and family and these alone should be our priority over all else.

There is nothing wrong for asking for things that you want, but we are encouraged to think about, how this will lead to Kosen Rufu or world peace.

If you want a car for example, dont just ask for a car for the sake of it, think about how you could bring value to your life and the community with this car.

Its all about learning to create value. This is what Sokka Gakki means, to create value.

Older forms of Buddism have taught people to shun material things.

Nichiren Buddism says that the law of cause and effect is in your hands, you make your own choices, your life is in your own hands and you must be free to make those choices.

Noone else should tell you what you should and and shouldn't pray for. It is your life.

As you chant regularly your Buddhanature flowers and you realise what is really important in life. People, love, compassion friendship.

We are all human, we are not perfect and sometimes we want things that we think will bring us happiness; the perfect job, the perfect partner, the perfect body.

Often when we get these things, we still dont find this elusive happiness and in-fact when we loose them we feel worse.

In Buddhism we call this rapture, its a temporary happiness that does not last as it is based on external things.

SO what I am saying is that do not feel guilting for chanting for material things, just ask your self, why am I chanting for this, am I really asking for the right things to help me establish a strong and lasting happiness from within.

Does that make sense?

SGI is a group of people, SGI is what we make of it and we are all many parts of a whole rather then some pyramid shaped group.

Each one of us has the power to shape the organisation or family.

Hope that helps.



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