Japanese school based on the Lotus Sutra, emphasizing recitation of the daimoku
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    The Lotus of the Wonderful Law Paid Member

    IN THE MID-1970s and ’80s, when I was a resident at the Zen Center of Los Angeles, we would, during periods of formal practice, recite a chant with our meals, the core of which was an invocation of Mahayana Buddhism’s pantheon of Buddhas and bodhisattvas. As with so many things about Zen ritual, no one ever explained the content of the chant; you just did it. But there was something odd and intriguing about this particular chant. There, where the recitation moves from the names of buddhas to the names of bodhisattvas—right at that juncture where the type of personification shifts—appears the name of a scripture: The Sutra of the Lotus of the Wonderful Law, or for short, the Lotus Sutra. More »
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    A Greater Awakening Paid Member

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    Chanting for Stuff Paid Member

    A common criticism I hear of Nichiren Buddhists, and of Soka Gakkai International members in particular, is that we practice Buddhism for material gain, to get stuff. Well, we do, but it’s a good thing. Really. I was raised a Buddhist and, as such, have a pretty good grasp on the idea of the impermanence of all things. I try to look beneath the surface and identify deeper significance and the connections between things. But even with this perspective, I still live in human society. I am still a human being, subject to all the potential emotional entanglements and flare-ups that brings. Try as I may to focus on the fact that the jerk who cut me off on the freeway is really a manifestation of my own sense of helplessness about my environment, on a bad day he remains the jerk who cut me off. More »