Sunday, June 8, 2014

4 Steps to Improving Our Gongyo and improving our lives

Here are a few of my favorite quotes about Gongyo from Faith into Action, one of my favorite books of quotes by Daisaku Ikeda, arranged by category. 

"Gongyo is a practice that calls forth and activates 
the infinite power the microcosm inherently possesses. 
It transforms your fate, 
breaks through any apparent dead end 
and converts suffering into happiness. 
It creates a transformation, 
a revolution of the microcosm. 
It is a diagram in miniature of kosen-rufu in our lives." 
Page 116

"Nam-myoho-renge-kyo is like the roar of a lion," 

the Daishonin says (MW-1,119). 
It is by chanting powerful daimoku like a lion's roar 
that we can move the Buddhist deities, 
the protective forces of the universe. 
The voice is very important ~ it has profound power. 
While naturally being careful not to disturb your neighbors, I hope that you will endeavor 
to chant cheerful and powerful daimoku 
that reaches all the Buddhist deities 
and Buddhas throughout the ten directions." 
Page 119

As always, the words I write here are mine alone. I do not represent the Soka Gakkai although I am an active and enthusiastic member. Jamie Lee Silver,

Nichiren Buddhism is called a "practice" because we are constantly improving and honing our daily life by using our daily practice. We see the results of our daily practice every single day.

We do "Gongyo" our recitation of the Lotus Sutra twice a day. The recent book called "The Heart of the Lotus Sutra" gives us great insight into the meaning of gongyo in our lives. I really recommend this book. You can get it using the SGI link on the right or going to When I do Gongyo I am aware that I am speaking the words of the Buddha...and I AM the Buddha. Each of us IS the Buddha! 

Most of us have experienced that when we skip gongyo it takes more energy to do things in life. The flow fades away. Happiness seems to fade away too.  So we make a determination to do gongyo twice a day and stick to it with just the occasional recitation of sansho (Nam-myoho-renge-kyo recited three times) when gongyo just cannot be done in entirety.

This is a practice for our whole lives. We can't get all upset about an occasional slip up. AND we can focus on continual self improvement in our lives and in our practice. 

So --- 
Today I am going to focus on one aspect of improving Gongyo and thereby improving our lives...

A FRESH DETERMINATION TO start and complete Gongyo without interruption. 

I know, I know. We live in an interruptive society. In America we are constantly interrupted by just about everything...texts, calls, people...and our own restlessness!

The other day I was reflecting on some things in my life that are unfinished. Not long after that I realized that sometimes I step up to do something before reciting the four prayers at the end of Gongyo. Hmmm. Life is cause and effect, right? 

So I'm issuing all of us a challenge. 
Every day, twice a day, let's focus on starting and completing gongyo without interruption. We can do it! We can put away our cell phones. We can complete the silent prayers at the end before we get up to make more tea. Then if we still want to chant we can return to chant. But we will have completed gongyo. 

4 steps for improving Gongyo

1. Make the determination to do it! 
2. Put the phone away
3. Chant Gongyo from beginning to end
4. Don't get up until after the last prayer

Can we do it? Yes! 

Do you have some tips for completing gongyo for us? 

Write me at 

1 comment:

  1. Remember a time when you used your Practice to overcome an obstacle / chant the same way you chanted then, every time you chant.