Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Creative Ways to Celebrate Our Gohonzon Birthdays

Yesterday was my 30th Gohonzon birthday. I have chanted Nam-myoho-renge-kyo every morning and evening and EVERY morning and evening for thirty years! It is hard to even imagine where I would be without this "engine of energy vibration" that taps into my highest potential every day. My life is better in every single way for invoking the energy of the entire universe through my life every day. 

I use this anniversary each year to deepen my faith, and deepen "the depth at which I live" - see the quote from Daisaku Ikeda below. I celebrate every year. There are several things I do to make my Gohonzon Birthday Week Memorable. I share these with you today with a sense of gratitude. Thank you for sharing our journeys of faith together. What follows is not a prescription or SGI's just what I do and have done for years. 

Here are some Ideas for Celebrating Gohonzon Birthdays - feel free to adopt, change, or add to these. Share your ideas with me at

1. I set aside at least three hours to chant. I chant these in a row or spread them out. 

2. I call my sponsors and the people who have supported me in the practice to thank them. 
(Or I call them sometime during the week of my Gohonzon Birthday)

3. I make fresh determinations. What are my NEXT thirty years going to hold? 

4. I begin something new - set off in a fresh direction. Yesterday I began a healthier eating and working out regime. 

5. I treat this day as a spiritual day just for me. I do something I really hike in the woods, or get a massage. Sometimes you can't fit it in all in one day - I'm getting a massage tonight. 

Yesterday I chanted for at least three hours centering on my district, my own goals, and appreciation for my practice. I took long walks in our woods which are filled with golden leaves. I also reminisced and took time to journal about ten years ago, 20 years ago, thirty years ago, thinking about how fast time flies...and how we really have to cherish each moment. Who thought ten years could fly so fast? Who could even imagine thirty years flying by so quickly? 

As Daisaku Ikeda states in "The Heart of the Lotus Sutra, page 211: 

'What matters most is the "depth of which we live," the "power of thought" we manifest. A person who leads such a truly profound life can make each day worth ten days or even a month. In a year, he or she can create the value of ten or even a hundred years, This is the true measure of one's lifespan; it is not decided simply on the superficial basis of length of time.

"I have based my life and worked hard with this awareness, and I am determined to continue to do so. Therefore, no matter what happens, I have no fear. I cna overcome anything with composure, with the spirit of a lion king. 

"When we base ourselves on the view that life spans past, present and future, we can overcome the suffering of birth and death. We can manifest a state imbued with great peace of mind like that of the Buddha. Then we need fear nothing. We can wholeheartedly devote ourselves to the happiness of all people and the realization of world peace - to the eternal struggle to create value, which is the Buddha's will. Each of us is a child of this Buddha who can lead a dignified and noble existence.  


  1. Yes, yes! I love that you pay attention to celebrating your Gohonzon birthday! Thanks for sharing your ideas of how to make it special. :)

  2. Thank you for sharing this! It's very inspiring. I am 61 years old and I just started with Nichiren Buddhism when I was 60, mealier this year. I was at first involved with a Nichiren-Shu group, but I switched, last week to Soka Gakkia and I love the people and practice. I have already increased my chanting, and made other improvements to my practice. I am inspired by the SGI approach and plan on becoming a member, ASAP.