Sunday, October 18, 2015

How Much Daimoku Should We Chant?

DAIMOKU charges our batteries. 
If we take care to regularly charge our batteries, 
then we'll always be full of energy and vitality. 
If we fail to keep our batteries charged, 
we won't have energy when we need it most 
and as a result may be defeated by our environment.
Daisaku Ikeda, Daily Guidance, October 17th

President Ikeda's guidance on how much daimoku we should Chant:

"Chanting is a process of polishing and forging our lives, which is why our faith is so important. 
Consequently, the benefit of chanting 
Nam Myoho Renge Kyo 
is absolutely not dependent on the amount we chant. 
What matters is that we chant to our own heart's content, the amount that feels right and satisfying for us. 
Nowhere in his writings 
does the Daishonin say 
we should chant a specific quantity. 
The efficacy of our prayers 
is influenced by the strength and depth of our faith, 
and by our determination and attitude. 
At the same time, sincerely resolving 
to chant a specific amount is also an expression of faith. 
We can chant the amount we've decided on each day, 
while continually renewing and deepening our resolve. 
It's also important that we chant honestly and openly, 
just as we are. 
All of us face times of worry, 
anguish and sadness in our lives. 
When we do, we can feel free 
to go straight to the Gohonzon with our suffering 
and chant about it wholeheartedly, 
just like a child seeking its mother's warm embrace."
"There’s no need to worry. 
You don’t need to feel pressured 
about the amount of daimoku you have to chant. 
Even chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo just once 
has incredible power.
Nichiren Daishonin writes: 
“If you recite . . . the daimoku [even] once, 
then the Buddha nature of all living beings 
will be summoned and gather around you” (WND-1, 131). You will receive tremendous benefit 
from just a single, sincere utterance 
of Nam-myoho-renge-kyo. 
That’s how powerful the Mystic Law is. 
On the other hand, just because that’s true, doesn’t mean we should use it as an excuse to avoid chanting Daimoku! After all, as the Daishonin says: 
Living Buddhism, Sep./Oct. 2011, pg. 74 & 75

In the picture above I'm sitting looking across the Rio Grande river, near Aspen, Colorado, into a beautiful glade. The river is rushing over the rocks and continuing on its path. I'm watching the yellow aspen leaves falling, dancing, glowing in the sun, and the river, going right over those boulders. I'm thinking of how on Tuesday, the 20th of October, I will be celebrating the completion of 30 years of chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo every morning and every evening, in serious practice for my life, and all of life. 

My practice has been a flowing river with various sizes of boulders. Unquestionably the biggest boulders have been this year, when I completed my divorce and my son Ben died. And as I'm watching that water go right around that boulder I'm reflecting on the resiliency of my own life ~ and strengthening my determination that my next 30 years of practice will be even stronger, and more magnificent, not in spite of my son dying, but because of it. 

I can't say I understand it all yet, but I feel much stronger, and more connected to people who are suffering. 

I posted that quote by Sensei because I made a determination to chant two hours a day a few weeks ago, and I make it most days, and there are a few days I don't, and I don't beat myself up over it. I know I've strengthened my determination for kosen-rufu, and am working harder for my fellow members. 

And I feel great. I've gotten more invitations to give my speech "Growing older, Bolder, BETTER" and I'm moving forward. This week I had to replace all my electronics and I forged fearlessly ahead on my own! 

Last night I attended a concert at the Chicago Culture Center after bringing a member for guidance. This morning I am spending with my son Aaron! Wonderful! 
I hope you enjoy your day! 


  1. Happy Gohonzon birthday, Jamie! Be certain, you're doing the Buddha's work here.

  2. Thank you so much .I am so blown away by your strong faith...
    Flowing River:)

  3. Thank you for sharing this, I wish you all the best and congratulations on your 30th year of chanting