FreeSangha - Buddhist Forum

Schools of Buddhism => Mahayana => Nichiren => Topic started by: Spiny Norman on November 15, 2010, 08:14:55 am

Title: What's Nichirin all about then?
Post by: Spiny Norman on November 15, 2010, 08:14:55 am
I'm going to visit a local Nichirin group soon and would be interested to know a little bit about it.  I gather the main practice is chanting?

Spiny
Title: Re: What's Nichirin all about then?
Post by: Monkey Mind on November 15, 2010, 09:19:25 am
I suggest doing your research first. PM me. I will say I have friends who are very happy with the Nichiren practice; I also have friends who left it feeling very disgruntled.
Title: Re: What's Nichirin all about then?
Post by: Wonky Badger on November 15, 2010, 10:22:54 am
I have a friend that used to be Nichiren also. We only had a short discussion about it, but he said that they spent a lot of time chanting for "things they wanted". We never got around to talking about what those "things" were though and we didn't talk about why he left either.
Title: Re: What's Nichirin all about then?
Post by: GoGet on November 15, 2010, 12:26:32 pm
Spiney,

You might look at this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nichiren_Buddhism
Title: Re: What's Nichirin all about then?
Post by: Caz on November 15, 2010, 02:43:32 pm
Alot of chanting. I dont know much else.  :pray:
Title: Re: What's Nichirin all about then?
Post by: Spiny Norman on November 16, 2010, 04:58:59 am
Thanks for the responses, I will keep an open mind.  I am happy with my own school / practice and have no intention of converting to Nichiren, rather I'm doing some Buddhist networking locally. 
The British PM David Cameron keeps talking about the "big society", so I thought I should contribute... :teehee:

Spiny
Title: Re: What's Nichirin all about then?
Post by: t on November 16, 2010, 08:32:15 am
(http://www.saieditor.com/img/nichiren-seated.jpg)
The Lineage of Nichiren Buddhism (http://www.nichiren-shu.org/boston/pages/lineage.htm)
The Major Writings of Nichiren Daishonin (http://nichiren.info/gosho.html)
Nichiren Issues (http://www.nichiren.com/)

Soka Gakkai....now that's another story...that's your homework  :cheesy:


Title: Re: What's Nichirin all about then?
Post by: Spiny Norman on November 16, 2010, 08:49:17 am
([url]http://www.saieditor.com/img/nichiren-seated.jpg[/url])
The Lineage of Nichiren Buddhism ([url]http://www.nichiren-shu.org/boston/pages/lineage.htm[/url])
The Major Writings of Nichiren Daishonin ([url]http://nichiren.info/gosho.html[/url])
Nichiren Issues ([url]http://www.nichiren.com/[/url])

Soka Gakkai....now that's another story...that's your homework  :cheesy:


Thanks.  There seems to be a lot of politics involved...fortunately I don't have to get involved in all that.  Politics is just boring.

Spiny
Title: Re: What's Nichirin all about then?
Post by: Jikan on December 18, 2010, 10:27:38 am
I have a friend that used to be Nichiren also. We only had a short discussion about it, but he said that they spent a lot of time chanting for "things they wanted". We never got around to talking about what those "things" were though and we didn't talk about why he left either.

This is a contested issue among Nichiren Buddhist schools.  What you're describing sounds less like mainstream Nichiren Buddhism and more like Soka Gakkai; this isn't the purpose of practice in, say, Nichiren-shu or Rissho Kosei-Kai.
Title: Re: What's Nichirin all about then?
Post by: Spiny Norman on December 19, 2010, 03:52:13 am
I have a friend that used to be Nichiren also. We only had a short discussion about it, but he said that they spent a lot of time chanting for "things they wanted". We never got around to talking about what those "things" were though and we didn't talk about why he left either.

This is a contested issue among Nichiren Buddhist schools.  What you're describing sounds less like mainstream Nichiren Buddhism and more like Soka Gakkai; this isn't the purpose of practice in, say, Nichiren-shu or Rissho Kosei-Kai.

It turned out to be an SGI group.  They seemed to be sincere practitioners but I found them somewhat insular, with virtually no knowledge of the wider Buddhist world.

Spiny
Title: Re: What's Nichirin all about then?
Post by: Monkey Mind on December 19, 2010, 11:07:28 am
It turned out to be an SGI group.  They seemed to be sincere practitioners but I found them somewhat insular, with virtually no knowledge of the wider Buddhist world.

Spiny
Yep, that's their schtick. No need to study classical Buddhism, because Daisaku Ikeda is a fully enlightened being, perhaps the reincarnation of Nichiren.
Title: Re: What's Nichirin all about then?
Post by: Jikan on December 20, 2010, 09:36:35 am
Yep, that's their schtick. No need to study classical Buddhism, because Daisaku Ikeda is a fully enlightened being, perhaps the reincarnation of Nichiren.

A further wrinkle:  one of the contested doctrinal points in the broader umbrella of Nichiren Buddhism is the position taken in some corners that Nichiren himself was a Second Buddha, or a rebirth of Shakyamuni.  This in the context of Nichiren's form of Buddhism being presupposed as most appropriate to the present age (mappo)...

Backstory:  in medieval Japan, Tendai was the dominant school of Buddhism.  It was quite diverse in practice, encompassing sitting meditation, pure land practices, and Lotus Sutra study and devotion, esoteric (mikkyo or Vajrayana) practice.  At a certain point in history, the "single-practice" schools emerged from this baroque and complex Tendai umbrella, each of them claiming to some extent that only one of these practices is most appropriate to the time.  Honen advanced Pure Land (nembutsu) as the best; the Rinzai and Soto schools of Zen have their origin at this time (hence the importance of the Lotus Sutra in Japanese Zen); and Nichiren emerges at this time too, promoting a particular way to venerate the Lotus Sutra as the final and best teaching.  This was a time of substantial social upheaval in Japan; the different forms of practice were intended for particular social strata that weren't well served by the old institutions.

All that to say:  if you want to understand how Nichiren got from point A to point B (quite a distance actually, more like point X or Y), take a look at Tendai doctrine and practice, and you can see the continuity from the mainline of Mahayana practice.  It's a very interesting phenomenon, and it's not an accident that some forms of Nichiren Buddhism (SGI for instance) appeals to working-class and African American Buddhists in North America.  It's a fact that the only Buddhist center here where you'll find representative numbers of people of color is a Nichiren center. 
Title: Re: What's Nichirin all about then?
Post by: Monkey Mind on December 20, 2010, 03:38:10 pm
thank you, Jikan, that explanation helps my understanding a lot. The SGI in my community are also effectively recruiting in LGBT and recovery/ AA circles.
Title: Re: What's Nichirin all about then?
Post by: Jikan on December 20, 2010, 05:10:48 pm
thank you, Jikan, that explanation helps my understanding a lot. The SGI in my community are also effectively recruiting in LGBT and recovery/ AA circles.


Yeah, that's one other thing about SGI in particular that distinguishes them from mainstream Buddhism:  they get out there and *recruit*!  I don't think anyone in or out of SGI would disagree with that.

Meanwhile, check this out.  I think this is a very positive contribution to the world:

http://www.soka.edu
Title: Re: What's Nichirin all about then?
Post by: icelemon on February 01, 2013, 02:57:43 am
i am Nichiren Shoshu believer for 20+ years

i found out the teachings is always turns out to be the best for me

After all readings and learnings, i found out that Nichiren Shoshu buddhism -  not only because the astonish result given to me, but also the teachings that often makes me feel in affection day by day. lol

i found out the teachings is always turns out to be the best for me, mostly because,

the philosophy of the lotus sutra, be the light in the society and you can change your fate. that is the best part i like. We focused on person and people, not meditate or focus on ourself happiness, because that brings us adversity.

the other one is the teachings is so flexible and responsible ( ex: no behavior and food prohibition ) because your cause is your effect.

the second one is we don't turn off our desire, because that's our power to achieve our mission and goal. we just drive the desire to reflect the nature of law - its maitri karuna, give happiness to others. ( it works in relationship and business )

there's also other reasons to mention, but i think those are the best reason for me.

Good luck !

Title: Re: What's Nichirin all about then?
Post by: jedi78 on August 24, 2013, 12:25:08 am
Dear all members,

Just my humble sharing from the perspective of the  Nichiren Shu Buddhism School

"The Nichiren Shu is a Buddhist Order founded by the religious prophet and reformer, Nichiren Shonin (1222-1282). He espoused the doctrine that the Lotus Sutra represents the embodiment of the genuine teachings of Sakyamuni Buddha, the founder of Buddhism, the Savior of this world.

Our belief in this doctrine is affirmed by our chanting of the Odaimoku (Sacred Title) : "Namu Myoho Renge Kyo," that is "Adoration to the Scripture of the Lotus of the Perfect Truth."

We believe that Nichiren Shonin was the messenger of the Buddha who has guided us in cultivating our Buddha nature, a quality inherent in all beings, and establishing a way of life consonant with the eternal truths preached by the Buddha.

We vow to the Buddha and Nichiren Shonin that we will strive to engender peace within ourselves and throughout the world by disseminating the teaching expounded in the Lotus Sutra"-Extracted from http://nichiren-shu.org/AboutUs/nichirenShu.html (http://nichiren-shu.org/AboutUs/nichirenShu.html)

Title: Re: What's Nichirin all about then?
Post by: RobinKST on March 21, 2014, 03:19:24 pm
I am an SGI member, and while my worldview does not perfectly mesh in the organization, I am generally happy about the sense of community and comradeship I feel. This is my Sangha.

Daisaku Ikeda has never claimed to be a being any more enlightened than his disciples. Like many Buddhist schools we feel as if we need the direction of someone who has spent their life immersed in the teachings to guide us, President Ikeda fulfills this function. He is our teacher, our Sensei.

I'm not attempting to be offensive here, but it is very easy for most Western Buddhists to scoff at the idea of praying for worldly benefit. By and large Western Buddhists are white, upper middle class, graduate educated individuals. If this teaching inspires less materially wealthy practitioners to fight their way out of poverty, I don't see anything wrong with that. Finally, whether you focus on gaining things or renouncing them... you remain attached to an idea of what constitutes Awakening.
Title: Re: What's Nichirin all about then?
Post by: ph0kin on May 21, 2014, 03:10:55 pm
Based on what I've seen over the years, Nichiren-based Buddhism seems to suffer from factionalism more than one tends to see in other Japanese Buddhist sects.  SGI and Shoshu in particular seem to be still fighting the same basic battle that started 30 years ago, and still take pot-shots at one another as opportunity arises:

http://www.nstmyosenji.org/new-members/leaving-soka-gakkai-and-returning-to-nichiren-shoshu (http://www.nstmyosenji.org/new-members/leaving-soka-gakkai-and-returning-to-nichiren-shoshu) (Shoshu criticizing SGI)
http://www.gakkaionline.net/nst-truth/ (http://www.gakkaionline.net/nst-truth/) (SGI refuting Shoshu)

It's hard to be sure who even started it now as the causes and blame are pretty intertwined.

Somehow the more mainstream Nichiren-shu branch has avoided most of this sectarianism, though its presence in the US is mostly limited to Japanese-American communities.  Rissho Kosei-kai (yet another offshoot) has limited presence in the West too, but has also avoided the factionalism for the most part.

Still, all this infighting is probably why to this day I still prefer not to step into a Nichiren temple: I don't know what sort of minefield I'd be stepping into.
Title: Re: What's Nichirin all about then?
Post by: dhruvthukral on June 23, 2014, 11:05:10 pm
I am an SGI member, and while my worldview does not perfectly mesh in the organization, I am generally happy about the sense of community and comradeship I feel. This is my Sangha.

Daisaku Ikeda has never claimed to be a being any more enlightened than his disciples. Like many Buddhist schools we feel as if we need the direction of someone who has spent their life immersed in the teachings to guide us, President Ikeda fulfills this function. He is our teacher, our Sensei.

I'm not attempting to be offensive here, but it is very easy for most Western Buddhists to scoff at the idea of praying for worldly benefit. By and large Western Buddhists are white, upper middle class, graduate educated individuals. If this teaching inspires less materially wealthy practitioners to fight their way out of poverty, I don't see anything wrong with that. Finally, whether you focus on gaining things or renouncing them... you remain attached to an idea of what constitutes Awakening.

Thanq for the information, was absolutely searchi (http://"http://lifeofnichiren.com")ng for that
SimplePortal 2.3.3 © 2008-2010, SimplePortal