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Faith Equals Daily Life

Nichiren Buddhism views faith and daily life as inseparable, and aims to help us establish unshakable happiness in our everyday lives.

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Though many religions teach principles for living, the question is, are people able to put them into practice in their daily lives?

Nichiren Buddhism views faith and daily life as inseparable, and aims to help us establish unshakable happiness in our everyday lives.

Nichiren Daishonin says, “Regard your service to your lord as the practice of the Lotus Sutra” (“Reply to a Believer,” The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, vol. 1, p. 905).

In today’s context, “your service to your lord” equates to fulfilling our roles and responsibilities at home, at work and in society. Through this passage, Nichiren teaches that our daily life itself is the training ground for showing actual proof of Buddhist practice through our behavior.

This idea is expressed in the SGI through the principle “faith equals daily life.” Here, “daily life” points to the outward expressions of our inner lives. And “faith,” or our Buddhist practice, strengthens the power within us to transform our inner lives on the deepest level.

Faith refers to chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo courageously to the Gohonzon, participating in SGI activities, working for the happiness of ourselves and others, and using our Buddhist practice to resolve the issues we face each day.
We develop our faith through taking on our challenges as opportunities to bring forth our Buddha nature. Thus, our daily lives become the stage for bravely tackling our difficulties with the rich life force and wisdom we cultivate through faith. Based on such efforts, we can deeply reform the tendencies in our lives through the process of human revolution and thereby show actual proof.

If we liken faith to the root of a tree, we can consider our daily lives to be the trunk and branches of that tree that bear fruit. If not strongly rooted, our lives tend to be easily swayed by our circumstances and the environment. The deeper the roots of our faith, the stronger the foundation of happiness and fulfillment, and the more bountiful the fruits of actual proof. This is what Nichiren Buddhism teaches.

What does manifesting faith in daily life look like? We could say that a good indicator of this Buddhist principle lies in becoming trusted individuals who are sources of inspiration in our families, workplaces and society.