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Fundamentals

Happiness Built on Practice and Study

Fundamentals: Learning From The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin

Photo by Yin Thin Low.

“Exert yourself in the two ways of practice and study. Without practice and study, there can be no Buddhism. You must not only persevere yourself; you must also teach others. Both practice and study arise from faith. Teach others to the best of your ability, even if it is only a single sentence or phrase.” (“The True Aspect of All Phenomena,” The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, vol. 1, p. 386)

Background

The key to bringing out our Buddha nature and becoming truly happy is to strengthen our faith. And to strengthen our faith, Nichiren urges us to strive in the two ways of practice and study. Practice entails practice for oneself and others. This includes chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, reciting the sutra, sharing Buddhism with others and taking part in SGI activities. Study means deepening our understanding of Nichiren Buddhism by reading Nichiren’s writings and our many SGI publications. Through practice and study—without which “there can be no Buddhism”—we can develop deep conviction in our own Buddhahood and thus make it shine.

Nichiren urges us to not only chant ourselves but also teach others. And he encourages us to summon forth courage to share Buddhism “to the best of your ability, even if it is only a single sentence or phrase.” We can build a foundation of happiness when we continually challenge ourselves to chant, engage in dialogue and study Nichiren’s writings.

Ikeda Sensei’s Guidance:

Read Nichiren Daishonin’s writings, even if only one sentence. Speak to someone about Buddhism, even if only one word or phrase. If you exert yourselves in your Buddhist practice, using your voices and taking action, a fresh and vibrant surge of life force will begin to flow within you in tune with the rhythm of the universe.

I have earnestly persevered in practice and study to spread the Buddhism of my eternal mentor, Nichiren Daishonin, and to fulfill my vow to my mentor in life, Josei Toda. My determination to continue striving remains completely unchanged today, because I know that the shining path of mentor and disciple does not exist apart from the two ways—practice and study. (A Foundation for Your Life, pp. 230–31)

If you exert yourselves in your Buddhist practice, using your voices and taking action, a fresh and vibrant surge of life force will begin to flow within you.

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