There are three basic elements in applying Nichiren Buddhism to daily life: faith, practice and study. These are the primary ingredients in the recipe for revealing one’s innate enlightened condition, or Buddhahood. Faith means to believe in the teachings of Nichiren and share his belief that all people have within them the highest potential. Practice means to chant Nam- myoho-renge-kyo, as well as to explain Nichiren’s teachings to others. Study means to study and understand the Buddhist teachings.
Among these three, faith is the most fundamental for the attainment of Buddhahood. This does not mean some kind of blind acceptance, but rather an openness toward positive possibility. SGI President Daisaku Ikeda has written: “In Buddhism, faith means a pure heart, a flexible spirit and an open mind. Faith is the function of human life to dispel the dark clouds of doubt, anxiety and regret, and sincerely open and direct one’s heart toward something great.”
“An openness toward positive possibility”
Nichiren clarifies that faith gives rise to practice and study, and practice and study serve to deepen faith. In “The True Aspect of All Phenomena,” he states:
“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 Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, vol1, p386)
Through chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, studying the teachings of Nichiren and the Lotus Sutra and taking action daily for the well-being of others, SGI members aim to establish a state of profound happiness and wisdom, as well as a wish to contribute to society.