Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Buddhist Prompt - Which Buddhist Path?

Blessed full moon uposatha! A total lunar eclipse occurred today. It wasn't visible from the US but I watched it online. The eclipse lasted about 100 mins which is pretty long for an eclipse.


I did a search for Buddhist prompt and didn't not find any. So, maybe I'll start it off. I'll try to be weekly. Feel free to answer the prompt on your blog and then leave a comment so that I can read it. Or simply comment *points down* here. My answer will follow the prompt.


Buddhism is like other religions in that it is a broad term like Pagan, Christian, Jew, Muslim, etc. What is your specific path of Buddhism? Or are you non-denominational? What does your Buddhist path entail?


I practice Nichiren Buddhism, a form of Mahayana Buddhism. Nichiren Buddhists chant "Nam Myoho Renge Kyo" and follow the Lotus Sutra and the writings of Nichiren Daishonin. I'm not going to give a history of NB here. There are many sects of NB. Formally, I do not belong to any of them but I associate with members of SGI and NST. I also enjoy reading the earlier sutras and learning about the other Buddhist paths. I highly recommend viewing The Buddha documentary shown on PBS. It may still be available via Netflix or on the PBS website. This documentary is an awesome nonsectarian history of Buddhism.


Every day, morning and evening, I recite passages in Japanese from the Lotus Sutra and say prayers; this is called gongyo. I've heard that some prefer to recite in English and I see no problem with that. Practioners say gongyo to the gohozon, a parchment with Nam Myoho Renge Kyo written down the middle along with other imagery from the Lotus Sutra. This is the focus point of the NB altar.


There are weekly and monthly meetings. Some sects have special memorial and seasonal meetings as well. I'm almost finished reading the Lotus Sutra and I need to get my hands on Nichiren's writings. I can't think of anything else. I'm constantly learning new things so I'm sure I left out some stuff.


Namaste and blessed be )O(

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