If you’re someone who believes in winning over their obstacles, living a big life and always being happy, you may wonder why you should join the practice. You may even regularly tap into personal growth, self help and empowerment tools, and chances are that you have already encountered/realized most of the principles of the Nichiren Buddhist philosophy. Hence, you may ask why you should commit to formally practicing Nichiren Buddhism.
Support system and like minded people: The answer is that practicing these values alone is tough. It is fairly easy to get swayed and fall back into old patterns (as the concept of having “Fundamental darknesses” suggests). The people you meet and interact with on a daily basis can also get you swayed into regressive thought patterns. One needs a Sangha (community) with them who is equally interested to win over their life’s conundrums in order to be consistent.The practice, through its organizational structure, gives you the discipline and the support system you need to practice your spirituality. It is not easy to live big and a noble path, especially if you’re a spiritual perfectionist like me. The monthly meetings ensure you are connected to the philosophy. There are different divisions for the youth, women, students, men etc. This ensures that the people you are practicing with are in a similar phase as your life and you can emerge victorious together amongst your common struggles.
Form of meditation: As someone who reads about these ideas regularly, you may be aware that meditation is an important part of personal growth. You may be trying to get into a meditation routine, sometimes be successful, but often fail at being consistent. However, the practice, with its emphasis on chanting, and guidances on how it is to be done, can help put one’s life into rhythm and make them consistent with their form of meditation. However, at the same time, practitioners deny the notion of chanting as a meditation for it is not done for the purpose of peace, but of joy and awakening one’s highest potential.
Consistent application/ Reinforcement: So you may know most of the principles in the philosophy, but formally being a part of the practice would definitely make you be able to apply these principles more often, as opposed to just knowing them. You could join with a vow of listening and applying your own existing wisdom, and then grow more as you explore new principles in the practice.
Hence, joining the practice is only a way of being consistent with the beliefs and philosophy you may already know. That’s perhaps why its called the “practice”. 😉
P.S I recently read a paper analyzing the link between spirituality and mental illness, and according to it’s conclusion, having spiritual beliefs without a religious framework can lead to mental illness.