The logic of chanting (according to me):
Positive affirmations: The Daishonin was Japanese so Nam myoho renege kyo wasn’t hard for him or his Japanese disciples to understand. When they chanted this mantra, they knew what they were saying. “Nam myoho renege kyo” means “I dedicate my life to the law of cause and effect/ I believe in the power of cause and effect” and therefore while chanting they were consciously making the determination to base their lives on this law. Hence, they would condition their mind to think in a cause and effect manner making themselves more objective and capable of solving the problems they faced in their life with greater strength and resilience. As the effects of positive self affirmation are well known, its not tough for me to believe that this truly does work.
Now the question arises, why don’t we just directly chant “I believe in the power of cause and effect” if it means the same thing? They probably don’t want to change the “Core rituals” of the practice as prescribed, or have not realized this logic.
- The purpose of chanting– they say that the purpose of chanting is to tap into our highest potential and life state of Buddhahood. Some people have perhaps never desired to reach their highest potential and when they chant for the first time while being told that this is the purpose of chanting, they sow the seed for growth and change. To those who already try to reach their highest potential may not get amused by merely chanting, and having this spiritual workout to go to may help them attain consistency. This is because they’re sitting down twice each day to tap into their highest potential. They also say that chanting daily helps us become one with the universe (connect our microcosm to the macrocosm).
- Visualization– We think about our goals while chanting which speeds up the manifestation process. They recommend that we write down our desires and goals on a piece of paper and look at it while chanting. Our motivation to achieve this goals increases or we come across more opportunities to actualize them.
- How you pray- They ask us to pray with a determination, and not beg. Begging shows that we doubt the philosophy or gohozon and don’t have enough faith. This is important since we shift our focus on what we want and not what we don’t have. It’s a lot like applying the law of attraction.
- What you pray for– We are often asked to pray for the happiness of others. This ignites the emotion of compassion and empathy in our own selves and improves our relationships.
- The meaning of the mantra-“Nam myoho renege kyo” means “I dedicate my life to the law of cause and effect/ I believe in the power of cause and effect” and therefore while chanting one is making the determination to base their lives on this law.
- Placebo– Even if having faith in the effects of chanting or the gohonzon and then gaining benefits is placebo effect, why is it a bad thing to have a daily spiritual routine? Especially one which has so much emphasis on being your own best self, achieving your highest potential and never being defeated etc. rather than superstition of a stone or a “god” (theism)?