“Practice and study to strengthen your faith. Without practice and study, Buddhism cannot exist. To practice and to study are caused by your faith. Follow these yourself and influence others to do the same. Even if only a word or a phrase, spread it to others.” —Nichiren Shonin
Five Practices of the Dharma Teacher in the Lotus Sutra
In the Lotus Sutra, there are five kinds of practices that we should perform.
- To receive and keep the Sutra in each one’s body and mind
- To read the Sutra with the eyes
- To recite the Sutra
- To explain the Sutra to others
- To copy the Sutra
In order to receive and keep the Lotus Sutra, you must have a heart to believe in the teaching. That fundamental heart is called “faith” (Shin) and “pray” (Nen). Having faith in the Lotus Sutra is that we take the teaching into our daily life and follow it. We should not receive and keep the Sutra with a vague mind.
Reading the Sutra does not simply mean “reading” the letters of the Sutra but reading the Sutra with understanding. However, if you have read the Lotus Sutra, you may think that the Sutra is very difficult to understand. Some Nichiren Shu temples hold study class on the Lotus Sutra to help you understand the Sutra more clearly. By participating in the class and listening to the minister's lectures, you will be able to understand the teachings of the Sutra that you didn't understand before.