1. Chant Namu-Myoho-Renge-Kyo as much as you can every day.
First go to http://www.nbaa.tv/nmrk.html
to learn the meaning and hear how to pronounce the chant. Then,
we recommend taking the "90 day challenge." Chant 30 to
60 minutes every day for 90 days and then look back and see how
you have changed. The more you chant, the more results you're going
to see. Chanting is a lot like exercise. Exercising works out your
physical condition. Chanting works out your life condition. With
exercise, if you work out one day, you won't see much of any results,
even though it's already working. However, if you work out every
day, you're going to notice yourself getting stronger. If you chant
every day for 90 days, you'll begin to notice your life condition
getting stronger. You'll feel happier, enjoy external pleasures
more, be more sensitive to other people, be more aware of your environment
in general (both the good and the bad), and many other things. It
probably won't take all 90 days before you begin to notice yourself
changing. It may only take a couple of days, or, for some people,
just one session. The first thing that usually happens, even before
you see yourself changing, is that other people see you changing.
People may say things to you like, "There's something different
about you. Did you get your hair cut?" Or they may just treat
you differently. We don't always see ourselves very clearly.
2. You don't have to do all of your chanting at once. You
can chant 15 minutes here and 10 minutes there. Some people chant
15 minutes before they begin their day, then 15 minutes before bed.
Or an hour at the beginning and ending of the day. Just remember,
the more you chant, the more you're going to change.
3. Chant out loud. It's preferable to chant out loud if at
all possible. This isn't considered a prayer to some god that can
hear all of your thoughts. It's really a determination to yourself
and to living beings everywhere that you will attain enlightenment
and help them attain enlightenment as well. Any determination has
more power when you make it out loud. Also, when you chant out loud,
you are not only saying it, but you're also hearing it. Including
more of your senses in the process has more of an effect on you.
It's okay to chant in your head if your circumstances don't allow
you to chant audibly. Just be sure that it's really your circumstance
preventing it and not your embarrassment. After all, it is your
4. Find a quiet place with few distractions to chant. You
want to be able to focus as much as you can on your chanting - on
the Buddha nature within you. This is, after all, Buddhist meditation.
Try to find somewhere to chant that allows you to do this. If you
don't have access to such a place, it's okay to chant wherever you
If you can, set up an altar area. This is not an altar to a
deity or an idol. It's a place for yourself. It's a place you can
relax and think. So you can legitimately think of it as an altar
to and for yourself - an altar to your Buddha nature. That's really
what it is. Additionally, the contents of the altar (to be listed
in a minute) help further involve our senses in the experience of
chanting. The altar can include some or all of the following: Candles;
incense and incense burner; a bell or gong; green plants or clippings
of plants in a vase; fruit or a bowl of rice; a table (to place
these thing on). Keep your altar area clean, and try not to keep
things like work assignments or lists of things to do there. Try
to keep things there that help improve the ambience and experience
of chanting. And please, no voodoo dolls of your enemies or sacrificial
Use beads on your hands. Called juzu (prayer beads), they
are generally worn by Buddhists while chanting. If you don't have
any beads, it's okay to chant without them. The beads attune you
to your sense of touch. Different Buddhist sects use different types
of beads. Nichiren Buddhists use the beads shown in the picture.
There are 108 beads around the middle, two tassels on the left and
three tassels on the right. Holding them with your palms together
and your fingertips touching symbolizes a Buddhist concept known
as the Mutual Possession of the Ten Worlds and reminds us that it
doesn't matter what mood or condition we're in, we can always directly
tap our Buddha nature through chanting.
7. Don't quit chanting until you accomplish your determination.
It's easy to start chanting. And it's easy to stop. If you can
discipline yourself to chant consistently for the full 90 day challenge,
you're going to see undeniable signs of the Buddha within yourself.
The effort required is definitely worth it.