Daily recitation of excerpts from the Lotus Sutra is one of the most essential religious practices in which Rissho Kosei-kai members engage. Members recite these passages aloud each morning and evening before the Buddhist altars in our homes or at Dharma centers.
We consider sutra recitation a form of meditation—a practice that played an important role in Shakyamuni Buddha’s life and teachings. Reciting the sutra with reverence before the Buddha also brings us deep insight into ourselves that enables us to awaken to our oneness with the Buddha who sustains all. Sutra recitation is a practice of revering ourselves by making us aware that buddha nature is the true essence of our life.
Through this practice we members express a sense of devotion and gratitude to the Three Treasures: the Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha. Reciting the sutra before the Buddha, we express sincere gratitude first to the one who taught and explained the right way for human beings to live, as well as to the Dharma, or his teachings. We also express gratitude to fellow members of our Sangha, to our ancestors, who provided us the opportunity to be born in this world, as well as to all living beings, whether related or unrelated to us.
Reading the Three-Fold Lotus Sutra in Mid-Winter helps to purify your heart. And it’s a great way to start the new year.