There are three basic elements to the practice of Nichiren Buddhism, chanting the phrase Nam-myoho-renge-kyo; studying the teachings of Nichiren; and making efforts to proliferate the teachings of Buddhism to achieve the ultimate goal of peace throughout the world and the happiness of all humanity. SGI members perform a morning and evening practice known as Gongyo, which consists of chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo and reciting portions of the Lotus Sutra.
The “Mystic Law”
Buddhism teaches that a universal Law (Dharma) underlies everything in the universe. This is the very essence of life. One could also think of it as the fundamental rhythm of life and the universe. Nichiren identified this Law or essence as Nam-myoho-renge-kyo. He taught that by carrying out the correct practice of Buddhism anyone is able to bring their individual life into harmony with greater life of the universe. The result of this is that one is able to experience greater wisdom, courage, life force and compassion (the qualities of this life-essence).
This is what it means to manifest Buddhahood, or an enlightened life condition.
Buddhahood in Daily Life
SGI members are encouraged employ their Buddhist practice to squarely confront and overcome the very real challenges of their daily lives, in order to realize and manifest the profound potential of their life and to fulfill their unique life purpose. SGI members believe that this process of inner spiritual transformation or “human revolution,” leads to not only individual empowerment but is the surest way to direct humankind’s energies toward creating a peaceful and prosperous world.
The SGI members carry out their daily practice at home and meet at regular discussion meetings to study Buddhist principles and how to apply them in everyday life. At these gatherings, members also exchange ideas, hopes, challenges and experiences of their Buddhist faith and practice. These small group meetings are a place of mutual encouragement as well as for sharing Buddhist faith with friends.