Nam-myoho-renge-kyo (also known as "daimoku") for a few minutes, morning and evening if possible.
Buddhism is practical, and beginners are often encouraged to try
chanting for a certain period of time, to get a feel for the practice
and see what changes they notice, such as increased hope or energy, or
improved relations with others. It is helpful to have support from a
friend, or a local SGI group, in order to find answers to questions that
How long to chant for is a matter of personal choice. When people
first start to practice often they begin by chanting for 5 or 10 minutes
at a time. The most important thing is to try to make this a regular
part of one's daily routine, if possible, morning and evening.
Continuing is a constant challenge but one that reaps positive rewards.
Often when facing obstacles, people will chant in a fully focused way in
order to see themselves and their situation clearly.
Chanting has been likened to charging a battery, so the more highly
charged it is, the more energy one has to expend. It is important to
remember however that chanting is not magic. It fills us with hope,
strength and energy so that we can take the right action to resolve our
problems. It is natural to chant for people we know who are suffering
from illness or other problems in life.
Study and SGI meetings
Daily study is also vital to getting the most out of one's Buddhist practice. The study material
available on this website provides a good beginning. People starting to
practice are encouraged to join local SGI meetings in order to ask
questions and receive support and encouragement from others who have
more experience of applying Buddhism to the challenges of daily life.
The SGI Directory provides lists of national level websites from
which local contacts can be established, as well as a list of SGI
centers around the world which can be visited.
SGI President Daisaku Ikeda on chanting daimoku
"Being human, it's quite natural for our minds to wander, for all
sorts of thoughts and memories to surface. [. . .] There is no set form
or pattern for how we should pray. Buddhism emphasizes being natural.
Therefore, simply chant earnestly without pretense or artifice, just as
you are. In time, as your faith develops, you'll naturally find it
easier to focus your mind when you chant.
"It's natural for prayers to center on your own desires and dreams.
[. . .] By chanting very naturally, without affectation or reservation,
for what you seek most of all, you'll gradually come to develop a higher
and more expansive life-condition. Of course, it's perfectly fine as
well to chant with the resolve to become a bigger-hearted person or for
the welfare of your friends and for kosen-rufu-the happiness and flourishing of all humankind."