Live simply with gratitude,
peace, joy and compassion.
The following daily
practices are recommended for all SBF friends and interested parties. We highly encourage you to diligently practice them
on a daily basis so that your life can manifest its potential for peace, gratitude, harmony and compassion. The Buddha said
that the mind is a creator; it paints your reality like a artist paints a portrait. Your mind's portrait is the
life you are leading right at this moment. Through the practice of daily observances, you can transform your inner reality
and “paint” a new life, full of liberation, peace and joy, thereby positively transforming your life and the world
you live in.
Moreover, these practices
serve as daily reminders of our highest spiritual values like Going for Refuge in the Three Jewels and the Shin Affirmation;
in addition, they serve as opportunities to deeply hear the primordial call of Boundless Life and Light itself via quiet
sitting meditation and chanting the Juseige. Finally, the Observance ends with
the voicing of the nembutsu, as the direct and living manifestation of the Oneness of reality, and the embodiement of the
Three Jewels and Noble Eightfold Path. Refer to our What is Shin Buddhism?
web page and Becoming a Buddhist on the Buddhist Faith Fellowship's
web site for detailed information on the Buddhist lifestyle and beliefs.
and print the following Daily Observance for your personal use. Please read the suggested steps and modify
them if needed.
Face shrine, NEMBUTSU scroll or Buddha image
a. Palms in gassho (in reverence) with mallas
(meditation beads) wrapped around hands. Sit in chair or cushion.
b. Ring bell (three times and then bow) while you do this follow your breathe mindfully.
Candle & Incense Offering
one or both of the following:
Light the Wisdom Candle and recite:
“Mindful of the Buddha of Eternal Life and Light, I calmly light this candle,
the face of the Earth.” (bell & bow)
Light the incense and recite:
“In gratitude and joy,
I offer this incense
To the living heart of wisdom and compassion,
Amida, the Buddha of Immeasurable Life and Light.”
(bell & bow)
III. Recite THE FIVE
“I am of the
nature to grow old.
There is no way to escape growing old.
I am of the nature
to have ill health.
There is no way to escape having ill health.
I am of the nature
There is no way to escape death.
All that is dear
to me and everyone I love,
Are of the nature to
There is no way to
Being separated from
My actions are
my only true belongings.
I cannot escape,
The consequences of
My actions are the ground on which I stand.
By relying on the
compassion of Buddha,
The wisdom of the Dharma,
And the fellowship of Sangha.
May I realize my true nature
And liberate other beings from suffering. (bell
III. going for refuge in the Three Jewels
(This fundamental practice
allows us to entrust ourselves to life’s highest universal
I take refuge in the Buddha. May I absorb myself in the living source of understanding,
faith and compassion, and
awaken to the boundless Pure
Land here and now.
(bell & bow)
I take refuge in the Dharma. May I be submerged in the depths of the Teachings and Reality-as-it-is, and gain
wisdom as deep as the ocean. (bell & bow)
refuge in the Sangha. May I live in harmony with all beings, united with the disciples of Buddha, in the spirit of universal
oneness and freed from the bondage of selfishness. (bell & bow)
Iv. RECITE THE SHIN BUDDHIST AFIRMATION
Calling out her Sacred Name,
I shall pass through the journey of life with
strength and joy.
Revering the Light of Buddha,
Reflecting upon my imperfect self,
I shall proceed to live a life of gratitude.
Following the Teachings of Buddha,
Listening to the wholesome Path,
I shall share the Dharma with all.
Rejoicing in the compassion of Buddha,
Respecting and aiding all sentient beings,
I shall work towards the welfare of society and
the world. (bell & bow)
V. Zen meditation if time permits. Practice meditation to help generate
inner silence so you can deeply hear the call of Boundless Life and Light as the Nembutsu-Namu-Amida-Butsu.
Sit on a zafu (meditation pillow) or chair for 10-20 minutes.
VI. chant the Juseige & nembutsu
(These chants are viewed as a meditation
to hear the primordial calling of Life itself beckoning us to spiritually awaken to Immeasurable Life & Light, symbolized
as Amida Buddha)
Song of Praise
The Juseige is the
second of three gathas (Songs of Praise) in the primary sutra of Shin Buddhism, The
Larger Sutra of Immeasurable Life. This sutra passage recounts Chapter 8 of this mythical Sacred Story, in which the Bodhisattva
Dharmakara promises to embark on a quest for enlightenment and then makes 48 Vows to the Buddha Lokes-vararaja. After declaring
these vows he praises these vows with this gatha (poem).
Instructions: Put your hands in gassho and strike the bell and
begin to chant one syllable at a time. The underlined words are chanted with 2 beats and the second syllable is not pronounced.
BUSSETSU MURYO JUKYO
GA GON CHO
HIS-SHI MU JO DO
SHI GAN FU MAN ZOKU
SEI FU JO SHO GAKU
GA O MU RYO KO
I DAI SE SHU
FU SAI SHO BIN GU
SEI FU JO SHO GAKU
GA SHI JO BUTSU DO
MYO SHO CHO
KU KYO Ml SHO MON
SEI FU JO SHO GAKU
Rl YOKU JIN SHO NEN
JO E SHU BON GYO
GU MU JO DO
I SHO TEN NIN SHI
JIN RIKI EN DAI KO
FU SHO MU SAI DO
SAN KU MYO
KO SAI SHU YAKU NAN
KAI Hl CHI E GEN
MES-SHI KON MO AN
SHO AKU DO
TSU DATSU ZEN SHU MON
KO SO JO MAN ZOKU
I YO RO JIP-PO
SHU JU KI
TEN KO ON PU GEN
ISHU KAI HO ZO
KO SE KU DOKU HO
JO O DAI SHU
SEP-PO SHI SHI KU
KU YO IS-SAI BUTSU
GU SOKU SHU TOKU HON
GAN E SHITSU JO
TOKU I SAN GAI O
NYO BUTSU MU GE CHI
TSU DATSU Ml FU SHO
GAN GA KU E RIKI
SHI SAI SHO SON
SHI GAN NYAK-KO KA
DAI SEN O KAN DO
KO KU SHO TEN NIN
TO U CHIN
MYO KE (bell)
NEMBUTSU CHANT (shorten
Chant is experienced as the call of Life and Light itself, known as the Name-That-Calls.
NA MAN DA BU (6x)
VII. End Observance
After chanting the Nembutsu, ring the bell (three
times & then bow)
Throughout the day, practice deep hearing; become
aware of and entrust in Great Compassion, symbolized as Amida Buddha, which surrounds and sustains you and all beings. Let
the feeling of gratitude and compassion arise from within you and recite the Buddha Name, Namo
break Prayer Practice
During Lunch break, to help remember the dharma
and cultivate deep hearing, compassion and love, you may want to recite The Prayer of Metta-karuna. This beautiful and powerful Pure Land prayer has been adapted from the 8th century Indian Buddhist
saint, Shantideva. Recite it with palms in gassho and with mallas wrapped around hands.
”Oneness of Life and Light,
Entrusting in your Great Compassion,
May you shed the foolishness
Transforming me into your conduit of Eternal Love.
May I be a medicine for the sick and weary,
their afflictions until they are cured;
May I become food and drink,
During time of famine,
I protect the helpless and the poor,
May I be a lamp,
For those who need your Light,
May I be a bed
for those who need rest,
and guide all seekers to the Other Shore.
May all find happiness through my actions,
let no one suffer because of me.
Whether they love or hate me,
Whether they hurt or wrong me,
May they all obtain
Through the Primal Vow of Other Power,
and realize the Pure
Namu Amida Butsu.”
Buddhist Mealtime Prayer
During breakfast, lunch,
snack time and dinner, practitioners should recite either vocally or in the mind the Prayer
of Mealtime Thanksgiving.
is the gift of the whole universe,
Each morsel is a sacrifice of life,
May I be worthy to receive it.
May the energy
in this food,
Give me the strength,
To transform my unwholesome qualities into wholesome ones.
I am grateful for this
I accept this sacrifice,
I realize the Path of Awakening and Love,
for the sake of all
Namo Amida Buddha.”