How to chant NAM-MYOHO-RENGE-KYO
How do you chant? Don't worry, it's simple, really. Try to find somewhere where you won't be disturbed for a little while, or have to worry about disturbing others. Sit on an upright chair, facing a blank spot on a wall - so there are no distractions.. Keep your eyes open, and your back as straight as you can - but don't be uncomfortable. Hold your hands together, so as to keep them still - you may wish to hold them as in prayer - again, don't be uncomfortable. Set yourself a time for how long you will chant, and stick to it. Remember, it doesn't really matter whether it's 2 minutes, 10 or twenty, the point is to set a time and stick to it. Just be determined to keep chanting till the time is up - at first, you might find that this takes quite a lot of determination! Repeat the phrase NAM-MYOHO-RENGE-KYO over and over rythmically, until the time limit you have set is up. For a guide to how to pronounce the words, click here. When you first begin to chant you will probably want to chant quite slowly but this will naturally speed up as you become more familiar with it. If you would like to hear what it sounds like when people are chanting a little faster click here for an audio file.
What should you think about when you chant? There is no special recommendation - just whatever comes. Just keep steadily chanting, try not to get so lost in your thoughts that you stop! Before you begin to chant, you might like to take a moment to fix a thought in your mind - something you want to change or achieve. This can be anything you like, from the smallest to the biggest thing you can imagine. Often, when people start to chant, they want to set a specific goal, and see if chanting helps them achieve it - "I want to buy a new car by next Tuesday" - for example! Don't be afraid to test the practice in this way - nothing says that your aims have to be "spiritual" or noble - just chant for whatever is important to you - to improve your material circumstances, your relationships, whatever. Don't expect miracles overnight - a situation that's taken years to build up might take a while to change. However, be prepared to be surprised by how quickly you can make a difference to some things! The whole point is to be guided by your own wisdom - right now you may not believe you have any, but chanting Nam Myoho Renge Kyo will help you realise that you do, and that you can trust the decisions you come to when chanting. To sum up: a number of possible subjects might act as the focus for your thoughts whilst chanting - a particular problem to be resolved; a difficult decision to make; or the best course of action to follow in a given situation. Likewise, you could be focused on emotional situations, and look for ways of coping with them; or thinking of the well- being of another individual. Or your thoughts might be on personal wishes and wants, goals or determinations.
How long you should chant for? This is up to each person but as a guide people are often recommended to chant for about 15 minutes morning or evening (though of course you are free to chant less or more as you wish). It is however a good idea to try to get into a regular rhythm of chanting a little in the morning and evening rather than chanting a lot one day and none the next. Once again, it doesn't really matter whether it's 2 minutes, 10 or twenty, the point is to set a time limit and stick to it. Just keep on chanting till the time is up.