Mindfulness practice in Nichiren Buddhism
The observer or true self in us that has been pointed out in various other Mindfulness therapies is named in NB as the law identified by the chant of NamMyhoRengeKyo. It is that in us that never changes, which will always be there throughout the eternal phases of life and death, eternally connected to all there is. Hence Nichiren calls it the ‘true and eternal unchanging Buddha’. It represents our pure and eternal life force that cannot be destroyed, nor has it been created and so it purely ‘is’ (i.e. eternal).
In Nichiren Buddhist practice this mindfulness is the baseline from which all else develops.
As such in Nichiren Buddhism our thoughts, feelings and expressions are seen as ‘acts’ that we (life) have been creating (consciously or unconsciously – aware or unaware) for experience sake. This creative act is how ‘life’ expresses itself inside and outside ourselves (self, society and environment) based on the strict law represented by MHRGK. This is what is expressed through the concept of ‘ichinen sanzen’, which when translated from Japanese literally means 3000 realms (sanzen) which can potentially be experienced by a person’s mind in a single moment of life (ichinen).
It also means that we can change what lies before us internally as well as externally. In essence, we do this anyhow in some way or another as we live our lives. The difference lies whether we do it in an aware (enlightened) or unaware (unenlightened) state of mind and so Nichiren argues that if we do it with awareness then we are also aware of our control and thus can be of a ‘sound and healthy mind’ with which we can confidently face life’s daily challenges.
Awareness of true self – means being aware that our essence is NMHRGK
The practitioner of Nichiren Daishonin’s Buddhism is mindful that he or she ‘is’ NamMyHoRengeKyo and that all phenomena in the environment are expressions of NamMyHoRengeKyo