In teachings that preceded and followed the Lotus Sutra, we , the common mortals, and the Buddha are separate beings. So we pray to Buddha, or beseech Buddha to help us, to save us or to protect us. But when we come to the Lotus Sutra, we learn that the Buddha is within us, and that we have to develop our Buddha-nature,which we do by chanting. We must go inside ourselves for salvation, we must not seek outside ourselves for help and protection. Namu-myoho-renge-kyo includes ichinen sanzen (all worlds, all things, existing in one being, in one moment of thought). That means that the world of Buddha also exists within one being. So we need not search for Buddha or god outside ourselves. We must look inside and realize that we have Buddha-nature. This is how one practices naitoku shinko (seeking faith without Gohonzon).
NAITOKU SHINKO By Reverend Raidou Hirota
Translated and edited by Udumbara Foundation volunteers
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