7 Easy Ways To Chant nam-myoho-renge-kyo

When it comes to spiritual (or self-improvement) practice, everyone has different preferences. Some like meditation, some prefer yoga, some do mindfulness practices, some talk to angels… I think that all practices can ultimately connect you to the same energy that lies within and around us, so it doesn’t really matter which particular practice resonates with you. There is no right or wrong.

With one caveat…

Spiritual practice should be a DAILY thing. Not every few days, or every once in a while. EVERY DAY.

Chanting nam-myoho-renge-kyo

As you all know by now, chanting nam myoho renge kyo is my practice of choice. If you haven’t found a practice that resonates deeply with you yet, I would encourage you all to give it a try! It seriously changed my life.

I have already written about how chanting works and how I think the practice enhances your connection with that universal energy, giving you more and more creative power in the way you engage with the Law of Attraction. If you chant daily, you keep that connection strong. If you drop your practice for a few days here and there, your vibrational frequency drops, along with your mood, and your conscious engagement with the LOA. Just as you would exercise regularly to keep your physical self in shape, so too should you exercise your spiritual muscles regularly and consistently.

And so I continue to chant. Every. Single. Day.

I know that it can be hard to build up a new daily habit, no matter what it is. BUT I can tell you that the effort it takes to regularly set aside time to practice is totally worth it. First of all, as you build the habit, it gets easier and easier to just sit down and chant without thinking too much about it. And best of all, when you start doing this consistently, your mood and general state of being just flies higher and higher. You feel better. Lighter. Happier. Life starts to just go your way.

7 easy ways to chant nam-myoho-renge-kyo

First of all, if you don’t know the mantra yet, here is a 24-minute recording (right-click and “Save link as…” to download MP3 file). It’s sometimes nice to chant along with the recording, especially when you’re just getting started with the practice.

Whether you use the recording or prefer to chant on your own, here are some of the easy ways you can fit chanting into your everyday life!

1. Make the time and space at home

My spiritual "altar" in London
My spiritual “altar” in London

You can chant at home! For any practice like this, it would be ideal if you can take the time to sit down in a special place. Making a space in your home for spiritual practice is not only comfortable and rewarding, but seeing and walking by that place every day serves as a reminder for you to just sit down and do it. When I was living in London, I had a special table (right) – just a cheap Ikea desk – that I covered with a pretty scarf and decorated with items that were either spiritual in nature or in some way meaningful for me and that made me happy to look at them. The Buddha statue I picked up on my first visit to Thailand. The little plastic flower pot I bought in Amsterdam. The candle gifted to me by a good friend. The smoke-free Ka-fuh Hinoki Cypress incense that never fails to get me into a calm and contemplative mood when I burn it.

Now that I’m travelling I can’t set up such an altar everywhere I go. If you can, I would highly recommend it. But if you can’t or don’t want to, don’t let that stop you from the practice itself! These days, when chanting at home, I simply sit on the side of my bed and gaze out the back window of my bungalow, which looks out onto trees and greenery – nature itself is enough of an altar for me. The important thing is to pick somewhere quiet and comfortable to really devote yourself to those few minutes of chanting.

2. Immerse your Self in nature

You can chant outside! My favourite place to chant these days is in the ocean or on the beautiful beach I am lucky enough to live beside in Ko Lanta. Wherever you are, there is somewhere you can go to enhance your connection to All-That-Is by directly connecting with Nature. Go for a stroll around your nearest park or seafront. Take your shoes off, sit down in the grass, lean up against a tree. You can always find a quiet spot to sit, rest your gaze on something beautiful, and chant. It doesn’t really matter if anyone hears you but remember, you can just say the words quietly, there’s no need to shout them out.

3. Cleanse your body, cleanse your soul

You can chant in the shower! This was my go-to when I first started my chanting practice. I have never been much of a morning person, and was in a 9-to-5 office job at the time, so by the time I dragged myself out of bed after a few snooze cycles, there was hardly any time to eat breakfast, let alone sit down to chant for even 10 minutes. So I decided to make use of the time when my mind wasn’t all that occupied anyway. Showering is an automatic process for most of us – water on, wash, rinse, repeat. It’s the perfect opportunity to squeeze in some chanting time!

4. Clear your clutter, inside and out

You can chant while you’re doing your housework! Whether you need to wash the dishes, vacuum the floor, or dust down those bookshelves, doing housework is another great chance to chant. As you’re cleaning up your physical home, you can do a double whammy and get some chanting done at the same time to clean up your spiritual clutter!

5. On the road to happiness

You can chant in the car! Maybe this one is best left until you have at least mastered the words and don’t need to think too much about it. Always concentrate on the road! But after you’ve chanted a bit and become familiar with the words, you don’t really need to think too much about it as you’re doing it. Once you’re comfortable with the mantra, you can take advantage of those long drives to work, or to visit friends and family. Setting out on a drive (even on my scooter here in Thailand) has always been one of my favourite times to chant. Just switch off the radio and chant to yourself while you’re driving.

You can even chant silently…

I believe that the act of reciting the words out loud is important. The universe is a bundle of energy and vibration, and I think that the physical vibration achieved by chanting out loud creates a stronger connection to that energy. However, silent mantra meditation can be a great way to focus and calm your mind. Your thoughts alone also have creative and energetic power, so there is still benefit in focusing your mind on the mantra, even without giving it voice. If you can’t find a place to comfortably chant aloud, try listening along with the recording above, or just reciting it silently to yourself.

6. Planes, trains and automobiles

You can chant on public transport! Sitting on a bus or train for your morning commute? Flying off somewhere for business or pleasure? For a lovely and fulfilling way to pass the time, simply gaze out the window or close your eyes, and repeat nam myoho renge kyo in your head.

7. Drifting off to sleep

You can chant in bed! I have always had trouble falling asleep – it can take anywhere from half an hour to 2 hours for me to finally nod off. One of the things that really helps me to quiet the chatter in my mind is to silently repeat nam myoho renge kyo to myself.

Have fun with it!

I recently read a interview with George Harrison of The Beatles, about his practice of chanting the Hare Krishna mantra. As you probably know, the Hare Krishna devotees are famous for their all-singing, all-dancing enthusiasm when reciting their mantra, and are frequently seen dancing down the street and chanting along with cymbals and drums. Harrison talked about how their style of practice enhances the joy and jubilation that arises through this form of mantra meditation. It really made me think, and realise that there’s no reason that chanting needs to be a formal or sombre affair. nam myoho renge kyo connects you with the divine energy around and within us, which is a joyful thing! Embrace the practice and have some fun with it too 🙂

Can you think of anywhere else you might be able to chant? Let me know in the comments below!

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101 thoughts on “7 Easy Ways To Chant nam-myoho-renge-kyo

  1. Sara

    Hi Jessica,
    I’m a member with the SGI, and it’s been alright for me so far. But I’m struggling to understand how to chant to resolve a very troubled relationship with my mum. She’s much older than most parents, actually old enough to be my grandmother. And we have some deeprooted differences that arise from my own and her own childhood trauma, so it’s hard to melt away when I chant.
    Underneath all the hurt though I really want her and my father to lead happy, healthy lives and for our family to become harmonious again. But all the hurt and the differences and my own anxiety wells up when I sit down to chant, especially at home. And I struggle to understand how to do this right. Owing to years of discord, I also struggle with disbelief in my purest of prayers.
    Any suggestions on how you would chant about this?


    • Sid

      Hi Sara,
      You need to get to the root cause of why this relationship is troubled. While chanting imagine you mother venting out and a bit later having a great friendly conversation with you. Once you fuse with the law you need to observe yourself and your mother having a conversation as a soul from outside. Everything is made of energy that the problem is you need to acknowledge that. Take an example” Electricity existed even before Edison manifested it. He visualized and the iteration and efforts made it happen to manifest. This is same.

  2. Lauren Foster

    I have a question and hope that you can answer it. I used to chant about 10 years ago with the SGI, and some things happened and I left. I had been chanting for 20+ years, and to be honest, chanting is the only form of Buddhism I know. I have tried other forms of Buddhism, and they don’t attract me. So I am returning to Nichiren Buddhism, with many trepidations. One of the things I have struggled with is that I have never felt that anyone guided me so that I understood what should be going through my mind. My ability to chant is so rote that I do it without thinking, so my mind wanders. No one has given me something to concentrate on. So – my question. What should be going on in my mind while I chant?

    • Sid

      Hi Lauren,
      Mind should be clear when chanting. It is said that mind is electrical impulses and heart is magnetic. You need to visualize some positive event. Say you got an offer letter (Consider this as an image like a theatre screen). Now as a soul imagine you signing the offer letter with happiness on your face ( magnetic feeling ). You are creating this 3D representation in energy field as in future. Once you do that, you may be contacted someday, you meet a friend and she tells about a job, you come across a posting. When your mind says to do something it’s the nudge for you to act upon.

  3. Elledo

    Hi Jessica, it was wonderful coming across your blog. I am a part of the sgi along with my family but I find the high-handedness of the leaders putting me off, so much so that I don’t chant regularly. Nmrk is mystical. Prayers get answered in the strangest way. Thanks for your blog. I could resonate with each of the posts and comments. Regards.

    • Jessica

      Thanks so much for your comment Elledo! That’s a shame that you’re not having a good experience with SGI, but I do hope that you can continue your practice regardless. It would be a pity to lose out on the benefits of the practice because of issues with the organization. I hope you can find your own path with it 🙂

  4. Jessica

    Thanks so much for sharing, Christopher! Sorry to hear that the meetings didn’t suit you, but absolutely yes you can just chant and be happy 🙂 Yes the gongyo is that long recitation, it is a lovely sound but I don’t usually include that in my practice either, chanting Nam Myoho Renge Kyo is all that is really necessary. Lots of love to you xx

    • Adriena

      Hi Jessica,
      I absolutely love the simplicity and practicality of your website. I did explore SGI on two occasions but was wary of the spokespersons who met with me – they basically off loaded all of their problems to me (things like jealous of a partner that became a leader before her, her daughters anorexia and self harming stuff – very little was discussed on the practise) I did go to one meeting but ran for cover – it wasn’t pleasant.
      NMRK is fantastic so much so I suggested it to my friend who lives in another part of NZ she absolutely loves what chanting has done to help her with some issues.
      I do some study of Nichiren Shoshu too.
      Thank you so much. Take care and stay safe with regards to Covid-19.

      • Nushi

        Hello Jessica. Which part of NZ are you? Are you a member of SGI in NZ?

        • Jessica

          Hi Nushi, I am not actually in NZ (I’ve never been!) – I live in Ireland 🙂
          And no, I’m not a member of SGI at all, I prefer to practice independently – although all practitioners are welcome here of course!

          • Marianna

            Oh that’s funny !! funny amusing AND funny strange – some odd happenings yesterday and today have led me to this blog and I have no idea how come I was even reading the comments! Anyway, I live in Ireland too – that’s a coincidence huh?! I went to a few sgi meetings in Dublin maybe 15 years ago or so, just yesterday I started chanting again, and this morning happened to open an old biscuit box that’s been in the back of my kitchen press for literally years, and out fell the orange booklet that contains the words to recite in morning/evening practice – very strange! – and now I find myself on this blog totally randomly, and I read that the writer of the blog lives in Ireland too 🙂

            What does it all mean?!!! Nothing probably, still though………

    • anni karouni

      i have a problem those days i barely start to chant and i hiyperventilate every step dont know what it means of course cannot chant vey much while hyperventilating

      • Angela Shivers

        You can chant outloud then take a long breath in saying Nam-Myoho-Renge (mouthing) as you breath in. It helped me

      • Jessica

        Hi Anni, yes as Angela says, you can work your breathing into your practice. Feel free to chant as quickly or slowly as is comfortable for you. I sometimes “breathe in” nam-myoho-renge-kyo, and other times I just take a normal breath in between. I hope you can find a rhythm that is comfortable to you and helps with your hyperventilating. Lots of love to you xx

  5. Nayantara Kabir

    Hi Jessica,
    I’m grateful to find you. I practiced with SGI for 30 years. I think it helped a lot but have grown away from SGI and have fallen away from chanting for several years. My life is thoroughly stagnant and I’ve been depressed for a long time. I hardly go out and am not motivated at all. Reading some of these letters is very helpful and I’m going to try again. I was thinking about going to a meeting tomorrow but I think I’ll just try to establish a daily practice again. I really need to live again. Best, Naya

    • Jessica

      Hi Naya, thanks so much for your message, I’m so glad you have found inspiration in the blog and comments and I hope you find your way back to a daily practice again! It takes some dedication to stick with it, doesn’t it?? I struggle sometimes to maintain a daily practice too, but as you know from your previous practice, the benefits can be wonderful. Sending you lots of love and support, I have faith that you can reinvigorate your life and practice xx

  6. Sharondz Ng

    Dear Jessica ,

    THANK YOU so much for all of your inspiring posts, its really encourage with keep chanting and trust the universal. I’m also a fan of Abraham , I totally agreed your point of view chanting NMRK , daimoku speaks for itself and can stand alone without attachment to the controversial histories of any of the various Nichiren Buddhist organisations.

    Thank you very much .
    Love & blessing to you.

    • Jessica

      Thank you so much Sharondz! It works both ways, lovely messages like this also encourage me to keep going 🙂 Lots of love to you xx

  7. Sandra Strausbaugh

    Hello- Really enjoying your blog. I was wondering too about chanting independently, in the car, while houseworking etc. I love your perspective. I am a newbie and live so rural that SGI is not an option anyway. Just a side note: Tina Turner started chanting alone. She couldn’t attend any SGI or other functions because of the situation she was in. I think her story is a standout testament to what devotion to chanting and spiritual practice can change.

    • Jessica

      Hi Sandra, thanks so much for your message! How is your practice going, are you still chanting regularly? I didn’t actually know that Tina Turner started chanting alone but that totally makes sense – and yes indeed, what an inspiration she is! We can certainly reap the benefits of the practice whether in a group or independently 🙂 Lots of love to you xx

  8. saloni goyal

    Awesome post I have just gone through it and I’m feeling so confident about chanting bcoz I hardly get time to chant , I always chant the ways you suggested. But always confused whether I’m doing it in right way or not …thanks a lot

    • Jessica

      Hi Saloni, thanks so much for your lovely comment! I’m so glad this post has helped you, remember there really is no “right” or “wrong” way to chant – if you’re trying at all, you’re doing it right! 🙂

  9. Edna Hannah

    Hi Jessica, thanks for this blog. You have lifted a great burden off my shoulders. I became an sgi member. In the beginning I enjoyed chanting NMRK but got confused by the different advice given by sgi members. It made chanting like a lot of hard work and I just couldn’t keep up with it but after reading your blog I feel relaxed. Now I can chant at my own convenience without the pressure of going to meetings and doing house visits. I am suffering from tinnitus and anxiety. Will chanting NMRK help? Thanks so much.
    Much love and gratitude. Edna

    • Jessica

      Hi Edna, thanks so much for your lovely comment, I’m so glad the blog has helped! I know what you mean about the pressure and different streams of advice when chanting with a group like SGI, but you can certainly relax into it at your own pace by chanting independently 🙂 Sorry to hear about your health issues. I know that chanting NMRK has helped me with depression in the past, it seems to lead to a more naturally mindful and positive way of thinking so definitely stick with it and see for yourself! If the tinnitus is exacerbated by your anxiety it may indeed also help with that too! Sending love and healing wishes your way, keep in touch and let me know how you get on with it 🙂

      • Soumi

        Hi. I’m a new practioner and its been only 6 months. It feels great to connect to the universe however, my mind keeps buzzing with too many unwanted thoughts. There are good days and bad days and I feel that I become too harsh on myself, keeping me away from the reality. But the good thing is, I could connect to myself better. And suggestions that you can give?

        • Jessica

          Hi Soumi, thanks for your question and sorry for the late reply! Do you mean you’re having negative thoughts? Has this improved at all in the time since you posted? NMRK can also be a wonderful tool for helping to become more mindful in general; more present in this moment. When you find your mind buzzing, perhaps try to ground yourself in the “here and now”, focus your attention on where you are, what you’re doing, what sensations you’re feeling… That may pull your mind back a little from wandering into those unwelcome thoughts. I hope this helps. Lots of love to you! xx

  10. Winnie

    Hi Jessica,

    I love your post! I started chanting by byself a year ago, using SGI chanting app. I do it in the car, shower, house cleaning, etc! I use to do affirmations, but feel as though this is the Ultimate affirmation. It puts me in a high vibrational frequency, and like-energy is attracted to me. I’m a big believer in energy, and law of attraction. I love Abraham and his teachings. My goal in life is to live in the highest vibrational state, always. I joined SGI for a month or so, and it was too intense to me. So I stopped communication with them. Although the practice is still amazing. And I love that you at an independent practictioner. NMHRK resonates with me deeply, because I believe that in order to change our lives we must change our thoughts 24/7. Even though I have practiced spirituality for a long time, life didn’t really start changing until I did affirmations 24/7. I would repeat affirmations out loud or in my head all the time!!! But I have replaced my affirmations with NMHRK and it’s been easier and better. Thank you for sharing your article!

    • Jessica

      Hi Winnie! Thanks so much for your lovely comment, I’m so glad you enjoyed this post! I couldn’t agree more that NMRK is the “ultimate” affirmation. I like to play around with different interpretations in my head as I chant, and am currently focusing on the thought that “the Energy of the Universe flows To and Through me” during my practice, I think that really sums it up 🙂 I’m also a big fan of Abraham, and I think that this practice aligns really well with Abraham’s teachings and general modern spirituality/LOA concepts. Thanks again for reaching out, keep in touch! Lots of love to you xx

  11. Amir

    Dear Jessica, I have started chanting today, mostly silently but I do chant out loud when I am in my car. I am not able to sleep, eat, focus or constrate on anything due to a big mistake I made in my which resulted in so much pain disgrace. I wish I was dead. Don’t want to live anymore. Start chanting today for mental clarity and another chance in life. This phase will be a life changing if chanting really works. I have high hopes and sending powerful messages to the universe to help me get out of this mess. I need your prayers and blessings. Please help.

    • Jessica

      Hi Amir, thanks for your comment and I’m so sorry to hear of your struggles. Please don’t give up hope, mistakes are a part of life, even the big ones, and can also be seen as wonderful opportunities for learning and growth in how we react to them and move forward. What’s done is done, and whatever happened, you should forgive yourself for it. You didn’t mean for things to turn out like this. Try to make amends or do what you can to fix any lasting issues from your mistake, but please don’t dwell on regret. I hope that you are still chanting and that it is helping – mental and spiritual clarity was one of the biggest life-changing impacts for me from the very start, so I wish the same for you. Sending lots of love to you xx

  12. Khurram

    Excellent work Jessica your contribution imho is very valuable with all the sectarianism that Nichiren Buddhism has displayed throughout it’seems history I think that individuals practising NMRK have theyes potential to evolve the practice in new and truly benevolent ways making it a truly universal practice for all who wish to use it.

    Daimoku speaks for itself and needs to free itself from violent history of it’s background rooted in Japanese militarism, imperialism,cultism and sectarIan in-fighting!

    I’m really glad I found your blog because I was having serious doubts about my NMRK practice, and you and many of the commenters here echoed my concerns precisely..proof that the Universal Law of Attraction is at work through NMRK, and expressing itself in mysterious ways according to the needs of each individual, independent of tradition and priestly authority.

    • Jessica

      Hi Khurram, thanks so much for your comment! I couldn’t agree more that daimoku speaks for itself and can stand alone without attachment to the controversial histories of any of the various Nichiren Buddhist organisations (indeed, similar issues abound across all religious organisations). I’m so glad that this blog resonated and helped to clarify your concerns. I hope that you are still chanting and enjoying a happy, healthy life 🙂

  13. Louise

    Thank you for this. I joined SGI in 2013 without realizing that it was an actual religion. I thought it was a philosophy with meditation. I have a young son and a husband and I work. They were very demanding for meetings and shakabuku. It reminded me of my Jehovah’s Witness cousins so I quit and went back to the Catholic Church. I missed chanting however and so I got my gohonzon back. I rejoined in another state and although it was a completely different group they would drop by if I missed a meeting or call and it was weird. I felt like I had to explain myself to strangers. I mailed the gohonzon to Santa Monica headquarters last year and continued church with my husband. I would chant in my car alone all the time and I loved it but felt like SGI was the only way to get fellowship. I contacted them because in this new state they were my only friends. They told me it would take six months for me to receive the gohonzon again. At one meeting I actually got my husband to come and they sang “Sensi Forever”. They carried a huge photo of Daisaku Ikeda. My husband said it was a cult so I never re- joined although I love the chant. Reading your site has helped me with this perspective. I am wary because I’ve never felt so confused about spirituality. Thank you for the perspective because if SGI didn’t have such a hard sell and complete devotion to a man I would probably still be a member. They seem sincere but all of the rules are too much. When I visited a church they just said “welcome back”, I didn’t have to get rebaptized or publicly cite a Psalms. It’s too bad because chanting with others is cool and feels right. Love your posts.

    • Jessica

      Hi Louise, thanks so much for your comment and for sharing your story! It certainly is a shame that SGI can sometimes be a bit too intense in their beliefs and methods, I left the organisation for similar reasons. I don’t believe that any “rules” are necessary, other than sitting down to practice (whether it’s chanting, prayer, meditation, or anything else) with focused intention and a sincere desire to connect with something greater and/or your inner self. You’re right, though – chanting with others is really lovely and I do miss that sometimes! It would be great if we could build a community of chanters with a more relaxed and liberal vision, just to enjoy the practice together and explore the spiritual concepts around it, without any “right or wrong”, and certainly without such unconditional devotion to any one person! Watch this space… But in the meantime, chanting alone and without the gohonzon or other unnecessary accessories is still wonderfully beneficial, so I do hope you are still practising and enjoying it 🙂 Feel free to check in again if you’d like to discuss more, I’d love to hear how you’re getting on xx

  14. Mark Gordon

    Hello Jessica, I want to say that I, very much, enjoy your website. I especially like the way that try to make the chanting of Nam Myoho Renge Kyo very user friendly. I am a member of the Nichiren Shoshu temple and although I like this organization infinitely better than the SGI, I do have have some reservations about the temple.
    One is that they are always trying to reach a new membership goal every month and are asking people to do “lots of shakubuku”. I don’t mind sharing this practice with other people, but I do mind an organization pressuring people to reach a numerical target. The second is monetary goals — asking people to donate more of your hard earned money. Lastly, they annual tozans, in which they ask people to make a trip to see the Dai-Gohonzon in Japan. Frankly, I am not up to making such trips and I do not feel that I do not have to go anyplace where I don’t want to go. So, Jessica, what can I say to such leaders who pressure me to do such things ? Best, Mark

    • Jessica

      Hi Mark, many thanks for your message, I’m so glad that my writing resonates with you!

      I have not had experience with Nichiren Shoshu, although I did attend a Nichiren Shu temple for a short time. My own personal preference is to practice independently, as I find that any organisation can get caught up with superstitious dogmas rather than simply supporting members in what is inevitably a very personal spiritual journey. And also, yes, the behaviours you describe.

      You should remember that the motivation behind requests such as shakubuku and financial donations is primarily to ensure their own survival. Of course, that is a perfectly valid goal, especially as the intention of many of the leaders of such organisations is purely to help people connect with spirituality and live happier lives. The organisations themselves can also add a lot of value to members’ lives, with access to guidance and being part of a community of fellow believers and practitioners. But it’s okay not to be comfortable with requests like this, and to simply decline. They need to ask, and you can and should adopt a compassionate outlook towards the pressures that they are under as leaders in the organisation, but none of these things they are asking are mandatory aspects of your membership, so it’s okay to say no.

      As for what to say to them, well it depends on how close your relationship with them, but if it were me, I would have no problem simply saying firmly that I can’t afford it, or I just want to focus on myself and my personal practice for now – trying to hit a polite but firm tone that hints to them not to ask again! I understand it can be awkward and frustrating, but I would hope that after a while they will just accept that you’re not into the “optional extras” and stop bringing it up. And once you’ve said no, let it go, and just get back to focusing on your own practice and journey xx

      • MARK

        Thanks Jessica, for your usual, wonderful insights !! Sounds like a plan !!

        • Jessica

          Always happy to help, Mark! 🙂 Good luck with it, and do keep me posted on how you’re getting on xx

  15. geeta reddy anant

    Hi Jessika. I have started chanting NMRK. I have read the communications between you and clarification seekers and hence am venturing to ask you for the correct procedures … i don’t have access to a bell. Also i share the living space and hence hesitate to chant aloud. Silently i can chant all the time. But the morning and evening chant i want to know the procedures…what too chant the sequence etc…including dos and don’ts. with so many worries i am unable to smile and chant. Also I don’t have the Gohonzon. When do i do the prayers and when the expression of / statement of the desires and problems to be resolved.
    wish you a great day.
    geeta reddy anant – from Hyderabad, India, presently in Towson.. MD..USA

    P.S.: My perceived and actual problems…
    1. exploitation …lots of people owe me huge amounts of money
    2. responsibility of children — not divorced but bad marriage
    3. relationships problem colleagues, relatives, etc.—because of exploitation
    4. was an excellent researcher…now unable to get grants and difficult to focus for research papers
    5.serious health issues …diabetes, osteoporosis, arthritis, diabetic neuropathy/retinopathy
    ….hence depression.

    • Jessica

      Thank you so much for reaching out, Geeta! If you explore the rest of this site you will see that I don’t believe in any “correct” or “incorrect” way to practice. Everyone’s life circumstances and personal preferences are different. The only important thing is to chant regularly, every day if possible. The rest of the details really don’t matter – you do NOT need an altar, you do NOT need a gohonzon, you do NOT need a bell or any other accessory – if you want them and you find that they enhance your practice, then that’s totally fine, of course. But they are not *necessary*. You don’t even need to do it out loud if that’s not possible for you – your thoughts have energetic power so even chanting silently in your head will have some effect. I would recommend to chant out loud if and when you can manage it, simply because the physical vibration created by your voice can enhance the effects, but certainly focused chanting in your mind is perfectly fine, if that’s all you can manage. If you do want to chant out loud, you don’t even have to shout loudly – you can just say it quietly to yourself in your room and nobody needs to hear you.

      I am sorry to hear that you have so many challenges in your life. Regular spiritual practice can certainly help to improve that, and I would suggest enhancing your practice with something very simple – gratitude. This is a hugely powerful force in itself, so instead of focusing on all your problems, why not consciously think about all the things in your life that you can appreciate, and chant in gratitude for that? There is always something to be grateful for, even the simple stuff – you have beautiful children, you have a house to live in, you have food and water. The more you thank the Universe for, the more the Universe will provide to be grateful for. Give it a try and let me know how you get on. Lots of love to you xx

    • Ravi

      Hi Geeta Reddy,

      Been there, seen things, my life was a roller-coaster but finally things are stared settling down with blessings of supreme, though am not out of the hoods. Have been chanting without Gohonzon, Bell and Lotus… I start with very intense and sincere prayer.

      I believe prayer should be something like sharing with (someone) supreme spirit than a broken record. Also, prayer should not be a beggary. Meanwhile, consult any good reputable astrologers. My guess is, you might have been going through Saturn or Rahu Mahadash…life is very adventures in those Dash’s.

      Remember, Don’t spend your time in the past, don’t think about your past, I know it is one of the most difficult task to avoid past. That’s where awareness comes, try and remind yourself that you should not indulge in the past, and more you think about the past the more you attract the same….and which is not looking bright for you.

      You should also add Sun gazing exercise before or after chanting. Sun gazing helps you to overcome your health issues.

  16. Maria

    Hello Jessica

    First of all, I am so grateful to find this site to be so free of structure. That means: free of the usual “you have to do THIS or THAT, otherwise it doesn’t work”. I always wondered if I could chant NMRK in silence, in my mind, just for myself; I was advised not to do it like that by a member of the SGI because “it wouldn’t do the trick”.
    Anyway, I’m happy to know that I don’t even need an altar. The world is an altar, right? God lies within us. And, the way I see it, NMRK is just a way of finding ourselves back into our own light. Thank you so so much. Have a wonderful week. Maria.

    • Jessica

      Thank you so much for your lovely comment, Maria! Indeed there are no rights or wrongs when it comes to spiritual practice, spirituality is a very personal journey and my pet peeve is organisations or people who insist that you have to do it in a particular way. There’s no such thing as “That’s the wrong way. That won’t work.” The only important thing is doing whatever practice feels right for you, regularly, to connect with the universe / God / your inner self – everything else is just details. Lots of love to you! xx

  17. Carlos

    My experience with Nichiren Buddhism was very strange. I began chanting in August 2012, at a rather hard time in my life. I did it on my own, and also as part of a local SGI group. My biggest problem was that my PhD scholarship had ended, and I was desperately looking for a job. By November I had two wonderful jobs. In April 2013, I accepted the Gohonzon. By January 2014, I had lost both jobs, terrible roommates had moved in, and I stopped chanting in late 2014. I kept the Gohonzon.

    017 was one of the worst years of my life. In 2017, i found a new job. A freind came over and chanted and i lost my job. Right now, I am unemployed, poor, severely depressed, and often wish to die.
    The Gohonzon seems to have brought me bad luck.

    Any advise? Can I return the Gohonzon?

    • Jessica

      Hi Carlos, thanks so much for reaching out. How are you doing now? I hope things have started to improve in your life? Are you still chanting? I would encourage you to keep going with the practice – it can often be the case that when you look back, you see in retrospect how the hardships in your life simply ended up clearing the path to even bigger and better things. That doesn’t mean that the hard times are any easier, of course, but having faith in the power of your practice and the positive energy of the universe can see you through.

      As for the gohonzon itself, well, contrary to what some members of SGI and other Nichiren Buddhism organisations might believe, I don’t see it as anything other than a piece of paper. A beautiful and symbolic mandala, of course, but the piece of paper does not have any “magical” powers, either positive or negative. If you do not resonate with the gohonzon, yes absolutely feel free to return it. I don’t use a gohonzon at all, I chant to an image of a lotus flower, or simply looking out the window at nature. The gohonzon is not necessary at all, and if you don’t like it you don’t have to keep it.

      I hope you are doing better now, I would love to hear from you again. Lots of love to you.

  18. Dear Jessica
    My name is Molly Doss. I too hv been chanting for the last three years. I just read your article on chanting. Thanks a ton for the useful information. The article has answered a lot of my questions. I too read the various chanter’s emails to you which
    further gave me more
    I thank Jessica & everyone else who have given useful advice & information.
    Please keep up the good work Jessica & everyone else.
    God bless you all !
    Nam Myoho Renge Kyo

    • Jessica

      Welcome Molly and thanks for your kind words, I’m so happy to have helped! And yes indeed there has been some wonderful discussion here, I am so grateful for everyone’s contributions 🙂 Do keep in touch!

    • It’s really nice to chant. I started chanting 5 days before. I don’t know it’s a आ magic or what! Feeling happy!

      • Jessica

        Hi Rajshri, I’m so glad you’re happy and enjoying the practice! It certainly feels like magic sometimes 🙂

  19. Durgeshi baral

    Hi Jessica. .how are you?

    • Jessica

      Hi Durgeshi, I am great, thanks! I have replied to your private message. Hope you are well and happy xx

  20. Karen Rentschler


    I am very happy to find out that you are a chanting Nichiren Buddhist!! I have been practicing since the 70s, when I was very young– I just wanted to let you know that your altar needs to cleared off– It is not advisable to have anything on top of your butsudan and the area around your altar should be clear. Having books or whatever underneath is fine. Because the Gohonzon represents your life, you want your altar to be a accessible and clear (excluding greens, candle, etc.) as possible. I would take down the photo of the lotus flower that you have in front of your butsudan as well.

    I am sincerely telling you these things so that you can optimize your practice– There are so few formalities in Nichiren Buddhism but our attitude and behavior toward our altars is important–

    I am wishing you all the best–

    Karen Rentschler
    San Francisco
    Mountain Lake District

    • Milicent Spewth

      Dear Karen, The only way to chant actually, is to have a stick of butter on your altar. Then you will be free to get everything you wish in life and more. Also a toy dragon is also acceptable but it has to say words. Fortunately however, those words are not limited to nam myho renge kyo. They can be whatever or a reflection on the hypocrisy of telling someone how they ought to practice their own spirituality. And how a construct that is supposed to be based on love is actually used to control the masses. The stick of butter, the more factory farm processed the better. Love, Millie

      • Jessica

        Hi Karen and Millie!

        Millie, while I do appreciate the sentiment behind your comment, let’s keep it friendly eh? Sarcasm is not the most effective tool in an open discussion 🙂 I welcome any and all thoughts and opinions, especially from those who might have a different view of spirituality and practice than I do. We can always learn from each other through conversations based on love and respect.

        Karen, thank you for your suggestions but actually, my butsudan was empty (it was given to me by a friend but I never filled it) – I’m not a member of SGI and I don’t use a gohonzon as part of my chanting practice. I don’t even have an altar at all these days, I travel quite a bit and prefer to chant looking at nature, or at a beautiful picture such as my lovely lotus 🙂 I truly don’t believe in the necessity of spiritual “accessories” and “rules” around what should go where in your personal spiritual space – everyone has their own way to practice, and my life has twisted and turned in so many wonderful ways without all the formalities so I’m happy to stick with a less formal approach! I very much appreciate the positive intention behind your suggestion though, many thanks to you xx

        • Helena

          Hi Jessica.

          I appreciate the respectful and loving way you responded to both of the commenters above. Discovering your blog today has made me feel hopeful about and encouraged/empowered to find a way to practice chanting NMRK again in the way that works best for me.

          Warmly, Helena

  21. Ssw

    I feel hopeless because of some situations and helpless.People say get over it,but knowing the power of faith,and the immense pain I am in,I am neither able to move on nor able to keep faith. Will chanting help me keep my faith ? How should I do it?

    • Teresa

      Be conscious of all around you! There are so beautiful things!!!


    • Jessica

      Hi Ssw, how are you doing now?? Great advice there from Teresa – there is always something to appreciate in the world around you! And that can be the first step towards moving on from painful situations. Chanting can indeed help wonderfully with this – I found from the very beginning that I was more able to release negative emotion and focus on the positive, quite naturally, once I started practice regularly. I do hope that it helps you in the same way.

      Sending lots of love to you xx

  22. Casandra

    Hi Jessica
    Thanks for the information on chanting. I am a SGI member in TN. I LOVE chanting!! I chant everywhere. Its good to know you do too.

    • Jessica

      Hi Casandra, thanks so much for your comment! Happy to hear that you make the most of every moment too 😉

  23. gwen

    Interesting topic to share.

    I have been chanting quietly most of the time when I am in my hubby car.

    I chanted every morning in my work place for 30mins and 15mins when I am waiting for my hubby to pick me home from work.

    • Jessica

      Thanks for your comment Gwen! That sounds like a great regular practice, hope it is bringing you peace and happiness!


    Hi Jessica, hope you are well…………strange, I am on holiday in Morocco, my first visit here and tonight a young Senegalese waiter remarked on a saying that there is no such thing as chance or coincidence as we found their restaurant when I was nt actually looking for it, I had read about this morning and knew it was nearby but not it s location, it s run by an ASSOCIATION OF WOMEN, who are running classes and educating the younger women to be entrepreneurs and independent.
    My point, for over a year now I have been discovering this chant, i have nt yet developped a practice though it keeps popping up ! I read a bit about SGI and it put me off,….. i heard it first through Tina Turn on the Children Beyond Album, and I love listening to her chant it. It pops into my head often in the shower, maybe I should as you mentioned start with that.
    I was checking something just now on the meaning and I saw a load of SGI stuff again and it put me off ….and then I clicked and here I am telling you….WOW just WOW,…..there are no coincidences, there I was thinking are there people who like me don t care for the organisation of one s beliefs yet have advice and testimonials about the chant….et voila there you are and the others who have commented here.
    Am very happy I clicked, and i now feel, go ahead adopt this chant, it s been following me for a year now….

    • Jessica

      Hi Catherine, thank you so much for your lovely comment and wonderful words! I do apologise for the late response, but I’m interested to know how you’re doing now? Have you adopted the practice?? I couldn’t agree more than there are no coincidences in life, and the universe keeps on throwing the same thing at you until you sit up and take notice! I have also been blown away and deeply humbled by how many people like yourself are finding Happy Chanter in search of an approach outside the Nichiren Buddhist organisations. Happy to know that I’m not alone in wanting to find a separate path, and that I can somehow help and inspire others! I would love to hear how you’re getting on now, hope to hear from you!

      Lots of love to you xx

  25. Sara Abraham

    I love this site

    • Jessica

      Thank you! 🙂

  26. Sara Abraham

    Hi Jessica,
    How long I need to chant in order my prayers to be answered? I have been chanting almost five months now.


    • Jessica

      Hi Sara, I’m afraid that question has no easy answer! It depends on many things, such as your own energetic frequency when you started the practice, your focus and attitude when you are chanting and the rest of the time, and what the prayers are that you seek. I would simply say that the universe provides whatever is right for you, and at the right time. Even though it may feel like your prayers are going unanswered, you might look back someday and realise that actually, you didn’t need those things in the end and the universe brought you to the right place after all. Do keep up with the practice and keep faith that it will result in a life of happiness and fulfilment, even if it takes a different shape than you anticipated.

      Lots of love to you xx

      • Sara Abraham

        Thank you Jessica, NMYRK Sara

      • Mark Gordon

        Mr. Daisaku Ikeda, leader of the SGI, more or less, says the same thing, in that over a period of time your prayers will be answered. Unfortunately, I have to look at him with suspect (I was a member of SGI-USA for about twenty years.) He a the leader of a tightly, well- controlled organization, which in my opinion, manipulates its members. On the other hand, Jessica, I feel that since you are an independent practitioner that whatever you write on your blogs is very sincere and that you have nothing to gain materially by doing so. You can only give to people your very sincere advice (which, I might add is extremely well written and very expertise. ) Your writings on the mantra Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo is among the best I have ever read. Also, the Nichiren Buddhist Premier by Chris Roman is also excellent (he was a former member of SGI, but, like yourself an independent practitioner.) All the best, Mark

        • Jessica

          Many thanks for the kind words, Mark! I’m so glad you find value in my work on this blog, indeed it is important for me to share my own personal thoughts and feelings about Nichiren Buddhism and spirituality, which certainly do not fit into SGI or any other organisational “mould”. I firmly believe that every person can and should find their own spiritual path, there is no one “catch-all” solution – all I do is try to share what works for me in the hopes that it might help others along their own journey 🙂

  27. Punita

    Hi Jessica,

    Its been about 10 days or so that I am chanting. I really feel positive about things and the negative thoughts have reduced. I chant for my happiness as I feel mentally disturbed. I have not been lucky in love and faced betrayal every time which indeed gain me immense pain, ill health, mental trauma and obviously made me a sad person. I though feel better now but still think why it happens with me even despite being so loyal, loving and caring. Despite being born with a pretty face and blessed with a great job, I am unlucky in love which makes me feel lonely from within. I every-time gave my 100%. Anyhow now apart from happiness I also chant for someone to come back into my life as I still love him. I actually chant the way you mentioned. I listen to the youtube recording while traveling(In car or in flight). I chant silently and also whenever I get time I chant out loud with the recording. I know I will get the best and I am being positive. I was never in contact with SGI nor have attended any meetings. I just chant for myself.

    • Jessica

      Hi Punita, thanks so much for reaching out. I do apologise for the late response, how are you feeling now? I must admit, finding luck in love has been a challenge for myself too, so I do know how you feel! I have found though that rather than yearning for something that is currently out of reach, it is far more effective and rewarding to (a) continually be grateful for all of the blessings that you have, and (b) to try to cultivate a deep love for yourself. Taking the time to be good to yourself and really appreciating your own worth. I frequently focus on this for my own practice, and I find that when you are happy and comfortable and loving yourself from within, then others are drawn to your light. Keep chanting, and maintain your faith that you will indeed always get the best, whenever the time is right.

      Lots of love to you xx

      • Sara Abraham

        Jessica, if Finding love is difficult for you imagine how challenging & difficult it is for us. So it’s mean that chanting for finding love does not work and it is not going to happen…
        Basically we are wasting out time chanting every day…


        • Jessica

          I wouldn’t say that at all Sara, chanting or connecting in any way with the greater power of the universe is never a waste of time. And just because it hasn’t worked yet does not mean it will not. Keep practising, keep positive about the blessings in your life and your view of yourself, and keep faith that all will happen just as and when it needs to. This is how I try to live my life, and in fact I have indeed found love quite recently as a result, in such a strange and synchronous way that there is no doubt in my mind that this came about as a result of my practice and connection. I wish the same and more for you. Don’t give up xx

          • Sara Abraham

            Thank you Jessica,
            I chant every day 24minutes in the morning in my car with the help of yourube NMYRK 24 minutes chant that I put on my phone and 24minuted going home at evening it feels like I am chanting with a group, since I don’t have enough time to join group and at home there are to much noise, so it really works for me in the car while driving to work in the morning and night.
            I am glad you found the love and I hope everybody that looks for love they will find it.
            Thanks once again and please keep answering us…
            NMYRK Sara

        • Ravi

          Hi Sara,

          Dont look for human love, you’ll be disappointed.


  28. R Rani

    Hi Jessica,
    I am from India and currently facing huge problem in my life. As, their is big intercast love marriage problem in India. Both of our parents are not ready for our marriage and making us weak emotionally. My parents are even beating me up to get marry to the other boy of their choice in our cast. But, I want to marry with the guy to whom I love. Kindly help me and guide me, what should do I do? Will Nam- Myoho Renge Kyo will help us? We all are going through strong emotional phase of our lives ( Me and my friend for our love and our families because of their rigid thinking). They are even threatening they will kill the my friend. I don’t know what should do I do? Please help us. Though I have started chanting from today.

    • Jessica

      Hi R, I am so sorry to hear of your struggles!! Nam-myoho-renge-kyo can help with all kinds of problems, so I would encourage you to keep chanting every day – HOWEVER, physical violence and threat of murder is very serious and urgent, so I would urge you to find direct help in India as soon as possible. There are organisations who can help with young people being forced into a marriage against their will. Please look at these websites: http://chaynindia.com/am-i-being-forced-to-marry/ and http://lovecommandos.org/ – they have helplines you can call to get immediate assistance. Call the police, the women’s helpline (1091), or the Love Commandos helpline (09313784375 & 09313550006). You can also email Love Commandos at helpline@lovecommandos.org. Chanting will help to support you and give you courage to overcome this issue, but it is very important that you reach out to these organisations for more direct assistance. I am sending you love and strength and wish you success in escaping this situation xx

    • Sara

      Dear Rani,
      You will be surprised to know just how many young members of the YMD and YWD groups in BSG (the Indian chapter of SGI International), are challenging exactly what you are. It’s a pity that a country as diverse and lovely as ours should cause such misery to its youngsters.

      I would absolutely recommend chanting strong, determined Nam Myoho Renge Kyo, as much and for as long as you can. Chant in a way you can hear yourself, with all your heart and honestly – letting out exactly how you feel. If not home, then in the bus, car anywhere. You need not necessarily join an organisation to do this. The way that helps is to get more people together with you and form a support group to share your struggle. It does get overehelming at times, yes. You may check out the Bharat Soka Gakkai website to find a group for yourself in your city.
      But honestly, you could even chant by yourself – so long as you keep up the practice every day. Most importantly, be honest about what you feel when you chant. Faith is often like suspending yourself mid air – trust completely and seek strength and courage to change the situation. Trust like you would trust a divine mother – completely. Nam Myoho Renge Kyo brings out the most powerful divinity within you. So don’t look outside at a deity, go deep within. And don’t fear anything along the way. Even if there are days when you are fighting alone. Don’t be scared. Also pray for others you come across.Chant like this and you will definitely experience a difference.

      And yes, I would agree with Jessica that if you are a victim of violence and threat, you must definitely seek help, if you feel that your life is in danger. Remember chanting itself is made powerful only when you take action supplementing your heartfelt prayer. It will give you the wisdom to move ahead in amazing ways.

      All the very best. And I will send you my prayers too. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to people if you need guidance.

      Lots of Love

    • Jackie Evans

      I’ve just come across this post and am really hoping that you have managed to break through this terrible situation. If you are still suffering, or if you ever find yourself in such a challenging situation again, use the pain, fear and worry as the fuel for your daimoku (chanting). Let it become the energy that drives your chanting and your determination to transform this suffering into an absolute victory. This Buddhist practice is the practice of transformation. It is the practice of ‘Hendoku yaku’ which means to transform poison into medicine. This does not mean to rid our lives of any suffering or challenges but to use them to empower our practice, to manifest the most positive potential of our circumstances and how we feel and perceive things. By doing this we experience absolute proof of practice and feel immense hope, courage and confidence. You can, by all means, practice independently but please be reassured that members of SGI will be happy to support your practice without you having to join or become a member or make any financial contribution. There are bound to be some over eager bunnies or individuals who have arrogant tendencies but that is not the intention of the Soka Gakkai. Our very foundations, both in the time of Nichiren and during the resurgence and creation of the lay organisation are grounded in freeing ordinary people from terrible oppression by the authorities of the day. This is precisely the situation that you find yourself in now. I wish you the very best and will be chanting for you from my home in the UK. X

  29. Mrs. M. Biswas

    Hi Jessica
    I cannot sit in one place and concentrate for long. Is it okay for me to chant during my household chores?

    I also have bad insomnia. I lie awake for hours in the night. Is it okay for me to chant in my mind during the nights when I can’t sleep?

    Please respond.
    M. Biswas

    • Jessica

      Hi Mrs. Biswas! With any spiritual practice it is ideal if you can find some time to sit and fully focus on what you’re doing – keep practising and it will get easier to concentrate on it. However, chanting the words can have a hugely positive effect no matter how you do it, so absolutely yes it is okay to chant while doing your chores. I used to chant in the shower every morning!

      I also struggle with insomnia and I find that silently repeating nam-myoho-renge-kyo in my mind can help a lot.

      There are no real “rules” about when/how you can or cannot chant – focusing on and repeating the words is beneficial no matter how you do it, so do whatever you can to fit it into your everyday life and it will have some positive effect 🙂 Thanks for your comment – good luck with the chanting and do let me know how you get on with it! xx

      • Mrs. M. Biswas

        Thanks Jessica… am so pleased with your reply …thanks a ton.you are doing a great job please keep it up!!

        • Jessica

          Thank you so much! I’m so glad you’re finding the blog helpful 🙂

  30. Hailey

    I’m about to receive my gohonzon tomorrow though I don’t think I’ll make it due to illness, but am not sure about chanting loudly in the morning and evening. I have a roommate and I don’t want to bother others by being loud. Thanks for letting me feel better about chanting silently.

    • Jessica

      So happy to have helped, Hailey! Chanting out loud is the ideal, but doing it quietly or silently under circumstances like yours certainly counts – your intention goes a long way 🙂 Did you receive your gohonzon in the end? I hope you’re feeling better now! xx

  31. Alok Misra

    Divya—- you seem to be from India, so read this. I commenced Nam Myoho Renge from a hospital bed and now it has now become a part of my life.I was happy with what it did to my mindset , mood and inner self never expecting any miracle or any earthshaking event beyond, as a reward, as I was just doing the basic chanting without following any other rituals of Buddhism. I had visited a monastery in Sikkim India almost 22 years back and some of the forgotten images of the same suddenly started appearing in my thoughts while chanting. As the chanting continued for three months,– a sudden opportunity appeared out of nowhere, taking me to a short trip to Myanmar— and it was a bliss to chant in front of majestically giant Buddha at Shwedagon pagoda amidst thousand of burning candles radiating happiness . I don’t know if it was predestined — or my chanting earned it—- it only reinforced my belief towards presence of some unseen unnamed divine force—doing things to you and for you, but still remaining unknown to you. My advise to everyone —– just flow with the chants—and get immersed in this serene ocean of happiness. Jessica—you agree? Regards Alok

    • Jessica

      Yes indeed Alok that is the perfect advice to go with the flow of the mantra, in my experience it leads to an overwhelmingly positive mood and attitude 🙂

  32. divya

    Hi jessica,
    recently i have been suffering lots of anxiety for no particular reason. I suddenly don’t feel happy and i fear things. can chanting help me. also can i chant while walking on a treadmill