5 Ways To Focus Your Mind While Chanting Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo

As spiritual practice goes, chanting is a relatively easy option. It can be challenging to quiet your mind and release stray thoughts during silent meditation. It can be difficult to bring a sense of mindfulness to every moment, especially the difficult ones. With chanting, however, all you really need to do is say the words. Out loud, regularly and consistently. After a while, you’ll even find that those meditation and mindfulness skills start to come naturally! You just need to start with nam myoho renge kyo.

People often ask what they should think about while chanting, and there is no right or wrong answer to that. The power of the words alone will be invoked no matter what you’re thinking about as you’re chanting.

However, there are several ways you can consciously direct your thoughts and intentions to get the best out of your chanting, or to complement any other spiritual or self-help practice.

1. Think About What You’re Saying

©HappyChanter nmrkThe words nam myoho renge kyo are rich with symbolic meaning. The most direct translation is “I devote myself to the Mystic Law of the Lotus Sutra”, but the interpretation I prefer to invoke is something more like “I align myself with the natural law of the universe“.

That natural law is commonly referred to as the Law of Attraction, and basically means that the energy you put out to the universe will be returned back to you. If you have a positive attitude, you will see positive outcomes in your life, and vice versa. Through this chanting practice, the energy and attitude you emit is enhanced even further, and best of all, the practice itself can have the effect of raising your energetic frequency so that you tend more towards positive thoughts and intentions than you might have before.

So, when I’m chanting, I like to focus on the words I’m saying, and the meaning behind them – consciously putting out the intention to simply connect with that natural energy of the universe.

 

2. Think About What You Want

Many Nichiren Buddhists often hail chanting nam myoho renge kyo as a practice that can literally provide you with whatever your heart desires – whether it’s finding love, or a more fulfilling job, or even something as simple and material as getting that swanky new car!

Of course, if you immerse yourself deeply in your spiritual journey, you will come to realise that material wealth and possessions aren’t actually the be-all-end-all. You may find your focus of desire shifting from physical and material wealth to spiritual and emotional well-being. BUT that’s a leg of the spiritual journey which may still lie ahead on your own personal road, so in the meantime, there’s nothing stopping from you from chanting for that new car 😉

To do this, start by thinking about whatever it is you want. Imagine yourself already there, picture it, summon up the feeling you will have when it comes to pass – that feeling of happiness, success, achievement, enjoyment. Then start chanting nam myoho renge kyo, taking that as-if-it-has-already-happened feeling with you as you start reciting the words. The energy of emotion is much more powerful than just the I-want-that thought, and so your alignment with the Law of Attraction will be enhanced by chanting from that feeling-place.

 

3. Think About What You Already Have

©HappyChanter gratefulNo matter what you may wish for in your life, if you stop and look around, you will find that you are already surrounded by an abundance of blessings. Chances are you have a roof over your head, a comfortable bed, food to eat, clean water to drink. You may have friends and family who love you to the moon and back, or a pet who brings unconditional joy into your life. You probably have access to a place of natural beauty like a park, a mountain, or a river or seafront. You might have something simple like a painting on your wall that you enjoy gazing at, an old favourite book to comfort-read again and again, or even a TV that you appreciate relaxing in front of at the end of the day.

If, as I suggested above, emotion is more powerful than thought alone, there is no emotion more powerful than gratitude. Taking a moment to really think about, acknowledge, and appreciate all those things that you are already lucky to have in your life serves to open the floodgates to bring more of whatever-makes-you-grateful into your life. Chant nam myoho renge kyo with gratitude, for what you have, and for all the great unknown blessings that are still to come.

 

4. Think About Someone Else

I believe that we are all connected by the same field of energy, and it stands to reason that if you consciously direct your thoughts, emotions and the energy of your practice to someone else, that the energy you emit can and will reach that person through that all-encompassing field. So, one of the best ways to practice is to focus on someone else. This can be someone you love who may be suffering and you want to send them positive or healing energy. Or it can also be someone you’re struggling with in your life, maybe someone you don’t get along with or even like. Chanting for people like this can be hugely rewarding as you can use this practice and method to release yourself from any negative emotions the person might bring up in you, like anger, hurt, or frustration. Those feelings only deplete your own energy and happiness, so chanting for them, or even just to improve your relationship with them, can really help to see the problem or person in a different light. Paradoxically, sending out warm wishes to those who have hurt or wronged you actually raises your spirit.

My method of directing energy to someone else starts by basically visualising them happy. Picture them in your mind’s eye, happy, relaxed, and carefree. If you have shared good times together in the past, cast your memory back to that, and recall their smiles and laughter. Summon up the love you feel for them through that positive memory of their happiness. If it’s a person you’re struggling with, try to summon up compassion for whatever they’ve had to deal with in life that may have led to how they treat you now.

Then, as you start chanting nam myoho renge kyo, send that love. Send that compassion. Send positive energy like a beam of light. Imagine that light enveloping and protecting them. Picture their smile growing even bigger and wider. This can be an amazing way of directing your daily practice and raising your own vibration by cultivating a desire for happiness for everyone.

 

5. Think About Being Happy

©HappyChanter happiness is everywhereThis method works best for me when I’m in one of those low moods. Tired, drained, grumpy, sad, just not feeling it. When it’s too much of a challenge to muster up the energy to consciously direct your thoughts any other way, simply ask for happiness. Chant nam myoho renge kyo for yourself, ask the universe to help you find your smile again.

When doing that, I find that, even though your mood might not miraculously flip to joy in that moment, you still get a sense of satisfaction from having taken action towards finding your happy-place again. Plus, more often than not, the day will then find a way of turning itself around. Ask for happiness, chant for happiness, and then keep an eye on what’s going on around you – chances are the universe will send you a little hug in some form to cheer you up.

 

How else do you like to focus your thoughts during your spiritual or self-help practice? Let me know in the comments!

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24 thoughts on “5 Ways To Focus Your Mind While Chanting Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo

  1. Any article that starts with ‘X Ways To…’ is a must read in my book. 😉

    I enjoyed this post and am looking forward to your next travel writing piece. All best, A.

    • Jessica

      A wise man once told me that’s the best way to title blog posts 😉
      Thanks for the comment, glad you enjoyed!

  2. Lindy

    I thought nam myoho renge kyo was about the buddha inside YOU. You need to direct it inward. I read directing it outward to the “universe,” looking for outside influence is wrong. I’m only saying what I read as I want the most benefit. I’m wondering if you’re inaccurately mixing new age LOA with Buddhism? (I like your site BTW.)

    Quote from link:

    “Prayer in Buddhism is significantly different from the prayer that many of us were familiar with in our upbringing. If we don’t understand the difference, then there will be a tendency in us to continue to pray as though we are trying to communicate with some external power. This would be taking on only the superficial aspects of a Buddha, while remaining attached to previous ways of thinking… In Buddhism, the “source” or the “power” is within us. A Buddhist prayer is inner-directed… If you are chanting in front of the Gohonzon and searching for some power out there to come to you and bring you a miracle, you are looking in the wrong place. … If you pray with an outwardly-directed prayer, your prayers will not be answered. Nothing will happen.”

    http://ichinensanzen.ca/no-prayer-will-go-unanswered/

    • Jessica

      Hi Lindy, thanks so much for your comment. I was sure I had replied to this but I don’t see it now so maybe not! I appreciate your thoughts on this, and you are indeed correct that spiritual practice (in whatever form that may be, not just chanting) is about connecting with your inner self. But your inner self and the “outer” universe are flip sides of the same coin, in that whatever energy your own soul is emitting is reflected back to you through the energetic mechanisms of the universe. Everything is connected. You are right that this is a new age LOA point of view, but I do very intentionally mix the two. I believe in the reactive and reflective properties of the LOA belief system, and I absolutely believe that the practice of chanting Nam Myoho Renge Kyo fosters a higher-frequency connection with that natural energetic force. Inner, outer, there is no difference really – everything is energy, and ALL spiritual practice, whether directed inward, or outward to the universe or to another person, has the same result of raising your own energetic frequency. That can manifest in “stuff” coming to you “from” the universe, as well as finding and connecting with your own true inner nature. The two belief systems can and do complement each other – in my opinion, anyway 😉

      Thanks so much again for reaching out. Lots of love to you xx

  3. Scott

    You site was the best search result when asking the question what to think about while chanting the Lotus Sutra. Your content was most helpful and a refresher for me. Thanks!

    • Jessica

      Thanks for letting me know, Scott, I’m very happy to have helped!

  4. So simple yet crystal clear. Never read a better explanation of NMRK. Couldn’t have asked for more. Thank you.

    • Jessica

      Thank you so much, Navraj!

  5. Harsha

    While chanting Nam Myoho Renge Kyo I was praying to the universe and universal powers to help me achieving what I strongly desire for. Is it correct ? I’m very new to this. Please guide.

    • Jessica

      Hi Harsha, thanks so much for your comment and question. There is no “correct” or “incorrect” way to chant or to pray, but I might offer one piece of advice. You can absolutely pray for what you desire, but the most effective way for that to happen is to chant with trust and gratitude that what you desire is *already coming*! Gratitude is a powerful force in itself, and combined with chanting is even more powerful. Having faith in your practice and the energy of the universe, and being grateful “in advance” for all your dreams coming true, is the surest way to see it happen. I hope this helps, please do keep in touch and let us know how you’re getting along! Lots of love to you xx

  6. Ivy

    Hi Jessica, thank you for sharing your chanting experience. Because of what I’m going through, I was lucky to be introduced to Nam Myoho Renge Kyo in the last 2 months. I find it therapeutic, and it reinforces me to continue chanting. Your sharing helps me to understand better how to chant better and with focus. I’m determined to continue chanting in order to achieve absolute happiness and eventually be able to inspire my loved ones.
    Thank you 🙂

    • Jessica

      Thank you so much for sharing, Ivy! I hope you’re still chanting and enjoying all the benefits of a happy life 🙂

  7. Bella Williams

    Hi Jessica

    I am currently studying a diploma for Kundalini Yoga and I am confused by a question that I just cannot seem to find the answer to. I searched the internet and found your site and I was hoping that perhaps you could help me?

    Here is the question –
    Why might feelings and thoughts of fear, grief, anger or any other negative emotions come up we mantra chant?

    The sites only tell me how to get rid of these thoughts by chanting, but not why they would come up when chanting.
    Can you help?
    Regards

    • Jessica

      Hi Bella, thanks so much for your question. I don’t think there’s any easy answer to this question, and ultimately *you* are the only person who can really figure it out. I would say that chanting and any spiritual practice can only bring positive outcomes, and sometimes that may come in the form of giving yourself the opportunity to reflect on and release any pain or trauma that your soul is still hanging on to. I would suggest, exploring those feelings of fear and anger – what are they related to, any particular trigger, does any person or situation come to your mind when they bubble up? There is something unresolved deep in your mind, and your chanting practice is bringing those feelings up to show you what is holding you back from happiness, and to encourage you to deal with it instead of burying it. Accepting those feelings and releasing whatever negative feelings you have towards whatever it is, will help you to move on in peace. Forgiveness is key here, whether that’s forgiving someone who has wronged you in the past, or forgiving yourself for whatever it is you are holding on to. Does that help at all? Please do keep in touch and let me know. Lots of love to you xx

  8. Erik

    Nice website. Just found it. Thi is how I have always chanted throughout my life. Pretty spot on. Been practicing on and off since 1983. Trying to be consistent because sometimes I’m too tired or don’t have enough time to sit at the Gohonzon in the morning.
    Is this page still active? Hope so.

    • Jessica

      Hi Erik, thanks so much for your comment! I’m so happy my approach resonates with you. I totally understand about the inconsistency, I’ve been struggling with that lately myself. So much so that I’m addressing this very issue in my new post today – check it out to see more about the Mantra March challenge I’m setting myself (and anyone else who wants to join in) – re-committing to daily practice every day with daily updates on Facebook and Instagram, starting tomorrow! I’d love it if you’d like to join in so that we can support each other in building a more regular and consistent practice 🙂 In any case, I can at least promise that the page is indeed still active and will be ramping up over the next few weeks and months!

  9. Julia Wagner

    Thank you! What a concise and helpful article! I will share on my FB page Nam Myoho Renge Kyo – Kansas. This is almost the exact I give others and the same advice I needed to be reminded of.

    • Jessica

      Thank you so much for sharing, Julia! I have found and followed your page, happy to connect with a like-minded soul 🙂

  10. Sharoni

    Hi,

    Thank you so much for this post. I was really looking forward for the same. I have just started chanting and I chant putting my headphones on and playing the track”Nam yoho renge kyu” in youtube. Is it okay if I do so? Or I should just chant with my eyes open. Also I find it comfortable closing my eyes. There are few rules which you need to follow , that what I have heard. Please advise

    Regards,
    Sharoni

    • Jessica

      Hi Sharoni, thanks for your comment and questions! I know that some organisations will tell you that there are some rules, but in my opinion, this is not the case. The most important thing is chanting with focused intention and a sincere desire to connect with something greater/your inner self – any other “rules” are really not important. It is perfectly fine to chant while listening to the youtube video, and it is no problem to chant with your eyes closed. Do whatever you are comfortable with 🙂

  11. ravi

    Hi Jessica, started chanting 2 months back…..my experiences, peaceful, alertness, increasing awareness, whole body vibrations. people who hurt me in the past came into my mind while chanting but there is no anger, no baggage and no hurt. I was just saying I Love them and this is new ME. another one…I can’t exactly explain but the saliva in mouth is sweeter.

    • Jessica

      Hi Ravi, thanks so much for your comment, and I’ve seen your other helpful replies and videos on other comments 🙂 I’m so happy to hear that you are experiencing such positive changes with this practice – even the saliva! xx

  12. Gary

    Thank you Jessica. I received my Gohonzon almost 3 years ago. I have a difficult time sitting still. I am high anxiety at times – but really full of high energy is a good way to put it. My problem or obstacle is quieting my mind ,sitting still on a chair with folded hands for Gongyo. Some people in SGI suggest 30 minutes of Gongyo but honestly I struggle with 5 minutes. It’s hard for me to sit still on a chair with folded hands and concentrating. Any suggestions? Thanks for the article. Let’s chant for the youth 50k Lions of Justice on. September 23.

    • Jessica

      Hi Gary, thanks so much for your comment and questions. Sorry to hear you’re having trouble focusing, but I’m sure you can find a way to combine your practice with those high energy levels. While it might be ideal to sit still and focus fully on your chanting practice, I don’t think there is anything wrong with chanting while doing other things, so why not give that a try? You could chant while you’re doing other tasks like washing dishes, doing housework, or working out. Whatever physical task you’re doing that doesn’t require your full mental attention, you can chant at the same time. I hope this helps, do keep me posted and let me know how you get on xx

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