Terms for Daily Practice
The term ichinen as used in the Gosho means “one mind”—the
life-moment, or ultimate reality of each moment within our lives. Ichinen
derives from the principle ichinen sanzen—a single moment of life
possesses three thousand realms. Sanzen means three thousand and refers
to all phenomena in the universe. This principle reveals the moment-by-moment
interaction between the world around us and the ultimate reality within
us. Our lives simultaneously permeate the entire universe and encompass
within us all the laws and phenomena of the universe.
However, as we use the term ichinen in our practice, we usually mean determination
or will power. What action we take is determined by our ichinen or determination.
President Ikeda says: “The power of ichinen based on faith is supreme.
It is stronger than any other weapon.” He also says: “Whether
you will be victorious in life or not is all up to your ichinen How you
direct your mind is crucial. A victor in his or her ichinen is a true
winner in life.” Indeed, how we apply ourselves or our minds is
extremely important in practicing the Daishonin’s Buddhism. Without
a clear determination and goal in mind, we tend to practice out of formality
or out of a sense of obligation. When we practice Buddhism passively,
we can find it burdensome.
The first Soka Gakkai President Makiguchi once said: “A goal generates
a means to achieve it. Arrows shot randomly can seldom hit a target.”
Unless you have a clear-cut goal and determination in your heart, you
cannot produce clear-cut actual proof.
Those who do activities enthusiastically, with the understanding it is
for their own sake, receive greater benefit. In contrast, if we do activities
only because we are expected to, the results will not be great. Our frame
of mind, our attitude in practicing Buddhism will be reflected in either
progress or stagnation.
Five steps to achieving results are: first, manifest courage; second,
make a strong determination; third, develop a concrete goal; fourth, offer
resolute prayer to the Gohonzon; and fifth, take action until we see clear
actual proof. In offering prayer to the Gohonzon, a persistent, strong
conviction to make the impossible possible is vital.
Nichiren Daishonin teaches us what attitude we should have in prayer:
“I am praying that, no matter how troubled the times may become,
the Lotus Sutra and the ten demon daughters will protect all of you, praying
as earnestly as though to produce fire from damp wood or to obtain water
from parched ground” (The major Writings of Nichiren Daishonin,
Faith means that when we are faced with a seemingly impossible situation,
we continue to pray for the solution and victory. When we pray to the
Gohonzon with the determination that “I will make things change
in my favor no matter what” we can tap infinite life force and wisdom.
This is called the “strategy of the Lotus Sutra.”
As we determine to win, pray to win and act to win, we will surely see
actual proof. Unless we repeat the experience of receiving benefit, our
faith will not deepen. Even though we practice the Daishonin’s Buddhism,
if we adhere to views or beliefs that are not Buddhism, we will reach
a deadlock. It is our responsibility to study the Daishonin’s life
philosophy and adopt his spirit.
President Toda once said: “Faith is something that you practice
to change your situation for the better rapidly and drastically.”
The important thing is to have a positive ichinen to better out lives.
President Ikeda says: “Faith is not an obligation. It is a right
to become happy. To the degree you are determined, and taken action, you
In the final analysis, directing our ichinen or faith in a positive direction
is the key to elevating our life-condition.