Ichinen Sanzen 
Shoten Zenjin 
Go kan nen mon 
  (silent prayers) 
Itai Doshin 
Buddha (Butsu) 
Kosen Rufu 
Rissho Ankoku Ron 
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The Imagery of Nichiren's Lotus Sutra - Other Characters of Interest to Buddhists 
Gongyo in Chinese  

One of the earliest and most enduring aspects of Buddhist practice is the recitation of the sutras. 

During the time of Shakyamuni some people joined the Buddhist Sangha after hearing the beautiful sound of voices reciting the words of his Awakening. 

The first Buddhist Council gathered together the teachings of the Buddha and, when all agreed that the remembrances were correct, the sutras were recited in unison. What a great moment that must have been! 

This tradition is one of the defining characteristics of the practice of Nichiren Daishonin's Buddhism. 

The Daishonin wrote: "I recommend that you practice reading the prose sections of the Hoben and Juryo chapters." "Recitation of the Hoben and Juryo Chapters," Major Writings, Vol. 6. 

Gongyo is composed of two main characters Gon and Gyo. 
Gon (Le in Chinese) is composed of two radicals Qin and Li: 
Qin on the left is the radical to stretch. It is the image of the skin of a horned animal (horns are on top) being stretched using the hands. 
Li is a muscle. To stretch muscle is to work, to stretch power is to be diligent or assiduous. To stretch is to transform and improve. Gon means all these things. Gon of Gongyo is the transformative power to change poison into medicine
Gyo is composed of two characters: Chi and Chu: 
Chi on the left is the left foot. 
Chu on the right is the right foot. 
Gyo of Gongyo is the left foot and the right foot indicating action, movement, practice.
Gongyo stretches our strengths (Gon) through action (Gyo). 

Gongyo expands our capabilities and thereby our world. 

It is the determination that means every thing. It is the heart at the moment that directs the future. If your determination is for kosen rufu, if your determination is to do gongyo and daimoku, then how could any beneficial force fail to protect you? The world around us supports life unless we also support life, we have difficulties. 

Gongyo and Daimoku are our chance to re-direct ourselves toward enlightenment. Everything else pulls us in other directions. If we allow our environment to control us, we lose our ability to create a future of our choosing. 

There should be no guilt about missing Gongyo. Instead know that doing Gongyo can fill your heart with joy and other treasures that are necessary to flourish in this troubled world. 

It is Gongyo and Daimoku that allow us to see the world with the Buddha's view.  

If you care about the world you live in, do Gongyo. If you only care about yourself, do Gongyo. They are not two separate things. 

I hope you and all your friends can find their hearts singing with joy and the great sound of Gongyo. 

Updated 6/7/06 
Copyright 2002 Imagery of Nichiren's Lotus Sutra website