What should I do to develop my faith?

Nichiren Buddhism emphasizes three fundamentals of Buddhist practice—faith, practice and study. The practice of Nichiren Buddhism is viewed as a lifetime pursuit of development in these three arenas, a continual challenge for practitioners new and longtime. All three are intrinsically related.

Faith means believing in one's own Buddha nature, which is revealed and strengthened by chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo to the Gohonzon. Practice means chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo to the Gohonzon with continually deepening conviction and sharing the philosophy of Nichiren Buddhism with others.

The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin are the core of our study, which is why the SGI-USA's Buddhist learning program has the overall theme "Live the Writings of Nichiren Daishonin!" We also study the guidance and commentaries of SGI President Ikeda, which are based on Nichiren's writings and puts them in a modern context.

Among these three fundamentals, faith is considered most important. But it can never be separated from practice and study. Our faith, or growing confidence, naturally leads us to practice and study more. Practice and study, through which we accumulate experiences and wisdom, lead to stronger faith.

This is why Nichiren encourages us to "exert yourself in the two ways of practice and study. Without practice and study, there can be no Buddhism" ("The True Aspect of All Phenomena," The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, vol. 1, p. 386). These two sentences sum up exactly what we need to do in order to develop our faith.