Jodo Shu Daily Practice & Customs

Daily service (nichijo-gongyo) is the daily chanting of sutras and chanting of the nembutsu which is done by priests in the temple or by lay followers in front of the home altar (butsudan).

Sutra Copying (shakyo) is popular among lay followers as a practice and to make merit. It is commonly done in groups either at home or at the temple. This practice derives from a long held belief in Mahayana Buddhism that the chanting and copying of sutras helps to bring the power of their message into the world.

Special Nembutsu (betsuji-nembutsu) Based on a special time or place, the chanting of the nembutsu takes on specific importance. This refers to an attitude or a way of approaching every moment in life. Carrying a constant mindfulness of ourselves through the nembutsu, we see that every time and every place is a special one.

Gassho is common in all Buddhist traditions. It is the putting of the palms together in front of the chest in a prayer to offer respect upon greeting or farewell. We gassho and bow in respect to Amida Buddha, and sometimes to Honen and to priests and other followers.

Raihai is to prostrate before Amida Buddha while chanting the nembutsu.

Kumotsu is to make an offering of food, drink, flowers, etc. to the main or home altar or grave.

Amulets (omamori, literally to "guard" or "protect") are common throughout the Buddhist world. In Jodo Shu, they are commonly in the form of a statue of Amida Buddha or an inscription of the nembutsu (myogo).