Suggested Eightfold Daily Observances,
Chants and Prayers
Live simply with gratitude, peace, purpose and compassion.
The following Eightfold Daily Observances and Practices are recommended for all BFF friends, communities and interested
parties. We highly encourage you to diligently practice them on a daily basis so that your life can manifest its potential
for peace, gratitude, joy and compassion. The Buddha said that the mind is a creator; it paints reality like an artist
paints a portrait. Your mind's portrait is the life you are leading right at this moment. Through the practice of the
following Eightfold Daily Observances, and Practices you can transform your inner
reality and “paint” a new life, full of liberation, peace and joy, thereby positively transforming your life and
the world you live in.
Moreover, these observances
and practices serve as daily reminders of our highest spiritual values like Going for Refuge in the Three Jewels and the Shin
Affirmation; in addition, they serve as opportunities to deeply hear the primordial call of Boundless Life and Light itself
via quiet sitting meditation and chanting the Juseige. Finally, the observance
ends with the voicing of the Nembutsu - Namu-Amida-Butsu,
as the living embodiment of the Oneness of reality (Buddha-nature) manifesting itself in our hearts and minds. Refer
to our Beliefs, Practices and Experiences and Becoming a Buddhist web pages for more information on the Buddhist lifestyle and beliefs.
Where Do I Begin?
Copy and print the following Eightfold Daily Observance
for your personal use. Please read the suggested steps and modify them if needed based on your life situation.
1. Face shrine, Nembutsu scroll or Buddha image
a. Palms in gassho (in reverence) with mallas (meditation beads)
wrapped around hands. Sit in chair or cushion.
b. Ring bell (three times and then bow) while you do this follow
your breathe mindfully.
2. The Candle & Incense Offering
Do one or both of the following:
a. Light the Wisdom Candle and recite:
of the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha, I calmly light this candle,
brightening the face of the Earth.” (bell & bow)
b. Light the incense and recite:
“In gratitude and joy,
I offer this incense
To the living heart of wisdom
Amida, the Buddha of Immeasurable
Life and Light.”
(bell & bow)
3. Recite the Five Remembrances
“I am of the nature
to grow old.
There is no way to escape growing old.
I am of the nature to
have ill health.
There is no way to escape having ill health.
I am of the nature to
There is no way to escape death.
All that is dear to me
and everyone I love,
Are of the nature to change.
There is no way to escape,
Being separated from them.
My actions are my only
I cannot escape,
The consequences of my actions.
actions are the ground on which I stand.
By relying on the compassion
The wisdom of the Dharma,
And the fellowship of Sangha,
May I be reborn in the Realm
of Inconceivable Life and Light
In this very here and now
and realize my true nature
so that I may liberate all
beings from suffering. (bell & bow)
4. Going for Refuge in the Three Jewels
(This core practice allows us to entrust ourselves to life’s highest universal values)
I take refuge in the Buddha. May
I absorb myself in the living source of understanding,
and compassion, and awaken to the boundless Pure Land
here and now.
(bell & bow)
I take refuge in the Dharma. May
I be submerged in the depths of the Teachings and Reality-as-it-is, and gain wisdom as deep as the ocean. (bell & bow)
I take refuge in the Sangha. May I live in harmony
with all beings, united with the disciples of Buddha, in the spirit of universal oneness and freed from the bondage of selfishness.
(bell & bow)
5. Recite the Shin Affirmation
Calling out her Sacred Name,
I shall pass through the
journey of life with strength and joy.
Living in the Light
Reflecting upon my imperfect
I shall proceed to live a
life of gratitude.
Following the Teachings of
Listening to the wholesome
I shall share the Dharma
Rejoicing in the compassion
Respecting and aiding all
I shall work towards the
welfare of society and the world. (bell & bow)
6. Zen Meditation
If time permits. Practice meditation to help generate inner silence so you can deeply hear the
call of Boundless Life and Light as the Nembutsu-Namu-Amida-Butsu. Sit on a zafu
(meditation pillow) or chair for 10-20 minutes.
7. Chant the Juseige and Nembutsu
(These chants are viewed as a meditation
to hear the primordial calling of Life itself beckoning us to spiritually awaken to Immeasurable Life & Light, symbolized
as Amida Buddha)
Song of Praise
The Juseige is the second
of three gathas (Songs of Praise) in the primary sutra of Shin Buddhism, The Larger
Sutra of Immeasurable Life. This sutra passage recounts Chapter 8 of this mythical Sacred Story, in which the Bodhisattva
Dharmakara promises to embark on a quest for enlightenment and then makes 48 Vows to the Buddha Lokes-vararaja. After declaring
these vows he praises these vows with this gatha (poem).
Instructions: Put your hands in gassho (reverence) and strike the bell and begin to chant one syllable at a time. The underlined words are chanted
with 2 beats and the second syllable is not pronounced. Click below to listen to the Juseige
and Nembutsu chants in order in learn them for daily home practice.