"Anyone who keeps, reads and recites this Lotus Sutra, memorizes it correctly, studies it. practices it, and copies it. should be considered to see Sakyamuni Buddha, and hear this sutra from the Buddha's mouth. He should be considered to be making offerings to the Buddha. He should be considered to be praised by the Buddha with the word 'Excellent!' He should be considered to be caressed by the Buddha on the head. He should be considered to be covered with the Buddha 's robe."
Lotus Sutra Chapter 28
What is Shakyo?
Shakyo means "to copy" or "to trace" Buddhist scriptures. This is one of the five Bodhisattva practices (keep, read, recite, expound and copy the Lotus Sutra) in order to attain Buddhahood.
Why do Shakyo?
The purpose of Shakyo is so that you can actively participate in the Buddha's Dharma. Each kanji character is said to be the manifestation of the Eternal Sakyamuni Buddha. When we write or trace each character, we are touching the Buddha thus we are becoming the Buddha by expanding our Buddha nature. if you see very old copies of the Lotus Sutra, they can be considered valuable art pieces. Each character is written in gold ink, contained within a lotus flower petal. Scribes would write one character then bow and prostrate themselves to honor the Buddha, then continue on with the next character and continuing bowing and prostrating.
The sutra that is offered at this time is the gatha portion from the Lotus Sutra Ch. 25, "The Universal Gate of World-Voice-Perceiver Bodhisattva" as Kannon Temple of Nevada derives its name from this sutra. The funds raised from this project along with the New Building Fund Campaign, will help construct a larger temple. If you would like to help us, please contact Rev. Shokai Kanai at (702) 866-5956. He will send a booklet to you by mail.
How to perform Shakyo at home?
Before starting Shakyo, create a quiet space where you will not be disturbed, preferably in front of your butsudan or home altar.
1. Purification of the Body
Before you take a seat, please wash your hands and gargle with water. Rub your palms with incense lightly.
Calm the mind and relax for about five minutes.
3. Chant the Following Sutra:
Odaimoku (Namu Myo Ho Renge Kyo) 3 times, then:
"If there is a man or woman who keeps, reads, memorizes and copies this sutra,
he or she should know that this person sees the Sakyamuni Buddha just as
listening to the Buddha Dharma directly from the Buddha's mouth.
He or she should know that this person offers the sutra to the Buddha.
He or she should know that the Buddha praises this person.
He or she should know that the Buddha puts his hand on this person's head.
He or she should know that the Buddha covers this person's body with his robe."
Chant Odaimoku once.
4. Tracing the Sutra (Shakyo)
Start tracing the sutra. (pen or thin marker pen ok)
5. After Finishing Shakyo, Chant the Following Sutra:
"May the merits we have accumulated by this offering be distributed among all living beings and may we and all
other living beings attain the enlightenment of the Buddha."
6. Chant Odaimoku Three Times
Complete Shakyo with date, name, address and special prayer or dedication to deceased ancestors.
After completion of Shakyo.
After finishing the tracing, send your copied booklet with your donation to the Kannon Temple of Nevada, so Rev. Kanai can pray for your wishes and loved ones during morning service for one hundred days. Please do not write in the “No. ___” section. This is for our records to keep track of your shakyo offerings.
You can trace the sutra as many times as you wish. If you wish to trace either a Japanese version, English version, or Chinese version, please let Rev. Kanai know which version and how many shakyo booklets you request. He will send them to you.
Chapter 28 of the Lotus Sutra says, “Anyone who copies this sutra will be reborn in the Heaven immediately after his or her present life.” Rev. Kanai will send you a certificate of your offertory of the sutra tracing, so you can use it as an amulet, or you can take it with you when you depart this Saha-World.
Thank you very much for your cooperation!