Explain the difference between Zen Buddhism and Nichiren Shoshu Buddhism.

The Zen sect asserts that enlightenment is not to be found in the pursuit of doctrinal studies, but only through the direct perception of one’s own mind with the practice of meditation. Nichiren Shoshu Buddhism is based on the Lotus Sutra, which is the Buddha’s legitimate teaching. Nichiren Daishonin stated:

The Zen sect rejects the sutras. It claims that they are in the category of the written word. Instead, it teaches “a separate transmission outside the sutras, independent of scripture or words.”
(Gosho, p. 1308)

Thus, their arguments are based merely upon the worlds of the teachers of doctrine and not upon the Buddha’s teaching. The Daishonin said:

When he taught the metaphor of the five flavors, correlating them to the five periods, the Buddha proclaimed that the Lotus Sutra alone was supreme. He stated that of all the sutras he “has preached, now preaches, and will preach,” the Lotus Sutra is unrivaled on the path to attain enlightenment. These are the golden words of the Buddha.
(Gosho, p. 1309)

Therefore, we can attain enlightenment only through the teachings of the Lotus Sutra, but we cannot manifest the Buddha nature by the practice of mere meditation.
Home    About    Ceremonies    FAQs    Activities    Basics of Practice    Publications    Tozan    Contact Us