Chanting might be superstition, it might create some relaxation. Who knows.
But anything more than a few minutes a day of chanting is a WASTE OF LIFE.
Ikeda knows this, and has turned SGI-chanting into a cult brainwashing technique.
No normal person can chant 5 hours a day, that is SEVERE cultic brainwashing.
(unless you are a monk in solitary confinement).
But SGI wants their people to fall into the chanting trap, as it locks them into SGI with a vicious circle.
Imagine if they spent 5 hours a day upgrading their job skills? Then they would be in demand.
But no, SGI wants them to waste their lives, trying to chant 5 hours a day, to lock them into the cult.
IMO it's magical thinking, mystical, superstitious nonsense that is a waste of time. I've spent many hours chanting in the org. and participated in countless 24-48 hour daimoku tosos (cult speak for group chanting marathons). The demands of the practice (especially morning gongyo, with 5 prayers that would take on average about 30 minutes everyday) were completely unreasonable, unrealistic and burdensomely excessive. Tack on the 20-30 minutes extra daimoku (NMRK) that you were officially "encouraged" add on (cult speak = "challenge your weak and lazy nature") and you have a full hour, every morning, every single day of your life, before work, etc., to adhere to. If not, cue in the guilt, either self-inflicted or thrown on to you by the "leaders."
Some of the typical probing questions whenever one was having "difficulties" in the practice, in a "deadlock", or having trouble making a "breakthrough" in life were: "are you doing morning and evening gongyo everyday, without fail?" "Not missing even a single time?" What about daimoku, specifically how much are your chanting everyday or on average every week?" "Are you focusing when you chant?" "How's your posture and your attitude when doing it?" "Are you looking around or focusing on the critical portion of the gohonzon (mandala) when chanting?" Et cetera.
So, even if you are
doing several hours a day, they still find others areas of manufactured defects that your are guilty of to explain away your lack of tangible results. It's absolutely a vicious psychologically addicting, dependance rendering, cult manipulation tactic.
The unreasonable demands of the practice were perfectly suited for monasticism, but not your average "Joe." The cult org. knew this too and this is why it was changed and simplified, after the split with the priesthood. How convenient (because it was
causing membership loss). Even though gongyo was simplified, the hours of chanting is still there as one of their main tools of control --> faith = don't think or question, practice = do morning & evening gongyo with "abundant" daimoku everyday, and study = go to meetings, study the dear leader's guidance, The Human Revolution, . . . . . blah, blah, blah.
Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/01/2012 06:08AM by Hitch.