One of the most important as well as the most difficult things we do in
our practice is to give an experience.It is difficult because most of us have little or no training to speak
in public and it is important because this is our opportunity to help shakubuku
the guests that have come to find out about true Buddhism. We develop our own
fortune through our efforts to help others understand and accept this practice,
An experience should be based on Nichiren Daishonin’s Buddhism, should
be personal and based on our practice. When giving the experience our purpose
and focus should be on the guests and new members.We SHOULD NOT use Buddhist terms without
explaining them and SHOULD NOT give any type of guidance. Chant Daimoku that
your experience will touch the hearts of the people attending the meeting and
make them want to practice this true Buddhism.
When preparing your experience keep in mind that it is
most important that the guest can easily follow the experience.The following three points will help the
guests understand the benefit of practicing this Buddhism. These three points
should be strictly observed.
1.Explain what your obstacle or
problem was. State it very clearly. Example: “I was fired from 5 jobs in a
row,” or, “I was angry all the time.”
2.Explain what you did, what
action you took with the Gohonzon.What
did you realize or see after you chanted Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo to the Gohonzon?
What happened to your spirit, attitude or your thoughts? What was your
3.What was the result of your
challenging the problem through this practice? Be specific and accurately
describe your benefit.
Here are some suggestions from Toastmasters
International, an organization that was created for people who wish to improve
their speaking. Prepare and rehearse so you’re always ready when asked to
speak.In deciding what to say, you
should begin by asking yourself, “what’s my purpose”? This question is key to
all communication.You’re asking, “What
am I trying to accomplish by giving this particular message to this particular
person or group”?
You want to move your audience from Point A
(where they are before you
start speaking) - to Point B
(where they are afterward).Point B
is what your listeners are supposed to think, feel,
believe or do after they’ve listened to you.Therefore, purpose in your experience is fundamental.
We communicate to get things done or to bring about change in someone’s
thoughts or actions. Let’s prepare, in advance so we can share our great
experiences with this Gohonzon by becoming more attuned to our audience. Always
keep in mind that the people we are trying to reach with our experience are the
GUESTS, not other members. They have taken the time to come and learn why they
should try chanting.Also keep in mind
that the guests don’t know all the Buddhist terminology such as sansho-shima
, so try
to use words that they will understand.
Let’s give a lot more thought and care to what we say so we can
sincerely assist in the shakubuku of our valued guests. Write out your
experience, following the guidelines outlined previously of beginning, middle
and end as well as what you want to accomplish.Then refine it until it is no more than 3 to 5 minutes in length.
Once your speech is organized, practice in front of a mirror and ask a
fellow member to listen and critique for you.In this way, we will be more effective in shakubuku.Remember, we usually have one opportunity to
share the greatness of this Gohonzon with guests who come to the temple or to a
meeting.It is important to prepare