At the Nagado Sangha we perform the Daily Service to create a sacred space and to practice a form of mindfulness that will enable greater focus for the rest of the evening. The Tendai Daily Service contains both ritual and devotional practices.
Ritual practice involves body, speech and mind, thus opening additional channels for spiritual development. While participating in group ritual, proper comportment becomes a devotional practice, showing respect and gratitude for the opportunity to practice. By moving in harmony with others, a group-mind is developed which eclipses one’s desire for autonomous existence. The chants and recitations contain, express and convey dharma teachings. Most importantly, the practices are consciously performed for the benefit of others and not for one’s own well-being.
The Daily Liturgy is in itself a complete ritual practice and contains elements common to other rituals a practitioner may learn. It includes Goshimbo (offerings and purification), Samborai (refuge), Sangemon (repentance), Kaikyoge (recited before sutra, study and work practice to express gratitude for the opportunity to hear the dharma and to remind oneself of the rarity of this opportunity), the Heart Sutra (a succinct statement on the nature of shunyata and an expression of the Middle Way), deity visualization, Hogo (a veneration of the lineage whose existence enables us to practice in this way and which we will maintain so that future generations will have the same opportunities we have had) and Soeko (transference of merit).