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Q: What are you saying when you say Namu Myō Hō Renge Kyō?

A: When I say Myō, I mean the mysterious nature of life from moment to moment which our minds cannot grasp nor our words express. When we examine our own mind at any moment, we find no hard proof that it exists. Still, we cannot say it does not exist, because we perceive ourselves to be thinking. Therefore, our mind cannot be considered either to exist or not to exist.

Likewise, life is an elusive reality that transcends yet includes both the words and concepts of existence and nonexistence. It is neither existence nor nonexistence. It exhibits the qualities of both. This is what I mean when I say that life is mystic, or Myō.

Hō is the name I give to the concrete manifestations of Myō. For example, every physical object that we perceive as fixed and solid is, mystically, comprised of particles or waves that are in motion. Our living, physical bodies are also manifestations of mystic nature. Our bodies are constantly changing through biological processes, and yet we perceive ourselves to be the same person from one moment to the next. We ourselves and everything "real" that we can perceive in this world exhibits the qualities of both existence and nonexistence.

Renge is the word I use to describe the relationship in time between Myō and Hō. Renge refers to the lotus flower, which blooms and seeds at the same time. Renge suggests that past, present, and future exist simultaneously within each moment. When I say "Myō Hō Renge" I mean that in each moment everything mystic is simultaneously made manifest.

Kyō means to proclaim this principle, and to be on the path of this principle. When I say "Myō Hō Renge Kyō," I mean that I welcome the expression or revelation of this principle, and that I marvel at it. It is an exclamation of trust and wonder.

Namu is simply an expression of recognition, praise, and humility.

When I say "Namu Myō Hō Renge Kyō" I am invoking these feelings and ideas.