How to Join Transcendent Life Condition Buddhism

There is no need to join any organization in order to practice Buddhism correctly. If you are just beginning your practice of Buddhism, we encourage you to read How to Begin Your Practice of Buddhism. Please return to this page once you've decided to dedicate your life to the enlightenment of all beings on the planet.

You become a member of TLCB by vowing to become a Buddha in this lifetime, then taking actions to fulfill those vows. You can view Transcendent Life Condition Buddhism's vows. We urge you to take these vows seriously, as taking and keeping them is the most significant cause you will ever make in your life.

The easy part (although not all that easy if you’re serious about it) is taking the vows. The difficult part is taking action to fulfill them. That will require that you take leadership to practice Buddhism within your own organization. Most often this is an organization of one – you. Ultimately the practice of Buddhism is an individual thing. It means establishing the World of Buddhahood as your central life tendency. No organization or mentor can do that for you. It requires that you do battle with your own karma and its influences on your life condition. It means developing compassion enough to courageously refute mistaken beliefs of those around you whom you care about. They are suffering because they cling to the perception that an external power – be it God, an organization, a mentor, or even a view of the external Gohonzon as a God – has more control over their life’s suffering than they do. You, through your compassionate practice of Buddhism, can save them from living this life of suffering they’ve grown so used to. They really, for the most part, have no clue that there’s anything else “out there” that can do what chanting does to strengthen their life condition. They don’t know about the high of chanting an hour per day for at least three months. You encourage them to do that and their lives will be indelibly changed for the better. Then, to the extent they are able to discard their fears and attachments to God or external powers, they will continue to grow and become Buddhas themselves. (We really recommend that you read Sam Harris’ book “The End of Faith” to better understand why theistic beliefs are so harmful to humans. We use many of his points, then teach Buddhist practice.)

To get an idea of how TLCB differs from other Nichiren Buddhist organizations, you should read the Organizational Differentiation Chart on our website.

We feel it would be irresponsible not to mention to potential members that TLCB members have been officially expelled from SGI, in part due to the contradiction between the vows taken by TLCB members and the SGI charter. The most heavily discussed concern of SGI's in its letter to us was the mentor disciple relationship. The letter insists that we should all be following President Ikeda or at least one of the three Presidents, and that without teaching their specific version of the mentor-disciple relationship (as opposed to a similar philosophy taught by Nichiren Shoshu) that we are distorting the teachings of Buddhism. To us, their teaching of the mentor-disciple relationship represents a conflict with TLCB vow number 2, and in practice it's used to slander the Buddha nature of SGI's own members, other non-SGI Buddhists, and the potential power of the practice of Nichiren Buddhism on people's lives. Our teaching that each person who has dedicated their lives to the enlightenment of others is a Buddha in their own right, and therefore doesn't need to be told what to do, offends them.

If you’re still interested in becoming a member of TLCB after reading the above noted material, please let us know and we will be happy to further discuss it and any additional questions you may have, with you.

Becoming a Buddha is a daunting task. Becoming a member of TLCB means vowing to become a Buddha. It can be no less daunting. But it is definitely worth the time and effort. This world needs realistic hope. No theistic religions can provide that. People who practice Nichiren Buddhism universally become happier and have a stronger life condition than before they began. We have something that is provable and profound.

We hope you’ll join us.