first stage of security ［初住］ ( shojū): The first of the ten stages of security, which corresponds to the eleventh of the fifty-two stages of bodhisattva practice. At this stage, one arouses the aspiration for Buddhahood. It is regarded as the point at which bodhisattvas no longer regress in practice. The “Life Span” (sixteenth) chapter of the Lotus Sutra reads, “Originally I [Shakyamuni Buddha] practiced the bodhisattva way.” In The Words and Phrases of the Lotus Sutra, T’ien-t’ai (538–597) interprets the above passage, saying, “When the Buddha carried out the perfect cause (i.e., the cause for attaining the perfect effect—the bodhisattva practice for attaining Buddhahood) and reached the first stage of security, he acquired eternal life.” Nichiren (1222–1282) defined the teaching that Shakyamuni practiced to attain the first stage of security as Nam-myoho-renge-kyo. See also true cause.