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    and more from " The Four stages..."

    Question: For practioners in the Latter Day of the Law, who have just aroused the aspiration for enlightenment, what types of practice are restricted?

    Answer: Such persons are restricted from practicing almsgiving, the keeping of precepts, and others of the five paramitas, and are directed to chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo exclusively. This practice corresponds to the capacity of persons at the stages of "producing even a single moment of belief and understanding" and "rejoicing on hearing the Lotus Sutra" It represents the true intention of the Lotus Sutra.

    <and a further excerpt. note: daimoku is Nam-myoho-renge-kyo>

    Question: Why do you not advocate the meditaion on the three thousand realms in a single moment of life, but instead simply encourage the chanting of the daimoku?

    Answer: The two characters that comprise the name Japan contain within them all of the people and animals and wealth in the sixty-six provinces of the country, without a single omission. And the two characters that make up the name India--do they not likewise contain within them all the seventy countries of India? Miao-lo says "When for the sake of brevity one mentions only the daimoku, or title, the entire sutra is by implication included therein. He also says, "When for the sake of brevity we speak of the Ten Worlds or the ten factors, the three thousand realms are perfectly encompassed therein.

    When Bodhisattva Manjushri and the Venerable Ananda came to compile all the words spoken by the Buddha at the three assemblies during the eight years [in which the Lotus Sutra was preached], they wrote down the title Myoho-renge-kyo, and to show their understanding [that the entire sutra is contained in these five characters], they proceeded with the words "This is what I heard."

    Question: If a person simply chants Nam-myoho-renge-kyo with no understanding of its meaning, are the benefits of understanding included?

    Answer: When a baby drinks milk, it has no understanding of its taste, and yet its body is naturally nourished. Who ever took the wonderful medicines of Jivaka knowing of what they were compounded? Water has no intent, and yet it can put out fire. Fire consumes things, and yet how can we say that it does so consciously? This is the explaination of both Nagarjuna and T'ien-t'ai, and I am restating it here.

    Question: Why do you say that all teachings are contained within the daimoku?

    Answer: Chang-an writes: "Hence [T'ien-t'ai's explaination of the title in] the preface conveys the profound meaning of the sutra. The profound meaning indicates the heart of the text, and the heart of the text encompasses the whole of the theoretical and essential teachings. And Miao-lo writes, "On the basis of the heart of the text of the Lotue Sutra, one can evaluate all of the various teaching of the Buddha."

    Though muddy water has no mind, it can catch the moon's reflection and so naturally becomes clear. When plants and trees receive rainfall, they can hardly be aware of what they are doing, and yet do they not proceed to put forth blossoms? The five characters of Myoho-renge-kyo do not represent the sutra text, nor are they its meaning. They are nothing other than the intent of the entire sutra. So even though the beginners in Buddhist practice may not understand their significance, by practicing these five characters, they will naturally conform to the sutra's intent.
    Nam-myoho-renge-kyo!

    Comment


      Lastly, (I promise!) from &quot;The Four Stages...&quot;

      Question: When your disciples, without any understanding, simply recite with their mouths the words Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, what level of attainment do they reach?"

      Answer: Not only do they go beyond the highest level of the four flavors and the three teachings, as well as that attained by practioners of the perfect teaching set forth in the sutras that preceed the Lotus Sutra, but they surpass by a hundred, thousand, ten thousand, million times the founders of the True Word, and various other schools of Buddhism, such as Shan-wu-wei, chih-yen, Tzu-en, Chi-tsang, Tao-hsuan, Bodhidharma, and Shan-tao.

      Therefore, I entreat the people of this country: Do not look down upon my diciples! If you inquire into their past, you will find that they are great bodhisattvas who have given alms to Buddhas over a period of eight hundred thousand million kalpas, and who have carried out practices under Buddhas as numerous as the sands of the Hiranyavati and Ganges rivers. And if we speak of the future, they will be endowed with the benefit of the fiftieth person, surpassing that of one who gave alms to innumerable living beings for a period of eighty years. They are like an infant emperor wrapped in swaddling clothes or a great dragon who has just been born. Do not despise them! Do not look upon them with contempt!

      Nichiren Daishonin - 1277

      <what I have shared was not necessarily for everyone, and I know that. It is for those that have sensed even a moment of belief and understanding, and have felt joy in hearing the Lotus Sutra. We have devoted this thread to the sharing of ALL of our ideas and questions about life (Buddhism). It was not my intention to offend anyone. I appologize if this has offended you>

      Thanks for your understanding!

      Thomas
      Nam-myoho-renge-kyo!

      Comment


        The Seed Light

        The seed light shines everywhere
        All forms derive life from it

        When bodies are created
        It does not take possession

        It clothes and feeds the ten thousand things
        And does not distrub their illusions

        Magical helix....... smallest form
        Mother of all forms

        The living are born, flourish and disappear
        Without knowing their seed creator
        Helix of light

        In all nature it is true that the wiser
        The older and the greater
        Reside in the smaller




        This is it

        The seed moves so slowly and serenely
        Moment to moment
        That it appears inactive

        The garden at sunrise breathing
        The quiet breath of twilight
        Moment to moment to moment

        When we are in tune with this blissful rythym
        The ten thousand forms flourish
        Without effort

        It is all so simple
        Each next moment
        This is it!

        (taken from the Tao Te Ching)

        Babba
        be here now
        (Medical Patient In Compliance)

        Nam myoho renge kyo !! Mugi wasshin
        your bud
        babba

        Peace/ Be here now

        Babba's Farm L.L.C.


        The political views, or conspiracy theories, of icmag ownership, do not reflect my own views and are sole property of the participants

        Comment


          Be here now

          Ram Dass (Dr. Richard Alpert) Do you know if his health has returned to him?

          Thank you again as I do everytime you post. When you share those with us, I always think of sitting alone in the forest, smoking a doobie with a big smile on my face.

          <smiling>

          Thomas
          Nam-myoho-renge-kyo!

          Comment


            I feel another &quot;vet&quot; on the scene

            Hey SoCal Hippy! Why did you wait so long? VERY VERY impressive points to have shared! How poignant! The five questions are sure going to help a lot of people, including me!

            Thank you! More please? This is getting really exciting for me! My heartfelt thanks to all!

            Thomas
            Nam-myoho-renge-kyo!

            Comment


              Bodhisattva Perceiver of the Worlds Sounds

              His pure Light , free of blemish,
              is a sun of wisdom dispelling all darkness.
              He can quell the wind and fire of misfortune
              and everywhere bring light to the world.
              The precepts from his compassionate body shake us like thunder,
              the wonder of his pitying mind is like a great cloud.
              He sends down the sweet dew, The Dharma rain,
              to quench the flames of earthly desires.
              When law suits bring you before the officials,
              when terrified in the midst of an army,
              think on the power of that Perceiver of Sounds
              and hatred in all forms will be dispelled.

              Lotus Sutra. Bodhisattva Perceiver of the Worlds Sounds Chapter.

              Comment


                Human Revolution

                Some quotes I refer to when I need to make progress immediately; like right NOW!

                from Daisaku Ikeda's Daily Guidance

                "It is in times of adversity that one's spirit must blaze. It is in times of adversity that one must fight with courage. This is the way of the lion. Even if they are many in number, cowardly people who are quick to start complaining cannot do anything. When one is faced with the most difficult of circumstances, one can make the cause to realise the greatest victory"

                "The only way to succeed is by 1st bringing to completion that which is most immediate. This principle applies in all affairs - in our daily lifes, our work and our families as well in the progress in kosenrufu. (world peace)"

                "It doesn't matter in what area, just keep working on your personal revolution to transform and improve yourself in the way most natural for you. The important thing is that you change in some positive way. There is surely no more exhilerating a life than one in which we write our own unique history of human revolution each day. And the growth and transformation we achieve in this way can convince people of the greatness of the Daishonin's Buddhism more eloquently than anything else."

                Quote by John Bradshaw:

                "Today I belong to myself, and I'm willing to accept full responsibilityfor my life and my creations. What I do is me - for that I did come."

                Quote by Leon Bloy:

                " There are places in the heart that do not yet exist; pain must be in order for them to be."

                Buddhism = Daily Life. I hope these quotes about life and facing challenges and obstacles help others as they have helped me.
                SoCal

                Comment


                  Adversity

                  Thanks so Much SoCal Hippy,

                  I needed to hear what you wrote today. At least I feel validated that what I'm doing is what I need to be doing and I'm in the greatest of adversity in every area of my life. I hope that people who are monitoring this thread truly understands that when you are seeking, it will be provided. There is alot going on in this thread, we are have definitely been pulled here for each other, and of those who do not practice and our monitoring this thread, needs to pay more attention because THERE IS A REASON they are here. Daily Life can be so hard and up-side-down sometimes and to have more of an understanding as to what it is we need to be doing and having the power of NamMyohoRengeKyo with you, I'm sure there is nothing that can not be overcome. However, the strongest and the best practicers continue to have obstacles that get bigger but the benefits are greater as you surmount them. What I have learned after 14 years, over and over again, is that even in adversity, when you are the lowest, but your heart is still where it needs to be even when you don't fill it, the Boddisavattas of the Earth manifest, whether it be one or many, to say the things you need to hear to hold you up through it all. There are not enough heartfelt tears to express my appreciation to all of you, whoever you are. Cindy

                  Comment


                    You are so very welcome Southern Girl

                    Thanks Southern Girl and everyone else here on this thread. I too feel great that we have this opportunity to encourage one another and share this great practice with others.

                    from "E M B R AC I N G T H E L OT U S S U T R A" gosho written by Nichiren Daishonin:

                    Since the remotest past up until now, you have merely suffered in vain the pains of countless existences. Why do you not, if only this once, try plant-ing the wonderful seeds that lead to eternal and unchanging Buddhahood? Though at present you may taste only a tiny fraction of the everlasting joys that await you in the future, surely you should not spend your time thought-lessly coveting worldly fame and prof-it, which are as fleeting as a bolt of lightning or the morning dew. As the Thus Come One teaches, "There is no safety in the threefold world; it is like a burning house." And in the words of a bodhisattva, "All things are like a phantom, like a magically conjured image."
                    SoCal

                    Comment


                      SoCalHippy: It is encouraging to see others encouraged by President Ikeda's guidance. It seems whenever I am at any point in my life, sensei's; President Ikeda's; guidance always hits directly at the prime point of my life at that moment.

                      Southern Girl: You are correct in stating nothing in life is random. Everything in life is being played out in front of us for a very strict reason. The Law of Cause and Effect is strict, just as the laws of physics are strict, as well.

                      Thanks for sharing and caring!

                      "Nam Myoho Renge Kyo, Like the Roar of the Lion!"

                      My favorite Gosho passage, "Letter to Gijo-bo"

                      "The verse secion of the chapter states...' singler-mindedly desiring to see the Buddha, not hesistating even if it costs them their lives' As a result of this passage, I have revealed the Buddhahood in my own life. The reason is that it is this sutra pasage that has enabled me to embody the Three Great Secret Laws, or the reality of three thousand realms in a single moment of life that is found in the 'Life Span' chapter. But keep this secret! Keep it secret!" WND p.389

                      VegasBuddha

                      Comment


                        On Prayer

                        I am curently reading the Wisdom of the Lotus Sutra series, a dialogue with President Ikeda and the SGI Study Department. In volume six the following excerpt seemed appropriate to a dialogue PTD and I were having last weekend regaridng our attitude during daimoku.

                        President Ikeda: To embrace teh Gohonzon is to embrace the entire universe. It is to tap the source of the power of the universe. One who does so is worthy of the utmost respect.

                        President Ikeda goes on to say, "There is nothing wrong with having an active mind while chanting. This is a natural human tendency. The important thing is to face the Gohonzon just as we are, without affectation.

                        Having extraneous thoughts is an inherent part of our lives, in that we are entities of the principle of three thousand realms in a single moment of life. Therefore, through daimoku we can turn even those thoughts into benefit.

                        There are no rules governing how we should pray. There's no need to be something we aren't. Even if we were to try to control our thoughts by making our prayer rigid and forced, our minds would still tend to wander. As we deepen our faith, we also strengthen our ability to concentrate.

                        Actually, since the thoughts or ideas that come to mind as we chant represent issues that concern us at that moment, we should not consider them extraneous. Instead, we should pray earnestly about each one, whatever it may be. Rather than chant only about large issues, we should pray specifically about every issue we face, winning over each and strenghtening our foundation as we go.

                        There is of course no need to be tense or nervous when praying. What matters is that we are completely ourselves."

                        President Ikeda goes on to say, "There's no limit to how many things we can pray about. It just means that the more desires we have, the more sincere and abundant our prayer will be."

                        President Ikeda further goes on to say, "Who answers our prayers? We do - through faith and effort. No one does it for us."

                        President Ikeda finally says, " We are practicing a faith in which no prayer goes unanswered. We must first and foremost be confinced of this. There will be times when our prayers seem to be answered, and times when they do not. As long as we continue to pray, in the end everythying will go in the best possible direction. This will be clear when we look back later." Wisdom of the Lotus Sutra, V6, pg.108-110.

                        Thank-you for your time with this long post regarding our prayer and our attitude, from President Ikeda's viewpoint, and mine. smile


                        VegasBuddha

                        Comment


                          Ha! VB! When you said &quot;my favorite Gosho&quot;......

                          I grabbed my WND, and then finding mine, continued to read your post. Then your next post has a header of On Prayer, and I thought you had beat me to it! But we are just that much in rythem, Big Brother! Ya'll hang in there. This is my favorite. It is the basis of my practice and I cry everytime I read it (as I'm beginning to now). It has been my treasure for thirty years. It is a direct link to the Heart of the Lion!

                          Excerpt from the Gosho 'On Prayer' (WND pgs 345-346)

                          One may ask why the results of these vows should be so long in appearing. And yet, though one might point at the earth and miss it, though one might bind up the sky, though the tides might cease to ebb and flow, and the sun rise in the west, it could never come about that the prayers of the practitioner of the Lotus Sutra would go unanswered. If the bodhisattvas, the human and and heavenly beings, the eight kinds of nonhuman beings, the two sages, the two heavenly deities and the ten demon daughters would by some unlikely chance fail to appear and protect the practitioner of the Lotus Sutra, then above them they would be showing their disdain for Shakyamuni and the other Buddhas, and below they would be guilty of deceiving the beings of the nine realms.

                          It makes no difference if the practitioner himself is lacking in worth, defective in wisdom, impure in his person, and lacking in virtue derived from observing the precepts. So long as he chants Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, they will invariably protect him. One does not throw away gold because the bag that holds it is dirty; one does not ignore the sandalwood trees because of the foul odor of the eranda trees around them; one does not refuse to gather lotuses because the pond in the valley where they grow is not clean. If they ignore the practitioner of the Lotus Sutra, they will be going against their vow.

                          Now that the Former and Middle Days of the Law are over, persons who observe the precepts are as rare as tigers in the marketplace, and persons of wisdom are harder to find than the horns of a ch'i-lin. While waiting for the moon to rise, one must rely upon a lantern, and when there are no true gems at hand, gold and silver must serve as jewels. The debt of gratitude one owes to a white crow may be repaid to a black crow, and the debt one owes to a sage priest, may be repaid to an ordinary priest. So, if you earnestly pray that blessings be given to you without delay, how can your prayers fail to be answered?

                          Nichiren Daishonin (1272)

                          In 31 years, that promise has never failed to be kept.

                          T
                          Nam-myoho-renge-kyo!

                          Comment


                            It is just like what sensei days, "When we embrace Myoho Renge Kyo, we embrace all life." That is we embrace the rhythm of life itself, Myoho Renge kyo.

                            VB

                            Comment


                              This is what I originally came to post

                              From WND (pgs 964-965)

                              Excerpt from "Persecution by Sword and Stave"

                              The "Emerging from the Earth" chapter also explains something about me, because it states that Bodhisattva Superior Practices and his followers will appear in the Latter Day of the Law to propagate the five characters of Nam-myohorenge-kyo. I, Nichiren have appeared earlier than anyone else. How reassuring to think that I will be praised by bodhisattvas equal in number to the sands of the Ganges Rivers! Be that as it may, commit yourself to the Lotus Sutra and have faith in its teachings. You must not only believe in them yourself, but also encourage others to do the same, so that you may save those who were parents in your past existences.

                              From the time that I was born until today, I have never known a moments ease; I have thought only of propagating the daimoku of the Lotus Sutra. I do not know how long I or anyone may live, but without fail, I will be with you at the time of your death and guide you from this life to the next. All the Buddhas of the past, present, and future attain enlightenment during the hours of the ox and tiger. In all three countries of India, China, and Japan, the place of Buddhist prayer is located in the northeast, in the direction of the demon gate. These are profound teachings of Buddhism, which are reverently transferred from teacher to disciple. I will expalin in more detail later.

                              With my deep respect,

                              As you crave food when hungry, seek water when thirsty, long to see a lover, beg for medicine when ill, or as a beautiful woman desires powder and rouge, so should you put your faith in the Lotus Sutra. If you do not, you will regret it later.

                              Nichiren (1279)
                              Nam-myoho-renge-kyo!

                              Comment


                                Help answer this question

                                I have a friend who has asked the following question as they try to determine whether Buddhism is for them. I would expect anyone commenting to be very respectful with what they say. The question was posed as follows (un-edited cut and paste):

                                "religion misses the point completely and has put Jesus back on the cross.

                                it is sad, the "christians" who are clueless as to the real mission of Jesus.

                                So what does pure Christianity have in common wih the teachings of Buddha?"

                                Let's face it, people can always twist the mix, even in Buddhism. I know that "pure Christianity" is a subjective interpretation, but I think they are saying "What did Christ and Buddha say that were similar?" I assume we can make the point again, that Buddha, while generally referring to Shakyamuni in India, also refers to the many individuals whose enlightment illuminated the Lotus Sutra, after his death. Before I answer the only way I can think how, are there any of you reading this that want to chime in? WHAT WE DON"T WANT IS ANYONE SLANDERING! UNIVERSAL RESPECT IS WHAT ALL THAT COME HERE EXPECT. So be cool....

                                Thomas
                                Nam-myoho-renge-kyo!

                                Comment

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