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    Here is the rest of the story

    (I am not going to violate the confidence of his Private Messages to me except for one sentence that is very telling)

    Here is the outbound PM that I wrote when I woke up and read what he had posted:

    "on your lat two posts, I would have maybe said some things differently, but this one:

    Knowing is more important than doing

    I do not agree with at all. Where are you coming from here brother? Sharihotsu is not what this practice is about. I'll shut up now to not waste energy until you have a chance to respond.

    Love,

    Tommy"

    I went back to sleep and woke up the next day with another several posts just running on and on. The next thing I knew he was posting the fact that we were now holding an SGI meeting here on the thread. Just my opinion, but this is highly inappropriate! (Just as I will now finally say that to put a picture on here of the DaiGohonzon was also HIGHLY inappropriate)

    None of you who jump in here to check this out have agreed to this, and my whole intention was for this thread to be a place where spirituality could be expressed, with respect for all that had something to say. At the same time I got a PM challenging my challenge of his assertions, so I just said, "OK where does it say this? I don't agree, and I will also point to you where it says that this is not so."

    I also got a PM telling me where I should locate the Gohonzon in our new home in asia, and how to express things to my wife regarding our sexual relationship! I began reading his posts, and before I could answer his PM challenging "Knowing is more important than doing", I read and responded to the following:

    "Pat,

    I have tried finding this interpretation of Taho Buddha everywhere I can think to find it, and I can't find it. I have never heard of this interpretation before and it wasn't reflected as such when I checked the Wisdom of the Lotus Sutra Volume III, or in the Buddhist Dictionary or the On the Treasure Tower Gosho. Where did you find this? It is driving me crazy looking. Please share your resorce with me! If is in Volume III, what page is it on."

    "Upon reading the Lotus Sutra, Nichiren understood the value of both wisdom and compassion. Compassion without wisdom is useless, and wisdom without compassion is just as useless. We need both equally balanced in our lives.

    Nichiren Daishonin understood this and placed both of these Buddhas at the top of the gohonzon each flanking each other, each with two of the Four leaders of the Boddhisattvas of the earth for a total balance of our individual lives.

    Wisdom without compassion is evil. No good can come of wisdom used for selfish needs. Wisdom guided by compassion on the other hand guides one to best understand how tp alleviate the suffering of another person. I ask myself, "What will it take for this person to be happy today?" That is wisdom tempered with compasion.

    Compassion without wisdom is just as bad. But in it's basic form compassion is good. Compassion misdirected can create evil no matter what the intention. My granny used to say, "The road to hell is paved with good intentions!" It is not what we tried to do, it is our actual result that only matters. Tthat is the Real Cause and Effect, not the one we perceived it to be.

    When I say to myself, "How can I help others to be as happy as me?" that is compassion tempered with wisdom.

    Both are equally correct. That is why each flanks nam myoho renge kyo. Together they balance our lives and the lives of others. Both are necessary, but either one without the other becomes useless to ourself and others!"


    <Taho Buddha is Many Treasures>

    I got a response later that night that included this as the second sentence, "I believe it was also Nichiren that said I am the wisest person in all of japan and people despise me for that!"

    Does anybody see where this is going yet? There was no place he could point to for the things he was saying except inside his head. To compare yourself to Nichiren Daishonin is not an appropriate thing for a believer to do. It was at this point that the conversation ended. I quit responding to the PM's. They were getting too wierd. When I did not respond, he became more concilliatory. He added MORE posts.

    I could not figure out what to say on the thread. If you only know how many times I sat in front of this computer and just felt sick to my stomach. I loved this guy. I still do. I always will. But what is more important, his pride or your understanding? That is how I got myself into this. I wanted us to share understandings.

    I have to make sure the things that are presented lead to correct understandings. That is why I type out texts from reference materials so often. It is what we have been taught to do. Look at how SoCal Hippy posts. I have NOTHING to do with what he posts. The way he does it is the way Nichiren Daishonin did it. He never wrote anything wthout quoting his source for his interpretation. Nor does Daisakyu Ikeda. THERE IS A DEFINITIVE RIGHT WAY AND WRONG WAY ESTABLISHED THROUGH EXAMPLE BY NICHIREN DAISHONIN HIMSELF!

    So he offered through a PM to put a disclaimer on his posts. This isn't supposed to be anyone's pulpit. I asked with all of the reference materials that were available, why we would ever find it necessary to estalish new interpretations of Nichiren Daishonin's Buddhism? What kind of arrogance would be contained to think we had come up with divine wisdom that had somehow escaped the thorough discernment of his writing by genuine Buddhist scholars?

    Why would we give explainations to questions that even Nichiren Daishonin did give when asked these same questions? Out of mercy for the incorrect thinking, (that is not my opinion but the basic teaching I have received for 31 years), I admonished him. I called him arrogant. I said I would not particapte in such a distortion of the truth based on his word alone that he had this special insight into their true meaning. I threatened to delete the thread so he could start a new one if that is what he insited on doing. I asked that if he was going to post that he keep to the teachings of our practice. No more free lance interpretations. If not I would delete this thing and stop it here.

    Folks' I had no choice! Buddhism says if you don't step in the way of slander whether it's souce is intentional or unintentional, you are just as karmically accountable. I HAD NO CHOICE. My last sentence on that PM was, "This just makes me so fucking sad!"

    And then, rather than face the music, or respond to me again, POOF! He was gone. One sentence goodbyes. No explainations. A separate email with the subject labled "gone" to say I had taught him a valuable lesson and nothing more. Good bye.

    So yes Gurrl, this makes me sad. And Blatant the only hit will be if no one cares or is so dissallusioned that they quit reading. The biggest hit will be if you quit your chanting. If any of you do. Chant for Vegas, pray for him. Send him your warm thoughts and best wishes as I do. Let's hope this was just some sort of manic episode and something comes along to make things the way they were.

    Except as is the truth in life, as HE HELPED RESTORE IN MY THINKING; as much as we might want it that way, it can never be. Past is past, now is now, the future is the future.

    And the wheel keeps on turning.

    Thomas (PLEASE don't lose faith!)
    Nam-myoho-renge-kyo!

    Comment


      Correct Paths Will Always be OK

      Hey Buddies!
      I know to some this all seems so strange and in a sense, I guess that it is. Forget about Buddhism for a moment. We all go thru our daily lifes and we have some level of believe or faith or spirituality that supports us. Even as simple as looking for a parking place, and one comes open right on the front row, and we say "Thank You". Who are we thanking?
      With that in mind, "I" believe that everything happens for a reason, there is reason for everyone being in our life. Sometimes its good, sometimes it's bad, sometimes it is a lesson we need to learn, sometimes it is some power that supports us and puts us in the right place at the right time. But no matter what our spirituality is that is not labeled with a specific name, ie christianity, buddhism, ram, etc, there are common threads or truths that tie us together and allow us to be able to communicate with one another and convey our feelings with understanding.
      With that in mind, there are also common causes and effects that we all create. When bringing in a SPECIFIC truth of a SPECIFIC way of thinking such as Nichiren Daishonin Buddhism, we who try to follow in the strictness of the interpretations of the buddhist scholars, Know what is taught as truth and is what has made NamMYORengeKyo so powerful, protect it with all ours hearts. It can not be reinterpreted and taught to others in a fashion of personal interpretation. So basically it was a dispute of one who goes by the book and one who was off on a tangent that was not understood and questioned.
      I'm sorry that Vegas felt the need to just disappear. My father always told me, be willing to stand up for what you believe and pay the price for doing so. If you cannot do that then you don't believe in what you say. And that is how I see all this.
      Blatant, I'm glad you are hanging in.
      Natty Natty Gurrl! How in the world would you think you did anything wrong. NOBODY did anything wrong. I still intend to send you an experience to hopefully encourage you in your personal challenge. My puter was down with hurricane.
      We are all still the same energies on this site, who have enjoyed each others input. I look very forward after 16 hours to come in and read others comments and poems etc. I have been very busy with my line of work and don't have much time for anything else. You are all great! Southern Girl

      Comment


        Everyone loves a happy ending

        Well I'm doing my best to help provide one. My intense Daimoku to resolve this, has already provided a result! Thank your for all of your Daimoku and prayers. My brother called at 3 AM to leave a message on my cell, but I had woken up a few minutes earlier and answered the call. Turns out the Lion is a lot pussy cat, and I had really hurt his feelings which was not my intention, and I appologize publically for being an asshole. My prayer has been answered. Give me a few days, I hope to have him "home" soon. I had already planned a trip to see him to straighten this out this weekend. If we all keep the good vibes shooting out toward him, he'll be back here before then.

        Thank you all!

        Thomas
        Nam-myoho-renge-kyo!

        Comment


          I love happy endings

          Hello all

          I got really bummed when I heard. Just like South Girl, I always would look forward to getting up and seeing the contributions and insights on this site from Everyone. Self reflection, study and sincere prayer were all some of the awesome results from my connection here. All components to deepening faith.

          Initially, I had doubts about this format for fear of exactly what had happened. This is why I took so long to contribute my
          '2 cents'. I had similar experiences when I would go to some chat rooms in the past and be totally misunderstood by the words I would type on the puter. Without life-to-life communication sometimes true meanings are lost,misunderstood and feelings are hurt.

          But my faith in this has returned as seeing PTD's last post proves it once again. thanks to everyone for their united efforts and prayers. I believe there are many out there that have tried chanting Nam Myoho Renge Kyo from these efforts here on this site and that is a great and tremendous thing. Knowing that and the great good that comes from that, we should also know that for sure something negative like what has transpired would take place. It was bound to happen. I welcome Vegas back with open arms and look forward again to his contribution.

          T'ien-t'ai says in the Maka Shikan, "As practice progresses and understanding grows, the three obstacles and four devils emerge, vying with one another to interfere". You should be neither influenced nor frightened by them. If you fall under their influence, you will be led into the paths of evil. If you are frightened by them, you will be prevented from practicing true Buddhism." In the "Kyodai Sho" (Letter to the Brothers), Nichiren Daishonin comments on T'ien-t'ai's words: "This quotation not only applies to Nichiren but also is the guide for his disciples"

          I would like to end my post with some exerpts from "Buddhism in Daily Life", about 'Good Friends', or Good Influences in Buddhism (zenchishiki, or everyone here)

          Ananda, one of Shakyamuni Buddha's closest disciples, once asked him: "It seems to me that by having good friends and advancing together with them, one has already halfway attained the Buddha way. Is this way of thinking correct?"

          Shakyamuni replied, "Ananda, this way of thinking is not correct. Having good friends and advancing together with them is not half the Buddhist way but all the Buddhist way."

          This may seem surprising, as Buddhism is often viewed as a solitary discipline in which other people might be seen as more of a hindrance than a help. However, to polish and improve our lives ultimately means to develop the quality of our interpersonal relationships--a far more challenging task than any solitary discipline. Our practice of Buddhism only finds meaning within the context of these relationships.

          From another perspective, given that Buddhist practice of polishing and aiming to improve our lives from within is a constant challenge and a difficult process, it is only natural that we need support from others also dedicated to walking a correct path in life, trying also to create value in their lives.

          Nicherin Daishonin wrote, "Even a feeble person will not stumble if those supporting him are strong, but a person of considerable strength, when alone, may lose his footing on an uneven path. . . ."

          In Nichiren Buddhism, good friends are known as zenchishiki or good influences, while akuchishiki refers to bad influences. People affect each other in subtle and complex ways, and it is important to develop the ability to discern the nature of that influence. According to Buddhism, "bad" friends are those who encourage our weaknesses. In Nichiren's words: "Evil friends are those who, speaking sweetly, deceiving, flattering and making skillful use of words, win the hearts of the ignorant and destroy their goodness of mind."

          A truly good friend is someone with the compassion and courage to tell us even those things we would prefer not to hear, which we must confront if we are to develop and grow in our lives.

          Ultimately, however, whether people are good or evil influences in our lives is up to us. In Buddhist terms, the best kind of zenchishiki is one who leads us to strengthen our own faith and practice in order to thoroughly transform our karma. To quote Nichiren again, "the best way to attain Buddhahood is to encounter a zenchishiki, or good friend." Further, Nichiren comments that Devadatta, the cousin of Shakyamuni who tried to kill him and divide the Buddhist order, was "the foremost good friend to Thus Come One Shakyamuni. In this age as well, it is not one's allies, but one's powerful enemies who assist one's progress."

          This expresses a key concept in Buddhism. Due to the immense transformative powers of Buddhist practice, even "bad" friends can have a good influence if we make our relationships with them into opportunities to examine, reform and strengthen our lives. The ideal is ultimately to develop the kind of all-encompassing compassion expressed by Nichiren when he wrote that his first desire was to lead to enlightenment the sovereign who had persecuted him, repeatedly exiling and even attempting to behead him.

          Thanks to all my Zenchishiki's - SoCal
          SoCal

          Comment


            See I knew this would play itself out this way. Hey call me an optomist. I'm sure we'll see Vegas here in no time. Keep it up ya'll!

            Blatant

            Comment


              I'm a little wacked after our conversation

              I come full circle in another cycle of learning.
              Wisdom is coming from life.
              I know I don't know anything.

              Tears flowing for the pain of others.
              A desire to free all suffering. Where the fuck is this coming from? I don't know.

              Whole huge belief sets crashed against the rocks of time.
              With less time before me than behind me
              and I don't know anything.

              What am I thinking?
              I don't know what I'm thinking.
              I don't know anything.


              Sorry to sound like a goofball, but the pain of others can be more than you can imagine. It can be more than you can bare. It can be a reality so different from your own that everything you thought you knew is not longer universal, and the other universe can mean only one thing....you realize

              You don't know anything
              Nam-myoho-renge-kyo!

              Comment


                Always as It Should Be!

                Well I think that we all can agree that we all got something from it. Even the people who silently sit back. Thats Great!
                You are so right SoCal!
                And Big Brother Tommy!
                A challenge of the minds. When situations are so intense with another there is always a mirror and as much for us as others.
                This is where Sr. Leaders look at ya and say "Congratulations! Chant appreciation for the opportunity to change something deep within us and giving us this opportunity. It is not anything to be sad over. There is no Guilt! Ya Bow, and go forward! We can't keep looking back brother! We were there for 4 years. Love and Hugs to ya!
                And Vegas Buddha! Where they hell are ya?
                Southern Girl

                Comment


                  Hey! I never said a word about being sad!

                  The experience of the last day and a half has NOTHING to do with sad. It is experience and contemplation. I have nothing to be guilty for! Except probably some arrogance myself. But when have I ever been shy about admitting that!

                  But what has happened is beyond words. I would love to share it but it is too wierd to express. It's almost like too much information. I have to process it. I can only do that in front of the Gohonzon chanting.

                  It is a Natty kind of thing. It's a solemness of seeing and knowing. It's a moment of reprocessing. It's why I keep saying I know nothing. I have to be able to explain this to myself before I can explain it to anyone else.

                  It's a different reality then the one I know. Mine is what you know it to be. His is something else altogether. It's like one of us measures in miles, the other in kilometers.

                  The bottom line for me is to never ever want to be anybody but whom I am. I have to be one of the luckiest people on this earth! How much different things could be if I had not met who I met and had the relationships of experience and faith that are the foundation of my practice.

                  I would be easy for me to judge, but I am not qualified! I know nothing of this other world I have seen. I don't know if I could hang! I might just give up and curl up in a ball, letting lifetiome after lifetime pass without the energy to change. I have so much fortune and I just blow it on the dumbest, most selfish things!

                  What have I been thinking!

                  LOL

                  I don't know what I'm thinking!
                  Nam-myoho-renge-kyo!

                  Comment


                    You're beautiful, doob, and I hope to join in on some of your conversations here in the near future.

                    My spirituality springs from an eclectic path, a smattering of shamanism, Buddhism, Taoism, and agnosticism, haha, but at its root is a prayer for harmonious rhythm and a passion for the dance of life. (Don't mean that just metaphorically, I use music, rhythm, and dance in the way you use chanting....)

                    A gift that came to me today, that I pass along:

                    "Everything you see has its roots in the unseen world. The forms may change, yet the essence remains the same. Every wonderful sight will vanish; every sweet word will fade, But do not be disheartened, The source they come from is eternal, growing, Branching out, giving new life and new joy. Why do you weep? The source is within you And this whole world is springing up from it." - Jelauddin Rumi

                    Peace and good vibes~
                    Combat terrorism -- grow your own.

                    Comment


                      Wow! Kickasss! Right on the money!

                      The hair on my arm is standing up on end! Thank you! Please let's all keep sharing!

                      Also, know that he and I are emailing back and forth like the dickins. I wish I could post some of what is being said, so a greater audience could participate in the conversation. But I have to respect his privacy, and I cannot directly comment on things in his life that would become obvious if the dialogue becomes a shared one.

                      So everybody start speaking out so when he gets back he can see we want to talk about life more than the history of Buddhism. Frankly, IMHO, That is the lesson to share, not which lay organization any of you should hook up with, or the common mortal opinions (Mr. Ikeda excepted, IMO) of their leaders.

                      We are the family here. This is our comumunity. We are equal brothers and sisters. We all have something to share. All of our life experiences occur for ourselves and for others.

                      IMHO that is what you call HUMANITY!
                      Nam-myoho-renge-kyo!

                      Comment


                        hehee natty gurrl, the drum circle has been my church for over a decade! I've been so smitten with it that I ended up writing a book -- general gist was focused on my contact with spirit and other-worldly experiences through drumming and dancing.

                        Nothing like a few good tokes, to open the doorways, feel deep into your inner groove and then move with the flow of the universe!

                        Love to y'all!
                        Last edited by amsterdame; 09-09-2004, 20:36.
                        Combat terrorism -- grow your own.

                        Comment


                          dear doob, Don'tcha just love synchronicities?! I look forward to conversations about such things as collective wisdom and consciousness - ways in which we tap into it, how we notice when it's tapping into us, and what we can do with that awareness.

                          Count me in for talking more generally about life as well, since I know so very little of the history of Buddhism, and my interests at this time aren't pulling me in that direction.

                          It occus to me as the initial author, it may be good for you to consider whether or not you want to do that in this string or start another one, since this is about Chanting Growers... it could be kinda confusing for new people coming in.

                          Peace and good vibes~
                          Combat terrorism -- grow your own.

                          Comment


                            Nah, This thread will do....

                            I thought about that, but we are all chanters from the infinite past, we just don't know it. It depends on your peception of what chanting Nam Myoho Renge Kyo is. IMNSHO, it is nothing more than embracing the Law of Cause And Effect in the most direct manner one can, and this Law is at the top of the food chain, the top of the pyramid, the tip of the spear. It governs all of your experiences, and therefore is the universal common denominator. Expressing that neutrally, to provide respect for all thinking, without discarding any, is the key.

                            It is the basis of 'do unto others' and the tenents of Buddhism are plagerized by untold authors of self help books. If I am participating in ANYTHING, you are going to hear about Buddhism.
                            'You reap what you sow' is a universal truth. My ultimate desire is to express myself in an unobtrusive and objective manner. But make no mistake about it, my goal and self dedicated mission in life is to reveal this truth as a manifistation of the Mystic Law.

                            I don't have to sell you on it. It cannot be sold. But is reflected in the life of everyone and if you are not aware of it, you can be. Is one even searching for a greater truth? I cannot make that decision for anyone but myself. But I can speak to all things, hoping that someone who is, is listening.

                            Amsterdame, you have been kind enough to say nice things, as has Nattty and many others. But I believe those observations to be reflective of you! Not me! I have been taught to view my life as a reflection of my me. Eternal and ever transforming. Continuously seeking through living. I do my best to let life lead me; to have faith in the Mystic Law. To lend myself to others as they see fit. But never ceasing to say what it is I am seeing.

                            If there is anything I want to share, now more than ever, it is who I am and the experiences that make me see these things this way. If I take off the gloves and sit down with a doobie to pass around and tell my story, (not one any more extraordinary than the ones that follow), you will all be extremely entertained, if not convinced that I might be onto something.

                            But I will never stop suggesting that you try chanting. That fact is the key to the life I have been so fortunate to have lived. I couldn't live life any other way. In my experience, it is the basis of what you are calling synchronicity. I hope you understand.

                            Thomas
                            Nam-myoho-renge-kyo!

                            Comment


                              Great Rhythm

                              Amsterdame
                              I loved the thoughts that you shared they were great. I hope you share more in the future. We all individually bring to the thread our own personal beliefs and spirituality. There is a common thread to it all and that is what makes it so easy to share. There is something to be learned from everyone.
                              And as PTB, this thread was originated with NamMyoRengeKyo as the key, that some of us follow. It would seem wrong to destroy that, for that is what it is. But hopefully, it draws that from all you share. Hope I made that clear.
                              PTB< Been here before. Can't wait to hear where you are on the other side of all this. Have seen ya go thru this before. Wonderful to feel the sense of it again. I may not KNOW what it is you are experiencing. But understand the energy of it all to well and it is yet another validation to returning. Southern Girl

                              Comment


                                Hey there doob and southern girl~ just have time for a quick post this morning... and thanks very much for the warm welcome to this string!

                                Just to clarify, I wasn't suggesting destroying this thread, just starting a new one to focus perhaps on a more general conversation about life and spirituality while the focus and integrity of the subject matter here (chanting) is preserved.

                                I should mention that in a former lifetime I spent several years moderating a variety of boards. So what you're hearing is my ex-moderator personas talkin.

                                Peace and good vibes~
                                Combat terrorism -- grow your own.

                                Comment

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