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    Been Missin' Ya Eagles! Hello Mrs. B!

    Originally posted by SoCal Hippy

    "Nichiren writes, 'If you light a lantern for another, it will also brighten your own way.' Please be confident that the higher your flame of altruistic action burns, the more its light will suffuse your life with happiness. Those who possess an altruistic spirit are the happiest people of all."

    Daisaku Ikeda
    What would represent an altruistic spirit? Thoughts and determinations such as these:

    Originally posted by EasyMyohoDisco

    (*Remember your Debts of Gratitude and Selfless Dedication to The Law*)

    (*Buddhism is daily life*)

    (*build a core group for kosen-rufu*)

    (*your life condition will inspire others*)

    (*always help a Bodhisattva of the Earth find their way back to Gohonzon*)

    (*The greatest benefits for me are helping others start and support their Buddhist Practice*)

    (* Always chant to Have Gohonzon in this life and the every subsequent life*)

    (*Gohonzon is the Key*)

    Deep Respect,
    Last edited by PassTheDoobie; 01-18-2007, 14:09.


      I got more than four hours of Daimoku in today and Smiles has been in my prayers, as you all have been.

      Much love and deep respect,



        Gosho Excerpt:

        "If the spirit of many in body but one in mind prevails among the people, they will achieve all their goals, whereas if one in body but different in mind, they can achieve nothing remarkable."

        Many in body, one in mind,
        The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, pg# 618,
        Written to Takahashi Rokuro Hyoe on 6 August 1275 from Minobu


          On 'Attitude'

          "Life is best lived by being bold and daring. People tend to grow fearful when they taste failure, face a daunting challenge or fall ill. Yet that is precisely the time to become even bolder. Those who are victors at heart are the greatest of all champions."

          "One of my favorite poets, the Argentine educator Almafuerte (1854-1917) wrote: "To the weak, difficulty is a closed door. To the strong, however, it is a door waiting to be opened." Difficulties impede the progress of those who are weak. For the strong, however, they are an opportunity to open wide the doors to a bright future. Everything is determined by our attitude, by our resolve. Our heart is what matters most."

          "We have both a weak self and a strong self; the two are completely different. If we allow our weak side to dominate, we will surely be defeated."

          Daisaku Ikeda quotes

          Who is Daisaku Ikeda?

          Daisaku Ikeda is a Buddhist philosopher, an educator and a prolific writer and poet. As president of the Soka Gakkai International (SGI) lay Buddhist movement, he has devoted himself to wide-ranging efforts for peace and individual empowerment, and has founded cultural, educational and peace research institutions around the world.

          Born in Tokyo in 1928, Ikeda experienced firsthand the tragic reality of war and militarism. In the chaos of postwar Japan, he came to embrace Buddhism through an encounter with the educator and pacifist Josei Toda, head of the Buddhist lay organization Soka Gakkai, who had been imprisoned for his beliefs during World War II.

          These experiences shaped Ikeda's commitment to peace. Over the years, Ikeda has engaged in dialogue with many of the world's leading thinkers and leaders in search of viable responses to global problems, inspired the SGI's support of United Nations activities and written extensively on a range of issues related to peace and the human condition.

          Central to Ikeda's thinking is the idea that a self-directed transformation within the life of each individual, rather than societal or structural reforms alone, holds the key to lasting peace and human happiness. This is expressed most succinctly in a passage in his best-known work, The Human Revolution: "A great inner revolution in just a single individual will help achieve a change in the destiny of a nation and, further, will cause a change in the destiny of humankind."

          Ikeda's books, offering perspectives grounded in Buddhist humanism on the challenges facing both individuals in their daily lives and humanity as a whole, have been translated and published in more than 30 languages.

          2006 Soka Gakkai International
          Last edited by SoCal Hippy; 01-18-2007, 18:59.


            The path to Buddhahood is not to be found in the Flower Garland doctrine of the phenomenal world as created by the mind alone, in the eight negations of the Three Treatises school, in the Consciousness-Only doctrine of the Dharma Characteristics school, or in the True Word type of meditation on the five elements of the universe. Only the T'ien-t'ai doctrine of three thousand realms in a single moment of life is the path to Buddhahood. Even in the case of this doctrine of three thousand realms in a single moment of life, we do not possess the kind of wisdom and understanding to comprehend it fully. Nevertheless, among all the sutras preached by the Buddha during his lifetime, the Lotus Sutra alone contains this jewel that is the doctrine of three thousand realms in a single moment of life. The doctrines of the other sutras are merely yellow stones that appear to be jewels. They are like sand, from which you can extract no oil no matter how hard you squeeze it, or a barren woman who can never bear a child. Even a wise person cannot become a Buddha through the other sutras, but with the Lotus Sutra, even fools can plant the seeds that lead to Buddhahood. As the sutra passage I have quoted earlier puts it, "Although they do not seek emancipation, emancipation will come of itself."

            Although I and my disciples may encounter various difficulties, if we do not harbor doubts in our hearts, we will as a matter of course attain Buddhahood. Do not have doubts simply because heaven does not lend you protection. Do not be discouraged because you do not enjoy an easy and secure existence in this life. This is what I have taught my disciples morning and evening, and yet they begin to harbor doubts and abandon their faith.

            Foolish men are likely to forget the promises they have made when the crucial moment comes. Some of them feel pity for their wives and children and grieve at the thought of parting from them in this life. In countless births throughout many long kalpas they have had wives and children but parted from them in every existence. They have done so unwillingly and not because of their desire to pursue the way of the Buddha. Since they must part with them in any case, they should remain faithful to their belief in the Lotus Sutra and make their way to Eagle Peak, so that they may lead their wives and children there as well.

            [ The Opening of the Eyes II / WND pg. 283 ]


              It is certain that, even if there were an age when the sun rises in the west, or a time were to come when the moon emerges from the ground, the Buddha's words would never prove false. Judging from this, there cannot be the least doubt that your late father is now in the presence of Shakyamuni Buddha, the lord of teachings, and that you will receive great blessings in your present existence. How wonderful, how splendid!

              [ Good Fortune in This Life, WND Page 655 ]


                "Arouse deep faith, and diligently polish your mirror day and night. How should you polish it? Only by chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo."

                (On Attaining Buddhahood in This Lifetime - The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, page 4) Selection source: "Kyo no Hosshin", Seikyo Shimbun, January 10th, 2007


                  "I cannot express my joy at your having sent a messenger all the way here at such a time. Can it be that Shakyamuni Buddha or the Bodhisattvas of the Earth have entered into your body? I entrust you with the propagation of Buddhism in your province. It is stated that 'the seeds of Buddhahood sprout as a result of conditions, and for this reason they preach the single vehicle.'"

                  (The Properties of Rice - The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, page 1117) Selection source: Gosho for January discussion meetings, Seikyo Shimbun, January 12th, 2007


                    "'It is the heart that is important' (WND-1, 1000), writes the Daishonin. What matters is the spirit or determination we apply to the challenges before us. In the final analysis, it all comes down to the strict question of whether or not we truly have faith."

                    SGI Newsletter No. 7071, TOKYO, KANTO, AND TOKAIDO JOINT TRAINING SESSION, Leading a Life of Unsurpassed Meaning and Value, August 17th, 2006, translated Jan. 10th, 2007


                      Three Poisons--the Source of the Problem

                      As the problems of our planet grow deeper and more complex, the possibility of humanity untangling the destructive web that we have woven can seem less and less easy to believe in. The hope that Buddhism offers to this pervasive sense of uncertainty is the perspective that since the ills of our world have been created by human beings, it is within our power to solve them. Both the problem and the solution lie with us.

                      Buddhism began as a bold, humane confrontation with the fact of suffering. Its original impulse is not one of retreat or escape from life's challenges and contradictions. Rather, Buddhist practice could be broadly characterized as the struggle to draw forth and shine the light of human wisdom on life and society. A thorough understanding of the causes of human misery is a departure point for this philosophy. Thus Nichiren writes, "One who is thoroughly awakened to the nature of good and evil from their roots to their branches and leaves is called a Buddha."

                      At the root of human misery, Buddhism sees three destructive impulses: greed, anger and foolishness, which it terms the "three poisons." These are the essence of all the delusions and negative workings of life that impede the realization of our full potential for happiness and creativity. .

                      Of the three, foolishness is most fundamental, as it facilitates greed and anger. Foolishness here means ignorance (passive or willful) of the true nature of life. It is blindness to the reality of our interrelatedness--not merely our connectedness to and dependence on each other, but the connectedness of the unfolding of each of our lives to the unfolding of the very life of the universe; the fact that each of us is a vital component of life itself and a nexus of immense possibilities. Because it obscures life's true, enlightened nature, this ignorance is also referred to as "fundamental darkness."

                      Our deepest sense of fulfillment lies in the experience of this connectedness and in actions that uphold it. Under the influence of such ignorance, however, we look for fulfillment through acquisition and possession (of objects, fame, power, and so on). Greed is the uncontrolled impulse to fulfill these desires, even at the cost of the unhappiness of others. Inevitably, such pursuits lead only to a sense of frustration.

                      Anger is the violent impulses that spring from the same egocentric orientation. It is not only explosive rage, but also resentment, envy-all the insidious, ultimately self-destructive emotions of the wounded ego.

                      These poisons thus undermine our individual happiness, impede our relationships and hinder the unfolding of our unique creative potential. Their influence, however, goes beyond this. On a social level they well forth from the inner lives of individuals and become the cause of conflict, oppression, environmental destruction and gross inequalities among people. One Buddhist text expresses it this way: "Because anger increases in intensity, armed strife occurs. Because greed increases in intensity, famine arises. Because foolishness increases in intensity, pestilence breaks out. And because these three calamities occur, earthly desires [delusions] grow more numerous and powerful than ever, and false views increasingly flourish."

                      From the perspective of Nichiren Buddhism, the three poisons are an inherent aspect of life and can never be completely eradicated. In fact, a religious approach based on eliminating these poisons from one's life may simply breed hypocrisy. Buddhist practice in the Nichiren tradition can be described as a process of continually transforming the energy of these deluded impulses and redirecting it toward the creation of value. In a more general sense it is through the spiritual struggle to continually orient our lives toward respecting others and working for the broader good of all that we are able to transcend and transform these poisons. In this process, the destructive energy of anger, for example, is sublimated into a protective force that can counteract injustice, preventing us and others from merely being swept along by outside forces or being taken advantage of by those with ill intent. .

                      Dialogue based on a will to genuinely connect with people in an attitude of respect and mutual encouragement is a powerful key in this transformative process. .

                      Ultimately, establishing peace and security on our planet relies on an inner transformation within the lives of individuals. As the UNESCO constitution states, "Since wars begin in the minds of men, it is in the minds of men that the defenses of peace must be constructed." The sense of responsibility to continually seek to develop our potential for creative good is the crux of personal empowerment and beginning of the broader transformation of the planet.

                      [ Courtesy October 2005 SGI Quarterly ]


                        "My wish is that my disciples will be cubs of the lion king, never to be laughed at by the pack of foxes. It is hard to encounter a master like Nichiren, who since distant kalpas in the past down to the present day has never begrudged his body or life in order to expose the faults of his powerful enemies!"

                        (In the Continent of Jambudvipa - The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, Volume 2, page 1062) Selection source: "Kyo no Hosshin", Seikyo Shimbun, January 13th, 2007


                          The capabilities and strengths of one person is beyond measure.
                          That is why it is so important to respect and treasure each person!
                          If we base everything on such a caring and thoughtful attitude,
                          we will certainly achieve many great things in the areas we live in!

                          Daisaku Ikeda


                            Strengthen your resolve more than ever. Ice is made of water, but it is colder than water. Blue dye comes from indigo, but when something is repeatedly dyed in it, the color is better than that of the indigo plant. The Lotus Sutra remains the same, but if you repeatedly strengthen your resolve, your color will be better than that of others, and you will receive more blessings than they do.

                            [ The Supremacy of the Law, WND Page 615 ]


                              The Greater Self

                              The Buddhist concept of the "greater self" (Jpn. taiga) provides a framework for the kind of shift in awareness that is necessary to restore the harmony of life on our planet.

                              The idea of the greater self is sometimes discussed in quite abstract, cosmological terms that risk detracting from its more practical value. The greater self could be described simply as a sense of self that can fully identify and empathize with the suffering of others and is thus motivated to alleviate that suffering; an open, expansive character broadened by an empathy that extends not only to other people but to all life, and thus to the natural environment. It is a self grounded in a deep respect for the dignity of all life--including one's own--and the wisdom that perceives the inextricable interdependence of that life.

                              This type of expansive life condition could be contrasted with the more limited "lesser self" (Jpn. shoga) defined by egotistical concerns and desires.

                              Buddhism embodies the sustained aspiration and effort to expand one's state of life to manifest the "greater self"--a process of inner-directed struggle that second Soka Gakkai President Josei Toda termed "human revolution."

                              The development of the greater self, it is important to note, does not merely describe a passive change in perception. It must be reflected in the choices and actions that weave the fabric of our daily lives. Specifically, the greater self expresses itself in a broadened sense of responsibility and a wish to contribute to the well-being of others and of the planet. This sense of responsibility and commitment drives the growth of our human capacities, extending our ability to be a positive influence on our environment.

                              A New Ideal

                              The environmental degradation and social alienation that plague contemporary civilization are symptoms of humankind's collective failure to transcend the lesser self. Consumerism that fans cycles of insatiable desire; discrimination that exaggerates the significance of differences between people, obscuring our shared humanity and at times justifying oppression and violence; a dulled insensitivity to the other life forms with whom we share the planet--all these are examples of the lesser self in action.

                              But the lesser self, its desires and impulses, cannot simply be denied or repressed. Rather, we need to learn to transform and redirect such desire. We need to change from a culture obsessed with material goods to one focused on cultural and human values; a change of focus, to quote the Earth Charter, from "having more" to "being more."

                              In the most general sense, any process of conscious change starts with embracing an ideal or establishing an intention to move in a positive and upward direction. To grow as human beings requires that we have ideals to strive for. The Buddha, in this sense, is a projection or embodiment of the most positive aspects and goodness inherent in the human heart. The "true Buddha," as Nichiren writes, is thus none other than the "common mortal." Buddhahood is not something far off but manifests in the actions of ordinary people who strive toward this ideal.

                              The key characteristic of a Buddha is intense concern and unrelenting effort for the happiness of others. Anchored in the realities of the era and society, a Buddha constantly seeks ways to alleviate the misery of others and increase their happiness, genuinely seeking their growth and independence through efforts that are free of any patronizing or controlling intent.

                              It is precisely in challenging our self-centeredness through committed altruistic action that we can expand and extend the lesser self toward the ideal of the greater self. Our being expands, as does our capacity for joy, to the degree that we take action for the happiness of others. Such an expansion brings forth wisdom from our lives, enabling us to be ever more effective in these compassionate efforts.

                              The concept of the greater self offers a hopeful vision, and the assurance that we can begin--at this very moment, right where we are and just as we are--to transform the world.

                              [ Courtesy April 2006 SGI Quarterly ]
                              Last edited by PassTheDoobie; 01-20-2007, 18:15.


                                "The greater self could be described simply as a sense of self that can fully identify and empathize with the suffering of others and is thus motivated to alleviate that suffering; an open, expansive character broadened by an empathy that extends not only to other people but to all life, and thus to the natural environment. It is a self grounded in a deep respect for the dignity of all life--including one's own--and the wisdom that perceives the inextricable interdependence of that life."