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    "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."
    Nam-myoho-renge-kyo!

    Comment


      "Faith is to fear nothing — to stand unswayed — the power to win over (surmount) — whatever the obstacle ... Belief is nothing extraordinary. It is actually the basis for living. If we believe in something VALUABLE, then even without understanding, our belief enables us to gain something!"

      Daisaku Ikeda
      SoCal

      Comment


        "We should never think that illness is a kind of failure or reason for embarrassment. It is not a sign of misfortune or defeat. Through our Buddhist practice we can transform illness into proof of our victory in life. And the protection we receive will extend to our entire family and all our relations. Such is the unfathomable power of the Mystic Law."

        Ikeda
        SoCal

        Comment


          Buddhist Chants

          Every week in thousands of homes everywhere in the world, members gather to chant and share Nichiren's Buddhism with others. Many have shared their experiences at these type of gatherings on this thread; for those never to have attended, the following video shows pretty much what to expect and I hope encourages anyone not as yet to go to one to find out where the nearest Buddhist meeting is happening where you live and check it out. If anyone needs help in finding one of these meetings PM me and I will be happy to help out.

          Nam Myoho Renge Kyo

          http://www.dispatch.com/multimedia/m.../buddhist.html

          (for some reason, I wasn't able to see in Quicktime,so I clicked on Windows Media Version)
          SoCal

          Comment


            Illness

            Hello

            I have a Kidney Disease that causes me to make stones and pass them sometimes every week.

            I also have a milder form of Bi polar disorder . I have been alot of my life ashamed of both illnesses , as if I were somehow defective and not as good as other people.

            I have had such low self esteem all my life that even things that everyone should have or does have I do not think I deserve.

            I still battle at times to even try believe that I deserve happiness
            my upbringing valued only physical accomplishments , money, carrer, degree, possesions and having been ill I could not accomplish these things and so had little value for some in my family

            Not knowing what was wrong with me psychologically led me to alcohol .I have fought alcoholism and have been sober for many years.

            All my life I have felt a longing and attraction to spirituality and living by a spiritual ethic, this led me to Christianity.and for awhile that seemed to fill a void, but so many people in that Church live double lives so much hurt has been done in the name of that Messiah and so much judgement came on me from them that I no longer felt at home and even more alienated than before.

            I discovered Buddhism when I was 16, and have never felt as at home at peace at one ment and Oceanic peace, I chanted

            Namu Amida Butsu

            It was my first experience of the ever lasting moment where all makes sense where all is peace where all is one and SOLID.


            I still have all my problems I still fight to feel as If I even deserve some joy, but I cannot imagine where I would be if I did not have that connection.

            I am fearful to write about it, becuase I do not want it taken away.

            I am a fearful little person sometimes.

            I think if I did not have the connection of Buddha I would have drank myself to death long ago.

            I am still afraid to tell people I am Bipolar.


            QUOTE=SoCal Hippy]"We should never think that illness is a kind of failure or reason for embarrassment. It is not a sign of misfortune or defeat. Through our Buddhist practice we can transform illness into proof of our victory in life. And the protection we receive will extend to our entire family and all our relations. Such is the unfathomable power of the Mystic Law."

            Ikeda[/QUOTE]
            I wish you Peace and a Warm Southwind blowing gently through the leaves. :smile:

            :wink: my kindness does not equate to weakness.

            SEEDS~HILL TEMPLE COLLECTIVE ~SEEDS
            [Official Test Grower]

            Comment


              Your post explained a lot...

              Originally posted by southwind

              I discovered Buddhism when I was 16, and have never felt as at home at peace at one ment and Oceanic peace, I chanted

              Namu Amida Butsu

              It was my first experience of the ever lasting moment where all makes sense where all is peace where all is one and SOLID.

              Hey southwind!

              Thanks for letting us get to know you better. I hope you have started chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo rather than the name of Amida. This is a very important decision for you. Nichiren Daishonin’s Buddhism teaches that we make our own karma and that embracing the wrong teachings for the time we live in makes bad karma. The Lotus Sutra teaches that we are now in a time referred to as “the Latter Day of the Law.”

              It is reasonable that someone who starts reading this thread at any point might not be able, or elect to, go back and start reading its previous pages of posts. What I will say now is from the assumption that this is true of you. I am sorry for your problems and rejoice at your victories. But both are of your own making. If you are here and telling us all that you are, then I assume you are seeking.

              Don't assume that what you know about Buddhism from your past experience applies to the teachings we refer to here. The praise of Amida buddha is a practice of the Nembutsu sect of Buddhism. According to the teaching that we embrace in the practice of Nichiren Buddhism and chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, invoking the name of Amida is like presenting expired coupons to the cashier at the grocery store.

              What once had value no longer does and has no true redemptive powers beyond the delusion of the mind by one's own fundamental darkness to produce such re-enforcement. Nam-myoho-renge-kyo is based on the Lotus Sutra, described by Shakyamuni Buddha as his highest teaching. The Nembutsu is based on the Three Pure Land sutras: the Buddha Infinite Life sutra, the Meditation on the Buddha Infinite Life Sutra, and the Amida Sutra.

              The Lotus Sutra states that the practice of a lesser teaching (sutra), in the Latter Day of the Law, not only has no power; but is to be considered a slander in light of the failure of the practitioner to heed the praise of the Lotus by Shakyamuni or his admonishment of the decline of redemptive power of all other teachings in the Latter Day. I will ALWAYS—BASED ON WHAT NICHIREN DAISHONIN’S TEACHINGS SAY ABOUT RECITING THE NAME OF AMIDA—DISCOURAGE SOMEONE THAT IS NOT AWARE OF THESE ADMONISHMENTS FROM DOING SO. You, however, are free to do anything you please.

              I hope that is chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo and giving the Daishonin’s Buddhism a shot to prove to yourself it’s REAL power and it’s capacity to effect a positive change in your life through its practice. Just remember that sharing the Buddhism of the Nembutsu is not appropriate here since it is in direct conflict with Nichiren’s Buddhism, and as far as I'm concerned is very likely a karmic source of the problems you're experiencing.

              I will truly pray that it is Nichiren’s Buddhism that you decide to embrace.

              Warmest regards!

              Thomas
              Last edited by PassTheDoobie; 01-21-2007, 07:21.
              Nam-myoho-renge-kyo!

              Comment


                expedient means
                [方便] (Skt.: upaya; Jpn.: hoben; Pali.: upaya)


                The methods adopted to instruct people and lead them to enlightenment. The concept of expedient means is highly regarded in Mahayana Buddhism, especially in the Lotus Sutra, as represented by its second chapter titled "Expedient Means." This is because expedient means are skillfully devised and employed by Buddhas and bodhisattvas to lead the people to salvation. According to the Lotus Sutra, the three vehicles of the voice-hearer, cause-awakened one, and bodhisattva are provisional teachings and expedient means designed to lead people to the one Buddha vehicle, or the teaching that leads all people to Buddhahood. The teaching that directly reveals the truth of enlightenment is called the true teaching, while the teachings that are expounded in accordance with the people's capacity and as a temporary means of leading people to the truth are called expedient teachings or provisional teachings.

                See also: three expedient means

                three expedient means
                [三方便] (Jpn.: san-hoben)


                Also, three types of expedient means. A classification of Shakyamuni's teachings into three categories, set forth by T'ien-t'ai (538-597) in The Words and Phrases of the Lotus Sutra. In that work, T'ien-t'ai interprets the title of the second chapter of the Lotus Sutra, "Expedient Means," with his three types of expedient means.

                Expedient means indicates the teachings the Buddha expounds in order to lead people to the true and supreme teaching. The first category is known as "adaptations of the Law expedient means" (Jpn hoyu-hoben ), the teachings that were preached in accordance with the people's capacities. The second is called "expedient means that can lead one in" (notsu-hoben ), indicating the teachings the Buddha preached as a gateway to the true teaching. These first two expedient means correspond to the pre-Lotus Sutra teachings and constitute provisional teachings. They are what the Buddha refers to in the "Expedient Means" chapter where he says, "Honestly discarding expedient means, I will preach only the unsurpassed way." The third category, or "secret and wonderful expedient means" (himyo-hoben), is the teaching that contains the truth. This expedient means indicates that the Buddha concealed, or kept secret, the truth for the first forty-two years of his preaching life, expounding it only in the Lotus Sutra. When viewed from the standpoint of the Lotus Sutra, however, all the provisional teachings are included in the sutra as partial explanations of the truth. This inclusion is termed "wonderful" (myo). Unlike the first two expedient means, the third category is not only a means that leads people to the truth, but also the truth itself.

                Nichiren (1222-1282) explains "secret and wonderful expedient means" with the parable of the jewel in the robe from the "Five Hundred Disciples" (eighth) chapter of the Lotus Sutra, in which a poor man has a precious jewel sewn inside his robe but is unaware of it. Because he is unaware, the jewel is "secret," but because he owns it, it is "wonderful." The jewel sewn in the robe indicates that Buddhahood is inherent in all people (wonderful), and the poor man's ignorance of it, that ordinary people are unaware of their own Buddha nature (secret).

                From source: The Soka Gakkai Dictionary of Buddhism
                Nam-myoho-renge-kyo!

                Comment


                  Good Friends

                  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.

                  SGI President Daisaku Ikeda has written, "Having good friends is like being equipped with a powerful auxiliary engine. When we encounter a steep hill or an obstacle, we can encourage each other and find the strength to keep pressing forward." And as Nichiren (1222--1282) 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."

                  Even when intentions are good, the degree of our positive influence on each other will vary. Tsunesaburo Makiguchi, founder of the Soka Gakkai, used the following illustration. Say you have a friend who needs a certain amount of money. Giving your friend the money they need is an act of small good, while helping them find a job is an act of medium good. However, if your friend is really suffering because of a basic tendency toward laziness, then constantly helping him or her out may only perpetuate negative habits. In this case, true friendship is helping that person change the lazy nature that is the deep cause of their suffering.

                  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.

                  [ Courtesy January 2004 SGI Quarterly ]
                  Nam-myoho-renge-kyo!

                  Comment


                    I hope all those who are serious in their resolve will gather in one place and listen to this letter.

                    [ The Problem to Be Pondered Night and Day, WND Page 622 ]
                    Nam-myoho-renge-kyo!

                    Comment


                      Southwind, thanks for sharing some of your lifes experience with us here and I am glad something I posted touched you in some way. This is the power of Nichiren's Buddhism of the Lotus Sutra and Chanting Nam Myoho Renge Kyo.

                      Those who practice this Buddhism are guaranteed to see positive results in all areas of our lifes - spiritually, physically and materially. Please join all of us in seeking the path to enlightenment and securing absolute happiness in this lifetime as we are doing now. I repeat, ABSOLUTE HAPPINESS IN THIS LIFETIME. Again, Southwind - WELCOME!!!
                      SoCal

                      Comment


                        "Human life is indeed wondrous. You may be ill physically, but as long as your mental state is strong, it most certainly will exert a positive influence on your body. There may be no better remedy than hope."

                        Ikeda

                        (how do we do this??? - Chanting Nam Myoho Renge Kyo)
                        SoCal

                        Comment


                          On 'Enlightenment'

                          "Each person has the potential to become a Buddha. Nichiren Buddhism starts from the realization that the supreme life-condition of Buddhahood exists in each of us. It is a teaching that makes it possible for us to achieve the most profound inner transformation—a transformation of our fundamental attitude or mind-set."


                          "The most basic Buddhist teaching is that everything is change, a never-ending series of changes. Nothing is ever still. What Buddhism seeks to do is, in the midst of that changing reality from which we can never divorce ourselves, in the midst of the "mud" of reality, to help us achieve a state of the highest hope and fulfillment and to lead society and our environment in the direction of peace and prosperity."

                          Ikeda
                          SoCal

                          Comment


                            Long time!!!

                            How is everyone doing? Ive missed this thread.......

                            Man how the stresses of life can reaily f**k with you, moved out of home and not growing pretty shit, big but the strenght one grow throw these tuff time is truely amazing. I have been chanting now and then, but so need to chant more, its true there endless protention when one belive in him/her self and is one with there surounding and nature.

                            I hope all are well and so nice to pass by with the up most love to all.

                            peace, till the nxt time round.......
                            Only after the last tree has been cut down,
                            Only after the last river has been poisoned,
                            Only after the last fish has been caught......
                            Only then will you realise that money cannot be eaten.

                            Comment


                              Hey Marley! I was just thinking about you the other day! How cool and nice of you to drop by, Bro! More chanting dude! Stay close! I am happy to know that you're OK!

                              By the way, Eagles and southwind, it's already on this thread many times, but I too am a recovering alcoholic; quit back in '88. I am not sure what milder form of bipolar southwind might be talking about, but if he is truey bipolar, meds such as lithium would probably get him handled. I think probably like me, he very well may be dealing with clinical depression. Chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo enabled me to overcome both.

                              How you doin' SoCal? Great posts! Thanks for the video link!

                              I bow in obeisance to you all!

                              Thomas
                              Nam-myoho-renge-kyo!

                              Comment


                                The Daishonin states,
                                "The more one praises the blessings of the Lotus Sutra,
                                the more one's own blessings will increase."*
                                Let's sincerely and wholeheartedly praise
                                all of our fellow members' selfless efforts and
                                dedicated hard work for the sake of kosen-rufu!
                                To share words of encouragement is
                                to unfold the strength and courage of
                                both ourselves and others ten thousand times!


                                Daisaku Ikeda

                                *"The Blessings of the Lotus Sutra" - WND, 673
                                Nam-myoho-renge-kyo!

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