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Chanting Growers Group (2013-∞)

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    Originally posted by Babbabud View Post
    Just happy to be here

    Nam myoho renge kyo
    We are happy if you are here ;D

    Nam myoho renge kyo!
    My soul smells of Canapa!



      Every one of our members is a noble and valuable participant
      in our movement for kosen-rufu.
      Let's be considerate and understanding of those people
      who are unable to attend meetings for various different reasons,
      remember that it is important to always contact them
      and warmly connect with them!
      Let's make every possible effort
      to brighten up the life of even a single individual.
      This is the heart and spirit of Buddhism.

      Daisaku Ikeda


        "You must simply make up your mind. Look at the world this year as a mirror. The reason that you have survived until now when so many have died was so that you would meet with this affair. ... This will determine whether you win honour or disgrace your name."

        (Reply to Yasaburo - The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, Vol.1, page 829) Selection source: Kyo no Hosshin, Seikyo Shimbun, February 21st, 2013


          "All people have the potential to grow and make their lives shine even brighter."

          SGI Newsletter No. 8722, Encouragement for Soka Educators, (2) Teachers Are the Most Important Element in the Students’ Educational Environment—Part 1 [of 2], from the March 2nd, 2012, issue of the Seikyo Shimbun, translated 19th Feb. 2013


            "There is one passage of the Orally Transmitted Teachings that I have always taken deeply to heart since my days of supporting and assisting Mr. Toda: ‘If in a single moment of life we exhaust the pains and trials of millions of kalpas, then instant after instant there will arise in us the three Buddha bodies[1] with which we are eternally endowed. Nam-myoho-renge-kyo is just such a “diligent” practice’ (OTT, 214).”

            "This passage teaches the essence of attaining Buddhahood in this lifetime. 'The three Buddha bodies with which we are eternally endowed' refers to the boundless life-state of Buddhahood within us. The key to manifesting this life-state in each instant is to expend in a single moment of life millions of kalpas’ worth of strenuous effort. 'Millions of kalpas' means an infinite expanse of time. Through practising Nichiren Daishonin’s Buddhism with this kind of concentrated effort, we can bring forth our inherent Buddha wisdom and life force.

            “The Daishonin teaches that only through intense struggle, undaunted by hardships, can we attain Buddhahood in this lifetime, carry out our human revolution, and transform our life-condition. In a sense, my days have been a continuous, arduous, all-out struggle. I have been through inconceivably bitter experiences time and again.

            “On those occasions, this passage sustained me, helping me renew my resolve, chant daimoku, overcome all hardships, and emerge triumphant.

            “It is important that you courageously exert yourself, too, for the sake of kosen-rufu, the happiness of others, and your own future."

            SGI Newsletter No. 8721, The New Human Revolution––Vol. 26: Chap. 1, Atsuta 56, translated 19th Feb. 2013

            [1] The three bodies of the Buddha refer to the Dharma body, the reward body, and the manifested body. The Dharma body is the fundamental truth, or Law, to which a Buddha is enlightened. The reward body is the wisdom to perceive the Law. And the manifested body is the compassionate actions the Buddha carries out to lead people to happiness.


              "I am praying that, no matter how troubled the times may become, the Lotus Sutra and the ten demon daughters will protect all of you, praying as earnestly as though to produce fire from damp wood, or to obtain water from parched ground."

              (On Rebuking Slander of the Law and Eradicating Sins - The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, Vol.1, page 444) Selection source: Kyo no Hosshin, Seikyo Shimbun, February 22nd, 2013


                "Why do the Bodhisattvas of the Earth encounter great obstacles? From one perspective, it is so that they can demonstrate to all humanity now and in the future that human beings, and youth in particular, possess the power to positively transform and prevail over even the most daunting obstacles in accord with the Buddhist principle of 'changing poison into medicine.'

                "At present, the youth division in Tohoku, uniting solidly with the men's and women's divisions, are exerting themselves all out, with lionhearted courage and energy, to deal with the many challenges that have arisen in the wake of the March 11th earthquake and tsunami that struck north-eastern Japan.

                "I would like to present these words from the Japanese poet Bansui Doi (1871-1952), a native of Tohoku, to these valiant young Bodhisattvas of the Earth:

                "After rain and storm,
                comes sunshine;
                we make our way
                with unshaken hope;
                overcoming adversity
                is what makes a person great."

                SGI Newsletter No. 8227, Message to the 48TH SOKA GAKKAI HEADQUARTERS LEADERS MEETING, held in Kansai, The Vow of Mentor and Disciple Shines with Diamond-like Brilliance, from the April 29th, 2011, issue of the Seikyo Shimbun, translated May 2nd, 2011.


                  You have a role, a purpose in life, which only you can fulfil!
                  Therefore don't allow yourself to get flustered or impatient,
                  never let yourself become disheartened,
                  and always try to immerse yourself in something
                  that helps you to achieve your aspirations and goals.
                  Shine in your own very special, very unique way!

                  Daisaku Ikeda


                    "Hence the character myo means to open. If there is a storehouse full of treasures but no key, then it cannot be opened, and if it cannot be opened, then the treasures inside cannot be seen."

                    (The Daimoku of the Lotus Sutra - The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, Vol.1, page 145)
                    Selection source: "Kyo no Hosshin", Seikyo Shimbun, May 5th


                      "If the votaries of the Lotus Sutra carry out their religious practice as the sutra directs, then every one of them, without exception, will surely attain Buddhahood within his or her present lifetime."

                      (The Doctrine of Three Thousand Realms in a Single Moment of Life - The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, Vol.2, page 88) Selection source: SGI President Ikeda's message, Seikyo Shimbun, July 10th , 2011


                        "Chanting daimoku gives us the energy and vitality for limitless progress. It gives us the wisdom and courage to be able to regard any adversity as a cause or opportunity for great development. This is because Myoho-renge-kyo is the name of the fundamental life-force of the universe itself."

                        SGI Newsletter No. 8272, LEARNING FROM THE WRITINGS OF NICHIREN DAISHONIN: THE TEACHINGS FOR VICTORY, [28] 'How Those Initially Aspiring to the Way Can Attain Buddhahood Through the Lotus Sutra', Chanting Vibrant Daimoku Is the Driving Force for Limitless Progress--Everything Starts with Our Own Inner Transformation, translated July 6th, 2011


                          The advancement of the SGI is for the sake
                          of the peace of the entire world and the happiness of all people.
                          Let's therefore cheerfully live out our lives victoriously,
                          until the very last moment,
                          fulfilling our own very unique and noble missions.

                          Daisaku Ikeda


                            Attachments and Liberation

                            "It is impossible to live in the world without attachments, or indeed to eradicate them. Our affections for others, the desire to succeed in our endeavors, our interests and passions, our love of life itself--all of these are attachments and potential sources of disappointment or suffering, but they are the substance of our humanity and the elements of engaged and fulfilled lives."

                            Buddhism is a teaching of liberation, aimed at freeing people from the inevitable sufferings of life. To this end, early Buddhist teachings focused on the impermanence of all things. The Buddha realized that nothing in this world stays the same; everything is in a constant state of change. Pleasurable conditions, favorable circumstances, our relationships with those we hold dear, our health and well-being--any sense of comfort and security we derive from these things is continually threatened by life's flux and uncertainty, and ultimately by death, the most profound change of all.

                            The Buddha saw that people's ignorance of the nature of change was the cause of suffering. We desire to hold on to what we value, and we suffer when life's inevitable process of change separates us from those things. Liberation from suffering comes, he taught, when we are able to sever our attachments to the transient things of this world.

                            Buddhist practice, in this perspective, is oriented away from the world: life is suffering, the world is a place of uncertainty; liberation lies in freeing oneself from attachment to worldly things and concerns, attaining a transcendent enlightenment.

                            The Lotus Sutra, upon which Nichiren Buddhism is based, is revolutionary in that it reverses this orientation, overturning the basic premises of the Buddha's earlier teachings and focusing people's attention instead on the infinite possibilities of life and the joy of living in the world.

                            Where other teachings had regarded enlightenment, or the final liberation of Buddhahood, as a goal to be attained at some future point in time, in the teachings of the Lotus Sutra each person is inherently and originally a Buddha. Through Buddhist practice we develop our enlightened qualities and exercise them in the world here and now for the sake of others and for the purpose of positively transforming society. The true nature of our lives at this moment is one of expansive freedom and possibility.

                            This dramatic reorientation effected by the Lotus Sutra is distilled in the key and seemingly paradoxical concepts of Nichiren Buddhism that "earthly desires are enlightenment" and "the sufferings of birth and death are nirvana." The image of the pure lotus flower blossoming in the muddy swamp is a metaphor that encapsulates this perspective--freedom, liberation, enlightenment are forged and expressed in the very midst of the murky swamp of life with its problems, pains and contradictions.

                            It is impossible to live in the world without attachments, or indeed to eradicate them. Our affections for others, the desire to succeed in our endeavors, our interests and passions, our love of life itself--all of these are attachments and potential sources of disappointment or suffering, but they are the substance of our humanity and the elements of engaged and fulfilled lives.

                            The challenge is not to rid oneself of attachments but, in the words of Nichiren, to become enlightened concerning them. The teachings of Nichiren thus stress the transformation, rather than the elimination, of desire. Desires and attachments fuel the quest for enlightenment. As he wrote: "Now Nichiren and others who chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo . . . burn the firewood of earthly desires and behold the fire of enlightened wisdom..."

                            In their proper perspective--when we can see them clearly and master them rather than being mastered by them--desires and attachments enable us to lead interesting and significant lives. As SGI President Daisaku Ikeda says, "Our Buddhist practice enables us to discern their true nature and utilize them as the driving force to become happy."

                            It is our small ego, our "lesser self," that makes us slaves to our desires and causes us to suffer. Buddhist practice enables us to break out of the shell of our lesser self and awaken to the "greater self" of our inherent Buddha nature.

                            This expanded sense of self is based on a clear awareness of the interconnected fabric of life which we are part of and which sustains us. When awakened to the reality of our relatedness to all life, we can overcome the fear of change and experience the deeper continuities beyond and beneath the ceaseless flow of change.

                            The basic character of our greater self is compassion. Ultimate freedom is experienced when we develop the ability to channel the full energy of our attachments into compassionate concern and action on behalf of others.

                            [Courtesy July 2011 SGI Quarterly]


                              Lifespan and the Bodhisattva Vow

                              "…genuine joy lies not in simply being able to avoid or escape from one's own suffering, but in freeing others from their suffering. In other words, the greatest value in life lies in the desire to live and work for the benefit of others. Buddhism terms this desire the 'bodhisattva vow.'"

                              Buddhism traditionally offers two broad ways of understanding a person's lifespan. One is that everything about our lives, from birth to death, is determined by karma, the effects of causes made in past lives and up until this point. A virtuous way of life would have created the causes to be born in pleasant circumstances and enjoy a long life. Destructive and harmful actions, on the other hand, diminish one's vitality, shortening the time one can enjoy life as a human being.

                              In many Buddhist traditions, because birth into this impure world is itself regarded as a form of suffering, the goal is to purify one's life and karma until one can completely escape the cycle of birth and death.

                              From another perspective, however, genuine joy lies not in simply being able to avoid or escape from one's own suffering, but in freeing others from their suffering. In other words, the greatest value in life lies in the desire to live and work for the benefit of others. Buddhism terms this desire the "bodhisattva vow," and it is this motivation that determines the nature and course of our lives.

                              The bodhisattva vow could be described as the original impetus of our lives. Buddhist practice is a way of "remembering" this vow, of engraving it ever deeper in our hearts.

                              The "Life Span" chapter of the Lotus Sutra, parts of which are recited daily by SGI members around the world, clarifies that the Buddha nature--the universal law, or dharma, to which the Buddha awakened--is inherent in the lives of all people. This Buddha nature is the essence of life, and to awaken to it is to awaken to the eternal aspect of our own lives.

                              From this perspective, our original essence is pure and undefiled, but we willingly take on negative karma, choosing to be born in difficult circumstances or with various physical or psychological challenges in order to give hope to others by triumphing over these difficulties. By showing proof of the inherent power of our humanity to overcome suffering, we open the way for others to do the same. Likewise, we are able to give real support topeople who suffer from similar difficulties. In each new life, we again awaken to our original vow and joyfully embrace whatever challenges it presents us.

                              Such awakening transforms our experience of life from a cycle of suffering to one of mission.

                              According to this understanding, even a short life may create lasting value in the lives of those with whom one is connected. A child who dies young, for example, may inspire her parents to think deeply about the nature of life, causing them to live more purposefully.

                              It is not, then, simply the length of one's lifespan that determines the value of one's life, but the extent to which we are able to create positive value, enhancing our own happiness and that of others.

                              More than simply an intellectual belief or understanding, an awakening to the eternal nature of our lives is felt as a deep sense of confidence in the face of life's constant and inevitable challenges.

                              Such awareness does not remove us from the difficult realities of living and dying but it empowers us to confront them with renewed courage and confidence. As Nichiren describes it, we are able to repeat the cycle of birth and death secure upon the "earth" of our intrinsic enlightened nature.

                              A belief in the eternal nature of our lives does not diminish the significance of our present lives, which Buddhism sees as infinitely precious. Buddhism teaches, rather, that we should strive to live as long as possible, for each day presents new opportunities to pursue a noble and contributive way of life. It is when we live with a dedication to this ideal that we are able to bring forth the luster of our humanity, extend our lifespan and enjoy the most fulfilling and meaningful existence.

                              [Courtesy October 2012 SGI Quarterly]


                                Nam Myoho Renge Kyo~

                                The bodhisattva vow could be described as the original impetus of our lives. Buddhist practice is a way of "remembering" this vow, of engraving it ever deeper in our hearts.
                                That's the way it is!

                                Nam Myoho Renge Kyo!

                                Hello Thomas and everyone chanting, keep on keeping on...

                                Nam Myoho Renge Kyo!