Chanting Growers Group

Status
Not open for further replies.

PassTheDoobie

Bodhisattva of the Earth
ICMag Supporter
"Be diligent in developing your faith until the last moment of your life. Otherwise you will have regrets. For example, the journey from Kamakura to Kyoto takes twelve days. If you travel for eleven but stop with only one day remaining, how can you admire the moon over the capital?"

(Letter to Niike - The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, Vol.1, page 1027) Selection source: The New Human Revolution - Surging Seas - 30, Seikyo Shimbun, May 19, 2009
 

PassTheDoobie

Bodhisattva of the Earth
ICMag Supporter
"The 'Emergence of the Treasure Tower' (11th) chapter of the Lotus Sutra states: 'If one can expound this sutra to even one person, that will be difficult indeed' (cf. LS11, 179). Genuine Buddhist practice lies in tirelessly reaching out to others in one-on-one dialogue; it is found in the effort to share the teachings of Buddhism with another person, to raise another in faith, and to make even one friend and ally. And there is no better place for carrying out these activities than in our groups and districts.

SGI Newsletter No. 7775, The Most Respectworthy Are Those Active on the Front Lines, from the June 2009 issue of Daibyakurenge, translated May 19th, 2009
 

PassTheDoobie

Bodhisattva of the Earth
ICMag Supporter
"Muster your faith, and pray to this Gohonzon. Then what is there that cannot be achieved?"

(Reply to Kyo'o - The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, Vol.1, page 412) Selection source: "Kyo no Hosshin", Seikyo Shimbun, May 20th, 2009
 

PassTheDoobie

Bodhisattva of the Earth
ICMag Supporter
Our inner strength is the basis of our happiness. First and foremost it's important to conquer our own personal weaknesses. When we start to do this the momentum, like nothing can stand in our way towards victory and success, is instantly created.* Let's advance with pride and dignity!

Daisaku Ikeda

*"The situation is like the joints in a piece of bamboo: if one joint is ruptured, then all the joints will split." - "Letter to Horen", WND-I, page 512
 

PassTheDoobie

Bodhisattva of the Earth
ICMag Supporter
"Whatever trouble occurs, regard it as no more than a dream, and think only of the Lotus Sutra."

(Letter to Brothers - The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, Vol.1, page 502) Selection source: "Kyo no Hosshin", Seikyo Shimbun, May 21st, 2009
 

PassTheDoobie

Bodhisattva of the Earth
ICMag Supporter
Earthly Desires Are Enlightenment / WND Pg. 317

Earthly Desires Are Enlightenment / WND Pg. 317

I deeply appreciate your visit here and your constant concern over the numerous persecutions that have befallen me. I do not regret meeting with such great persecutions as the votary of the Lotus Sutra. However many times I were to repeat the cycle of birth and death, no life could be as fortunate as this. [If not for these troubles,] I might have remained in the three or four evil paths. But now, to my great joy, I am sure to sever the cycle of the sufferings of birth and death, and attain the fruit of Buddhahood.

Even for spreading the teaching of the theoretical "three thousand realms in a single moment of life" from the first half of the Lotus Sutra, T'ien-t'ai and Dengyo met with hatred and jealousy. In Japan it was transmitted from Dengyo to Gishin, Encho, Jikaku, and others, and spread. The eighteenth chief priest of the Tendai school was the Great Teacher Jie, and he had many disciples. Among them there were four named Danna, Eshin, Soga, and Zen'yu. The teaching also was divided into two: the Administrator of Priests Danna transmitted the doctrinal studies, while the Supervisor of Priests Eshin studied the meditative practices. Thus the doctrinal studies and meditative practices are like the sun and moon; doctrinal studies are shallow, while meditative practices are deep. Thus the teaching expounded by Danna is broad but shallow, while the teaching of Eshin is limited but deep.

Though the teaching I am now propagating seems limited, it is extremely profound. That is because it goes deeper than the teaching expounded by T'ien-t'ai, Dengyo, and others. (1) It is the three important matters in the "Life Span" chapter of the essential teaching. Practicing only the seven characters of Nam-myoho-renge-kyo seems limited, but since they are the master of all the Buddhas of the three existences, the teacher of all the bodhisattvas in the ten directions, and the guide that enables all living beings to attain the Buddha way, it is profound.

The sutra states, "The wisdom of the Buddhas is infinitely profound and (2) immeasurable." It refers to "the Buddhas" here in the sense of all Buddhas throughout the ten directions in the three existences, from the Thus Come One Mahavairochana of the True Word school and Amida of the Pure Land school to the Buddhas and bodhisattvas of all schools and all sutras, all Buddhas of the past, future, and present, and the present Thus Come One Shakyamuni. And the sutra speaks of the wisdom of all those Buddhas.

What is meant by this "wisdom"? It is the entity of the true aspect of all phenomena, and of the ten factors of life that lead all beings to Buddhahood. What then is that entity? It is Nam-myoho-renge-kyo. A commentary states that the profound principle of the true aspect is the originally (3) inherent Myoho-renge-kyo. We learn that that true aspect of all phenomena is also the two Buddhas Shakyamuni and Many Treasures [seated together in the treasure tower]. "All phenomena" corresponds to Many Treasures, and "the true aspect" corresponds to Shakyamuni. These are also the two elements of reality and wisdom. Many Treasures is reality; Shakyamuni is wisdom. It is the enlightenment that reality and wisdom are two, and yet they are not two.

These are teachings of prime importance. These are also what is called "earthly desires are enlightenment," and "the sufferings of birth and death are nirvana." Chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo during the physical union of man and woman is indeed what is called "earthly desires are enlightenment," and "the sufferings of birth and death are nirvana." "The sufferings of birth and death are nirvana" exists only in realizing that the entity of life throughout its cycle of birth and death is neither born nor destroyed. The Universal Worthy Sutra states, "Without either cutting off earthly desires or separating themselves from the five desires, they can purify all their senses and wipe away all their offenses." Great Concentration and Insight says, "The ignorance and dust of desires are enlightenment, and the sufferings of birth and death are nirvana." The "Life Span" chapter of the Lotus Sutra says, "At all times I think to myself: How can I cause living beings to gain entry into the unsurpassed way and quickly acquire the body of a Buddha?" The "Expedient Means" chapter says, "The characteristics of the world are constantly abiding." Surely such statements refer to these principles. Thus what is called the entity is none other than Nam-myoho-renge-kyo.

It was such an august and precious Lotus Sutra that in past existences I put under my knees, despised, scowled upon in disgust, and failed to believe in. In one way or another, I maliciously ridiculed those who, studying the teachings of the Lotus Sutra, taught them to even one person, and carried on the life of the Law. In addition, I did everything I could to hinder people from embracing the sutra by asserting that they should set it aside for a while because, though it might be suitable for practice in their next lifetime, it would be too difficult to practice in this one. Slanderous acts such as these have brought on the many severe persecutions I have suffered in my lifetime. Because I once disparaged the Lotus Sutra, the highest of all sutras, I am now looked down on, and my words go unheeded. The "Simile and Parable" chapter states that other people will neither concern themselves with one nor have sympathy for one, even though one sincerely tries to be friendly with them.

Nevertheless, you became a votary of the Lotus Sutra, and as a result, you suffered severe persecutions, and you came to my assistance. In the "Teacher of the Law" chapter, the Buddha states that he will magically conjure and send the four kinds of believers - monks, nuns, laymen, and laywomen [- for the sake of the teachers of the Law]. If the "laymen" mentioned here does not mean you, who does it refer to? You have not only heard the Law, but have taken faith in it and since then have followed it without turning aside. How wondrous! How extraordinary! If that is the case, then can there be any doubt that I am the teacher of the Law of the Lotus Sutra? Perhaps I also resemble "the envoy of the Thus Come One," for I am carrying out "the Thus Come (4) One's work." I have nearly spread the five characters of the daimoku that were entrusted to Bodhisattva Superior Practices when the two Buddhas were seated together within the treasure tower. Does this not mean that I am an envoy of Bodhisattva Superior Practices? Moreover, following me, you, as a votary of the Lotus Sutra, have told others of this Law. What else could this be but the transmission of the Law?

Carry through with your faith in the Lotus Sutra. You cannot strike fire from flint if you stop halfway. Bring forth the great power of faith, and be spoken of by all the people of Kamakura, both high and low, or by all the people of Japan, as "Shijo Kingo, Shijo Kingo (5) of the Lotus school!" Even a bad reputation will spread far and wide. A good reputation will spread even farther, particularly if it is a reputation for devotion to the Lotus Sutra.

Explain all this to your wife too, and work together like the sun and moon, a pair of eyes, or the two wings of a bird. With the sun and moon, could there be a path of darkness? With a pair of eyes, no doubt you will see the faces of Shakyamuni, Many Treasures, and the Buddhas of the ten directions. With a pair of wings, you will surely fly in an instant to the treasure land of Tranquil Light. I will write in more detail on another occasion.

With my deep respect,

Nichiren

The second day of the fifth month.

Reply to Shijo Kingo

Background

In the fourth month of the ninth year of Bun'ei (1272), Shijo Kingo traveled from Kamakura to Sado Island to visit Nichiren Daishonin. Kingo was a samurai who served the Ema family, a branch of the ruling Hojo clan. The journey to Sado was a long, arduous one, involving a boat trip across the Sea of Japan, and required that he absent himself from his duties in Kamakura for more than a month.

In the fifth month of the same year, soon after Shijo Kingo returned to Kamakura, Nichiren Daishonin sent him this letter. It was written in gratitude for the samurai's visit.

In the letter, the Daishonin explains the power of Nam-myoho-renge-kyo in terms of such profound Buddhist principles as the fusion of reality and wisdom, and earthly desires are enlightenment. Although Hinayana Buddhism teaches that earthly desires must be eliminated to attain enlightenment, Mahayana, and particularly the Lotus Sutra, teaches that earthly desires are one with and inseparable from enlightenment. The reason is that both are the workings, or expression, of life itself, and thus are the same in their source.

Nichiren Daishonin teaches that, when one bases one's life on Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, earthly desires work naturally for one's own and others' happiness. The great power of Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, which is inherently positive and creative, directs the great energy of one's earthly desires toward happiness and value for all. Thus, when one chants the daimoku, "earthly desires are enlightenment."

Until his near-execution at Tatsunokuchi in the ninth month of 1271, the Daishonin had assumed the role of Bodhisattva Superior Practices, the votary whose appearance is predicted in the Lotus Sutra. He had spent all his time teaching the essence of the sutra and propagating the faith. After Tatsunokuchi, he revealed his true identity as the Buddha who is one with the supreme Law of Nam-myoho-renge-kyo. In this letter, the Daishonin teaches the significance of the daimoku from the standpoint of the Buddha who opens the way to Buddhahood for all humankind.

He first states that it is his great joy to meet persecutions as the votary of the Lotus Sutra, because it is the sure way to attain Buddhahood. "Though the teaching I am now propagating seems limited, it is extremely profound. That is because it goes deeper than the teaching expounded by T'ien-t'ai, Dengyo, and others." He reveals that the ultimate Law of all Buddhas is none other than Nam-myoho-renge-kyo.

Notes

1. The "three important matters" refers to the Three Great Secret Laws: the object of devotion, the invocation of Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, or the daimoku, and the sanctuary, or the place where one chants daimoku before the object of devotion.
2. Lotus Sutra, chap. 2.
3. This statement has been attributed to T'ien-t'ai, but there is no documentary proof to support this.
4. Based on the "Teacher of the Law" chapter of the Lotus Sutra. This particular section reads: "If one of these good men orgood women in the time after I have passed into extinction is able to secretly expound the Lotus Sutra to one person, even one phrase of it, then you should know that he or she is the envoy of the Thus Come One. He has been dispatched by the Thus Come One and carries out the Thus Come One's work."
5. The Lotus school was originally another name for the Tendai school, which based itself on the Lotus Sutra. Later the term came to mean the Buddhism established by Nichiren Daishonin.
 

PassTheDoobie

Bodhisattva of the Earth
ICMag Supporter
"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, May 22nd, 2009
 
EasyMyohoDisco,
In the Ongi Kuden Nichiren says,"You should understand, that when one practices the Lotus Sutra under such circumstances, difficulties will arise and these are to be looked on as 'Peaceful Practices'" p.115

Sensei says, In the "Record of the Orally transmitted Teachings" the Daishonin says, "One should regard meeting obstacles as true peace and comfort" (GS p.750) You may wonder how encountering obstacles could be a source of peace and comfort. But the truth of the matter is that by struggling against and overcoming difficulties, we transform our destiny and attain Buddhahood. Confronting adversity, therefore ultimately represents peace and comfort." (Faith into Action p.140)

Regarding fundamental darkness; ignorance to the essential nature of life; it starts by recognizing it from within the place we are most familiar.

Nichiren says, "The Devil King of the sixth Heaven can not take possession of my body, so he therefore takes possession of those around me"

I believe by observing your own devilish or negative functions; you can recognize those traits most quickly in others as those are the traits I am most familiar with in my own daily life. By observing "own own mind" I can see those negative traits within my own mind and, "wipe them out in an instant, through faith alone"

I recognize the traits of angry people most easily as those were my negative traits, so I understand angry people the easiest.

I have learned as a disciple of Daisaku Ikeda for the last forty-five years, to replace "faith for wisdom" and chant abundant daimoku to the Gohonzon, I can gain insight into not just angry people but all people. I have gained understanding of my fundamental darkness and I can now observe it in the light of nam myoho renge kyo, with "peace and comfort."

I also Blog at another Buddhist site, as well as an SGI-USA email groups. However, there is no substitute for a Dsitrict meeting, a daimoku tozo, or a soka spirit tozo, or any other faith-based SGI-USA activity, as Linda Johnson would say. As Sensei Ikeda says, The SGI-USA District Meeting is a gathering of Buddhas, and each member you should arise and greet from afar."

Regarding the current economic situation, I saw this coming more than five years ago and I took appropriate actions in order to be at "peace and comfort" today. I lost little money in the stock markets as I was well vested and diversified. Regarding real estate, I work in the industry and I have done quite well. I was in the design and construction industry. I say these things, because I "substitute faith for wisdom" in my daily life as well. As Nichiren says, "There is no separation between Buddhism and this reality"

I chanted more than ten million daimoku prior to the economic meltdown and found myself in a secure job, with my business parked and protected, I currently offer one hour of daimoku daily to the Gohonzon, and two hours weekly in support of soks spirit.

The source of my victories lies in my understanding of the oneness of mentor and disciple. I am a disciple of Nichiren Daishonin, as well as Daisaku Ikeda. I study both regularly. Sensei Ikeda encourages me with his understanding of Nichiren's Buddhism and his relationship with Josei Toda.

Without a mentor I might not reach beyond my own limitations. As Nichiren says, When the Lion Roars, the cubs are emboldened!"

Thanks for the welcome!
AvidLerner
 

PassTheDoobie

Bodhisattva of the Earth
ICMag Supporter
"I hope you will all do your best. Just because some of you may be getting older, there's no need for you to grow old in spirit. Always keep striving with a youthful spirit and forging ahead like lions."

SGI Newsletter No. 7778, 28TH SOKA GAKKAI HEADQUARTERS LEADERS MEETING--PART 2 [OF 2], Forge Ahead like Lions, from the April 28th, 2009, issue of the Seikyo Shimbun, translated May 21st, 2009
 

Desiderata

Bodhisattva of the Earth
Hi Everybody!

Welcome AvidLerner! You sure rock my Buddha Nature for sure bro!!!

There's more and more Buddha Natures landing in the Chanting Growers zone hourly!.....it's not amazing,..... it's surely a blessing though!

I may be runnning on less SGI cylinders than the mentor types here, but my faith gets stronger everyday, and that adds another 'life plus measure' to my spritual chart. Things just get simpler the more I chant....

Nam Myoho Renge Kyo!!!

Love you all........desi!:kissass:
 

PassTheDoobie

Bodhisattva of the Earth
ICMag Supporter
With the great desire to achieve kosen-rufu--our single-minded prayer for this magnificent vow is, without question,the true cause for victory. Through chanting daimoku with such a resolute mind, let's awaken the Buddha's wisdom and courage within our lives!

Daisaku Ikeda
 

PassTheDoobie

Bodhisattva of the Earth
ICMag Supporter
"It is the heart that is important. No matter how earnestly Nichiren prays for you, if you lack faith, it will be like trying to set fire to wet tinder. Spur yourself to muster the power of faith."

(The Strategy of the Lotus Sutra - The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, Vol.1, page 1000) Selection source: "Kyo no Hosshin", Seikyo Shimbun, May 23rd, 2009
 

PassTheDoobie

Bodhisattva of the Earth
ICMag Supporter
"New capable individuals are absolutely indispensable for opening the future of kosen-rufu."

SGI Newsletter No. 7779, The New Human Revolution--Vol. 22: Chap. 3, High Seas 1, translated May 22nd, 2009
 

PassTheDoobie

Bodhisattva of the Earth
ICMag Supporter
Hi Everybody!

I may be runnning on less SGI cylinders than the mentor types here, but my faith gets stronger everyday, and that adds another 'life plus measure' to my spritual chart. Things just get simpler the more I chant....

Nam Myoho Renge Kyo!!!

Love you all........desi!:kissass:

This is just my opinion, but I didn't sense Desi expressing anything more than an acknowledgement that while he may not be making declarations of devotion to anyone, his faith gets stronger every day just from his personal experience of embracing the Law. Am I right Desi?


And for the record, for the hundredth time, this is not an SGI thread, although many of its participants practice within the SGI. An association with the SGI is absolutely not required to chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, nor do we present this to be the case. Many of us would encourage those interested in Nichiren Buddhism to pursue their practice through the SGI, but it is by no means a requirement to participate in this thread

Deep respect,

T
 
Desiderata says.."I may be runnning on less SGI cylinders than the mentor types here, but my faith gets stronger everyday, and that adds another 'life plus measure' to my spritual chart. Things just get simpler the more I chant...."

Desi,
As Nichiren says, "Your faith alone", and as well "to further deepen your faith". Nichiren speaks a lot more about faith and its importance than many other subjects in his letters to his followers and disciples.

Nichiren had followers that were either priests and nuns, and lay believers or non-buddhist educated people. The two groups were looked upon differently by buddhist tradition, until Nichiren came along. Nichiren alone said that "both priests and lay believers alike" referring tho their faith and their ability to reveal their innate buddha nature. Early members of the SGi were looked upon by society as different as well, mostly poor and uneducated, as well.

The key is to take faith in the understanding that your life and all life have nam-myoho-renge-kyo at the very core or heart of their existence, "it is the heart that matters most." Nichiren encourages us to have "deep faith" in his teaching of equality or Gohonzon, "no matter what."

Desi, You keep chanting and all your cylinders will be running, "no matter what" When you take "faith in this Gohonzon" you are making Nichiren your mentor and you have become his disciple, more importantly. Nichiren only inscribed Gohonzon for "those with deep faith." When you chant whether you understand or not, in time you will gain the wisdom necessary for your life at the precise moment you need the wisdom.

Just as Nichiren says, "when the Lion roars, the cubs are emboldened!"
As sensei Iikeda says, "Both mentor and disciple roar in unison"

The power of chanting nam-myoho-renge-kyo to the Gohonzon no matter how many times will truly create true equality in your life and the lives of those around you. This is Nichiren's promise to us "attain enlightenment just as you are"

Avid
 
EasyMyohoDisco asks, "I thought about this some more and am still confused? Buddhahood is not outside yourself nor anyone else for that matter. We find Buddhahood from within so how then could a group hold you back that only wants to help you attain Buddhahood?'

Easy this is called fundamental darkness and the Devil King of the Sixth Heaven is the ruler of that realm. Nichiren teaches a lot about the Devil King. Nichiren acknowledges that the Devil King will appear for many reasons. One is to stop "an ordinary person in becoming a Buddha," and another when "The Devil King of the Sixth Heaven enters the bodies of those around us to vex and confuse us."

With true wisdom; chanting nam-myoho-renge-kyo; we can see the functions of the Devil King quite clearly, whether the Devil King is functioning with our understanding within our lives or the lives of others or otherwise; our fundamental darkness being revealed in our lives and the lives of others; or creating ignorance in our understanding of the "essential nature of life."

Ignorance lies at the core of delusion. Ignorance of the existence of the mystic law or essential nature, at the very core or heart of all life of the deep respect and appreciation even for what we may perceive as "evil people" or those that lack agreement and understanding with us. The understanding of the Middle Way lies at the very core of this understanding. Thereby Nichiren encourages the teaching of Boddhisattva Never Disparaging, that bows to the buddha nature inherent in all life and people.

Nichiren says "to replace faith for wisdom." To chant to gain a deeper understanding of life may take time and requires patience. Perhaps ten million sincere daimoku or for me four and a half years, is a starting point. Currently, I sustain a minimum of one million daimoku per year. For me, that is one hour of daimoku daily, broken down into morning and evening sessions.

I received guidance earlier in my life, "to determine the minimum amount of daimoku I need to chant to the Gohonzon, in order to be happy, not the maximum amount of daimoku, as I had been thinking!"

Avid
 

PassTheDoobie

Bodhisattva of the Earth
ICMag Supporter
"A lion is fearless. A lion is never defeated. A lion never laments. A lion is swift. A lion roars. A lion runs. And, above all, a lion wins without fail."

SGI Newsletter No. 7778, 28TH SOKA GAKKAI HEADQUARTERS LEADERS MEETING--PART 2 [OF 2], Forge Ahead like Lions, from the April 28th, 2009, issue of the Seikyo Shimbun, translated May 21st, 2009
 

Desiderata

Bodhisattva of the Earth
Did I miss something?

Did I miss something?

This is just my opinion, but I didn't sense Desi expressing anything more than an acknowledgement that while he may not be making declarations of devotion to anyone, his faith gets stronger every day just from his personal experience of embracing the Law. Am I right Desi?


And for the record, for the hundredth time, this is not an SGI thread, although many of its participants practice within the SGI. An association with the SGI is absolutely not required to chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, nor do we present this to be the case. Many of us would encourage those interested in Nichiren Buddhism to pursue their practice through the SGI, but it is by no means a requirement to participate in this thread

Deep respect,

T

Yes, "T" I have the utmost respect for the Mystic Law and for SGI members.

Nothing good comes easy......hard work with positive effort and good will climbs mountains!

Nam-myoho-renge-kyo!

I believe AvidLerner explained my condition best for now.

Thank you all for your support!.......desi!
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top