Archive | May, 2012
Engelbert at Eurovision

Engelbert Humperdinck Eurovision Victory

OK, so maybe the UK came second from last. In fact, if you pay any attention to the media then that’s pretty much all you’re going to hear about the UK entry into last night’s Eurovision Song Contest. i.e. Negativity. People like Piers Morgan (who’s interview the Dalai Lama was like watching my dad try to understand a computer manual) who’s negative wit I won’t repeat here predictably do little more than score points off the failure of other’s – behind the faces of […]

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The Emptiness of the Vase

When is a door not a door? When it’s a jar… Get it? a jar… ajar – oh never mind. I think that joke could have been written by Chih-i. Emptiness is one of the hardest things I’ve ever tried to get my head around. Even at the most mundane level, trying to grasp its ramifications in our daily life is a struggle to comprehend, let alone explain to anyone. While working the other day I came across a customer’s […]

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If Nichiren Daishonin lived next door

I’ve been battling of late to come to terms with a whole bunch of discrepancies in Nichiren’s logic, and writings. I’ve written about a couple, but I’m beginning to feel this could form a negative thread of articles that would serve little benefit in sharing. I guess at the most basic level I have difficulty with “One true Buddhism” exclusivist thinking. I think there is a danger of this kind of thinking leading to divisiveness, and it would seem to […]

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Business class olympic flame

Impermanence and clinging in Olympic Proportions

While eating breakfast yesterday I came across a newspaper article highlighting the security frenzy surrounding the London 2012 Olympic Games. My initial reaction was to shake my head at the pictures of the security forces tackling an innocent but enthusiastic photographer into the gutter to avoid a potential threat to the olympic torch. It caused me to question the nature of the torch, or more specifically, the flame – and what it was the security forces are actually trying to […]

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There’s Gratitude, and then there’s Gratitude

Gratitude in Buddhism It is easy to feel gratitude for the things we perceive as beneficial. In our materialistic world, the receiving of objects of value usually evokes the natural ‘thank you’. Advice from a teacher, or mentor is also something we find easy to give thanks for. Or we particularly find it easy to give thanks in return for praise. We perceive such acts, correctly or not, as being of direct benefit to ourselves. However, to limit our understanding […]

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Superstition, doubt, reason and investigation

Here’s a typical quote from Daisaku Ikeda (New Human Revolution Vol 17): Doubt is the source of fundamental delusion in life; it is what Buddhism calls fundamental darkness. It gives rise to anxiety and drags us into the depths of despair. Faith, meanwhile, is the struggle against the doubt that resides within our hearts. The power to win in that struggle comes from chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo. A true champion is therefore someone who puts prayer first. Before I go any further […]

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The Universal Salty Taste

There are several views as to when this was written, but the de facto date accepted is 1261. The recipient of the letter is unknown. This is the fifth Gosho in Vol 1 WND, and is the second time the Daishonin cites the Lotus Sutra as being the only way to achieve enlightenment. In A Ship to Cross the Sea of Suffering Nichiren previously made it clear that all other teachings were provisional. Only the ship of Myoho-renge-kyo enables one […]

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On Copying the Gohonzon

Is it wrong to copy the Gohonzon Oh boy, where do I start on this one? This topic has fuelled no end of internet flame wars due to people’s inability to step outside of their particular dogma. I think the argument is complex and based on several issues; What is the Gohonzon, specifically How can we disrespect the Gohonzon Who has the right to copy Gohonzon Will a copied Gohonzon work? I chanted at some length over this issue. It […]

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Ichinen Sanzen - Revealing the Ultimate Reality

Ichinen Sanzen Pt4

The picture I have chosen to introduce this article is a three dimensional fractal. Hopefully it can demonstrate how a simple universal truth (in this case, a mathematical construct) can give rise to all the beauty and complexity we perceive as reality. Ichinen Sanzen is the Buddhist theory that describes that reality. Despite having written at length regarding the Ten Worlds, the Ten Factors and Three Realms, it is almost inevitable that my words alone will only have provided the […]

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The Three Realms – Ichinen Sanzen Pt 3

In Part 1 of this series of essays on the Buddhist concept of Ichinen Sanzen we looked at the Ten Worlds, and in Part 2 we studied the concept of the Ten Factors. So, in this penultimate study of Ichinen Sanzen, we are going to turn our attention to the concept of the Three Realms. As covered previously, the Ten Worlds do not relate to places in the three dimensional sense, but to life states that constantly change from moment […]

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