Archive | 2012
Say it ain't so, Aung San

Say it ain’t so – Silence continues on plight of Burmese Muslims

An estimated 90,000 Rohingya Muslims have now been forced from their homes in Rakhine state in western Burma. Many have been trying to make the perilous journey over the Naf river estuary to Bangladesh only to be turned away by the authorities there. The escalating violence between ethnic Buddhists and the minority Rohingya has led to the NGOs recalling their personnel on safety grounds. Homes have been razed to the ground, and many lives on both sides have been lost. […]

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Meditation in Nichiren Buddhism

Having come to Buddhism through the SGI, I had for a long time remained ignorant of other schools’ practices, and had not even read the Lotus Sutra until I began to look at Nichiren Buddhism – or more precisely the SGI’s practice of Nichiren Buddhism – in a more critical light after taking a more serious look at Nagarjuna, and how his Middle Way influenced T’ien-t’ai, Tendai and subsequently, Nichiren Daishonin. On one hand, the lay practice of Gongyo and […]

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The difficulty of middle way thought

The challenge of walking the middle way is that extremists on both sides only see their enemy behind you This thought came to me while taking a shower – not sure why, but probably as a result of being misunderstood and misrepresented by both sides in recent discussions I have had regarding Science vs Faith. Zealots on both sides have been so bound up in their own points of view that in each case, I have been perceived as representing the opposition. […]

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The wests attitude to Anger

When anger is hardly noticed – Virgin Broadband adverts

I don’t watch a great deal of TV apart from the news and the occasional documentary, but last night I saw a TV ad that reminded me of why we in the west are still a long way from understanding happiness. An ad for the Virgin Fibre Broadband service was highlighting how frustrating it can be when online media stutters and pauses while buffering. Now, call me Mary Whitehouse, but as I watched David Tennant grab a baseball bat and smash the […]

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Springstein’s microphone cable cut by the Blade Wheel

In an article about turning poison into medicine I recently wrote about the Blade Wheel (Or Wheel of Sharp Weapons), an ancient buddhist text of apology and renunciation. In it, the reader is effectively chastised, or reminded that all of the sufferings that befall him are the actions of the Blade Wheel (once thrown against others) returning to cut away at the ignorance of wrong thoughts, views, words and actions. The musicians, the “Boss” himself, and predictably, London mayor, Boris Johnson […]

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Watch out, he's going to crap in your Butsudan!

Opening the Eyes of Wooden and Painted Images

I have recently been confronted with a tirade of anti SGI hyperbolae – it happens sometimes. After all, the SGI has its detractors – and I know a number of Nichiren Buddhists who simply couldn’t stomach some of the more prevalent facets of SGI dogma and either left the practice altogether, or joined other sects. The Gosho Opening the Eyes of Wooden and Painted Images is one of the shorter writings, and not surprisingly has been adopted by the SGI […]

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Fast Daimoku and Long Daimoku – A Middle Way?

How fast should I chant daimoku and how long? It’s a question that is often asked when people start practicing Nichiren Buddhism. There’s a little booklet in the top left drawer of the table on which my Butsudan sits. It was given to me by a dear friend of mine to help me record the number of daimoku I have chanted. For every thousand daimoku there’s a little circle to fill in, and the idea is that when I have […]

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Turning poison into medicine

The concept of turning poison into medicine (Jpn hendoku-iyaku) through one’s Bodhisattva practice is a strong thread that runs throughout many Gosho. It is common material for discussion amongst Nichiren Buddhists, and is one of the primary doctrines of the SGI, forming a major part of the SGI’s contemporary definition of one’s Human Revolution. For the sake of clarity the poison/medicine metaphor relates life’s challenges, or rather one’s unenlightened attitude towards them, to poison – and the function of the […]

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Inclusive and exclusive readings of the Lotus Sutra

Following this brief introduction are three different translations of a single passage, as an example of how translations can serve an exclusive or include view of the Supremacy of the Lotus Sutra. Make of this what you will – many others have already made of it what they would. The english versions of the Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, were produced by the SGI’s Gosho Translation Committee with the assistance of Burton Watson, so it’s easy to understand how his translation […]

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What is the Mystic Law of the Lotus Sutra?

The Entity of the Mystic Law gosho begins thus: QUESTION: What is the entity of Myoho-renge-kyo? Answer: All beings and their environments in any of the Ten Worlds are themselves entities of Myoho-renge-kyo. As Elwood says in the Blues Brothers… And remember people, that no matter who you are, and what you do to live, thrive and survive, there’re still some things that make us all the same. You, me… them… everybody! everybody! This first passage from the Gosho reveals […]

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