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On being realistic

It is sometimes necessary to be realistic when setting goals. However, it is all too easy to cite realism as an excuse for not striving for greatness. When realism is used in this context, it becomes a fear driven philosophy that denies the greatness of the human spirit.  

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Ichinen Sanzen Diagram

Ichinen Sanzen Study Aid

This is just a short post to provide a copy of an “Ichinen Sanzen Explained” graphic I produced to explain how we arrive at the 3000 realms in a single moment of life, as revealed by T’ien-t’ai and later embodied by Nichiren Daishonin in Nam Myoho Renge Kyo. The Ichinen Sanzen diagram shows how the ten worlds, the mutual possession of the ten worlds, the ten factors, and the three realms all combine to provide insight into the incredible beauty […]

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Happiness, Compassion and the Mystic Law

As explained in On Attaining Buddhahood in This Lifetime Happiness in buddhism differs from the common understanding. One of the most powerful teachings of Nichiren Daishonin lies in the short Gosho (teaching) On Attaining Buddhahood in This Lifetime. In this lecture I would like to discuss how this Gosho can be applied to the question of happiness. Or, more accurately, how happiness is inextricably contingent upon compassion, and how compassion is contingent upon our grasping the Mystic Law. I’m not […]

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Understanding the life state of Anger

Taken from Buddhism Day by Day – that was given to me as a gift from my district on the day I received the Gohonzon. NGER is fundamentally an arrogant state of mind. People in the state of anger are attached to the illusory assumption that they are better then others and direct their energy toward sustaining and embracing this image. To ensure that others think of them in similarly glowing terms, they can never reveal their true feelings. Instead, […]

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Religion should not negate rationality

I have been listening to reports recently of how some mainstream religions are feeling marginalised by “militant secularists”. People are refusing to accept religious overtones in any state facilities. I have to agree with the sentiment that religion and state should not be confused. However, when one considers the gross errors in the teachings of certain religions, it is hardly surprising that people are now rejecting them. Daisaku Ikeda has said: A higher religion does not negate rationality. No religion […]

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The importance of a spirit of gratitude

It’s easy to blame others for where we are in life, but in truth, only we are responsible for where we are and certainly it is we who are solely responsible for our individual futures. I am so saddened when those around me constantly complain about their condition, particularly when they have the means at hand to change their lives entirely. I found this passage from president Ikeda’s New Human Revolution, which I am currently reading, particularly poignant. …those who […]

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Two kinds of faith

In February 1278, The Daishonin wrote a short letter to Nanjo Tokimitsu entitled Two Kinds of Faith. Nanjo Tokimitsu was the steward of Ueno village in Suruga Province. The Daishonin’s relationship with Nanjo Tokimitsu began in 1265 when, upon the death of Nanjo’s father, Nanjo Hyoe Shichiro, the Daishonin had dropped everything to travel from Kamakura to Ueno in the Fuji area so that he could pray over Hyoe Shichiro’s grave. Nanjo Tokimitsu, at the time aged just 7, was […]

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Revealing Buddhahood by example

The limits of my Buddhist wisdom was demonstrated profoundly to me recently when I learned that my grand-daughter had been born with a large cyst in her brain. It wasn’t clear if she was going to suffer from hydrocephalus, but she had a cyst that was approaching the size of a tennis ball in the right of her brain, and my daughter, who had worked for many years in a healthcare, demonstrating compassion and patience on a daily basis, now […]

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The hardest woods come from trees that grow slowly

When I first became involved in the SGI I formed the opinion that they were not marketing this Buddhism effectively. Marketing is perhaps not the correct terminology, but in essence, I felt they were not “putting this Buddhism out there” as aggressively as they could. My head was full of Shakabuku – or rather my interpretation of it, and my mind was busy developing plans and schemes to recruit new Buddhists. Later that year, however, during a discussion someone explained […]

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The correct kind of courage

President Ikeda has said, “Courage is the driving force of our lives”. So, what does he mean by this? To what kind of courage does he refer? The driving force he speaks of is when we stand up, and begin challenging those aspects of our life that are not working for the happiness of ourselves and others. Only when we make human happiness our intent can our buddha-state become our dominant life condition – and then, together with our friends and family, […]

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