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The knot of hope

Hope is an important element of the human experience. For many, hope is as essential to the maintenance of our mental well-being as food and water are for our physical survival. The hope of a better tomorrow is what drives many of our thoughts and actions today. In Buddhism, hope is the antithesis of doubt. Hope and doubt relate to many desires, but in Buddhism they primarily relate to our desire to transform suffering into happiness and awakening; in ourselves […]

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Why does compassion have to be boundless?

In the aftermath of the Sandy Hook school shootings in Connecticut, and the suicide of Jacintha Saldanha, the nurse who became the victim of a mindless radio show hoax call, it’s time again to look at how we all share responsibility for these events. In the Guardian on Monday, President Obama was criticised for the stark contrast between his outpouring of grief for the children and staff who lost their lives in this tragic incident, compared to the countless innocents […]

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Dharmic Plumbing

Fixing the Dharmic plumbing

Two terms which get bandied about are outflows, or leaks. This is something that I only rarely encountered in Nichiren Buddhism, and it wasn’t something that was explained in any depth, typically being grouped under illusions or defilements. While this is not incorrect, it is somewhat vague because, let’s face it, a lot of what we do is based on illusion and defilement. Since my change in practice, I have come to understand more of what leaks and outflows refer […]

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The dogma of atheism

I’m an atheist. Buddhists are, pretty much by definition, atheists. Buddhism isn’t, however, about denying the existing of God. If buddhists spend their time denying anything, it’s the existence of a permanent and independent self that continually suffers. Why? Because when we can alter our mind to accept at an unconscious level that we are impermanent, interdependent on the rest of the universe, and that suffering is the result of ignorance and delusion, then what naturally arises is boundless compassion […]

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Mindlessness can lead to baby eating

I’ve been busy for a while finishing a book which I hope to soon publish. In the meantime, I thought it would be good to return with a wild title. However, beneath the attention getting headline there is a genuine desire to try and explain the link between our ignorance and the suffering of our children. Just over two years ago I became a grand parent for the first time, and since then my family has extended rapidly to include […]

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Dozen-bo teaches Zennichi-maro

The life of Nichiren Daishonin

This is a brief(ish) chronology of the major events in the life of Nichiren Daishonin (1222 to 1282). This has been created as much as my own study aid as anything else. I hope you find it useful. 1222 (Sixteenth day of the second month) Nichiren Daishonin was, born in the village of Kominato, Awa province (present day Chiba Prefecture), on February 16, 1222. The Daishonin (meaning Great Sage), was born, as he said in Letter from Sado, into a […]

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Perfect Loaf

Faith is a well baked loaf

A friend of mine has recently been on TV competing in the Great British Bake Off. Well, of course I’ve been watching the show and getting drawn into baking. Maybe it’s my age, but in the past few years I have become more drawn into cookery, and baking is an area where my skills have been admittedly woeful. Like most things in life I have approached baking from the ground up. As much as I would love to get stuck […]

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Liberation from cannabis

Some time ago I asked folks to submit their experiences of success through their Buddhist practice. Well, today I received this incredible story from a lady who wants to be known simply as Lodestar. Thank you, Lodestar, for your courageous act of sharing your story of transformation. Liberation I’ve called this article ‘liberation’ because it’s about how I freed myself from the prison of addiction, and how chanting helped me to do this. My story is about my addiction to […]

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Was Nichiren Daishonin saved by the Dalai Lama?

Chapter 25 of the Lotus Sutra (as translated by Kumarajiva) provides a teaching regarding one of the most important characters in Mahayana Buddhism. The title of this chapter is variably translated as: The Universal Gateway of the Bodhisattva Perceiver of the World’s Sounds – Burton Watson The Gateway to Everywhere of the Bodhisattva He Who Observes the Sounds of the World – Leon Hurvitz The All-Sidedness of the Bodhisattva Regarder of the Cries of the World – Bunno Kato, Yoshiro […]

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Persecution and extremism

The videos recently posted on YouTube mocking the Islamic prophet appear to have been the catalyst for horrific violence throughout the Arab nations. Christopher Stevens, and three other American diplomats were killed in an attack on the US embassy in Benghazi on Tuesday. Although the amateur film “Innocence of Muslims” portrayal of the Islamic prophet is certainly ill conceived, and will undoubtedly be perceived as an insult from the West against Islam following years of questionable foreign policy by the […]

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