How does Human Revolution contribute to world peace

Today, the topic of our monthly discussion meeting was “How does our Human Revolution contribute to world peace?” Not something easily packed into an hour or two! Daisaku Ikeda writes A great revolution of character in just a single person will help achieve a change in the destiny of a nation and, further, will cause a change in the destiny of all humankind. Many will have heard of the “butterfly effect” – whereby a small change in the initial conditions […]

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Neo on the road to enlightenment

The Matrix from a Buddhist perspective

I know – the film’s been out a while. More than a few have analysed it from a Buddhist perspective, but many have come unstuck when it comes to the foul language, bullets and guns, BDSM clothing and all the violence. More than a few commentators have speculated that, apart from a being scattered with nuggets Buddhist doctrine, the film devolves into a good old dualistic good and evil battle between the machines and the humans, making it more akin […]

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Esoteric and tantric elements of Nichiren Buddhism

The three vehicles of Buddhism are accepted generally as; Hinayana (of which the Theravada is the extant school). This term translates as Lesser Vehicle and as such can be regarded derogatory. Mahayana, which translates as Great Vehicle. Vajrayana, which translates to Diamond Vehicle or Adamantine Vehicle. However, to classify Buddhism rigidly in this way is not always helpful. Mayahana Buddhism, which is largely attributed to Nagarjuna and the Nalanda centre of learning, is based firmly on the foundations of the […]

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All pervasive suffering - The Big Kahuna

Three kinds of suffering

We all suffer as a result of our desires – this includes clinging and attachment to material things, to our dearly held views, or to physical experiences. By gaining insight into the nature of our various sufferings we can begin to recognise the kinds of mental afflictions that lead us there in the first place, and in doing so, perhaps, avoid them. Of course, in the Nichiren tradition it is believed that by chanting Daimoku and basing our lives on […]

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Earthly desires are enlightenment – really?

The Buddha Shakyamuni teaches that suffering is Nirvana. Without suffering there could be no cause for the desire to end suffering. Without the desire to end suffering there can be no understanding of the causes of suffering. Without an understanding of the causes of suffering there can be no realisation of or enlightenment to share the path that ends suffering. Therefore, it can be plainly seen that the Buddha’s words are intrinsically true. So, Nichiren’s line regarding “Desires are enlightenment” […]

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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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