Tag Archives | Emptiness

The womb of compassion

Nagarjuna, the great Buddhist master of Nalanda, said two thousand years ago, “Voidness is the womb of compassion” – in sanskrit shunyata karuna garbham, it most elegantly encapsulates the most fundamental Buddhist teaching. To anyone who is unfamiliar with Buddhism this statement can be either wildly misunderstood (due to a shallow, dualistic understanding of Buddhism), or can appear completely incomprehensible to the reader. After all, how can a void/nothingness/annihilation be a womb for anything, let alone compassion? The voidness to […]

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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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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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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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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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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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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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