Tag Archives | featured

Impermanence, depression, and the crows

And so this is Xmas, as somebody famous once wrote. At best I used to feel ambivalent about this time of year, but most often I just felt a deep sense of aversion and loathing as my energy trails away and depression and anxiety take hold. Some might say that this pattern reveals a failure in my Buddhist practice – they might be right, but who knows for sure? For over two decades this was the way. I would watch […]

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Screaming in silence

There are those Buddhists (and you know who you are!) who take optimism to a level whereby they avoid watching or reading the news due to the overwhelmingly negative world view it often projects. I can understand this to a point, because after all, none of us can single handedly save the whole world in a direct, immediate sense. The best we can hope to do is to help and encourage those who are closest to us at any particular […]

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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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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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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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Otto Lilienthal - Early Hang Glider

Would you do this on faith alone?

Once upon a time there was a wise man. He wanted to escape the suffering of walking upon the sharp rocks that covered the ground. He realised that he could avoid the pain of walking upon the sharp rocks by rising above them. He thought about it a great deal and took himself off into a far land where he would not be disturbed. There he observed birds very closely, and after a great deal of thought and concentration he […]

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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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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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