Apr 28, 2010

Changing Impossibility to Possibility

 


By Linda Johnson
SGI-USA Women’s Leader


Nichiren Buddhism holds the key to helping people build an indestructible palace of happiness within their lives. We must share this key with others, and we must learn to utilize it to the maximum within our own lives. 

I find that when we judge our ability to accomplish our goals through intellectual analysis rather than faith, we concede to defeat even though we practice this great teaching. If we fail to employ the “strategy of the Lotus Sutra” as the Daishonin instructs us, we tend to perceive that our goals are unattainable and do not even bother to challenge them through faith, thus making our mistaken perception a reality. Nichiren Daishonin tells us, however: “If you only chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, then what offense could fail to be eradicated? What blessing could fail to come? This is the truth, and it is of great profundity. You should believe and accept it” (The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, p. 130). 

Now is the time to make these words a reality in our lives. We must experience how transforming the power of faith is by mustering our courage to challenge the impossible. After all, as Nichiren warns us in “Reply to Kyo’o”: “A coward cannot have any of his prayers answered,” and, “The mighty sword of the Lotus Sutra must be wielded by one courageous in faith” (WND, 412). 

Women and young women compose nearly two-thirds of our organization. Our ability to help one another apply Nichiren Buddhism to our daily lives and transform our destinies will create ripples of change throughout the SGI-USA and our society as a whole. 
Nichiren Buddhism explains that everything is interconnected. A change in the life of one person, because it is inseparable from the environment, produces ripple effects in others. 



Marilyn Monroe
  

But how many of us really believe this? Many of us think we are just insignificant individuals who cannot have an impact upon others. What’s needed to change this is for each of us to experience the interconnectedness of life, as nothing is really separate. 
Therefore, our theme of making the impossible possible embraces two objectives: first, it is for every woman to challenge her own limitations daily; and second, for every woman to wholeheartedly apply her time and effort toward helping others win over their challenges.

“If we exert ourselves for Buddhism and the happiness of others,” says SGI President Ikeda, “we ourselves and everything around us will shine brightly. In contrast, self-centered actions often inflict only suffering on others. If we behave that way, we ultimately stand to lose. Buddhism teaches us to work for the welfare of others. 
Everything we do for others returns as our own benefit. No effort for kosen-rufu is ever wasted” (Oct. 22, 2004, World Tribune, p. 3).

It is also important that we support one another until everyone achieves a victory. This is why we are doing the hour of united prayer every day in which we are praying for every person to experience the limitless potential of his or her life through faith, every person to awaken to his or her mission to spread Nichiren Buddhism, and for an undeniable, tangible victory in Soka Spirit. This prayer, significantly, includes everyone, not just women.

Of course, in addition to prayer, it is vital that we visit other members, call and inspire them to go for their dreams, to use faith to challenge the impossible and to never, ever give up. We must also commit ourselves to sharing Nichiren Buddhism with others.

Today people are yearning for hope, to know that they can lead a fulfilled daily existence while making this world a better place. Nichiren Buddhism has the key to make this possible.

Apr 19, 2010

Change is Chanting Daimoku

"Human beings" at the outset carried great significance. This means all humankind; the Daishonin's teaching can benefit all people without exception. Buddhism is a teaching that exists for all human beings. It is not only for the Japanese or the people of one particular country or ethnic group. Nichiren Daishonin declares that, ultimately, for all people- whether poor or wealthy, famous or unknown, powerful individuals pr ordinary citizens, artists or scientists- apart from chanting Nam myoho renge kyo, there is no true happiness, no true joy or fulfillment in life. That's because when we chant daimoku, our lives become one with the life of the Buddha, enabling us to draw forth the inexhaustible strength to carry out our human revolution and to help others to the same.

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Fame, wealth and social status alone do not guarantee happiness. May wealthy individuals suffer terribly within their mansions. Some people may be bound up in vanity that they can find no peace of mind. Many famous people feel miserable the moment they slip from the limelight. Let's say there are two people who work in the same company, perform identical jobs and have equivalent material resources and social standing; yet one feels happy while the other feels nothing but despair. It is not all uncommon to find such disparities arise due to differences in people's inner states, differences in their hearts.

Nor can it be said that the advance of science or economics necessarily brings happiness. In ever case, whether we feel happy or unhappy ultimately depends on US. Without changing our state of life, we can find no true happiness. But when we do change our inner state, our entire world is transformed. The ultimate means for effecting such change is chanting daimoku.

We are born in this world to enjoy life. We are not born to suffer. This is a basic premise of the Lotus Sutra on the nature of human existence. To live happy and at ease in this world means to enjoy our work and family life, to enjoy helping others through Buddhist activities. If we have a truly high state of life, then even when unpleasant things happen we view them as making life all the more interesting, just as a pinch of salt can actually improve the flavor of a sweet dish. We feel true delight in life, whatever happens.

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To experience the "joy derived from the Law" means to fully savor the eternally unchanging Mystic Law and the power and wisdom that derive from it.  In contrast to this joy, there is the "joy derived from desires,"- enjoyment that comes from fulfilling desires of various kinds. While is might seem like genuine happiness, such joy is only TEMPORARY and SUPERFICIAL. It does not arise from the depths of our lives and it soon gives way to unhappiness and dissatisfaction.

Faith enables us to receive the eternal joy derived from the Law.  So let us engrave in our hearts this point: We ourselves receive this joy. Because we receive it ourselves, our happiness does not depend on others. No one else can make us happy. Only by our own efforts can we become happy.

Therefore, there is no need to feel envious of others. There is no need to bear a grudge against someone or depend on another person for our happiness. Everything comes down to our state of life. It is within our power to take our lives in any direction we wish. To be dragged around by other people or the environment is not the way of life the Lotus Sutra teaches. True happiness is not feeling happiness one moment and misery the next. Rather, overcoming the tendency to blame our sufferings on others or on the environment enables us to greatly expand our state of life.

Also, at the most fundamental level, faith is for our sake, not for anyone else's. While we of course practice for ourselves and others and to realize kosen-rufu, ultimately we are the prime beneficiaries of all our efforts in faith. Everything is for our growth; everything contributes to the development of our state of life and the establishment of Buddhahood in our lives. When we practice with this determination, all complaints vanish. The world of Buddhahood that had been covered by the dust of complaints begins to shine, and we can freely and fully savor the joy deriving from the Law.

Source: Learning from the Gosho: The Eternal teachings of Nichiren Daishonin




Apr 16, 2010

Dance with the Blossoms


 Live for the roots
Love the green
Dance with the blossoms

  ~Terri Guillemets


Apr 15, 2010

You Don't Have to be a Buddhist to be a Buddha

                                   Source: theworsthorse.com

Apr 14, 2010

10 Good Reasons to Chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo and the Lotus Sutra

1. Use the Ultimate Law of the Universe for Your Real Happiness (a.k.a., Enlightenment or Buddhahood)


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2. Get Rid of Bad Karma and Build Good Karma. Change Defeat into Victory; Loss into Gain; Poison into Medicine


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3.Overcome Your Fears, Painful Memories and Phobias


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4. Understand Your Life Condition With an Enlightened Mind


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 5. Relate to People in Your Environment on the Highest Level


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6. Control the Lower Four Worlds of Hell, Hunger, Dominant/Submissive Attitudes and Anger


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7. Find and Keep Actual Love


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8. Understand and Get What You Really Need for Your Happiness (What Do I want out of life?)


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9. Increase the Span of Your Life; Overcome the Sufferings of Birth, Old Age, Sickness, Death and Re-birth


 
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10. Get Stuff You May Want, Including Freedom, Wealth, Love, Friends, Work Satisfaction and Joy By Buddhafying Yourself



 Source: americangongyo.org

Share your reasons to chant

Apr 9, 2010

I'm A Freaking Buddhist

The Simpsons
LOL!

 

Apr 6, 2010

Like the Roar of a Lion

“Nam Myoho Renge Kyo is like the roar of a lion.” ~ Nichiren
 or in this case a joyous smile! 

(Tumblr)



Apr 2, 2010

Cherry Blossoms

Joseph Toda
"These cherry trees have endured the bitter cold of winter to bloom yet again!" 

Daisaku Ikeda
A monarch of flowers, the cherry blossom symbolizes the spirit of a champion of life, living fully to the end.

I love Cherry Blossoms. This blog has a cherry blossom background. The beauty and delicate nature of a cherry blossom can't be denied. In both Japanese and Chinese cultures the cherry blossom is full of symbolic meaning and significance.



                                  by Samantha0055@deviantart


While many people tend to blend and confuse the Japanese and Chinese culture together from lack of knowledge the two are very different in many ways. Therefore the meaning and symbolism that the cherry blossom holds is different in each culture.



                                  by Lileya@deviantart


                                           by PockyCrystal@deviantart

For the Chinese the cherry blossom is a very significant symbol of power. Typically it represent a feminine beauty and sexuality and often holds an idea of power or feminine dominance. Within the language of herbs and herbal lore of the Chinese the cherry blossom is often the symbol of love.

                                  by jut5star@deviantart




                                          by fairyontheinside@deviantart


For the Japanese the cherry blossom holds very different meaning. The cherry blossom is a very delicate flower that blooms for a very short time. For the Japanese this represents the transience of life. This concept ties in very deeply with the fundamental teachings of Buddhism that state all life is suffering and transitory. The Japanese have long held strong to the Buddhist belief of the transitory nature of life and it is very noble to not get too attached to a particular outcome or not become emotional because it will all pass in time.
The fallen cherry blossom is not taken lightly in Japanese symbolism either. It often represents the beauty of snow and there are many connections made in Japanese literature or poetry to a fallen cherry blossom and snow. This also has been extended to the life of a warrior whose life was ended early in battle.
(EzineArticles)


                                                     by *genjihl@deviantart


                                          by photosynthetique@deviantart

                                          by loverlyness@deviantart