The Results Of Determination

Tranquillity - The Calm After The StormWoo Hoo !!! The new website went live today. After months of effort from everyone, we launched this morning, and apart from a few little issues, it’s been rather well received.

It’s silly o’clock and I’m still polishing the pages, so this is a really short post. But seeing the results of all our determination has been fantastic today. Another good example of Kyo Chi Gyo I.

I did allow myself five minutes to go and stand by the stream on my way out of the office tonight, to let my brain cool down a little, so that’s where today’s image came from.

Onwards and upwards !!!

Nam Myoho Renge Kyo

Happy Birthday Dad

My DadToday would have been my Dad’s 85th birthday.

This photograph of him hangs on the wall next to my desk at home, and I look at it often and remember him with great fondness and love.

He wasn’t a religious man, only going to church for weddings and the like, though he always supported my Mom in her church activities.

As a boy, I remember him as always being at work. Back then, it was quite common for people to work on Saturdays too, and as a printer, he was always busy.

My Mom was definitely his Honzon. If ever she went away for the day, she would leave him a packed lunch, an apple cut into quarters and maybe a cheese sandwich, just to make sure he ate something. He was a bit lost whenever she wasn’t around.

His one big love in life, apart from his family, was printing. Our house was always full of books and paper and print samples, and if he was ever given a book as a present, he was far more interested in who had printed it than what it was about.

In later years, he had a passion for free pistol shooting, he kept meticulous sets of figures of his scores, and used to compile the tables of scores for the club to which he belonged. He was very angry when the Government brought in stricter gun laws, and he was unable to keep his much cherished guns. He always felt that they were punishing the innocent, for the sins of the guilty.

Sadly he spent the last couple of years of his life in the World of Tranquillity. He had a heart condition that meant he didn’t have the life-energy to get out and do very much. He still read quite a lot and watched sport on TV, but he slept a lot more.

You were a great Dad, and, in your own quiet way, a great man. You were Wise, Courageous and Compassionate in so many ways, though maybe I didn’t always appreciate it at the time. I pray for you every morning and evening during Gongyo, and although I know you are back here with us somewhere, I miss you a great deal.

Happy Birthday Dad.

Nam Myoho Renge Kyo

Ichinen Sanzen Explained

Ichinen Sanzen

Many thanks to Ken Hawkins for providing the following explanation of the Chinese symbols of Ichinen Sanzen.

Ichinen Sanzen is the wish-granting gem. There are as many sides to this gem as there are living beings. Like a gem, each side reflects its own reality. Our life is a wish-granting gem.

When we peer into our lives we can barely see our own reflection. But when we polish our lives through chanting and making efforts to improve ourselves, we can see ourselves reflected clearly.

When our gem is polished in this way we can see beyond our own reflection and see inside the gem that is the ultimate reality of all life.

Ichinen Sanzen in Chinese is composed of four main Chinese characters.



The first character (Ichi) is a horizontal line. It is the character one. It is both the beginning of the Chinese alphabet and  numbering system. In Buddhism, Ichi is the source of all beings.  The “Fundamental Essence” in the Japanese title of  Heritage of the Ultimate Law



Nen  is composed of three elemental characters. On top are three lines  forming a triangle. Under the triangle is a person bending to  completely enclose an object, and under the bending person is a  heart.

 – The triangle is a convergence of the elements of one’s life.

 – It combines with the bending person to form a compound meaning the  present moment. (All of one’s life is enfolded in the present  moment.)

 – The character, Kokoro or shin. The heart, in this case, is the core of intention. The derived meaning is to make present the heart’s intent, reviving or making real a person’s intent.

In some sects, “Nen” means mindfulness – that is being aware of the Buddha in the present moment.



San is the number three, representing heaven (the cosmos), earth, and humanity (also known as the three realms).



Zen is ten times 100. Connected to this concept is the harvest of crops or a thousand grains. The character for 1000 is also used to indicate an uncountable number.

Putting it all together:


a single (Ichi) core intention in the present moment


makes real, enfolds, and harvests (Nen)


three (San)


thousand (Zen) – or uncountable – realms and possibilities.

A determination or decision (Ichi) at the core of your being makes real (Nen) that self-pledge or vow in all the realms (Sanzen) of your life.

The Joy Of A Creative Life

Colours Of LifeThere is nobody lonelier or more unhappy than person who does not know the pure joy of creating a life for her or himself. To be human is not merely to stand erect and manifest intelligence or knowledge. To be human, in the full sense of the word, is to lead a creative life.

The struggle to create new life from within is a truly wonderful thing. Here we find the brilliant wisdom that guides and directs the workings of reason, the light of insight that penetrates the furthest reaches of the Universe, the undaunted will to see justice done that meets and challenges all the assaults of evil, the spirit of unbounded care that embraces all who suffer.

When these are fused with the energy of compassion that pours fourth from the deepest sources of cosmic life, an ecstatic rhythm arises to colour the lives of all people.

Three Thousand Realms In One Instant

Ichinen SanzenI have spoken about Ichinen Sanzen before, about how each of the Ten Worlds contain all of the other Worlds, but this is a list of each of The Ten Worlds, The Ten Factors and the Three Realms.

Ichinen Sanzen means Three Thousand Realms in One Instant. The maths is simple, Ten Worlds each containing all the others makes one hundred Worlds. Multiply them by the Ten Factors gives us one thousand ‘states’ of existence, giving us three thousand when we take the Three Realms into account.

The Ten Worlds  
Buddhahood Enlightenment
Bodhisattva Helping others
Realisation Absorption and understanding
Learning Self reflection and study
Heaven Rapture
Humanity Tranquillity
Anger Self righteousness
Animality Instinct
Hunger Insatiability
Hell Extreme suffering
The Ten Factors  
Appearance Physical aspect
Nature Mental aspect
Entity Substance, life itself
Power Inherent energy
Influence Influence or power
Inherent Cause Habit or karma
Relation External cause
Latent Effect Potential effect
Manifest Effect Visible outcome
Consistency Connected nature of all
The Three Realms  
The Self Form, perception and consciousness
Living Beings Society, community, people
The Land The natural environment

I hope this helps you understand the concept of Ichinen Sanzen and the true nature of Life at any given instant.

The Right Influence

MugwortNichiren said …

‘Mugwort that grows in the midst of hemp, or a snake that is put inside a tube, will as a matter of course become straight. Likewise, those who associate with people of good character will consequently become upright in heart, deed and word’.

If we apply this passage to various influences upon children, we may say that the environment surrounding children, particularly the behaviour of adults, has a great bearing on the way they develop.

Parents must set a good example for their children before nagging them to do, or not to do, this or that. They must strive to become a good, upright influence for their children, like the hemp or the tube are for the Mugwort or the snake.

It is also important for parents to encourage their children to be influenced by people of good character outside their own family circle, so that the children are guided in a more positive direction.

In this age of increasingly disenfranchised youth, the stronger the influence to become a person of good character, the better it will be for them, and for society as a whole.

Be The Light Of Their Lives

SunshineThere are so many people, so many lives on this planet, too numerous, in fact, to count.

From this great multitude, we wondrously find ourselves together with those in our families, as parents and children, as brothers and sisters, as husbands and wives.

If we do not live joyfully and cheerfully with whom we share this profound bond, what is life for?

Should the atmosphere at home be sombre, you yourself can be the ‘sunshine’. By being a shining presence, you can cast the light of hope on your mother, father, children and indeed the whole family.

Resolution For Change

Global SocietyThis is a marvellous quote from Daisaku Ikeda …

“A great resolution in just a single individual will help achieve a change in the destiny of an entire society and further, will cause a change in the destiny of humankind.”

The changes in the Middle East and the advent of the Arab Spring are showing that it can come true.

Just look how it all started …

Water Off A Ducks Back

Water Off A Ducks BackWhen you devote yourself to achieving your goal, you will not be bothered by shallow criticism.

Nothing important can be accomplished if you allow yourself to be swayed by some trifling matter, always looking over your shoulder and wondering what others are saying or thinking.

The key to achievement is to move forward along your chosen path with firm determination.

Ninety Minutes Of Heaven And Hell

Heaven or Hell?Ok, football, or soccer as the Americans call it, may not be your cup of tea, but today’s last day of the English Premier League was the perfect example of the way that each of the Ten Worlds contain all the others.

Watching the mood, or life-state, of the Birmingham, Blackpool, Wigan and Wolves fans this afternoon, it was easy to see the way they went from Heaven to Hell and back again, time after time as the games unfolded and their respective teams either faced, or escaped the ignominy of relegation to the Championship.

Bill Shankley once said that ‘some things are a matter of life and death, but football is more important than that’ and I’m sure that all those fans would agree with him today.

We all know that isn’t the case. With so many people in the world living in poverty, war zones and injustice, football pales into insignificance. But that just shows us that everyone has their own ideas of what is Heaven and Hell.

The interesting thing was that it was further proof of the Principles of Buddhism, Principles that were formulated thousands of years before the Premier League was even dreamed of.

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