On My Responsibility …

Ripples In A PondAt some point during the last 24 hours, the number of visits to my blog passed the 100,000 mark, which I find amazing, but which also illustrates the burden of responsibility I have for the topics I post about.

Each topic will be, however small, a source for potential change in those who read it.

One of the principles of Nichiren Buddhism is that of the Oneness of Self and the Environment.

If you drop a pebble, no matter how small, into a pond, the ripples spread out in all directions and interact with everything in their path.

This principle states that there is a connection between the person and others around him or her. It is therefore clear that changes in our life-state, the way we relate or react to others and changes due to our Practice will affect those whose lives we interact with.

Some of these effects are very obvious. If we walk around with a happy demeanour, we find that people are more likely to be pleasant towards us. If, on the other hand, we walk around in a bad mood, with a scowl on our face, we find that people are less friendly and may try to avoid us completely.

Ok, so no rocket science there then, but there are more subtle ways in which changes can be felt. In my own case, my Practice has allowed me to stabilise my life-state, generally I am now more often in the higher Worlds than lower ones. The result of that is that I am better placed to create value, for myself and those around me.

My Practice has changed me and those changes are affecting others. That’s why it is so important for me to ensure that as these changes take place, my Wisdom, Courage and Compassion increases too, so I can make sure the changes are all good ones.

All It Needs Is Practice

All It Needs Is PracticeNichiren Buddhists believe that, not only does everyone have the World of Buddhahood within them, but that it can be achieved within this lifetime.

Think about that, everyone you know has the potential to reach Buddhahood, your family, friends, work colleagues, everyone. And not only those people you like, but those you don’t like too.

But how do we achieve this state of Buddhahood? The Daishonin had this to say …

“When deluded, one is called an ordinary being, but when enlightened, one is called a Buddha.  This is similar to a tarnished mirror, that will shine like a jewel when polished.

A mind now clouded by the illusions of the innate darkness of life is like a tarnished mirror, but when polished, it is sure it become like a clear mirror, reflecting the essential nature of phenomena, and the true aspect of reality.

Arouse deep faith, and diligently polish your mirror day and night. How should you polish it? Only by chanting Nam Myoho Renge Kyo.”

So there it is, such a simple Practice, so easy to learn, that when applied with faith and diligence, will allow us to reveal the Buddha in each and every one of us.

Change Can Make Us Better

Life is made of funny stuffLife is made of funny stuff, isn’t it?

I’m currently going through major changes in my life, in my job, where I live, everything.

Now I have been very careful to scrutinise each and every situation, and make educated guesses at what these changes might encompass.

But we can never be sure of the outcome, no matter how carefully we plan. That’s the excitement that life provides, the not knowing.

Going back over your mistakes, asking yourself painful questions and giving honest answers is a difficult, but cathartic experience.

We’ve all made mistakes in life, some more serious than others, but thinking them through, trying to explain why you made that decision at that point in time, makes you re-examine your own values. In my case, having changed through my Buddhist Practice, it also becomes clear that I would have made different decisions in many cases.

Our history is set in stone, we cannot go back and make those decisions anew. But we can try to make amends, apologise for any hurt we have caused, and, above all, be honest with ourselves and others.

The changes in myself, that I see and feel, the way I view life, and my responsibility for events affecting me and people around me, have come about through my Practice and my study of Nichiren Buddhism.

As I have said before, once you see things in a different light, you cannot undo that change. Nor would I want to, because even though I know I will make other mistakes in the future, I know that those mistakes will be made despite honourable intentions, and with a great deal more Wisdom, Courage and Compassion.

Capital P For Practice

Capital P For PracticeAs you know, my Buddhist Practice is a way of life. A routine that I go through every day, Gongyo, Daimoku, even writing this blog. But routine is also another word for boring, mundane or even hum-drum, so it’s important to keep in mind why we Practice.

We Practice for several reasons …

  • To raise our life-energy levels …
  • To chant for certain outcomes …
  • To move us along the road to Buddhahood …
  • To give a stable anchor in our lives …

and there are many others, often different for every individual.

As a novice, I find that I can learn a little more each day Let’s face it, Buddhism has been around for well over two thousand years, so there’s plenty to learn about.. I can improve or seek to perfect my Practice and to maintain a more focussed attention to the subject of my chanting.

I look forward to the feeling I get during and after Gongyo. I often find that I am quite warm when I finish chanting and in a really good mood, despite any problems I am facing.

I never cease to be amazed by the effectiveness of chanting either. To start with, the word coincidence came into my mind when I saw results, but not any more. But I do get surprised by the way the Universe solves the problems with which I have asked it to help. Not always the way I expected, and often in better, more subtle ways than I could have imagined.

So my Practice is a pleasure, not a chore. It’s something I enjoy and never something I feel I have to do.

As Nichiren Daishonin said, ‘If you practice something, you must test it’s validity with the results you see’. In other words, if it doesn’t work, stop doing it.

For me, it’s working wonders and I think the World would be a better place if more people were to discover those wonders.

On Endless Possibilities

This Hubble photo is of a small portion of one of the largest seen star-birth regions in the galaxy, the Carina Nebula.

The challenges of daily life require us to makes choices or decisions.

When we are open and engaged, we experience the greater self.

When we are closed off, we are exhibiting our lesser self.

The lesser self is a deluded condition, whilst our greater self is synonymous with our Buddha nature.

To live for the greater self means to recognise the universal principle behind all things and, being awaked in this way, rise above the suffering caused by the awareness of impermanence. A belief in something eternal is needed to enhance our quality of life.

By believing that this world is the be-all and end-all of existence, we will miss out, we will not live a truly profound life. When our viewpoint expands beyond the boundaries of our present existence to include the entire, eternal universe, we can finally live deeply fulfilling lives.

I’m Bomb Proof

I'm Bomb ProofThe true victors in life are those who, having endured repeated challenges and setbacks, have sent the roots of their spiritual being to such a depth, that nothing can ever shake them loose.

By practicing Nichiren Buddhism, with all our heart and mind, on a daily basis, can allow us to grow our own spiritual roots to a great depth. Whilst our practice takes us along the road to enlightenment, this is a powerful side-effect that makes us able to defeat anything that life throws at us.

The 1500th Post Has Arrived

Another milestone on my path to BuddhahoodBlogging is a labour of love, fun at times, less so at others and rather reminiscent of my Buddhist Practice.

I’m not saying that the Practice itself is a chore, but take today as an example. I seem to have contracted this bug that’s been going round for a few weeks, so chanting while trying not to cough, and concentrating while feeling less that 100%, was not as easy as usual.

So the fifteen hundredth post is here, and it marks another milestone on my path to Buddhahood. I started the blog as a record of that path and I’ve enjoyed revealing the rough and the smooth with you all.

Thank you to all those people who have commented on the posts and I look forward to writing the next couple of hundred. Who knows where we will all be then, geographically or spiritually.

Nam Myoho Renge Kyo

Chapter And Verse

Chapter And VerseTonight should be interesting, it’s my second appearance at the Open Mic Night, arranged by The Platform at the Mad Cucumber in Bournemouth.

Yes, the very same Mad Cucumber we frequent with our vegan chums, though tonight the audience will not be comprised entirely of veggie / vegan folk. This presents both a challenge, and an opportunity.

With luck, I’ll get time to perform four poems. One about the buzz that public performance gives you, much like chanting actually. One about how we are slowly destroying the Earth, another about our recent narrowboat holiday and the last about a certain single vegan female.

So rather varied subjects and topics, but the chance to broadcast my views about everything from Buddhism to veganism, overfishing to canal holidays. I’m sure some people will like some of the poetry better than others, some may not like it at all. But if I make one person think about things, and in some small way, change their lives for the better because of that, I will be pleased with the outcome.

So What Is It About Mondays?

The Calm After The StormHaving had a lovely varied weekend, today has been like having a bucket of cold water thrown over me.

Of course, it’s always busier on a Monday, with the weekend issues to deal with, but today has felt like swimming in treacle.

Good job I have my practice to fall back on, turning poison into medicine and all that. Remembering back to how I used to be before Nichiren, made me feel a lot better.

The day is nearly over, and things are on a much more even keel again. Nobody got eaten by bears and hopefully all the efforts from today will pay dividends during the rest of the week. So it’s just a case of thinking happy thoughts and letting the waves of anguish lap gently against the solid foundations of calm and reason.

And just to put it all into perspective, I know from personal experience, that it is a lot better to have too much work to do, than have none at all. A little gratitude for the good things in life makes the bad things melt into their proper perspective, but it’s easy to say that now.

On Following The Path

Following The PathBuddhism comes down to practice. This means making a personal determination and steadfastly taking action to accomplish it, no matter what obstacles may arise.

If we aren’t striving to open a way forward, what we are doing cannot be called Buddhist practice.

We will only enter the path to Buddhahood by making tireless effort based on the same determination as the Buddha.

Nam Myoho Renge Kyo

Previous Older Entries

<span>%d</span> bloggers like this: