Use A Touch Of WCC … Please

The Lotus SutraListening to reports of the Syrian negotiations and upcoming elections in Egypt this morning, I was reminded of the wisdom encapsulated in the Lotus Sutra. Generally regarded as Siddhārtha Gautama’s greatest teaching, it forms the basic structure for all forms of Buddhist practice.

The Lotus Sutra has the drama of fighting for justice against evil. It has the warmth that comforts the weary. It has a vibrant pulsing courage that drives away fear. It has a chorus of joy at attaining absolute freedom throughout past, present and future. It has the soaring flight of liberty.

It has brilliant light, flowers, greenery, music, paintings and vivid stories. It offers unsurpassed lessons on psychology, the workings of the human heart, lessons on happiness and lessons on peace. It maps out the basic rules for good health. But more than all of these, it awakens us to the universal truth that a change in our heart can transform everything.

I am praying and chanting for peaceful resolutions of the situation in both Egypt and Syria. It is my hope that a little of the Wisdom, Courage and Compassion contained in the Lotus Sutra might find its way into the negotiations in both situations.

Kosen Rufu – World Peace

The Palos Verdes Blue - Rare And FragileWhat is peace? The definition in the Merriam-Webster online dictionary says this:

1 : a state of tranquillity or quiet: as

a : freedom from civil disturbance
b : a state of security or order within a community provided for by law or custom <a breach of the peace>


2 :
freedom from disquieting or oppressive thoughts or emotions

3 : harmony in personal relations

4

a : a state or period of mutual concord between governments
b : a pact or agreement to end hostilities between those who have been at war or in a state of enmity

5

—used interjectionally to ask for silence or calm or as a greeting or farewell

at peace

: in a state of concord or tranquillity

So we can see that the word itself has many meanings, but in the context of this post, we will be talking about the fourth of those meanings, peace between governments or people of differing political or religious beliefs.

The seemingly never ending situation between the Israeli Jews and the Palestinian Arabs would appear to be a perfect example of how the parties on the two sides of an argument hold such deep seated principles, that neither will concede any ground to the other. The resulting stalemate has been the cause of hundreds of deaths, yet still the conflict remains. A typical no-win, blame-each-other, under-no-circumstances-show-any-weakness type of stand-off, with the ordinary man and women in the street bearing the brunt.

Peace, it would appear from historical evidence, is not a natural state of affairs. The predominant trait of humans would seem to be to want more and more, be that power, money, land or generally any commodity you care to mention. Far from the quest for peace, governments and nations, tribes and religions, have been locked in an eternal quest to become the dominant entity since time began. That process goes on and on, and shows no sign of abating even in the modern age.

We comically call ourselves civilised people, and I suppose in the very broad sense of the word we are. But to my mind, civilised people work together to create a situation of mutual respect and harmony in which all, not just those at the top, can prosper. I don’t see a great deal of that anywhere around here. The Have’s have it all and the Have-Not’s have not a hope in hell of breaking the mould.

With all the tensions created between these Have’s and Have-Not’s, be they economic, power, religious or political, the balance between the protagonists is destroyed. Where there is imbalance there is stress, where there is stress there is a destructive force that will continue to exist until either the balance is restored or one of the sides is destroyed.

Peace, by which I mean a lasting mutual agreement, can only be achieved and maintained by seeking out this balance. Whilst there are any aggrieved feelings by either party, the peace is in jeopardy, although it may be that it can be maintained temporarily by one side or the other accepting the imbalance. The situation will not last however, the destructive forces will always come to the fore eventually.

The primary goal of Nichiren Buddhists, Kosen-Rufu, or World Peace will only come about when the process of Human Revolution is complete. This involves the entire population of the planet learning the ways of happiness and hence finding a universal peace. As SGI president Daisaku Ikeda put it …

“Just like a cloth, kosen-rufu is woven from vertical and horizontal threads. The vertical threads represent the passing of Nichiren Daishonin’s teaching from mentor to disciple, parent to child, senior to junior. The horizontal threads represent the impartial spread of this teaching, transcending national borders, social classes and all other distinctions. Simply put, kosen-rufu is the movement to communicate the ultimate way to happiness—to communicate the highest principle of peace to people of all classes and nations through the correct philosophy and teaching of Nichiren”

If did seem for a while in 2011, that there was as seed change happening, starting with the Arab Spring. it really did feel as though the 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.”

was actually about to come to fruition. But the forces of evil, otherwise known as the greedy bastards who govern most countries, were not going to let their power slip so easily.

Every day we hear about further atrocities and conflicts. The on-going conflict in Egypt brings scenes of death and violence onto our TV screens every evening of late.

Not wishing in any way to end this post on a down-beat note, but it is clear that Peace is a very fragile and elusive thing. Like the Palos Verdes Blue it is very rarely seen, but that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t exist, or that, given the right environment, it won’t flourish and cease to be so rare.

Let us have faith in Kosen-Rufu, or whatever you wish to call it, remove this underlying current of greed and violence and make the world a happy and peaceful place for once.

Namaste ~ Anupadin

A Change For The Better

The Lotus SutraListening to reports of the continuing struggle for change and self determination in Egypt, I was mindful of the wisdom encapsulated in the Lotus Sutra. Generally regarded as Siddhārtha Gautama’s greatest teaching, it forms the basic structure for all forms of Buddhist practice.

The Lotus Sutra has the drama of fighting for justice against evil. It has the warmth that comforts the weary. It has a vibrant pulsing courage that drives away fear. It has a chorus of joy at attaining absolute freedom throughout past, present and future. It has the soaring flight of liberty. It has brilliant light, flowers, greenery, music, paintings and vivid stories.

It offers unsurpassed lessons on psychology, the workings of the human heart, lessons on happiness and lessons on peace. It maps out the basic rules for good health. But more than all of these, it awakens us to the universal truth that a change in our heart can transform everything.

I am praying and chanting for peaceful resolutions of the situation in both Egypt and Syria. It is my hope that a little of the wisdom, courage and compassion contained in the Lotus Sutra might find its way into the negotiations in both conflicts.

A Little Common Sense

The Patchwork Quilt Of PeaceI’m sure you will be as relieved as I to hear about the cease-fire that has been announced this evening between Israel and Hamas in Egypt. The Gaza situation has been a long and festering sore in the complicated puzzle that is the Middle East, so any glimmer of hope that a long term solution might be found should be welcomed.

It is sad to realise that over one hundred and fifty people have lost their lives in the recent escalation along the Israeli border. There cannot really be any excuse, on either side, for the almost total lack of dialogue over the past months and years. It almost appears that the current arrangement suits the aggressive nature of both sides.

Despite that, we should all applaud the efforts of Egypt, to bring the protagonists together in an attempt to secure this successful outcome. Working towards World Peace, or Kosen-Rufu as we call in in Nichiren Buddhism, is like making, and mending, a patchwork quilt. But like a quilt, the result can be so much greater that the sum of the parts, and is a beautiful thing to behold.

Let us chant and pray that both sides are prepared to honour their side of the agreement and that the patchwork quilt holds strong while growing ever larger and more amazing.

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