Room To Grow

Room To GrowWe can all be guilty of trying to hold things, or people, too close to us. This may be for a number of reasons, fear of losing them probably being the most common.

With possessions we may only cause ourselves problems, but with people, the act of holding them close, may actually have the effect of pushing them away.

We must learn to give people the room to grow, to learn, to blossom and the chance to be themselves, otherwise we may lose them forever.

Nichiren writes:

“Myoho-renge-kyo is the Buddha nature of all living beings…. The Buddha nature that all these beings possess is called by the name Myoho-renge-kyo”
(wnd, 131).

“Regarding how to manifest one’s innate Buddha nature, Nichiren explains: “When we revere Myoho-renge-kyo inherent in our own life as the object of devotion, the Buddha nature within us is summoned forth and manifested by our chanting of Nam-myoho-renge-kyo. This is what is meant by ‘Buddha.’ To illustrate, when a caged bird sings, birds who are flying in the sky are thereby summoned and gather around, and when the birds flying in the sky gather around, the bird in the cage strives to get out. When with our mouths we chant the Mystic Law, our Buddha nature, being summoned, will invariably emerge”
(wnd, 887).

In Nichiren’s metaphor, our innate Buddha nature, whose name is Nam Myoho Renge Kyo, is a bird trapped in the cage of ignorance. In other words, our deluded minds create this cage that imprisons our Buddha nature. But when we chant Nam myoho renge kyo to the Gohonzon, which expresses Nichiren’s enlightened life and the potential of all people, our dormant Buddha nature becomes activated.

The singing of the caged bird is our chanting, and the birds flying in the sky are the Buddha nature in our environment, particularly as it is expressed in the Gohonzon. Through our chanting, the Buddha nature within our lives and the Buddha nature inherent in the universe begin their dynamic interaction.

For Nichiren’s metaphor to work, however, it is necessary for the caged bird to recognize the birds in the sky as being its own kind. In other words, when we pray to the Gohonzon, rather than thinking of it as an external power or deity, we must think of it as the mirror image of our own Buddha nature. If the caged bird thinks of itself as an elephant, it is unlikely to give the slightest thought to flying.

Nichiren Buddhism clarifies that the teaching of the Buddha nature is a teaching of faith and practice. All people have it, but not many can believe in it. Furthermore, some of those who believe in their Buddha nature may not practice to manifest it, erroneously thinking-I’m already a Buddha, so I don’t have to do anything. One’s faith in the Buddha nature must be expressed in one’s actions to manifest it.

Those who see the universal Buddha nature of oneself and others, and work to awaken it in all people are already Buddhas, for such actions belong to none other than a Buddha. As we cultivate our inherent Buddha nature through our conviction and actions to manifest it no matter our circumstances, we begin to see it and experience it. In our everyday lives, seeing may be believing. But in the world of Buddhism, believing in the Buddha nature is the first step toward seeing it.

(from Living Buddhism – February 2005)

Our Vegan Friends

Bamboo

We spent a very pleasant couple of hours in the company of some of our veggie / vegan friends today.

So nice to be around like minded people, all individuals, but connected by their beliefs.

Determined people of conviction, who stand alone, who pursue their chosen path.

Not only are such people good and trustworthy friends themselves, but will also make genuine friends of others.

The bamboo groves of the autumn are gorgeous. Each bamboo tree stands independently, growing straight and tall towards the sky. Yet in the ground, way out of sight, their roots are interwoven and interconnected.

In the same way, true friendship is not a relationship based upon dependence, but one of individual independence. It is the enduring bond that connects self-reliant individuals, comrades who share the same commitment, on a spiritual plane.

The Freedom To Fly

Freeing The Caged BirdWe can all be guilty of trying to hold things, or people, too close to us. This may be for a number of reasons, fear of losing them probably being the most common. With possessions we may only cause ourselves problems, but with people, the act of holding them close, may actually have the effect of pushing them away. We must learn to give people the freedom to grow, to learn, to blossom and the chance to be themselves, otherwise we may lose them forever.

Nichiren writes: “Myoho-renge-kyo is the Buddha nature of all living beings…. The Buddha nature that all these beings possess is called by the name Myoho-renge-kyo” (wnd, 131). Regarding how to manifest one’s innate Buddha nature, Nichiren explains: “When we revere Myoho-renge-kyo inherent in our own life as the object of devotion, the Buddha nature within us is summoned forth and manifested by our chanting of Nam-myoho-renge-kyo. This is what is meant by ‘Buddha.’ To illustrate, when a caged bird sings, birds who are flying in the sky are thereby summoned and gather around, and when the birds flying in the sky gather around, the bird in the cage strives to get out. When with our mouths we chant the Mystic Law, our Buddha nature, being summoned, will invariably emerge” (wnd, 887).

In Nichiren’s metaphor, our innate Buddha nature, whose name is Nam myoho renge kyo, is a bird trapped in the cage of ignorance. In other words, our deluded minds create this cage that imprisons our Buddha nature. But when we chant Nam myoho renge kyo to the Gohonzon, which expresses Nichiren’s enlightened life and the potential of all people, our dormant Buddha nature becomes activated.

The singing of the caged bird is our chanting, and the birds flying in the sky are the Buddha nature in our environment, particularly as it is expressed in the Gohonzon. Through our chanting, the Buddha nature within our lives and the Buddha nature inherent in the universe begin their dynamic interaction.

For Nichiren’s metaphor to work, however, it is necessary for the caged bird to recognize the birds in the sky as being its own kind. In other words, when we pray to the Gohonzon, rather than thinking of it as an external power or deity, we must think of it as the mirror image of our own Buddha nature. If the caged bird thinks of itself as an elephant, it is unlikely to give the slightest thought to flying.

Nichiren Buddhism clarifies that the teaching of the Buddha nature is a teaching of faith and practice. All people have it, but not many can believe in it. Furthermore, some of those who believe in their Buddha nature may not practice to manifest it, erroneously thinking-I’m already a Buddha, so I don’t have to do anything. One’s faith in the Buddha nature must be expressed in one’s actions to manifest it.

Those who see the universal Buddha nature of oneself and others, and work to awaken it in all people are already Buddhas, for such actions belong to none other than a Buddha. As we cultivate our inherent Buddha nature through our conviction and actions to manifest it no matter our circumstances, we begin to see it and experience it. In our everyday lives, seeing may be believing. But in the world of Buddhism, believing in the Buddha nature is the first step toward seeing it.

(from Living Buddhism – February 2005)

Flying Free

Little Owl ChickVisiting our local Owl and Raptor centre yesterday, and seeing the birds flying around so effortlessly, reminded me of this lesson from Nichiren Daishonin in which he uses the metaphor of us as caged birds, striving to be free …

Nichiren writes: “Myoho-renge-kyo is the Buddha nature of all living beings…. The Buddha nature that all these beings possess is called by the name Myoho-renge-kyo” (wnd, 131). Regarding how to manifest one’s innate Buddha nature, Nichiren explains: “When we revere Myoho-renge-kyo inherent in our own life as the object of devotion, the Buddha nature within us is summoned forth and manifested by our chanting of Nam-myoho-renge-kyo. This is what is meant by ‘Buddha.’ To illustrate, when a caged bird sings, birds who are flying in the sky are thereby summoned and gather around, and when the birds flying in the sky gather around, the bird in the cage strives to get out. When with our mouths we chant the Mystic Law, our Buddha nature, being summoned, will invariably emerge” (wnd, 887).

In Nichiren’s metaphor, our innate Buddha nature, whose name is Nam myoho renge kyo, is a bird trapped in the cage of ignorance. In other words, our deluded minds create this cage that imprisons our Buddha nature. But when we chant Nam myoho renge kyo to the Gohonzon, which expresses Nichiren’s enlightened life and the potential of all people, our dormant Buddha nature becomes activated.

The singing of the caged bird is our chanting, and the birds flying in the sky are the Buddha nature in our environment, particularly as it is expressed in the Gohonzon. Through our chanting, the Buddha nature within our lives and the Buddha nature inherent in the universe begin their dynamic interaction.

For Nichiren’s metaphor to work, however, it is necessary for the caged bird to recognize the birds in the sky as being its own kind. In other words, when we pray to the Gohonzon, rather than thinking of it as an external power or deity, we must think of it as the mirror image of our own Buddha nature. If the caged bird thinks of itself as an elephant, it is unlikely to give the slightest thought to flying.

Nichiren Buddhism clarifies that the teaching of the Buddha nature is a teaching of faith and practice. All people have it, but not many can believe in it. Furthermore, some of those who believe in their Buddha nature may not practice to manifest it, erroneously thinking-I’m already a Buddha, so I don’t have to do anything. One’s faith in the Buddha nature must be expressed in one’s actions to manifest it.

Those who see the universal Buddha nature of oneself and others, and work to awaken it in all people are already Buddhas, for such actions belong to none other than a Buddha. As we cultivate our inherent Buddha nature through our conviction and actions to manifest it no matter our circumstances, we begin to see it and experience it. In our everyday lives, seeing may be believing. But in the world of Buddhism, believing in the Buddha nature is the first step toward seeing it.

(from Living Buddhism – February 2005)

Forever Friends

BambooDetermined people of conviction, who stand alone, who pursue their chosen path. Not only are such people good and trustworthy friends themselves, but will also make genuine friends of others.

The bamboo groves of the autumn are gorgeous. Each bamboo tree stands independently, growing straight and tall towards the sky. Yet in the ground, way out of sight, their roots are interwoven and interconnected.

In the same way, true friendship is not a relationship based upon dependence, but one of individual independence. It is the enduring bond that connects self-reliant individuals, comrades who share the same commitment, on a spiritual plane.

Happy Families

Happy FamiliesWhat a brilliant day! The beautiful drive to Bristol, first thing in the morning, with amazing views made green and pleasant by the recent rains was quick and easy.

The day had a definite football theme to it. Following breakfast we went off to Longwell Green community centre for Jake’s football training. A little kick around with Zach was fun and Jake was proud to have scored three goals in his practice game.

Charlotte has started the second phase of her chemotherapy, and is looking very tired. Her hubby Rob, also looked pretty drawn, but he is a real star in the way he is keeping everything together. It’s really difficult to see your child looking tired and poorly, even knowing that the reason behind it is all for a very good cause. But it was wonderful to meet my new grandson, Oliver, and to see the how his birth has kept her positive and given a reason to dig deep and carry on.

Hannah and Stanley came round and it was fun to watch the way the boys interact together. They seem to understand each other, even though the little two aren’t even two yet. After lunch, Hannah took Zach for the afternoon, and Rob, Jake and I went off to pick up Barry to go the watch Bristol Rovers, so that Charlotte could have a restful afternoon.

It was my first visit to the Memorial ground, and although the result wasn’t what the Rovers fans had hoped for, it was a nice way to spend the afternoon. Following a few slices of pizza and a final kiss and cuddle with Charlotte and the boys, it was time to wend my way back to Poole, the end of a great day of happy families.

The Gift Of Freedom

The Gift Of FreedomYesterday we spoke of responsibility, individual responsibility, and how taking responsibility for your actions is a major part of moving your life forward towards your chosen goals. But responsibility is a gift, whether you realise it or not, and having responsibility for the actions you take is very precious.

Think about the millions of people around the world who dream of having such a gift. These people live under conditions where their lives are controlled by the regimes governing their countries. Because they have no control, they never know the gift of responsibility.

Even though there are often comments about our ‘Nanny State’, we live in one of the most liberal, most accepting countries in the world. With that freedom comes the responsibility to act in a manner that show wisdom, courage and compassion, failure to do so risks us all losing that most precious gift.

%d bloggers like this: