On The Question Of Purity

MirrorsNichiren said,

“If the minds of living beings are impure, their land is also impure, but if their minds are pure, so is their land.

There are not two lands, pure or impure in themselves. The difference lies solely in the good or evil of our minds. It is the same with a Buddha and an ordinary being.

While 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.”

We can all purify our minds, follow the path to enlightenment and strive towards Buddhahood.

Get polishing those mirrors folks!

Two Inseparable Parts

Two Inseparable PartsBuddhism teaches that human life is endowed simultaneously with both good and evil.

The human mind is interpreted as partaking of ten different conditions, or states, including, at one end of the scale, hell, which is filled with suffering; hunger, dominated by greed; and animality, characterized by fear of the strong and contempt for the weak.

At the other end are the Bodhisattva and Buddha conditions—states of mind in which people strive to help others by eliminating suffering and imparting happiness.

Buddhism further teaches that the nature of life is for good and evil to be essentially inseparable.

~ Daisaku Ikeda

Life’s Ups & Downs

The Ups and Downs Of LifeMany things happen in life. There are joyous days and times of suffering. Sometimes unpleasant things occur. But that’s what makes life so interesting. The dramas we encounter that are part and parcel of being human.

If we experienced no change or drama in our lives, if nothing unexpected ever happened, we would merely be like automatons, our lives unbearably monotonous and dull.

Therefore, it is important to develop a strong self so that you can enact the drama of your life with confidence and poise in the face of whatever challenges you may encounter.

~ Daisaku Ikeda

A Question Of Purity

MirrorsNichiren said,

“If the minds of living beings are impure, their land is also impure, but if their minds are pure, so is their land.

There are not two lands, pure or impure in themselves. The difference lies solely in the good or evil of our minds. It is the same with a Buddha and an ordinary being.

While 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.”

We can all purify our minds, follow the path to enlightenment and strive towards Buddhahood.

Get polishing those mirrors folks!

You Have Control

You Have ControlWhen bad things happen to us, events that we can’t explain, there is a tendency to blame fate, bad luck or coincidence. It is perhaps more comfortable to believe that when something goes wrong, we are at the beck and call of forces unknown and unseen.

The fact of the matter is, that all of us are in the position we find ourselves because of the effects of all the causes we have made in this, and previous lives. In one way this can be quite scary, because it puts the onus of responsibility on our shoulders.

On the other hand, it is very empowering to know that we have complete control of our own destiny and that we are not simply the plaything of these unknown forces.

Having said all this, it is important to remember that Karma is not some form of punishment or reward, because, although it’s sometimes difficult to see, there really is no such thing as good or bad Karma just the results of good or bad causes.

So work hard to make good causes and enjoy the results. Your Karma is made to measure, it fits you like a glove, and because of that, you have the ultimate control over your own destiny.

What A Drama

The Ups and Downs Of LifeMany things happen in life. There are joyous days and times of suffering. Sometimes unpleasant things occur. But that’s what makes life so interesting. The dramas we encounter that are part and parcel of being human.

If we experienced no change or drama in our lives, if nothing unexpected ever happened, we would merely be like automatons, our lives unbearably monotonous and dull.

Therefore, it is important to develop a strong self so that you can enact the drama of your life with confidence and poise in the face of whatever challenges you may encounter.

~ Daisaku Ikeda

Two Parts Of The Whole

Yin and Yang, Good and Bad, two parts of the wholeSo many things in life, although they may seem very different, are actually the opposite sides of the same coin. Good and evil, love and hate, passion and obsession are so close to one another when we look at the causes behind each of them.

Buddhism teaches that our lives are endowed with both good and bad aspects simultaneously. The human mind switches between ten individual conditions, The Ten Worlds, and as we know, each World contains the other nine.

The lowest three Worlds are those of Hell, filled with suffering, Hunger, which is dominated by greed, and Animality, characterised by fear of the strong or powerful and contempt of the weak. The two highest worlds are those of Bodhisattva and Buddhahood, states of mind in which people strive to help others to eliminate their suffering and attain happiness.

Good and bad, happiness and sadness exist together, they cannot be separated and are integral parts of life. In fact it could be said that to try to describe one without the other would be meaningless.

Buddhist practice cannot remove bad things from our life nor the sadness, but it can help us deal with them (Poison into Medicine), and by doing so, help us and those around us promote the good and the happy aspects.

Nam Myoho Renge Kyo.

2207 Seymour Avenue

2207 Seymour AvenueWith details of the release of the three kidnapped women in Cleveland, Ohio still emerging, I was interested to hear an interview with one of the kidnappers neighbours this morning. Ariel Castro, one of the three brothers who have been arrested for the crimes, was a school bus driver and just a regular guy, according to people who knew him (or thought they did).

The neighbour, understandably shocked by the incident, said that he was questioning himself, because he had not seen the dark side of the man he had known for a year or more.

Of course, this is an extreme example of the fundamental darkness of an individual, but we all have a dark side, it is just that some of us supress it better than others. So should we really be shocked when occasionally we are exposed to the evil in others? Even Adolf Hitler loved Eva Braun, there is good and bad in us all.

I am as delighted as anyone that this story has a happy ending, of sorts, but none of us should be in any doubt that there are plenty of other stories out there, just waiting to be told.

Evil, or what we call evil, has its part in the very core of our make-up. Self-improvement, or human revolution as it is called in Buddhist circles, is the only way that it can be suppressed to the point of extinction.

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