On Being Fearless

In The Fullness Of TimeSometimes, we may have to  summon the courage to speak out against injustice.

Nichiren Daishonin illustrated why we should do just that, most eloquently …

“To speak out without fearing others and without flinching before society—this is what the sutra means when it says, “We care nothing for our bodies or lives but are anxious only for the unsurpassed way.”

It is not that one does not recall the calumny, the staves and stones that were suffered by Bodhisattva Never Disparaging. It is not that one is unafraid of the world. It is just that the censure of the Lotus Sutra is even more severe.”

In other words, to speak out may cause one pain, but to not speak out will be even more painful in the fullness of time.

Being The Voice That Is Heard

Being The Voice That Is HeardSometimes, we may have to  summon the courage to speak out against injustice.

Nichiren Daishonin illustrated why we should do just that, most eloquently …

“To speak out without fearing others and without flinching before society—this is what the sutra means when it says, “We care nothing for our bodies or lives but are anxious only for the unsurpassed way.”

It is not that one does not recall the calumny, the staves and stones that were suffered by Bodhisattva Never Disparaging. It is not that one is unafraid of the world. It is just that the censure of the Lotus Sutra is even more severe.”

In other words, to speak out may cause one pain, but not to speak out will be even more painful in the fullness of time.

Flowing Ever Onward

The River AvonBehind our office in Ringwood, runs the Bickley Mill stream, a small tributary of the river Avon.

In winter it can be quite a torrent, but since the recent dry spell, it has slowed to little more than a trickle, and for a couple of minutes today, I stood watching the water flowing slowly past.

I have always found water fascinating. The conjunction of reflected and refracted images mean that there is a merging of environments. It is not possible to see the bottom of the stream clearly and yet you are offered glimpses of clarity as the water ripples produce the perfect angle to see through the surface. An instant later that view is gone.

I can see a similarity between this phenomena and our lives. You may have experienced times when you have a sudden flash of clarity, regarding a problem or opportunity, then moments later it is gone, cloaked by the smokescreen of everyday life. I know that I have woken from a particularly vivid dream, where the memories are so clear that it has taken a second or two to realise that it was a dream. Almost as soon as that realisation kicks in, the memories start fading, so quickly that within minutes it would be quite difficult to relate the dream to someone else in all its detail.

Another thought popped into my head. The flow of the river, the flow of time and the passage of our lives are all one and the same. Specialist subject ‘stating the obvious’ you might be saying, but it was one of those clarity moments which almost takes ones breath away. I think we should all take a second to remember, that moment by moment, our lives are moving like the river, from future, to present, to past, in an unstoppable flow. Wishing for the weekend to be here, waiting for that special event, all miss the immediate imperative, that every second is precious and should be used to the full.

Nobody knows when their time will be up, when they have no more future, only past. That, in my opinion is a good thing, imagine the sense of panic that would be induced by seeing that ‘life clock’ ticking down to 00:00:00. What is important is to use your time wisely and never, ever, waste a single second.

Who The Kutai

Dr WhoI saw the very first episode of Doctor Who, way back in November 1963, sitting on the sofa in my Nan and Grandad’s lounge at 50 Ryland Road, Erdington, Birmingham. Watching The Day Of The Doctor tonight was awesome, it was brilliantly written, performed and produced and brought many of the intervening years together in a very clever storyline.

The amazing thing is that the program also brought back memories and images from half a century ago. The whole family sitting around a black and white telly, watching William Hartnell, my Doctor, in a brand new series on the only BBC channel, BBC2 didn’t appear till 1967.

Such vivid memories. Only I could see them, but they were as real as were the original experiences. So they exist and they don’t exist all at the same time, and Nichiren Buddhism calls this Ku, short for Kutai. All they need are the right conditions to become manifest, in exactly the same way our own potential does.

The human brain is an amazing thing. On the one hand I can remember people and events from fifty years and more ago. On the other, I can walk from the lounge into the kitchen and forget why I went in the first place, and I know we’ve all been there.

Amazing stuff that grey matter, a hugely complex system of neurons and synapses awash in a cocktail of serotonin, dopamine and countless other magical neurotransmitters, all busy doing their own thing, but all in sync. And all it needs, to switch on some memory buried deep in time, is a handful of images or a series of electronic notes in a particular sequence.

Be The Voice That Is Heard

In The Fullness Of TimeSometimes, we may have to  summon the courage to speak out against injustice.

Nichiren Daishonin illustrated why we should do just that, most eloquently …

“To speak out without fearing others and without flinching before society—this is what the sutra means when it says, “We care nothing for our bodies or lives but are anxious only for the unsurpassed way.”

It is not that one does not recall the calumny, the staves and stones that were suffered by Bodhisattva Never Disparaging. It is not that one is unafraid of the world. It is just that the censure of the Lotus Sutra is even more severe.”

In other words, to speak out may cause one pain, but to not speak out will be even more painful in the fullness of time.

So That’s That For Another Week

That's All FolksLet’s just think back to Friday evening. The anticipation of a couple of days away from the office, maybe big plans, maybe just looking forward to the chance to recharge the batteries.

But where is that time now? Of course you can remember what you got up to, at least most of it I hope, but it’s time that has gone and you can never get it back.

It’s just a simple example of the unending passage of time, something we take so much for granted we often fail to remember how important it is. Because, although we have all the time in world through the process of reincarnation, to waste a single second it is to lack Wisdom.

If there is something you have been meaning to do, someone you intended to phone, but keep putting it off for any reason you can lay your hands on, you might have found the world of Tranquillity. It’s maybe not the worst of the Lower Worlds (Hell, Hunger, Animality, Anger, Tranquillity, Heaven) but can mean that you lack the life-energy to drive you get things done.

Get chanting, raise your life-energy and hence your life-state, after all, the weekend is over for another week.

A Stream Of Consciousness

The Hampshire AvonBehind our offices in Ringwood, runs the Bickley Mill stream, a small tributary of the river Avon. In winter it can be quite a torrent, but since the long dry summer, that flow has slowed to little more than a trickle. So with a little time to spare first thing this morning, I stood on the bank watching the water moving slowly past.

I have always found water fascinating. The conjunction of reflected and refracted images mean that there is a merging of environments. It is not possible to see the bottom of the stream clearly and yet you are offered glimpses of clarity as the water ripples produce the perfect angle to see through the surface. An instant later that view is gone.

I can see a similarity between this phenomena and our lives. You may have experienced times when you have a sudden flash of clarity, regarding a problem or opportunity, then moments later it is gone, cloaked by the smokescreen of everyday life. I know that I have woken from a particularly vivid dream, where the memories are so clear that it has taken a second or two to realise that it was a dream. Almost as soon as that realisation kicks in, the memories start fading, so quickly that within minutes it would be quite difficult to relate the dream to someone else in all its detail.

Another thought popped into my head. The flow of the river, the flow of time and the passage of our lives are all one and the same. Specialist subject ‘stating the obvious’ you might be saying, but it was one of those clarity moments which almost takes ones breath away. I think we should all take a second to remember, that moment by moment, our lives are moving like the river, from future, to present, to past, in an unstoppable flow. Wishing for the weekend to be here, waiting for that special event, all miss the immediate imperative, that every second is precious and should be used to the full.

Nobody knows when their time will be up, when they have no more future, only past. That, in my opinion is a good thing, imagine the sense of panic that would be induced by seeing that ‘life clock’ ticking down to 00:00:00. What is important is to use your time wisely and never, ever, waste a single second.

Have Patience

Have PatienceIt is said that patience is a virtue, and indeed that is a fact.

Having patience with someone, something, or with a situation can make the difference between causing, or solving problems.

When you are just about to run out of patience you should take a deep breath and carry on trying to be understanding.

Sometimes when our patience runs out, it is because we don’t have the full picture. Having a partial understanding of a situation leads us all to try to fill in the missing parts from our imagination. Our fundamental darkness will relish the chance to invent the details for us.

As anyone who has been to the dentist, and I guess that’s pretty much all of us, the waiting room, the fear of what might be in store, is often far worse than the reality when we finally sit in the chair.

So it is with most situations in life. So stop imagining, take that deep breath, and find a little more patience. It will be worth it in the end as we turn yet more poison into medicine

Don’t Leave It Too Late

Don't Leave I Too LateOn the day that saw the passing of Margaret Thatcher, it might be a good point to remind ourselves to make the most of our time.

If you think about it, although we may not be destined to die five minutes from now, we are all, without exception, going to die at some point. We can count on it 100%. There is nothing surer than this.

Victor Hugo said, “We are all under sentence of death, but with a sort of indefinite reprieve.”

Ideally, we should live every minute of our lives mindfully, as if it were the last moment of our lives. Those who live aimlessly are left with a sense of emptiness at the end of their lives, but those who live all-out, striving to achieve their goals right to the end, will die peacefully.

Leonardo da Vinci said “As a well-spent day brings happy sleep, so a life well used brings happy death.”

One who is aware that death could come at any time, will live each day to the fullest. So don’t wait for something to happen, or someone to come along, before you start living, do it now.

Be Fearless

In The Fullness Of TimeSometimes, we may have to  summon the courage to speak out against injustice.

Nichiren Daishonin illustrated why we should do just that, most eloquently …

“To speak out without fearing others and without flinching before society—this is what the sutra means when it says, “We care nothing for our bodies or lives but are anxious only for the unsurpassed way.”

It is not that one does not recall the calumny, the staves and stones that were suffered by Bodhisattva Never Disparaging. It is not that one is unafraid of the world. It is just that the censure of the Lotus Sutra is even more severe.”

In other words, to speak out may cause one pain, but to not speak out will be even more painful in the fullness of time.

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