Saturday, January 4, 2014

Embracing Our Great Vow as Buddhas


In yesterday's post I wrote about the great Vow for kosen-rufu. 
(If you're new to this blog please read the sidebar to the right. This blog is about chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo and accessing our highest life potential...overcoming obstacles in our lives with happiness and ease and creating a world of respect and peace for all (kosen-rufu) we chant every day, twice a day along with fellow SGI members in 193 countries with inspiration from the President of the SGI, Daisaku Ikeda - please click on the SGI portal link to the right to find out more. This is not an official SGI blog; I have practiced for 28 years and continue to be amazed by the results of chanting every day!)

Last night I was studying President Ikeda's essay in the December 13th World Tribune, a publication here in the states. The World Tribune is, I believe, essential to the life flow of Buddhism. Whenever I get it, it's as if Sensei (President Ikeda) has written directly to me. Words just jump out of it. 
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In Daisaku Ikeda's essay A Life Dedicated to the Realizing the Great Vow for Kosen-rufu I found some very interesting phrases to chant about and ponder. This essay was the address written to commemorate Soka Gakkai Foundation Day and the 70th memorial (69th anniversary) of Tsunesaburo Makiguchi's death, (the founder of the SGI) held on November 18th at the Great Hall of the Vow of Kosen-Rufu in Shinanomachi, Tokyo on November 18th. 

"The essential teaching (the latter 4 chapters) of the Lotus Sutra reveals that the life of the Buddha is eternal and imperishable from time without beginning (see the Lotus Sutra and its Opening and Closing Sutra, p. 267) The sutra's "Life Span" (16th) chapter, which is the heart of the essential teaching concludes with these words:

At all times I think to myself:
How can I cause living beings to gain entry 
into the unsurpassed way 
and quickly acquire the body of the Buddha? (LSOC, 273)

In other words, the Buddha is constantly thinking about how to guide all living beings to the supreme path and enable them to quickly attain enlightenment.
The life state of Buddhahood is characterized by one's mind and one's life being filled with a fervent wish for the happiness of the people and an unwavering commitment to keep striving in this suffering-filled saha world to help everyone attain Buddhahood. Because the Buddha is eternally dedicated to this vow, the life of the Buddha is eternal.

Nichiren Daishonin refers to the constant thought that occupies the Buddha's mind as "the compassionate vow of the Buddha" (see The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin Vol. 1 p. 62) The eternal Buddha does not exist apart from this compassionate vow." 

I have always known that we recite the passage during gongyo:

"At all times I think to myself:
How can I cause living beings to gain entry 
into the unsurpassed way 
and quickly acquire the body of the Buddha? (LSOC, 273)

And from the first days I began chanting I embraced this phrase. I have interpreted this phrase with my life, and have written about this many times. Essentially, when I chant, when I am in dialogue with my life itself - I tell my life that I must achieve _______not just for myself, but to inspire others to chant! 
And the two phrases I have put in black italics above are very interesting to me. Last night I read them over and over and am chanting to understand them with my life. I offer them to you today, through our mentor, as phrases to ponder and chant about. Study is not only about intellectual understanding. How do we understand what we study with our lives? 

As always, write me at I love to hear your comments...I love to make new friends all over the world...and, of course, I love to hear your victories! 

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