Saturday, July 27, 2013

You ARE the Buddha ~ and Your Altar is Your "Home Within Your Home"

My altar

Daisaku Ikeda states:
"The Gohonzon is the clearest of al mirrors, which reflects the entire universe exactly as it is. When you chant to the Gohonzon, you can perceive the entity of your life and can tap the inexhaustible life force of Buddhahood."
from Faith in Action page 113

We are all the Buddha! 

You are the Buddha, and I am the Buddha, and everyone else is too. 

What does this mean to us, and to our Buddhist practice? 

It means that when we chant we are speaking TO the life of the Buddha, our eternal life, and we can demand the results we want. It is very important to realize that when we chant we are not asking favors from anyone, we are petitioning no gods and no forces outside of our lives. If, by any chance you have any idols or gods of any kind on your altar, it is a  good idea to take them down so that you are not confused on this point. 

What should the Buddhist altar contain? 
The Gohonzon (scroll representing our highest possible life condition that is within us - and we chant facing this scroll to act as a mirror for our inner selves and draw the life condition of the Buddha from within our lives), 
the Butsudan, (the box or cabinet that has doors that close to protect the scroll). Everything else on the altar is an offering to your highest self. I have fresh fruit, a bell, candles, a plant or greens or flowers and a light illuminating the Gohonzon. Some people like to burn incense. I can't do that ~ it makes me sneeze. And in the morning some Buddhists like to put fresh water on the altar that they drink at night. 

Occasionally I have photos of people on the altar, and I have bulletin boards filled with pictures of the people I am chanting for surrounding the altar. There should be nothing above the Butsudan and no window close by. This is your "home within your home" and it represents YOU. I have heard it said that the way you treat your altar is the way your life treats you, so I keep mine clean and dusted and everything fresh. If I go away on a trip I put some rice, or my favorite non-perishable food on the altar when I'm gone, and replace the fresh fruit when I return.  

And, as I mentioned earlier, I don't have any statues of the Buddha or any other gods on the altar or anywhere near. This is my altar to MY LIFE, and I only address my life here. 

Since you are chanting to YOUR LIFE, you can chant with a command in your heart. Go ahead. TELL YOUR LIFE WHAT YOU WANT. And if you don't know what you want, ASK your life in front of the Gohonzon. For several years I chanted to know what was my mission in life. And I go the answer. I have known my mission in life for years now, and if you're a reader of this blog you probably know what my mission is too, to inspire people with my WIN in all areas of my life so that everyone can see that the impossible is possible if you don't give up! 

If you need some revived inspiration and focus,
I can now offer personal PowerPrayer creation by telephone or email. If you send me an email at I will give you the details of how it works. 

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