Independent Nichiren Buddhists?

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Re: Independent Nichiren Buddhists?

Postby DGA » Thu Nov 05, 2015 1:34 am

What is (or was) ION?
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Queequeg
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Re: Independent Nichiren Buddhists?

Postby Queequeg » Thu Nov 05, 2015 5:01 am

DGA wrote:What is (or was) ION?


Independent Order of Nichiren.

A friend of mine was the motivation. He did some remarkable things - one of the most impressive was a locator app that helped "non-denominational" Nichiren Buddhists get in touch with each other. He also set up a discussion board called Nichiren Sangha. We were going to set up a non-profit to support Lotus Buddhism practice. He envisioned non-denominational brick and mortar dharma halls. Then he tragically had a stroke.

Wonderful, ornery guy, brimming with tremendous good will.

I miss him.
“Once you have given up the ghost, everything follows with dead certainty, even in the midst of chaos.”
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Re: Independent Nichiren Buddhists?

Postby Rita_Repulsa » Thu Nov 05, 2015 7:42 pm

Myoho-Nameless wrote:
Mirko Miloro wrote:Independent Nichiren buddhists is nonsense.


In a sense, yes. But only insofar as "no man is an island".


"Monks, be islands unto yourselves, be your own refuge, having no other; let the Dhamma be an island and a refuge to you, having no other. Those who are islands unto themselves should investigate to the very heart of things" - Lord Buddha

Myoho-Nameless wrote:I guess I count as an independent nichiren Buddhist. Though I have toyed with "non denominational" as well.

My issue with the Independent™ label is that, if you closely scrutinize this packaging, it carries the "Made in SGI" stamp on it. (Who even knows who SGI is these days? Or cares?) My stance is that SGI is missing their "active ingredient" of Buddhism at this point, and honestly have been for the past decade, though this is the result of a steady but gradually increasing emphasis on hero worship there. And they were already working with the unorthodox doctrines of Shoshu from their beginning. Also, the term "non-denominational Nichiren Buddhist" sounds a little silly to me. "Nichiren" is the denomination. It isn't a plenteous one - especially if one realizes that SGI Buddhism is a distinct school that branches off of Nichirenism, but is not actual Nichiren Buddhism.

I count myself as a NIchiren Buddhist. I came to this Dharma because of my search for the core essence of Buddhism and the notion that this essence just might be something accessible to the common person, not because I was pulled in with pie-in-the-sky promises. SGI Buddhism can do its own advertising keep its "Independent™ Nichiren Buddhism." (Contains: Caveats 98%)
Echo interaction cause and effect the interconnected quality of the absolute truth the foundation of Buddhism laying in this belief in happiness the four immeasurable and cessation of suffering. - tomschwarz

Buddhism is not a Care Bears fantasy (as many westerns think). - Harimoo

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Re: Independent Nichiren Buddhists?

Postby Myoho-Nameless » Thu Nov 05, 2015 8:09 pm

Rita_Repulsa wrote:"Monks, be islands unto yourselves, be your own refuge, having no other; let the Dhamma be an island and a refuge to you, having no other. Those who are islands unto themselves should investigate to the very heart of things"


Sounds like something Shakyamuni said while he was freebasing crack.




seriously though, my point was that, since there is so few material that is not from a sectarian source (and since people who have left organisations tend to have the baggage of said organizations), its tough to be truly "independent". I have never belonged to the SGI but its possible that I would not be practicing without them, as the website that turned me on to the practice was set up by an ex member. But that strikes me as splitting hairs come to think of it. One identifies with this Buddhism, but rejects organized forms, or at least any currently existing or available near where one habitates. Labels aren't perfect, but they are useful. I prefer non denominational because its what Christians in a similar situation do.

Rita_Repulsa wrote:My issue with the [i]Independent™ label is that, if you closely scrutinize this packaging, it carries the "Made in SGI" stamp on it.


care to elaborate? or have I already touched upon it? I don't see it. my experience with indies is mostly people rejecting Ikeda worship, pressure to convert family and friends, and pressure to spend more time and money on the org and shaming tactics for not living up to all the stuff I just mentioned.

Rita_Repulsa wrote:Also, the term "non-denominational Nichiren Buddhist" sounds a little silly to me. "Nichiren" is the denomination.


again, care to elaborate? you seem obsessed with the SGI. I am not really thinking about them any more than I am N Shu or any other. Truth be told, I don't really like religion.
I just don't belong.

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Re: Independent Nichiren Buddhists?

Postby Rita_Repulsa » Thu Nov 05, 2015 8:18 pm

Myoho-Nameless wrote:Truth be told, I don't really like religion.

Then why practice one?
Echo interaction cause and effect the interconnected quality of the absolute truth the foundation of Buddhism laying in this belief in happiness the four immeasurable and cessation of suffering. - tomschwarz

Buddhism is not a Care Bears fantasy (as many westerns think). - Harimoo

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Re: Independent Nichiren Buddhists?

Postby Rita_Repulsa » Thu Nov 05, 2015 8:20 pm

DGA wrote:What is (or was) ION?


Mark Porter was a US Army veteran who has begun to fade away, but is still here, nonetheless.
Echo interaction cause and effect the interconnected quality of the absolute truth the foundation of Buddhism laying in this belief in happiness the four immeasurable and cessation of suffering. - tomschwarz

Buddhism is not a Care Bears fantasy (as many westerns think). - Harimoo

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Re: Independent Nichiren Buddhists?

Postby Myoho-Nameless » Thu Nov 05, 2015 8:21 pm

Rita_Repulsa wrote:
Myoho-Nameless wrote:Truth be told, I don't really like religion.

Then why practice one?

Its a facepalm inducing, mindnumbingly cliched thing to say but

I am not religious, I am spiritual :smile:
I just don't belong.

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Re: Independent Nichiren Buddhists?

Postby amanitamusc » Thu Nov 05, 2015 8:45 pm

Queequeg wrote:
DGA wrote:What is (or was) ION?


Independent Order of Nichiren.

A friend of mine was the motivation. He did some remarkable things - one of the most impressive was a locator app that helped "non-denominational" Nichiren Buddhists get in touch with each other. He also set up a discussion board called Nichiren Sangha. We were going to set up a non-profit to support Lotus Buddhism practice. He envisioned non-denominational brick and mortar dharma halls. Then he tragically had a stroke.

Wonderful, ornery guy, brimming with tremendous good will.

I miss him.


I'd like to here his story.

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Re: Independent Nichiren Buddhists?

Postby Queequeg » Thu Nov 05, 2015 8:51 pm

The qualifier, "Independent" or "Non-Denominational", has its justification because sectaries make membership and loyalty to sects and sub-sects a big deal. If proponents of the various schools did not go around pounding their chests with claims of orthodoxy and accusations of heresy, there wouldn't be the need to disavow with a declaration of non-affiliation and actively stand outside. If you really want to follow this line of logic, ideally, you shouldn't even feel the need to declare "I'm a Nichiren Buddhist", let alone, "I'm Buddhist." But we live in samsara with its myriad distinctions and we are provisionally compelled to make and declare our choices.

As an aside, as the level of discourse within SGI has declined, so has the general level of discourse in English speaking Nichiren Buddhist circles generally. That is nothing more than an observation. I do miss that fading generation of English speaking Nichiren Buddhists who actually studied and for whom the practice was primarily an earnest effort to live a profound life and find Truth rather than sectarian warfare. Its like Beirut around here after a generation of infighting reduced the city to rubble and with a generation of uneducated nihilists raised in that conflagration running around just lobbing bombs at each other because that's all they know.

I'm not claiming innocence in leveling Beirut, but now looking back, there's much in my youth that I miss. It wasn't perfect, but there was also much wonder.
“Once you have given up the ghost, everything follows with dead certainty, even in the midst of chaos.”
-Henry Miller

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Re: Independent Nichiren Buddhists?

Postby Rita_Repulsa » Thu Nov 05, 2015 10:06 pm

Queequeg wrote:there's much in my youth that I miss. It wasn't perfect, but there was also much wonder.


Cheah man. The 80's.

phpBB [video]


More later. :lol:
Echo interaction cause and effect the interconnected quality of the absolute truth the foundation of Buddhism laying in this belief in happiness the four immeasurable and cessation of suffering. - tomschwarz

Buddhism is not a Care Bears fantasy (as many westerns think). - Harimoo

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Re: Independent Nichiren Buddhists?

Postby Queequeg » Thu Nov 05, 2015 10:28 pm

amanitamusc wrote: I'd like to here his story.


I wish he was able to tell it himself. This is my version of Mark Porter.

He told me he started practicing with NSA back in the 70's. I often wondered if he had met me when I was a toddler because he and my parents were often in the same place at the same time. Anyways, in the 80's or 90's he got fed up with NSA/SGI and just went off, quietly practicing by himself - he was Indy before there was Indy. His practice was so quiet that even his kids didn't know he practiced Buddhism until they were in their 20s. With the internet, he got reconnected with others - I first encountered (or reencountered) him on e-sangha, and when that imploded suddenly, I lost touch with him. Then one day, I was surfing around and found a message board called Nichiren Sangha, and we had a reunion, and then one by one, some of the regulars at e-sangha started showing up. After a while, it became apparent to us that there was no support system for people who did not want to be affiliated with one of the Nichiren sects for various reasons, but still wanted a community. That's when he created that locator app, and I don't know how many people connected, but I did with a few people and we started meeting for a while in person and just chanting together, study a little together. Then Mark wanted to set up a legal entity so we could raise money and do the kind of things that institutions do. Unlike the existing Nichiren institutions, though, we weren't interested in acquiring followers and what not, but rather we wanted to pool resources for everyone's benefit. We had ideas to publish liturgies without sectarian bends, and start a serialized study curriculum. Eventually, set up physical dharma halls and retreats. He wanted to bestow mandalas, but I balked at that. He also had a vision of coming up with some sort of minister ordination as there were/are a lot of non-affiliated Nichiren Buddhists who still would like someone to perform marriage and funeral rites.

Other than the locator and publication of an English gongyo book, it didn't go too far as he had a stroke.

I kept Nichiren Sangha and ION website going for a while, but the former didn't seem to have much purpose anymore, and the latter got hacked and I couldn't figure out how to fix it, so I shut them down.

I keep meaning to get in touch with Mark's daughter and see how he's doing, but she didn't seem too keen on me and her father's weird Buddhist friends and so didn't want to bother her.
“Once you have given up the ghost, everything follows with dead certainty, even in the midst of chaos.”
-Henry Miller

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Re: Independent Nichiren Buddhists?

Postby Myoho-Nameless » Thu Nov 05, 2015 10:44 pm

I remember us going on for some more months, even the better part of a year maybe, after the hacking. And the shutting down having a lot to do with it just being too small to justify it's continuity. I mean.....it was just you, Masaru, myself, and Buku/Illaraza being around on a consistent basis towards the end. I also remember reading the announcement on my Nintendo 3ds, on vacation. And hoping I could post a video of that scene on the Titanic where the musicians are playing sad music as the ship goes down on the randomness thread, to imply "gentlemen, it has been an honor talking about Buddhism with you". alas, I ran out of time.

I don't know if I missed out, or lucked out, considering the state of nichiren Buddhism when I came to it.
I just don't belong.

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Re: Independent Nichiren Buddhists?

Postby amanitamusc » Thu Nov 05, 2015 10:51 pm

Queequeg wrote:
amanitamusc wrote: I'd like to here his story.


I wish he was able to tell it himself. This is my version of Mark Porter.

He told me he started practicing with NSA back in the 70's. I often wondered if he had met me when I was a toddler because he and my parents were often in the same place at the same time. Anyways, in the 80's or 90's he got fed up with NSA/SGI and just went off, quietly practicing by himself - he was Indy before there was Indy. His practice was so quiet that even his kids didn't know he practiced Buddhism until they were in their 20s. With the internet, he got reconnected with others - I first encountered (or reencountered) him on e-sangha, and when that imploded suddenly, I lost touch with him. Then one day, I was surfing around and found a message board called Nichiren Sangha, and we had a reunion, and then one by one, some of the regulars at e-sangha started showing up. After a while, it became apparent to us that there was no support system for people who did not want to be affiliated with one of the Nichiren sects for various reasons, but still wanted a community. That's when he created that locator app, and I don't know how many people connected, but I did with a few people and we started meeting for a while in person and just chanting together, study a little together. Then Mark wanted to set up a legal entity so we could raise money and do the kind of things that institutions do. Unlike the existing Nichiren institutions, though, we weren't interested in acquiring followers and what not, but rather we wanted to pool resources for everyone's benefit. We had ideas to publish liturgies without sectarian bends, and start a serialized study curriculum. Eventually, set up physical dharma halls and retreats. He wanted to bestow mandalas, but I balked at that. He also had a vision of coming up with some sort of minister ordination as there were/are a lot of non-affiliated Nichiren Buddhists who still would like someone to perform marriage and funeral rites.

Other than the locator and publication of an English gongyo book, it didn't go too far as he had a stroke.

I kept Nichiren Sangha and ION website going for a while, but the former didn't seem to have much purpose anymore, and the latter got hacked and I couldn't figure out how to fix it, so I shut them down.

I keep meaning to get in touch with Mark's daughter and see how he's doing, but she didn't seem too keen on me and her father's weird Buddhist friends and so didn't want to bother her.


Maybe he is still quietly practicing.

Thanks for sharing his story.

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Re: Independent Nichiren Buddhists?

Postby Queequeg » Thu Nov 05, 2015 11:06 pm

Myoho-Nameless wrote:I remember us going on for some more months, even the better part of a year maybe, after the hacking. And the shutting down having a lot to do with it just being too small to justify it's continuity. I mean.....it was just you, Masaru, myself, and Buku/Illaraza being around on a consistent basis towards the end. I also remember reading the announcement on my Nintendo 3ds, on vacation. And hoping I could post a video of that scene on the Titanic where the musicians are playing sad music as the ship goes down on the randomness thread, to imply "gentlemen, it has been an honor talking about Buddhism with you". alas, I ran out of time.

I don't know if I missed out, or lucked out, considering the state of nichiren Buddhism when I came to it.


Yes, the Spamocalypse. The hacking I was referring to was the ION website itself where the locator app and gongyo book was hosted. The spamocaplypse what because I screwed up the settings that let bots set up accounts.

But yeah, it got quiet and lonely. We had some good things for a while.

You and a few other people I've encountered who came to the Lotus Sutra without one of the established schools but rather purely through the net still amazes me.

I don't think you've come too soon or too late, but old timers like me have failed you in not having a community for you, whatever the level of connection or involvement you want.
“Once you have given up the ghost, everything follows with dead certainty, even in the midst of chaos.”
-Henry Miller

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Re: Independent Nichiren Buddhists?

Postby Queequeg » Thu Nov 05, 2015 11:08 pm

amanitamusc wrote: Maybe he is still quietly practicing.


If he's breathing, he is still practicing for sure.
“Once you have given up the ghost, everything follows with dead certainty, even in the midst of chaos.”
-Henry Miller

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Re: Independent Nichiren Buddhists?

Postby amanitamusc » Thu Nov 05, 2015 11:17 pm

Queequeg wrote:
amanitamusc wrote: Maybe he is still quietly practicing.


If he's breathing, he is still practicing for sure.


:twothumbsup:

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Re: Independent Nichiren Buddhists?

Postby Myoho-Nameless » Fri Nov 06, 2015 7:06 am

Queequeg wrote: whatever the level of connection or involvement you want.


One day, I will probably want more. Until then, I have stuff to reconcile.

Think ima switch my my old ION gongyo book.
I just don't belong.

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Re: Independent Nichiren Buddhists?

Postby DGA » Fri Nov 06, 2015 3:17 pm

did Mark Porter post as markp on e-sangha? if so, then I remember him well. I'm sorry to hear he's fallen ill.
DGA's dissertation, a cultural history of mindfulness, here:
https://www.academia.edu/25482900/WHAT_ ... _OF_STRESS

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Re: Independent Nichiren Buddhists?

Postby Queequeg » Fri Nov 06, 2015 4:57 pm

Yes. Ornery old MarkP. :smile:
“Once you have given up the ghost, everything follows with dead certainty, even in the midst of chaos.”
-Henry Miller

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Re: Independent Nichiren Buddhists?

Postby DGA » Fri Nov 06, 2015 8:14 pm

Queequeg wrote:Yes. Ornery old MarkP. :smile:



:lol: yes he was a real grumplestiltskin sometimes but I appreciated his candor, earnestness, and sense of humor. e-sangha was the better to have him there. I wish him long life, comfort, and peace in Dharma practice.
DGA's dissertation, a cultural history of mindfulness, here:
https://www.academia.edu/25482900/WHAT_ ... _OF_STRESS


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