Continuing a practice on my own

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hopefullotus
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Continuing a practice on my own

Post by hopefullotus » Sun Mar 10, 2019 2:49 pm

I dropped off for a while I'm sorry. I am very busy with grad school.

I've decided to take a break from SGI, I'm not sure it will be permanent or temporary. I'm still practicing and encouraging my friends to practice and to attend meetings if it is helpful. I am also still helping to moderate the Discord.

At this point in my journey, I need to focus more on making Nichiren Buddhism my own. I feel like a failure since I want to help create change in the organization and being a leader is one way to do that. But right now, I can't. I will probably still exist on the fringe of the org, maybe going to a district meeting here and there. I just can't support as much as I have been.

Any suggestions for transitioning to a more independent practice?

narhwal90
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Re: Continuing a practice on my own

Post by narhwal90 » Sun Mar 10, 2019 5:06 pm

I did that for 10-15 years and found my practice sort of wound down and became a dusty altar where I did a perfunctory daimoku a few mornings a week. I lost the cadence of gongyo so felt really out of place and out of rhythm when I rarely attended SGI functions and it felt like a lie every time. I am certainly not tight with SGI these days but reconnecting with my friends there and being honest with them and having a more rigorous practice behind it makes for a better time. Turns out lots of them have reservations also, but they're practicing for the results too... I guess it took me longer to get the message then it did them lol

I agree it is important to find a relation to the organization where you're comfortable. I prefer showing up for community center desk shifts and helping set up the bigger meetings, sharing an experience when asked. The district meeting rotation gets old for me pretty quick OTOH I am off-and-on dharma stalking a leader nearby who has clearly done some study outside the usual thing, its easy to miss folks like that when you're out in a deep orbit.

hopefullotus
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Re: Continuing a practice on my own

Post by hopefullotus » Sun Mar 10, 2019 6:40 pm

You make a good point, thank you. I definitely agree having the community makes things easier to some degree. The 'sangha' is a part of practice in a way.

And I'd hate to miss out on people like that. I am asked pretty frequently to give experiences and presentations because I am a good speaker (and also have had a lot of benefit!) but I get exhausted with it.

Contrary to your experience, I find the district meetings can be better. I don't know why that is.

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Minobu
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Re: Continuing a practice on my own

Post by Minobu » Mon Mar 11, 2019 12:01 am

I once saw something odd back in the day....Some guy had been meditating on the NMHRK as a mantra type meditation...you silently chant in your head and watch it and try to focus solely on the mantra....i know NMHRK is not a mantra...anyway this guy did it for five years on his own without knowing anything about Nichiren ShoShu or gakki or anything....he looked amazing , had an amazing life, he put down to his meditation on his own...

I asked him how he came about this and he said someone told him to chant NMHRK and he just thought they meant meditate on it like a mantra meditation...He had only a brief contact with the person and never met him/her again after just the one chance meeting.

then he found out about the Gakki...I saw him the first night he joined...they told him he was doing it all wrong...within a few months the guy had lost the look that caught my eye...and he was different...the whole thing was of great interest to me...coming from a TM meditation background from when i was 15.

So i don't know...for me i would bring people to get the Shutei Gohonzon that Nichiren slept beside in the final years of his life....but have them join the gakki and tell them not to allow them in their home for some arcane reason , in order to hide the Shutei Gohonzon ...but not practice on their own...practice with the Gakki is the best form in order to conquer the sansho shima and obstacles that will crop up in one's life with this practice...

it's too hard to do without "Gakki Training ".....But i do not want any high priest's signature on something i am trying meld my life with...The Shutei Gohonzon from Nichiren Shu , for me is the ultimate , in the sense it is just what Nichiren DaiShonin inscribed...and used...

i have years of Gakki and then after the split ..Hokkeko / shoshu time ...

now it's this forum and "Q"....so like you are not really on your own as long as this forum is alive and well with "Q"..."Q" knows....

"Q' has helped me amazingly even though at times we are at loggerheads in private...I respect him as a qualified teacher...but still always question his stuff...
hopefullotus wrote:
Sun Mar 10, 2019 6:40 pm
. The 'sangha' is a part of practice in a way.
actually everyone who chants the Daimoku even once is part and parcel to this Sangha and more aptly ...the Buddha's Sangha.

At the end of the day we all are practicing to some degree on our own...

hopefullotus
Posts: 39
Joined: Thu Jan 17, 2019 4:09 am

Re: Continuing a practice on my own

Post by hopefullotus » Mon Mar 11, 2019 2:27 am

Minobu wrote:
Mon Mar 11, 2019 12:01 am
I once saw something odd back in the day....Some guy had been meditating on the NMHRK as a mantra type meditation...you silently chant in your head and watch it and try to focus solely on the mantra....i know NMHRK is not a mantra...anyway this guy did it for five years on his own without knowing anything about Nichiren ShoShu or gakki or anything....he looked amazing , had an amazing life, he put down to his meditation on his own...

I asked him how he came about this and he said someone told him to chant NMHRK and he just thought they meant meditate on it like a mantra meditation...He had only a brief contact with the person and never met him/her again after just the one chance meeting.

then he found out about the Gakki...I saw him the first night he joined...they told him he was doing it all wrong...within a few months the guy had lost the look that caught my eye...and he was different...the whole thing was of great interest to me...coming from a TM meditation background from when i was 15.

So i don't know...for me i would bring people to get the Shutei Gohonzon that Nichiren slept beside in the final years of his life....but have them join the gakki and tell them not to allow them in their home for some arcane reason , in order to hide the Shutei Gohonzon ...but not practice on their own...practice with the Gakki is the best form in order to conquer the sansho shima and obstacles that will crop up in one's life with this practice...

it's too hard to do without "Gakki Training ".....But i do not want any high priest's signature on something i am trying meld my life with...The Shutei Gohonzon from Nichiren Shu , for me is the ultimate , in the sense it is just what Nichiren DaiShonin inscribed...and used...

i have years of Gakki and then after the split ..Hokkeko / shoshu time ...

now it's this forum and "Q"....so like you are not really on your own as long as this forum is alive and well with "Q"..."Q" knows....

"Q' has helped me amazingly even though at times we are at loggerheads in private...I respect him as a qualified teacher...but still always question his stuff...
hopefullotus wrote:
Sun Mar 10, 2019 6:40 pm
. The 'sangha' is a part of practice in a way.
actually everyone who chants the Daimoku even once is part and parcel to this Sangha and more aptly ...the Buddha's Sangha.

At the end of the day we all are practicing to some degree on our own...
Wow I just teared up reading this. Thank you so much. This really resonated with me.

I am curious about the Shutei gohonzon. The Gakkai gohonzon has been fine for me for now but still I am curious.

Yes, the training helps. It helps create a solid practice and support I agree.

This online forum has been so amazing for me..I am learning more than I thought was possible. Both from members like you and a lot from Q too (thanks Q!). In a way it has strengthened my practice even as it has made me feel distanced from formal SGI activities.

And as for the sangha, what you said...wow. so powerful and true. Thank you.

narhwal90
Posts: 798
Joined: Mon Jan 25, 2016 3:10 am

Re: Continuing a practice on my own

Post by narhwal90 » Mon Mar 11, 2019 4:28 am

Here is the shutei gohonzon from the old Nichiren Coffeehouse site;

http://pounceatron.dreamhosters.com/nic ... u/081.html

to me it really shows the development of Nichiren's calligraphic skill and the evolution of composition. It looks like a large one though, I wonder how well a copy could be reduced for the usual modern home butsudan but still retain visibility and its spacious character.

dude
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Re: Continuing a practice on my own

Post by dude » Mon Mar 11, 2019 6:45 am

Lotus : I note you're really busy with grad school. Times like this allow little room for activities, so it may be a good thing to step back from the organization temporarily. The guy who taught me the most used to say that when you're in school, study is your activity, because it's preparation for carrying out your mission in society.
The discord thing : I think that's our big problem right now. I've noticed it here, and reading President Ikeda's guidance recently has me reading between the lines and thinking it's a problem all over.
Each of us has our own mission, a mission only oneself can carry out. I say stay in contact with the organization, but stay alert for a solution to the disunity and negativity.
Above all, chant regularly.

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Queequeg
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Re: Continuing a practice on my own

Post by Queequeg » Mon Mar 11, 2019 1:13 pm

Thread moved to the SGI sub-forum.

Personal note - I am not a teacher in any tradition. Just share what I learn.
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.
-Ayacana Sutta

hopefullotus
Posts: 39
Joined: Thu Jan 17, 2019 4:09 am

Re: Continuing a practice on my own

Post by hopefullotus » Mon Mar 11, 2019 11:35 pm

dude wrote:
Mon Mar 11, 2019 6:45 am
Lotus : I note you're really busy with grad school. Times like this allow little room for activities, so it may be a good thing to step back from the organization temporarily. The guy who taught me the most used to say that when you're in school, study is your activity, because it's preparation for carrying out your mission in society.
The discord thing : I think that's our big problem right now. I've noticed it here, and reading President Ikeda's guidance recently has me reading between the lines and thinking it's a problem all over.
Each of us has our own mission, a mission only oneself can carry out. I say stay in contact with the organization, but stay alert for a solution to the disunity and negativity.
Above all, chant regularly.
For sure, busy grad school is a huge factor and it is my priority right now. And of course I will keep chanting! :)

hopefullotus
Posts: 39
Joined: Thu Jan 17, 2019 4:09 am

Re: Continuing a practice on my own

Post by hopefullotus » Mon Mar 11, 2019 11:36 pm

Queequeg wrote:
Mon Mar 11, 2019 1:13 pm
Thread moved to the SGI sub-forum.

Personal note - I am not a teacher in any tradition. Just share what I learn.
Thanks, Q. Sorry to put it in the wrong place.

And you are very good at sharing what you learn. That's something I respect and obviously many of us have appreciated it.

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