online Gohonzon

onyourmark
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online Gohonzon

Post by onyourmark » Fri Feb 23, 2018 4:05 pm

I have been chanting to an online Gohonzon. I have not received my own. SGI members counsel against this. I don't really relish the idea of becoming a member. What should I do?

narhwal90
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Re: online Gohonzon

Post by narhwal90 » Fri Feb 23, 2018 5:32 pm

I'm generally SGI since the late 80's- I say generally because I've never been really attracted to the organization as such. I go to a few meetings/month, share when asked but thats about it. I find the SGI focus of study is too narrow and no particular avenue for wider study within the organization itself, so I go to the meetings because its encouraging to have a degree of fellowship & face time but study elsewhere. The SGI line will of course be that the more stuck in you are the better, more benefits etc.. which is not wrong but the SGI way is not the only one. SGI is fussy about gohonzon images due to its historical antecedents but you can choose to what extent you adopt that perspective. That said, if you hang out with SGI folks they will likely continue to have opinions about a DIY or online gohonzon image and will gently urge you to get and enshrine a SGI gohonzon. If you are firm about your practice they'll probably eventually leave you alone.. .they finally quit trying to get me to become a leader.

I retain my SGI gohonzon because I find the practice satisfactory and it seems to me swapping and changing to set up a DIY gohonzon to suit my preferences is more about attachments than practice. OTOH I really enjoy studying the variety of extant gohonzon, to the extent english material is available about them. I find the wider dharma world far more interesting than the narrow SGI scope of literature so I typically only spend time in the SGI study publications so I can contribute something in a meeting. However, I spend quite a bit more time in the gosho etc, I wish SGI would go deeper into them.

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Minobu
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Re: online Gohonzon

Post by Minobu » Fri Feb 23, 2018 5:39 pm

onyourmark wrote:
Fri Feb 23, 2018 4:05 pm
I have been chanting to an online Gohonzon. I have not received my own. SGI members counsel against this. I don't really relish the idea of becoming a member. What should I do?
Well it's a tough one...

So Do I !!! it is all i have.

I am serioulsy thinking of getting a shutei gohonzon from Nichiren shu...

weird thing is thus..

i've had ,and given back Nichiren shoShu gohonzons.

now this is not the reason i did give it back...but my practice is and seems to be driven from "ABOVE" ...they have the passage on it next to the four Bodhisattva leaders of the earth at the top that states ...my wording here...if you are good to this practitioner good will come to you if you are bad to this practitioner bad will happen tp you....the wording is way off by me...but thats the basic written thing that you are enforcing in your mind and body and action whilst chanting with it..

Yes this is from the lotus sutra but Nichiren Shonin as, far as i can tell from authentic Gohonzon from Him, only placed this on the gohonzon presented to Nichimoku Shonin. and not imbeded with the top four Bohdisatvas and two buddha inscriptions...it is placed on it's own...

I am glad not to be chanting to these Nichiren shoShu created gohonzon ..

All gohonzon you recieve from anywhere are copies.

SGI is using some old Nichiren ShoShu gohonzon with i think a few things taken off like the High Priest that created it...i think..dunno maybe...

thats another thing i have constantly brought up....why chant to and MELD WITH some high priest on a gohonzon who you have no idea of what he was all about...(omits ..what if he was a pedophile or an ax murderer or some weird guy)

the purity of the Shutei gohonzon is a marvel....i chant to it on my screen ...along with from time to time the Ichinen Samzen gohonzon..

i don;t know if i would print one out ...


the thing is this.....I have to bipass any thoughts that i am chanting "TO" an image....it's what each character represents that is my focus....where as in my early years with gakki i had this realization and had a fukkudanshibucho chastise me and say i was wrong it is not inside you it is in the piece of paper....

so many totally inane ideas of our practice were handed down to me from gakki leaders and ShoShu priests.


what gohonzon do you use...?

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Re: online Gohonzon

Post by Queequeg » Sat Feb 24, 2018 4:50 pm

Here's an argument in favor of having an actual gohonzon.

Setting up a place specifically for practice is itself a major step in establishing the practice in your life. It involves physically arranging your environment to accommodate the Buddha in your home. It is always there - not just when you bring up an image on your computer screen.

The thought you put into setting up the place of practice inscribes the experience in your mind, in your life. The consciousness of Buddha involved in making water and food offerings reinforces this consciousness of the Buddha.

If you are going to print one, put thought and effort into it - all of it serves the purpose of reinforcing the consciousness of the teaching. Have it printed on good, acid free paper. Mount it. Frame it. Enshrine it. Offer water, offer light, fragrances, greens, etc.

Good luck. Happy trails.
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

I think each human being has things to find out in his own life that are inescapable. They’ll find them out the easy way or the hard way, or whatever.
-Jerry Garcia

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Re: online Gohonzon

Post by onyourmark » Sat Feb 24, 2018 4:51 pm

Thank you. I believe it is an SGI image. I like chanting to the image on the monitor. On the other hand, I would like to have my own Gohonzon at least to try it. But I don't want to become a member, at least not now. I would not mind going to some meetings. I have chanted at SGI centers. Is there a way to get a real (not sure what that means) Gohonzon without becoming a member? You mentioned Nichiren shu, do you need to be a member to get a Gohonzon from them? Also, you mentioned the Shutei Gohonzon, can you provide me with a link to that? Thanks again.

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Re: online Gohonzon

Post by Queequeg » Sat Feb 24, 2018 5:04 pm

Shutei Gohonzon

Image
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

I think each human being has things to find out in his own life that are inescapable. They’ll find them out the easy way or the hard way, or whatever.
-Jerry Garcia

narhwal90
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Re: online Gohonzon

Post by narhwal90 » Sat Feb 24, 2018 6:45 pm

There are 120-ish surviving Nichiren gohonzons, quite a few others are copies made by others or of dubious authenticity. Here is a site compiled in the 90's showing them. Many more gohonzon were incsribed by his followers who formed various lineages, those are not cataloged on the site below.

http://pounceatron.dreamhosters.com/nic ... u/001.html

Note the numbered links at the bottom of the page, pointing to them. Many have associated high resolution images. The shutei gohonzon is among them, listed as #81.

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Minobu
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Re: online Gohonzon

Post by Minobu » Sat Feb 24, 2018 7:23 pm

Queequeg wrote:
Sat Feb 24, 2018 4:50 pm
Here's an argument in favor of having an actual gohonzon.

Setting up a place specifically for practice is itself a major step in establishing the practice in your life. It involves physically arranging your environment to accommodate the Buddha in your home. It is always there - not just when you bring up an image on your computer screen.

The thought you put into setting up the place of practice inscribes the experience in your mind, in your life. The consciousness of Buddha involved in making water and food offerings reinforces this consciousness of the Buddha.

If you are going to print one, put thought and effort into it - all of it serves the purpose of reinforcing the consciousness of the teaching. Have it printed on good, acid free paper. Mount it. Frame it. Enshrine it. Offer water, offer light, fragrances, greens, etc.

Good luck. Happy trails.
I hope I have not given any cause to mar the above comcept given by Q...i full heartedly believe in every aspect of the post.

i would agree 100% and one day i shall get a Shutei gohonzon from Nichiren Shu if they allow me.

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Minobu
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Re: online Gohonzon

Post by Minobu » Sat Feb 24, 2018 7:30 pm

Queequeg wrote:
Sat Feb 24, 2018 5:04 pm
Shutei Gohonzon

Image
as i thought this is Nichiren's last Gohonzon inscribed by him.

if you quote the post it even says it in the image address.

Shutei Mandala


Notice the "mistake" stray mark around RenGe

this is the Gohonzon Nichiren kept at His bedside up till his death.

i like the mistake for it reminds me of Persian rug making....they always leave one mistake in the hooking of the rug in order to signify nothing is perfect except God. I don;t believe in God the Crerator but in this case a man's mistake in our world where He is showing us and inscribing the enlightened mind of enlightenment...

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Re: online Gohonzon

Post by Minobu » Sat Feb 24, 2018 8:09 pm

Queequeg wrote:
Sat Feb 24, 2018 4:50 pm
Here's an argument in favor of having an actual gohonzon.

Setting up a place specifically for practice is itself a major step in establishing the practice in your life.
Good luck. Happy trails.
another aspect to setting up your alter and butsudan is thus:

Like an artist with their tools, canvas , wood to mount canvas , preparation of canvas and the brushes and knives and points and linseed oil , one is using tools in order for a Kaidan to be produced whilst chanting to a physical gohonzon.

the fact one can obtain a beautiful reproduction should be taken in account to the least is just printing off a copy and pinning it to the wall...

the are can become an actual ceremony in the air... where all those Buddha Attributes we have innate in us ACTUALIZE whilst reciting the ODaimoku in front of your personal Kaidan .

producing a Kaidan is not an ordinary thing ..it is a marvel.
partaking in it daily of your making...welll .....

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Re: online Gohonzon

Post by narhwal90 » Sat Feb 24, 2018 11:37 pm

I don't think Nichiren's relationship to the shutei gohonzon is entirely clear- not in the sense of it not being authentic but many original gohonzons have been lost over the years, when he was older and infirm there are stories of collaborative gohonzon- he and Nikko in one case. I would hesitate to choose a design as a final exemplar. There are many cases of smudges, corrections and modifications as well, involving Nichiren and others. The really detailed gohonzon studies involve working out the order of brush strokes, scraping vs painting to achieve the correct shapes and lines- additional dimensions of complexity.

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Re: online Gohonzon

Post by Queequeg » Sun Feb 25, 2018 3:39 pm

narhwal90 wrote:
Sat Feb 24, 2018 11:37 pm
I don't think Nichiren's relationship to the shutei gohonzon is entirely clear- not in the sense of it not being authentic but many original gohonzons have been lost over the years, when he was older and infirm there are stories of collaborative gohonzon- he and Nikko in one case. I would hesitate to choose a design as a final exemplar. There are many cases of smudges, corrections and modifications as well, involving Nichiren and others. The really detailed gohonzon studies involve working out the order of brush strokes, scraping vs painting to achieve the correct shapes and lines- additional dimensions of complexity.
Good point about the form and execution.

I do *like* these later Gohonzon because they have a balance of proportion and composition. But that's personal inclination and not particularly meaningful beyond that.

I don't know if we are cheapening the discussion by discussing the aesthetic qualities, but it certainly looks like Nichiren's style was evolving over the years to get the content and layout right - very much the artist's process in developing their vision.
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

I think each human being has things to find out in his own life that are inescapable. They’ll find them out the easy way or the hard way, or whatever.
-Jerry Garcia

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Re: online Gohonzon

Post by Queequeg » Sun Feb 25, 2018 3:49 pm

One substantive remark - notice Namu is inscribed before many of the names. "I take refuge in... Myohorengekyo, Shakyamuni Buddha, Prabhutaratna Tathagata, Visistacaritra, Sariputra, Nagarjuna, Tiantai... etc." Notably, "Namu" does not precede the names of the protective deities.

I think that can be taken as a suggestion of the disposition we have toward the mandala and all its beings.
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

I think each human being has things to find out in his own life that are inescapable. They’ll find them out the easy way or the hard way, or whatever.
-Jerry Garcia

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Minobu
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Re: online Gohonzon

Post by Minobu » Sun Feb 25, 2018 10:22 pm

Queequeg wrote:
Sun Feb 25, 2018 3:49 pm
One substantive remark - notice Namu is inscribed before many of the names. "I take refuge in... Myohorengekyo, Shakyamuni Buddha, Prabhutaratna Tathagata, Visistacaritra, Sariputra, Nagarjuna, Tiantai... etc." Notably, "Namu" does not precede the names of the protective deities.

I think that can be taken as a suggestion of the disposition we have toward the mandala and all its beings.
maybe cause we have those protective forces in us as well as nature, and all around us....we are them like our immune system is to us...but teachers and Buddhas...we take refuge in like the Myo Ho Ren ge Kyo Dharma .

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Re: online Gohonzon

Post by narhwal90 » Mon Feb 26, 2018 4:20 am

I don't think a substantive discussion about gohonzon can be had without the aesthetic aspects. Some of the gohonzon documented in the Mandala Workshop books were so smoke blackened from years of incense at the altar that they are difficult to observe; consider the desperate hours of chanting by firelight that helped people hold on through the famines and wars. I think the only way to cheapen the discussion is to neglect any aspect of what gohonzons are and what they mean.

Queequeg wrote:
Sun Feb 25, 2018 3:39 pm
narhwal90 wrote:
Sat Feb 24, 2018 11:37 pm
I don't think Nichiren's relationship to the shutei gohonzon is entirely clear- not in the sense of it not being authentic but many original gohonzons have been lost over the years, when he was older and infirm there are stories of collaborative gohonzon- he and Nikko in one case. I would hesitate to choose a design as a final exemplar. There are many cases of smudges, corrections and modifications as well, involving Nichiren and others. The really detailed gohonzon studies involve working out the order of brush strokes, scraping vs painting to achieve the correct shapes and lines- additional dimensions of complexity.
Good point about the form and execution.

I do *like* these later Gohonzon because they have a balance of proportion and composition. But that's personal inclination and not particularly meaningful beyond that.

I don't know if we are cheapening the discussion by discussing the aesthetic qualities, but it certainly looks like Nichiren's style was evolving over the years to get the content and layout right - very much the artist's process in developing their vision.

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Re: online Gohonzon

Post by Minobu » Mon Feb 26, 2018 6:40 am

narhwal90 wrote:
Mon Feb 26, 2018 4:20 am
I think the only way to cheapen the discussion is to neglect any aspect of what gohonzons are and what they mean.

one thing leads to another...
it's interesting how my attitude now , is like when i first received and chanted to Gohonzon ,is basically what i try to emulate now.

At that time it was all awe and wonderment how Eastern Thought produced something so unlocking the secrets of mother nature, for lack of a better word to describe where my head was at. I saw it as a catalyst to melding with hidden secrets of life itself. how they understood life and mother nature and knew how to get in touch with "IT".

I took for granted Gohonzon glowed gold and cured my acne within the first three days....cured my mother's lifelong war against eczema. At times she had to wear white linen gloves...all gone within days of her trying out what i did ..

then of course my father's waldenstrom's macroglobulin amnesia ...cured ...bone marrow coming to life after over two years of total death and living off blood transfusions.

In those days i was terribly suffering trauma from living with a father on death notice...

this is how bad it was....

the Elton john song crocodile rock i heard him sing " Well cryoblogin is something shocking "instead of "Well Crocodile Rocking is something shocking"

as clear as day...anywhere and everywhere i heard that song...just took it for granted elton was singing about me dad's disease.

so weird...years and i mean years later when i heard it correctly for the first time i realized what a nightmare i was living through...

so i guess the Buddha really had mercy upon me ....

i screwed all that up...and now realize what it is to slight the practice and quit after all that energy put into my faith...

the only good is when i find newbies to the practice i will try my best to help them understand the seriousness of what they are being subjected to.

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Re: online Gohonzon

Post by Queequeg » Wed Feb 28, 2018 6:59 pm

narhwal90 wrote:
Mon Feb 26, 2018 4:20 am
I don't think a substantive discussion about gohonzon can be had without the aesthetic aspects. Some of the gohonzon documented in the Mandala Workshop books were so smoke blackened from years of incense at the altar that they are difficult to observe; consider the desperate hours of chanting by firelight that helped people hold on through the famines and wars. I think the only way to cheapen the discussion is to neglect any aspect of what gohonzons are and what they mean.
A few months ago I spoke with Rev. Kumakura of the New York Nichiren Temple.

He remarked about the immense energy at Mt. Minobu - not at the newer Kuonji complex at the top of the ridge, but the location of Nichiren's hermitage down in the valley - at this time there is nothing but the foundation of the building there and his mausoleum. Rev. Kumakura explained that because Nichiren spent so much time there, the place had become an energy spot, I guess you could call it.

It was remarkable to me how the complex gets the foot traffic, but the site of Nichiren's hermitage and his mausoleum, the sites that make Mt. Minobu sacred, remain quiet and few people visit.
This is a mountainous place, remote from all human habitation. Not a single village is found in any direction. Although I live in such a forsaken place, deep in this mortal flesh I preserve the ultimate secret Dharma inherited from Shakyamuni Buddha, the lord of teachings, at Eagle Peak. My heart is where all Buddhas enter nirvana; my tongue, where they turn the wheel of the Law; my throat, where they are born into this world; and my mouth, where they attain enlightenment. Because this mountain is where this wondrous votary of the Lotus Sutra dwells, how can it be any less sacred than the pure land of Eagle Peak? This is what [The Words and Phrases of the Lotus Sutra means when] it says, “Since the Law is wonderful, the person is worthy of respect; since the person is worthy of respect, the land is sacred.” The “Supernatural Powers” chapter reads, “Whether in a forest, beneath a tree, in monks’ quarters... in such places have the Buddhas entered nirvana.” Those who visit this place can instantly expiate the offenses they have accumulated since the infinite past and transform their evils deriving from the three types of action into the three virtues.
No doubt that the Gohonzon Nichiren inscribed, an imprint of his mind ("my life in sumi"), is so infused with "energy", along with the intent of all those who directed their faith toward them. It is wondrous that the mind can manifest like this and offer a means of encountering the teacher.
After the Buddha takes the course of cessation, however, they [those seeking dharma] will not return again, because there [will no longer be] someone to look up to, sir. What should be done about this situation?

The Buddha replied to Ānanda:

Have no worry, for those sons of good families have four kinds of thought recollection. What are the four? First, they are mindful of the birthplace of the Buddha and will always be delighted to see it. They will not forget it but cherish a feeling of yearning for it. Second, they are mindful of the place of the Buddha’s initial enlightenment and will always be delighted to see it. They will not forget it but cherish a feeling of yearning for it. Third, they are mindful of the place of the Buddha’s initial turning of the wheel of the Dharma and will always be delighted to see it. They will not forget it but cherish a feeling of yearning for it. Fourth, they are mindful of the place of the Buddha’s final nirvana and will always be delighted to see it. They will not forget it but cherish a feeling of yearning for it. O Ānanda, after my final nirvana, the merit of those sons and daughters of good families who are mindful of the time of my birth is as such. It is also like this with the merit of their being mindful of how the Buddha’s supernormal power acquired enlightenment. It is also like this with the merit of their being mindful of how his initial turning of the wheel of the Dharma brought conversion. It is also like this with the merit of their being mindful of how the Buddha left the Dharma for them at the time of his final nirvana. If they have each respectively completed their journeys and sojourns to these places and have paid tribute to the Buddha at various commemorative towers and temples, they will be born in heaven after death, except for those who [have already] realized enlightenment.
(Aside - this is from the Agama. The Nikaya version of this same teaching, the Mahaparinibbana Sutta, emphasizes pilgrimage and erecting stupas to mark the places. The Gohonzon is an image of Prabhutaratna Buddha's stupa.)
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

I think each human being has things to find out in his own life that are inescapable. They’ll find them out the easy way or the hard way, or whatever.
-Jerry Garcia

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Re: online Gohonzon

Post by coffeebeans » Thu Mar 01, 2018 4:54 am

I enjoyed those two quotes. :good:

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Re: online Gohonzon

Post by Minobu » Thu Mar 01, 2018 6:37 pm

Queequeg wrote:
Wed Feb 28, 2018 6:59 pm
It is wondrous that the mind can manifest like this and offer a means of encountering the teacher.
I only have a vague fuzzy feeling as to this ......
there are times when I feel like I have a teacher / guru...and at other times it's like the Lotus Sutra is that and Nichiren's works are just that...
His works have been imbued into reality through the Lotus Sutra's Buddhism.

fuzzy very fuzzy...for He never , as far as I know, talked of such...except that he was adamant somewhere that He would never return ...again fuzzy very fuzzy...no need to return physical if you are sort of Sambhogakaya Dharmakaya ????

ok so i'm have a fuzzy senior moment in Buddhism...what are firends for if not to get me through it... :tongue:

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Re: online Gohonzon

Post by Queequeg » Fri Mar 02, 2018 10:08 pm

So, a good friend who lurks here told me that I posted the wrong image for the Shutei Gohonzon. This is the Shutei. No. 81 in the Gohonzon-shu.

Image
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

I think each human being has things to find out in his own life that are inescapable. They’ll find them out the easy way or the hard way, or whatever.
-Jerry Garcia

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