Are Nichiren Buddhists usually conservative on liberal issues or?

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bcol01
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Are Nichiren Buddhists usually conservative on liberal issues or?

Post by bcol01 » Sat Sep 29, 2018 8:54 pm

I have heard that many Nichiren sects in Japan are traditionally conservative. I'm wondering if this is true and to what extent if so.

markatex
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Re: Are Nichiren Buddhists usually conservative on liberal issues or?

Post by markatex » Sun Sep 30, 2018 12:02 am

That probably doesn't mean what it means in the US.

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justsomeguy
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Re: Are Nichiren Buddhists usually conservative on liberal issues or?

Post by justsomeguy » Mon Oct 01, 2018 3:22 pm

This is an interesting question, because when I first started I wondered the same thing thing. What I have learned, and this is from the Shoshu perspective but I suspect it's probably the case for other Nichiren Buddhists outside of Japan, is that the issues that would define one as liberal or conservative (e.g. homosexuality, gender equality, etc.) are simply not focused on. What is stressed is that Buddhism is for everyone and that everyone's karma leads to certain life conditions that vary widely from person to person. The important thing is to focus on the practice and not dwell on issues. In that sense, Nichiren Buddhism (compared to U.S. attitudes on issues) seems very liberal and open. You aren't going to be turned away, for example, for being gay. You aren't going to be told to not love someone of the same gender or to not enjoy sex, alcohol and other worldly pleasures (but you should seek the middle way in all things). At least in the temple setting, we are guided toward acceptance and respect. I have my own karma to deal with, after all; it would be foolish for me to waste time judging you for yours. ;)

I'm sure you'll come across Nichiren Buddhists that are convervative on social issues that we are familiar with, but specific attitudes often don't seem to come from the practice so much as they come from cultural or environmental conditioning.

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justsomeguy
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Re: Are Nichiren Buddhists usually conservative on liberal issues or?

Post by justsomeguy » Mon Oct 01, 2018 3:24 pm

Actually, I missed the "in Japan" part of your question. Sorry, I was speaking from a U.S. Nichiren experience. :emb:

We'd probably have to pick specific issues and ask what their stance on them is. I'm guessing it's largely affecting by their local culture though rather than Nichiren's teachings or doctrine.

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Queequeg
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Re: Are Nichiren Buddhists usually conservative on liberal issues or?

Post by Queequeg » Mon Oct 01, 2018 4:37 pm

Your question is odd. What are "liberal issues"? What does it mean to be "conservative on liberal issues"?

Generally speaking, by American standards, pretty much all Buddhists in Japan, not just Nichiren Buddhists, are on the conservative side. Many Nichiren Buddhists in particular also tend to Japanese exceptionalism, if not nationalism. There are also Nichiren Buddhists who, owing to teachings about Mappo devotion to universal Buddhanature, end up looking like American progressives. But you have to understand that ideas that might seem similar to American ideas are often not informed by the same political and historical background. Even though some ideas might seem similar, faced with a choice, Americans and Japanese conservatives might break different ways.

To illustrate, conservative Japanese emphasize social harmony and this tends to play out with what we would consider socialist policies. The kind of individualism that conservatives in America tout would be considered selfish, narcissistic, and abhorrent.

More generally, consider this: Buddhism is for many the tradition handed down generation to generation - just as Christianity is the tradition for many Americans. The people who are Buddhist are cultivating continuity. In contrast, in the US, people who become Buddhist are radically breaking with their traditions. That difference in itself will tell you, Buddhists in Japan and the West are constitutionally and psychologically different.
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

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The Cicada
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Re: Are Nichiren Buddhists usually conservative on liberal issues or?

Post by The Cicada » Tue Oct 02, 2018 1:09 am

bcol01 wrote:
Sat Sep 29, 2018 8:54 pm
I have heard that many Nichiren sects in Japan are traditionally conservative. I'm wondering if this is true and to what extent if so.
In SGI they taught us that there are no coincidences. A prominent symbol of the Buddha is the elephant... :shrug:

illarraza
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Re: Are Nichiren Buddhists usually conservative on liberal issues or?

Post by illarraza » Sun Oct 07, 2018 8:28 pm

The Cicada wrote:
Tue Oct 02, 2018 1:09 am
bcol01 wrote:
Sat Sep 29, 2018 8:54 pm
I have heard that many Nichiren sects in Japan are traditionally conservative. I'm wondering if this is true and to what extent if so.
In SGI they taught us that there are no coincidences. A prominent symbol of the Buddha is the elephant... :shrug:
Democrat or Republican, they all affirm our more than 5000 nuclear warheads. With the establishment of artificial intelligence (AI) and the bad actors stained with the Three Poisons of Anger, Animality, and Greed, we are ever closer to the brink. They all need to be repudiated and made to chant Namu Myoho renge kyo.

Mark

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Queequeg
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Re: Are Nichiren Buddhists usually conservative on liberal issues or?

Post by Queequeg » Sun Oct 07, 2018 9:02 pm

illarraza wrote:
Sun Oct 07, 2018 8:28 pm
Democrat or Republican, they all affirm our more than 5000 nuclear warheads.
That is an excellent point.
With the establishment of artificial intelligence (AI) and the bad actors stained with the Three Poisons of Anger, Animality, and Greed, we are ever closer to the brink. They all need to be repudiated and made to chant Namu Myoho renge kyo.
I don't think anyone can be made to embrace saddharma, but they certainly need to Hear the Name, be criticized when they intentionally act against Saddharma.

Serious question -

What is your view on how Hokke Gyoja should conduct themselves as an inhabitant within the national borders of the United States?
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

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Coëmgenu
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Re: Are Nichiren Buddhists usually conservative on liberal issues or?

Post by Coëmgenu » Tue Oct 09, 2018 2:54 am

The Cicada wrote:
Tue Oct 02, 2018 1:09 am
bcol01 wrote:
Sat Sep 29, 2018 8:54 pm
I have heard that many Nichiren sects in Japan are traditionally conservative. I'm wondering if this is true and to what extent if so.
In SGI they taught us that there are no coincidences. A prominent symbol of the Buddha is the elephant... :shrug:
They also say if you meet the Buddha, kill him.
नस्वातो नापिपरतो नद्वाभ्यां नाप्यहेतुतः उत्पन्ना जातु विद्यन्ते भावाः क्वचन केचन
There absolutely are no things, nowhere and none, that arise anew, neither out of themselves, nor out of non-self, nor out of both, nor at random.
सर्वं तथ्यं न वा तथ्यं तथ्यं चातथ्यम् एव च नैवातथ्यं नैव तथ्यम् एतद् बुद्धानुशासनम्
All is so, or all is not so, both so and not so, neither so nor not so. This is the Buddha's teaching.

一切實非實亦實亦非實
非實非非實是名諸佛法

dude
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Re: Are Nichiren Buddhists usually conservative on liberal issues or?

Post by dude » Tue Oct 09, 2018 4:05 am

no, that's a zen thing

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Coëmgenu
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Re: Are Nichiren Buddhists usually conservative on liberal issues or?

Post by Coëmgenu » Tue Oct 09, 2018 6:38 am

dude wrote:
Tue Oct 09, 2018 4:05 am
no, that's a zen thing
Oh certainly. I had intended a rhetorical "they" rather than to refer to SGI particularly.
नस्वातो नापिपरतो नद्वाभ्यां नाप्यहेतुतः उत्पन्ना जातु विद्यन्ते भावाः क्वचन केचन
There absolutely are no things, nowhere and none, that arise anew, neither out of themselves, nor out of non-self, nor out of both, nor at random.
सर्वं तथ्यं न वा तथ्यं तथ्यं चातथ्यम् एव च नैवातथ्यं नैव तथ्यम् एतद् बुद्धानुशासनम्
All is so, or all is not so, both so and not so, neither so nor not so. This is the Buddha's teaching.

一切實非實亦實亦非實
非實非非實是名諸佛法

dude
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Re: Are Nichiren Buddhists usually conservative on liberal issues or?

Post by dude » Tue Oct 09, 2018 7:45 pm

Ah, I see; of course

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