Introducing the practice of Daimoku to friends and relatives

tkp67
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Re: Introducing the practice of Daimoku to friends and relatives

Post by tkp67 » Mon Jun 03, 2019 2:25 pm

justsomeguy wrote:
Fri May 31, 2019 11:35 pm
The degradation of Lord Sakyamuni and the subsequent teachings that make like he was some transient Buddha...Gakki and ShoShu words...is not really going to bring a newcomer to the table with reality .
I will attest that this is a huge hurdle to overcome, and one that some simply will not overcome. The replacement of Shakyamuni with Nichiren as "The Buddha" is jarring. I'm Shoshu myself, and to be honest I'm still not 100% on how I feel about it. I don't stop practicing because of it of course, but the concept is a struggle nonetheless, as I'm simply not willing to suspend academic evaluation... not for anything, not even Buddhism.

I think it is important to understand that pounding dogma, whether it be the Honbutsu or Kuon Ganjo or whatever else, is not the way to cultivate faith in the Lotus. To the actual topic of this thread, introducing others to the Daimoku, I believe people who are receptive (or at least not hostile) deserve realistic, relatable explanations for the things we believe and do in our practice. For example, the Shoshu "Basics of Practice", while it deserves merit as an instruction book for someone taking up the path, simply doesn't meet the mark. It's even better if they observe first-hand positive changes in our lives and character as a result of our practice. Rational humans will relate more to experiences, either their own or those shared by their peers, than they will doctrines. Example, if someone asks me why I sit and chant at those Chinese characters scribbled on a scroll, I don't say something like "to fuse with the power of the Gohonzon" or something similarly nebulous; I'd tell them that doing so focuses the mind, much like meditation, on the meaning inscribed, which then begs the next question of what they mean. They're both the same, but the second obviously invites more curiosity and a deeper understanding.

Just as important as introducing others to the practice is the converse notion of not repelling others from the practice, the latter of which I think is, sadly, forgotten too often. I can only speak of my experience with the Hokkeko as I have no experience with any other Nichiren Buddhist group (never even involved with SGI). Here's what rational, curious and sincere people are not impressed by: charges of heresy (the "H" word is very weighty in the context of Western history), dogmatic proclamations without any explanation as to how the practice relates to and improves the human experience, being told to "don't worry, just chant about it" (yuck), and hostility toward other 'flavors' of Nichiren Buddhism. To the latter of these, I am not saying one should not be convinced that his or her way is correct, and it's even OK to think that other ways are incorrect, but we should recognize our common ground and use that for dialogue. I would expect any newcomer off the street, if she were to witness any of the conditions I just laid out, to turn right around and walk away, and with good reason.

Anyway, it's been a while since I have posted. Enjoy my $0.02, or even rip it to shreds. I love learning from you all. :)

~Bobby

When I was introduced to buddhist it was a causal chanting group promoting Nichiren buddhism. In short time I experienced the stigmatization you speak of. The practice drew me because it resonated with me deeply AND what I perceived as the true meaning seemed compatible with my desires. I decided at that point to practice privately and outside the bias of traditional organization until such a time my "faith" in what I believed the practice to evoke was understood as a definitive outcome in the doctrine of the lotus and the writings of nichiren.

I chose to do my due diligence in propagating these teachings for myself much as you described.

With that said, ten years later I still practice and my life condition evolving regardless of outside influence I have come to appreciate this practice without reservation and do not have the same conflicting points of view but rather it seems the human condition expressed as we see it now was/is deeply understood by nichiren and his teachings accommodate for harmony in this disparity even as ti exists today.

However perhaps I am deluded but even on the very topic of the division of the schools so many portions of his writings come to mind (and no way limited to) from the opening of eyes, many in body, one in mind, how Those Initially Aspiring to the Way Can Attain Buddhahood through the Lotus Sutra that support a different perspective for me. From interpretation of Nichiren's life was a deep and complete understanding of all teachings he encountered and while he evaluated them comparatively he did so after practicing many of them first. This process of practice and mastery gives a different understanding than faith alone.

*IN MY MIND* all schools are votary of the lotus sutra and the methodology of evaluating efficiency of practice must adhere to Nichiren's teachings whcih requires deep and complex evaluation using Ten'Tai' methods as described in "Questions and Answers on the Various Schools". This lead me in the beginning of my practice to simply regard all votary of the lotus sutra as "dharma brothers and sisters" (thank you queeqoug for the inspirational statement I plagiarized.) That meaning I simply refuse to put any weight in the division others perceive. Is this unreasonable behavior? I think it is proper behavior and perception based on my karma and capacity but I do not want to limit myself to delusion so please feel free to comment if you disagree.

As far as Lord Sakyamuni and Nichiren *IN MY MIND* This all speaks to why Nichiren is the thus come one and why we need to supplant his realization of Buddha nature with that of Lord Sakyamuni but this is not a denigration of Lord Sakyamuni but rather Nichiren is the TRANSFERABLE manifestation of Lord Sakyamuni.

*IN MY MIND* the analogy that fits this is that of a seed which grows into a tree. The DNA of the seed and the tree that grows from it is the same, it is only the expression that differs. In this way Lord Sakyamuni is the seed and Nichiren is the tree and we are simply evoking the same manifestation of lord Sakyamuni through the vehicle whcih Nichiren himself has revealed and embodies. One is the foundation, one is the manifestation in the later day of the law and in this context as I understand it BOTH ARE EQUALLY ESSENTIAL.

Once again as great as this sounds to my mind I accept it might be a delusional construct and hope that a) I do not offend anyone with such offerings b) that if I am delusional that there will be something offered for me to consider

Thank you for taking the time to read this and thank you all for posting, regardless of differences to know these teachings exist in the hearts and minds of others is very encouraging and uplifting.

tkp67
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Re: Introducing the practice of Daimoku to friends and relatives

Post by tkp67 » Mon Jun 03, 2019 3:44 pm

in retrospect I wish I had used a seed - lotus flower analogy opposed to seed - tree analogy since it is more apporiate. If nothing else maybe it makes for some DW gold if the lack of continuity struck anyone as "funny"

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Minobu
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Re: Introducing the practice of Daimoku to friends and relatives

Post by Minobu » Mon Jun 03, 2019 4:56 pm

tkp67 wrote:
Mon Jun 03, 2019 2:25 pm
The degradation of Lord Sakyamuni and the subsequent teachings that make like he was some transient Buddha...Gakki and ShoShu words...is not really going to bring a newcomer to the table with reality .


As far as Lord Sakyamuni and Nichiren *IN MY MIND* This all speaks to why Nichiren is the thus come one

Fortunately the truth that Nichiren Shonin never spoke or wrote such a thing has now been revealed to the World of Lotus Buddhism.

but i agree ...you still get to be part of the Healing Process towards Buddhahood as long as you seek and practice with the ODaimoku.

But one must at least leave the door open to His paradigm in all things Buddhist , that Nichiren Shonin was a stickler when it comes to right view. :sage: :rules: :sage:

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Re: Introducing the practice of Daimoku to friends and relatives

Post by narhwal90 » Mon Jun 03, 2019 5:23 pm

I like Q's proposition also. For my part I consider anyone reciting the Lotus Sutra is my dharma brother/sister. Those who recite others or maybe their practice doesn't involve recitation are perhaps cousins lol. Relinquishing judgement about other schools was an interesting change.

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Re: Introducing the practice of Daimoku to friends and relatives

Post by dude » Tue Jun 04, 2019 6:23 am

It's time to dialog with those of other faiths and learn from them. A Christian teacher recently wrote about his meeting with President Ikeda and remarked that the experience had made him a better Christian.

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Re: Introducing the practice of Daimoku to friends and relatives

Post by Yavana » Tue Jun 04, 2019 12:47 pm

dude wrote:
Tue Jun 04, 2019 6:23 am
It's time to dialog with those of other faiths and learn from them. A Christian teacher recently wrote about his meeting with President Ikeda and remarked that the experience had made him a better Christian.
Good idea. Where on the internet can I interact with Daesh?

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Re: Introducing the practice of Daimoku to friends and relatives

Post by tkp67 » Tue Jun 04, 2019 2:50 pm

dude wrote:
Tue Jun 04, 2019 6:23 am
It's time to dialog with those of other faiths and learn from them. A Christian teacher recently wrote about his meeting with President Ikeda and remarked that the experience had made him a better Christian.
Nichren was very clear on learning the teachings of the land for the purpose of comparing them to the lotus sutra and also to appreciate the wisdom that lay within. He was also clear this is relative to capacity and karma.

As I understand it once one understands mutual possession of the ten realms and three thousand realms in a single moment of life non buddhist teachings the ten realms become apparent within them. This is not to say that they are to be proselytized as expedient means but rather they reconcile gracefully to Nichiren's buddhism as expedient means. For many the religious experience is a filal experience (as was mine) and understanding how that karma led me to a place where I could honor those teachings through the superior vehicle of the lotus sutra.

In this context, as I see it, the selfless compassion that my past cultivated where seeds for this practice today and I can honor that aspect of my ancestry(and thus my ancestors) as an essential part of being a Bodhisattva of the earth. Do I recognize the "mind" that planted that seed other than "buddhas". No, I do not.

Does that invalidate the delusion of the past or does it reveal the other side of the coin that is delusion? This of course, for me, is a rhetorical question.

With all of this said I cannot imagine Nichiren's firmness outweighing his compassion. Isn't the urgency to share enlightenment in this lifetime (moment) to all without bias or prejudice born of absolute selfless compassion? I believe it is. Does this mean we cannot do so in accord with other people's capacity and karma?

Am I wrong in thinking that these teachings are to groom practitioners for that specific purpose? Doing in accord to the capacity/karma of self and others?

This is how I see it and as I am just a ordinary human being quite subject to the delusions that arise accordingly and am open to correction.

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Re: Introducing the practice of Daimoku to friends and relatives

Post by Queequeg » Tue Jun 04, 2019 3:38 pm

narhwal90 wrote:
Mon Jun 03, 2019 5:23 pm
I like Q's proposition also.
What was my proposition? :tongue:
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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Re: Introducing the practice of Daimoku to friends and relatives

Post by Queequeg » Tue Jun 04, 2019 3:45 pm

Yavana wrote:
Tue Jun 04, 2019 12:47 pm
dude wrote:
Tue Jun 04, 2019 6:23 am
It's time to dialog with those of other faiths and learn from them. A Christian teacher recently wrote about his meeting with President Ikeda and remarked that the experience had made him a better Christian.
Good idea. Where on the internet can I interact with Daesh?
NSFW
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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Re: Introducing the practice of Daimoku to friends and relatives

Post by narhwal90 » Tue Jun 04, 2019 3:50 pm

Queequeg wrote:
Tue Jun 04, 2019 3:38 pm
narhwal90 wrote:
Mon Jun 03, 2019 5:23 pm
I like Q's proposition also.
What was my proposition? :tongue:

lol, was piling onto tkp67's statement above

"*IN MY MIND* all schools are votary of the lotus sutra and the methodology of evaluating efficiency of practice must adhere to Nichiren's teachings whcih requires deep and complex evaluation using Ten'Tai' methods as described in "Questions and Answers on the Various Schools". This lead me in the beginning of my practice to simply regard all votary of the lotus sutra as "dharma brothers and sisters" (thank you queeqoug for the inspirational statement I plagiarized.)"

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Re: Introducing the practice of Daimoku to friends and relatives

Post by Queequeg » Tue Jun 04, 2019 4:51 pm

tkp67 wrote:
Tue Jun 04, 2019 2:50 pm
dude wrote:
Tue Jun 04, 2019 6:23 am
It's time to dialog with those of other faiths and learn from them. A Christian teacher recently wrote about his meeting with President Ikeda and remarked that the experience had made him a better Christian.
Nichren was very clear on learning the teachings of the land for the purpose of comparing them to the lotus sutra and also to appreciate the wisdom that lay within. He was also clear this is relative to capacity and karma.

As I understand it once one understands mutual possession of the ten realms and three thousand realms in a single moment of life non buddhist teachings the ten realms become apparent within them. This is not to say that they are to be proselytized as expedient means but rather they reconcile gracefully to Nichiren's buddhism as expedient means. For many the religious experience is a filal experience (as was mine) and understanding how that karma led me to a place where I could honor those teachings through the superior vehicle of the lotus sutra.

In this context, as I see it, the selfless compassion that my past cultivated where seeds for this practice today and I can honor that aspect of my ancestry(and thus my ancestors) as an essential part of being a Bodhisattva of the earth. Do I recognize the "mind" that planted that seed other than "buddhas". No, I do not.

Does that invalidate the delusion of the past or does it reveal the other side of the coin that is delusion? This of course, for me, is a rhetorical question.

With all of this said I cannot imagine Nichiren's firmness outweighing his compassion. Isn't the urgency to share enlightenment in this lifetime (moment) to all without bias or prejudice born of absolute selfless compassion? I believe it is. Does this mean we cannot do so in accord with other people's capacity and karma?

Am I wrong in thinking that these teachings are to groom practitioners for that specific purpose? Doing in accord to the capacity/karma of self and others?

This is how I see it and as I am just a ordinary human being quite subject to the delusions that arise accordingly and am open to correction.
The immeasurable paths, even nominally non-Buddhist paths, are opened through the Essential Teaching and revealed as paths to Buddhahood. That's the Upaya Chapter (Hoben) and Life Span Chapter (Juryo) of the Lotus Sutra. This moment, could not have come about in any other way. If one has encountered the Essential Teaching, every moment stretching to the eternal past led here, even the moments we actively slandered the Dharma and then fell into hell were our path here. There can only be appreciation for all of that. This is a central aspect of the Lotus Sutra, of Tendai Daishi's teaching, and Nichiren's teaching. When we look at the immensity of our wandering through the cycles of birth and death, it puts a fine point on how profoundly wonderful this thought-moment (ichinen) is. As the Lotus Sutra refers to it - a single moment of joy.

That said, this does not mean everything is in itself the direct Buddhayana. As long as a path that is not the Essential Path is considered an end in itself, it is a detrimental path, though it eventually winds around to Buddhahood. It can be a Provisional Path only when viewed as an expression of the Essential Teaching. Divorced from the Essential Teaching, the immeasurable paths, even nominally Dharma paths, are just futile austerities. If someone actively denies the Essential Teaching, then its a path leading to hell before it leads to Buddhahood.

Only a buddha understands how this moment came about. Only a buddha understands how this moment relates to Buddhahood.

Namu is faith that we have been unfolding awakening since the remote past and that this awakening will culminate in Buddhahood.

I don't know how Christology relates to awakening, but I have faith that my Christian friends have Buddhanature, that awakening is unfolding for them, and so I honor them as buddhas to be and engage only in so far as they are willing to go. Reciprocation. But only so far as I can actually reciprocate. Need to remember how far may path has gone, and I can't go farther. So, I say, "I would never disparage you - you are a buddha to be!" Gassho.

Shakubuku is only appropriate for someone who actively seeks to destroy the Buddha Dharma. Shakubuku is commensurate reciprocation. That's when the lay person takes up arms and defends the authentic teachers from those who seek to harm them and the authentic teacher enters debate. Other than that, shoju is the appropriate practice. Even Nichiren who himself practiced shakubuku taught this. We do what is appropriate only and no more. When we don't know more, better to err on the side of caution and respect.

And with that, my two cents are spent.
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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Re: Introducing the practice of Daimoku to friends and relatives

Post by Queequeg » Tue Jun 04, 2019 4:56 pm

narhwal90 wrote:
Tue Jun 04, 2019 3:50 pm
Queequeg wrote:
Tue Jun 04, 2019 3:38 pm
narhwal90 wrote:
Mon Jun 03, 2019 5:23 pm
I like Q's proposition also.
What was my proposition? :tongue:

lol, was piling onto tkp67's statement above

"*IN MY MIND* all schools are votary of the lotus sutra and the methodology of evaluating efficiency of practice must adhere to Nichiren's teachings whcih requires deep and complex evaluation using Ten'Tai' methods as described in "Questions and Answers on the Various Schools". This lead me in the beginning of my practice to simply regard all votary of the lotus sutra as "dharma brothers and sisters" (thank you queeqoug for the inspirational statement I plagiarized.)"
:twothumbsup:

If that's what I did, I can't aim higher!
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

tkp67
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Re: Introducing the practice of Daimoku to friends and relatives

Post by tkp67 » Tue Jun 04, 2019 10:33 pm

Queequeg wrote:
Tue Jun 04, 2019 4:51 pm
tkp67 wrote:
Tue Jun 04, 2019 2:50 pm
dude wrote:
Tue Jun 04, 2019 6:23 am
It's time to dialog with those of other faiths and learn from them. A Christian teacher recently wrote about his meeting with President Ikeda and remarked that the experience had made him a better Christian.
Nichren was very clear on learning the teachings of the land for the purpose of comparing them to the lotus sutra and also to appreciate the wisdom that lay within. He was also clear this is relative to capacity and karma.

As I understand it once one understands mutual possession of the ten realms and three thousand realms in a single moment of life non buddhist teachings the ten realms become apparent within them. This is not to say that they are to be proselytized as expedient means but rather they reconcile gracefully to Nichiren's buddhism as expedient means. For many the religious experience is a filal experience (as was mine) and understanding how that karma led me to a place where I could honor those teachings through the superior vehicle of the lotus sutra.

In this context, as I see it, the selfless compassion that my past cultivated where seeds for this practice today and I can honor that aspect of my ancestry(and thus my ancestors) as an essential part of being a Bodhisattva of the earth. Do I recognize the "mind" that planted that seed other than "buddhas". No, I do not.

Does that invalidate the delusion of the past or does it reveal the other side of the coin that is delusion? This of course, for me, is a rhetorical question.

With all of this said I cannot imagine Nichiren's firmness outweighing his compassion. Isn't the urgency to share enlightenment in this lifetime (moment) to all without bias or prejudice born of absolute selfless compassion? I believe it is. Does this mean we cannot do so in accord with other people's capacity and karma?

Am I wrong in thinking that these teachings are to groom practitioners for that specific purpose? Doing in accord to the capacity/karma of self and others?

This is how I see it and as I am just a ordinary human being quite subject to the delusions that arise accordingly and am open to correction.
The immeasurable paths, even nominally non-Buddhist paths, are opened through the Essential Teaching and revealed as paths to Buddhahood. That's the Upaya Chapter (Hoben) and Life Span Chapter (Juryo) of the Lotus Sutra. This moment, could not have come about in any other way. If one has encountered the Essential Teaching, every moment stretching to the eternal past led here, even the moments we actively slandered the Dharma and then fell into hell were our path here. There can only be appreciation for all of that. This is a central aspect of the Lotus Sutra, of Tendai Daishi's teaching, and Nichiren's teaching. When we look at the immensity of our wandering through the cycles of birth and death, it puts a fine point on how profoundly wonderful this thought-moment (ichinen) is. As the Lotus Sutra refers to it - a single moment of joy.

That said, this does not mean everything is in itself the direct Buddhayana. As long as a path that is not the Essential Path is considered an end in itself, it is a detrimental path, though it eventually winds around to Buddhahood. It can be a Provisional Path only when viewed as an expression of the Essential Teaching. Divorced from the Essential Teaching, the immeasurable paths, even nominally Dharma paths, are just futile austerities. If someone actively denies the Essential Teaching, then its a path leading to hell before it leads to Buddhahood.

Only a buddha understands how this moment came about. Only a buddha understands how this moment relates to Buddhahood.

Namu is faith that we have been unfolding awakening since the remote past and that this awakening will culminate in Buddhahood.

I don't know how Christology relates to awakening, but I have faith that my Christian friends have Buddhanature, that awakening is unfolding for them, and so I honor them as buddhas to be and engage only in so far as they are willing to go. Reciprocation. But only so far as I can actually reciprocate. Need to remember how far may path has gone, and I can't go farther. So, I say, "I would never disparage you - you are a buddha to be!" Gassho.

Shakubuku is only appropriate for someone who actively seeks to destroy the Buddha Dharma. Shakubuku is commensurate reciprocation. That's when the lay person takes up arms and defends the authentic teachers from those who seek to harm them and the authentic teacher enters debate. Other than that, shoju is the appropriate practice. Even Nichiren who himself practiced shakubuku taught this. We do what is appropriate only and no more. When we don't know more, better to err on the side of caution and respect.

And with that, my two cents are spent.
A very deep thank you for the thoughtful and clarifying response.

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Re: Introducing the practice of Daimoku to friends and relatives

Post by Queequeg » Wed Jun 05, 2019 3:22 am

Sorry, didn't quite mean it as a response. Just riffing off your post a little bit.
:smile:
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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Re: Introducing the practice of Daimoku to friends and relatives

Post by Yavana » Wed Jun 05, 2019 7:54 am

Queequeg wrote:
Tue Jun 04, 2019 3:45 pm
Yavana wrote:
Tue Jun 04, 2019 12:47 pm
dude wrote:
Tue Jun 04, 2019 6:23 am
It's time to dialog with those of other faiths and learn from them. A Christian teacher recently wrote about his meeting with President Ikeda and remarked that the experience had made him a better Christian.
Good idea. Where on the internet can I interact with Daesh?
NSFW

... the Buddha has commanded me to be born in this age, and it is impossible for me to go against the decree of the Dharma King. And so, as the sutra dictates, I have launched the battle between the provisional and the true teachings. Donning the armor of endurance and girding myself with the sword of the wonderful teaching, I have raised the banner of the five characters of Myoho-renge-kyo, the heart of the entire eight volumes of the Lotus Sutra. Then, drawing the bow of the Buddha’s declaration, “I have not yet revealed the truth,” and notching the arrow of “honestly discarding the provisional teachings,” I have mounted the carriage drawn by the great white ox and battered down the gates of the provisional teachings. Attacking first one and then another, I have refuted opponents from the eight and ten schools, such as the Nembutsu, True Word, Zen, and Precepts. Some have fled headlong while others have retreated, and still others have been captured to become my disciples. I continue to repulse their attacks and to defeat them, but legions of enemies exist who oppose the single Dharma King and the handful who follow him. So the battle goes on even today.

—On Practicing the Buddha's Teachings

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:jedi:

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Re: Introducing the practice of Daimoku to friends and relatives

Post by tkp67 » Wed Jun 05, 2019 12:52 pm

Queequeg wrote:
Wed Jun 05, 2019 3:22 am
Sorry, didn't quite mean it as a response. Just riffing off your post a little bit.
:smile:
I guess I missed the riffing part. I hope to get corrected if I am wrong, although I do not know if validation is a reasonable expectation.

If it is because of the "thoughts" that arise from the notion of reconciled Christianity don't be shy in asking what I mean by it or afraid that I will be offended. I know my verbiage is not atypical and that I can be difficult to understand. Am I delusional in my assessment that Nichiren did not cast aside Confucius or Brahmanism without a glance but reconciled them to his own practice?

Maybe I am projecting the meaning of riff all together. Either way i am desirous of knowledge outside myself and regardless of any posting my capacity to accept information and process is not dangerously or uncomfortably reactive.

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Re: Introducing the practice of Daimoku to friends and relatives

Post by Minobu » Wed Jun 05, 2019 4:09 pm

This whole christian thing people have about christianity confuses me.

I realize that most of us were christian or Jewish .
But in this day and age so much of what we think is Christian doctrine is now some political power thing created by rome and the Roman emperors.

I don't believe i ever could find Jesus Christ's words that he was God. He referred to himself as a son of man.

He was a healer , thats what he was. He saw that all people were equal and there were no such thing as God's chosen people.

What if he was a Bodhisattva come to tame the the world with a message of love.

It worked in many ways.

I will never disgrace his being with all the bullshit said in his name.

They murdered the guy due to power and politics...

He was and still is one of the good guys.

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Re: Introducing the practice of Daimoku to friends and relatives

Post by tkp67 » Wed Jun 05, 2019 10:04 pm

The word riffing is a bit ambiguous but in the area from we both come from it has a couple of connotations both of then denigrating but one of them in a friendly manner.

I could also been seen as simply playing off of and this is why I gave the response I did because in none of those meanings did I personally find offense.

Could I have found them offensive? Sure I can construct any premise with precise delusion and attachment would certainly drive me to a knee jerk reaction. That is not my desire here but I do think there is important dialog about non Buddhist teachings, exclusivity, propagation and compassion and I also know a popular belief system whose adherents get demonized is Christianity.

I made a reference to opening of the eyes from the writings of Nichiren as the ground work because he did not simply dismiss other teachings out of inferiority but he came to understand them IN THEIR CORRECT CONTEXT and put them into relative context to his teachings of the lotus sutra. This required an open mind with no attachment of self to apply perfect practice. He did not cast away the baby with the bathwater as far as wisdom that was to be had and delusion whose enlightenment was corrected by illustrating the other side of the coin FROM THE PERSPECTIVE OF THAT PRACTICE.

*** IN MY LIMITED EXPERIENCE *** the Nichiren practitioners I have met treat Christianity and practitioners as purely delusional. It was a personal turn off to me because I knew it as a stereotype based on ignorance but since from the perspective of discarding expedient means I simply let go of it.

As time transpired I met other neophytes who came from Abrahamaic traditions and where turned off by the same "unreasonable" bias. Now it is important to point out that as you have mentioned that MANY people are inspired to be selflessly compassionate and this opens the door for the Bodhisattva way.

This is the underlying damage of the christian stereotype. It really does offer strong framework for many to understand selfless compassion and it is this very compassion that drove me to seek a better vehicle for transcending suffering. It wasn't because Christianity wasn't beneficial for me but rather because it wasn't beneficial for everyone. I would have never had grown an appreciation for humanity so great it made me question it for a greater vehicle.

Now I am not suggesting it be suggested people take it up as a precursor but rather if you where taught one of the very valuable aspects of being like selfless compassion and went to grow in your understanding of self and reality would any mantra that denied this under the assumption of understanding it be palatable at all? is that how buddha would treat selfless compassion if it was in the road in front of him?

Personally I find there are a dizzying number of parallels between all non buddhist and buddhist teachings when evaluated through the lens of Nichiren Buddhism as if the ten realms are all present as well as the talent potential to mutually posses them. Of course this would be IMPOSSIBLE without Nichiren Buddhism which is one proof its potency.

Even If we look at the basic argument against the two it is laid out as a conflict in the perception of soul if we go back long enough to the meaning of the word in christian terms it means mind, i.e. conscious and Christianity like Buddhism try to reveal the workings of the mind which cannot be seen directly. The both extol behavior as expressing itself as consequential to our being later in life AND after this life.

To me bias against delusional beliefs is counter productive since we are but ordinary mortals and delusion/enlightenment are born of the same mind so it is, at worst, an opportunity of enlightenment. When someone objects to another belief before they understand it they are reacting to an assumption, a reality of their own making and this too seems to promote a part of the human condition Buddhism would seek to abolish which is self. The fact is many of these practices are ATTEMPTING to do the same thing and fail because they aren't progressive enough to be adapted past the minds it was born from. The where simply expedient means of ending suffering based on the capacity of the people.

Personally I don't think it is a matter of capacity or I would not open such dialog, I simply don't think enough Christians have practiced it well/long enough to temper the bias against it.

When I read in the writings that music was used as a precursor to Buddhism that it was in effect bringing different voices together to a "the whole is greater than the sum of its parts" harmoniously. Imagine all those notes played at the same time. It seems their relative placement in time to each other is what makes beautiful music or wretched noise.

All of this said I really did appreciate and get great value from that riffing and from Q and hope I did not cast dispersion or negativity as a result and if it was a total misinterpretation I hope this discourse is found to have some measure of benefit none the less and if not I welcome correction.

narhwal90
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Re: Introducing the practice of Daimoku to friends and relatives

Post by narhwal90 » Thu Jun 06, 2019 2:45 am

I wonder about the damage of the Christian stereotype (would be helpful to define that) and who suffers. I know a number of christian folks. Many of them I would generally call devout as the intensity of their determination to practice and live the word of God as they understand it is familiar to me from a Nichiren context. That commitment is seen in their endurance, cheerfulness and compassion in the face of all sorts of adversity. Others get involved in distinctions between their traditions, passing many judgements on the basis of their selected doctrines. The polite ones at least accept that others make their own choices and don't belabor the point. I suggest that such variety of behavior can sometimes be seen just as dramatically on these boards. As to stereotypes, there are also plenty of examples of one tradition calling another delusional and/or "hellbound"- also very much like what is sometimes seen here. Who is damaged by the stereotype? I say the first is the one who holds it, regardless of tradition- much in the way that holding onto resentment slowly poisons the holder.

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Queequeg
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Re: Introducing the practice of Daimoku to friends and relatives

Post by Queequeg » Fri Jun 07, 2019 7:35 pm

narhwal90 wrote:
Thu Jun 06, 2019 2:45 am
I say the first is the one who holds it, regardless of tradition- much in the way that holding onto resentment slowly poisons the holder.
I think the Buddha says as much somewhere... maybe Dhammapada.
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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