Sunday, November 10, 2013

The Object of Worship



The following is from my Kempon Hokke archives and is a translation of a Kempon Hokke work by H. Graham Lamont and may not be reprinted without permission:

Kanjin Honzon Sho. “Entrustment means: it is this Sutra that is only entrusted to the Bodhisattvas Who Sprang Forth From Beneath the Earth . . .” (STN, v.1, 717)

The meaning is clear. The Daimoku is the Dharma entrusted to the Bodhisattvas Who Sprang from the Earth. Such an interpretation agrees entirely with the Sutra, as cited above, and is reasonable. The Eternal Buddha, who is ever present but hides His Presence, entrusts His Dharma, “Namu Myoho Renge Kyo” to His Own Disciples from the most distant past.

Daimoku is Dharma, not the Buddha “On Upbraiding Blasphemy Against the Dharma and Extinguishing sins” (Kashaku hobo metsuzai sho) says, “During more than two thousand two hundred years it is the painted images and wooden images of the Master of Teachings Lord Shakya that worthy kings and saintly rulers have taken as the Object of Worship. However, although it was only the Buddhas of the Lesser Vehicle, and of the Kegon, the Nehan (Nirvana), the Kangyo, the Manifestation Doctrine (Shakumon) of the Hokekyo, the Fugengyo, of the Great Vehicle, the Buddha of the Dainichikyo in the Shingon, and Shakya and Taho of the Chapter of the Jeweled Stupa that they wrote, the Lord Shakya of the Chapter of the Measure of Life is not yet in the temples and monastic residences.” (STN, v. 1, 784).

The Object of Worship, not yet actually installed in Buddhist temples, is to be none other than the Eternal Lord Shakya. The Dharma is the Daimoku and the ones who are entrusted with that Dharma are the Bodhisattvas Who Sprang from the Earth. The Daimoku is especially formed as the Essence of the Sutra by the Buddha, Lord Shakya, and he has specifically summoned the Bodhisattvas Who Sprang from the Earth and given His Own Inner Realization (the unity of Wisdom and its Field or Object) in the form of “Namu Myoho Renge Kyo” to them to spread at the beginning of this age of the Latter Dharma.

It is obvious then (to everyone but Nichiren Shoshu and SGI):

1) The source of the Daimoku which contains the Buddha’s Inner Realization is
Lord Shakya

2) That same Lord Shakya transfers this Daimoku to the Bodhisattva Jogyo and
his fellow Bodhisattvas Who Sprang from the Earth;

3) This transfer has already taken place as described in the undeniable Sutra
text referring to, forming the Essence, and its Entrustment. In other words, the
doctrine was Sutra based;

4) Nichiren Shonin modestly denies that he is actually that Bodhisattva but
indicates he is at least their forerunner.

Despite Nichiren Shonin’s modesty, it is obvious from the other documents cited
above that he and his immediate followers identified him as being precisely
that Bodhisattva, who had received the Daimoku from Lord Shakyamuni.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Back on track

Hello again and welcome back,

Obviously, i have been thinking and reading some study materials in the meantime.
It seems to be the case that at some point during the practice and doing the Gongyo, one can't help but develop spiritually. The more we practice, the clearer things become.
Such as is the case with myself.

After reading some essays, I found and could finally confirm that the words in those essays were very true.

As Nichiren stated:"Faith is the foundation of the practice".

What is this faith that Nichiren Daishonin talks about ?
Well, basically it has to do with Faith in the Daimoku and Lotus Sutra.
This is the only way to develop stronger Faith by practice and perform Gongyo and chanting the Daimoku.

Several times have i read, that even if one can't read or knows how to write, as soon as a person has sincere faith, then chanting the Daimoku eventually will help develop more and stronger faith.

I have now experienced this myself. To me it is the reason to continue the practice of Gongyo and Daimoku.
And with each time, i can actually feel my faith develop and grow stronger indeed.

It is through faith that one can get to know the Eternal Buddha as revealed in the Chapter 16 of the Lotus Sutra.
More and more i can't help but notice to have a clear focus in the practice of Nichiren's Buddhism.

Also, this faith makes me aware that indeed i am protected, and yes, my family is protected and that eventually because of chanting the Daimoku, i will eventually receive the merits of this practice.

Obviously, this merit is not the main goal to start believing, we all would like to drive a better car, have a bigger house.
Yet, if one decides to take on chanting for this sole reason, then i have to dissappoint you, this is not about material wealth, not in the first nor in the last place.

The reason for chanting should be that one wishes to attain the Supreme Enlightenment, be an equal to Lord Shakamuni, The Eternal Buddha.

Be receiving and respong with joy for even as little as just one second or receiving one verse of the Lotus Sutra, those who rejoice in this, will surely attain Enlightenment, if not this life, then next life.
Just know that responding with joy, plants a little seed that will eventually grow and blossom and will be remembered throughout any rebirth.

The Daimoku will not even for a split second, will lose it's value nor result.

Namy Myoho Renge Kyo,

Friday, August 30, 2013

Was Nikko Really Nichiren Shonin's Heir? Judge For Yourself



The thing we know with absolute certainty is that Nichiren appointed Six Senior Priests and that Nikko was certainly not his sole heir. Most all the issues we debate have some bit of elbow room for interpretation because they are religious constructs. Nikko as sole heir is a horse of a different color because it involves an historical event. Historical events can be looked into. When Nikko as sole heir is seriously looked into, there is no debate. No professional historian argues for it anywhere. The facts speak so loudly that the claim is beyond the pale with no corroborative evidence at all to support Nichiren Shoshu’s claim.

There are three transfer documents (he sure must have been busy his last few days changing his mind). The authentic transfer document gives leadership of the sect to six Priests, Nikko included. We know this is the authentic transfer, because everyone acts exactly in accordance with that document. At no time does Nikko do the smallest thing in the role of sole leader. He does not lead the funeral but rather marches in the rear rank (we have two accounts of the funeral, one by Nikko himself). He is left only non-religious personal effects by Nichiren and complains bitterly about that later. And he does act along with everyone else as a group of six, filling the role of secretary to the group, not leader of the group. When the government interacts with the sect, they deal directly with Nissho, the eldest of the Senior Priests, not Nikko and never once does Nikko try to insert himself into these sorts of interactions, explaining that they have it wrong and he should be dealt with as the leader. A lot of things can be said about Nikko good and bad, but shyness was not a trait he was known for. When he leaves Minobu he writes how sad he is to go, but one of the two fake transfer documents says Fuji is where the Kaidan should go, so he would certainly have been happy to go there.

The  fake transfer documents themselves are rampant with bloopers. They do not appear on the scene until years after Nikko’s death and are supposed copies of copies of copies to explain away why the handwriting does not match anyone present at the time they would have been written.  One of the two was forged by Taisekiji but they were not coordinating their forgery project with their sister Temple, the Nikko-founded Honmonji Nishiyama, who was also busy forging one of their very own. In the Honmonji Temple’s fake, they have the chutzpah (nerve) to make a reference to a “Honmonji” Temple as the Kaidan Temple.  And finally, if Nikko was really sole heir, it was a secret, because no one anywhere at that time makes even a passing reference to it. No one cares enough about Nichiren’s last order to discuss it when it was supposedly done. No one cares enough to mention Nikko as leader while he was on Minobu and no one cared enough to discuss what would have been a coup d'etat when he walks off the mountain and goes (sadly) to Fuji. NIKKO does not ever mention it. Not once, not even in passing that he at anytime was Nichiren’s sole heir . Toki Jonin does not ever mention it. The Abutsubo family takes no notice, Lady Koo does not notice. Shingo Kingo does not notice. Not even a vague reference exists by any person, from his closest followers to the government, to the neighbors. But what every one acts in accord with, is the real and only transfer document, the one appointing all six Priests.

This is very bad news for Nichiren Shoshu because their primary excuse for leaving Nichiren Buddhism and creating a weird and Tendai-like theology not actually found in the Gosho of Nichiren Shonin is that the “inner” and “real” doctrine of Nichiren Shonin is not found in his writings but rather in a secret "Mind to Mind" transmission (see: Tendai-Shu Blood lineage transmission theories) that starts with Nikko as Nichiren’s special receptor and sole heir , an event which has left no trace in the historical record and no serious person could believe really happened.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

An interlude

I have come a long way from searching my path in Buddhism, Daoism, Zen and Tibetan Buddhism, it has been a search for more than 2 decades as i look back at it.

One of the great things i have encountered in Buddhism (in general) is that it puts one back to his own resources, giving the practitioner back his / her life.
Buddhism basically tells us, that the suffering we endure is our own consequence from deeds carried out in the near past of even the most remote distant past.
This might sound somewhat negative to those who are not very familiar with the basic principles of Buddhism, yet it gives us back our own responsibility, to take back our own life and thus offers the chance to clear these past deeds and actions.

Isn't it great ?
A way of life that just says: "Here is your life back, do as you please but beware, what goes around, comes around, or ... from the push come the shove".

When we get familiar with how this principle works, we are able to understand more abour ourselves, we tend to be more carefull in our words and action, even our thoughts.
Since we got to learn that whatever we do, we will have to take full responsibility for them.

Is that what Buddhism is about?
well to live with awareness is great , but no , ultimately , it is the search for enlightenment, to be one with the Buddha, at the Eagle Peak where Lord Shakamuni is constantly preaching the Dharma, The Utlimate Law.

So when i become a Buddhist, i can reach enlightement then ?
Yes, but this is where it gets confusing, since the are several paths that can be followed, ... at first sight.
Eventually, I found and learned there is but only one path and but only vehicle that leads us to be free from suffering , old age, ignorance and death eventually.

This is where the Lotus Sutra comes into town.
Nichiren had studied every sutra available and came to the final conclusion, that it is only through the Lotus Sutra, one can attain the Supreme Enlightenment.
By chanting Namu Myoho Renge Kyo, the Odaimoku of the Nichiren Faith.

Lord Shakamuni himself promised that, even if a person rejoices in one single phrase of the Lotus Sutra, that person is to be sure to become a Buddha himself..

Therefore, who would ever doubt the words of Lord Shakamuni ?
Namu Myoho Renge Kyo !

Gassho,




Thursday, August 22, 2013

Sangha meeting August 18th

As some of you know, we hold regular monthly meetings in which different aspects of Nichiren Buddhism are being discussed.

Obviously, there have been some events within the Kempon, that without doubt have their influences to the Sangha.

We have discussed this matter just briefly.

I can't help but find it a little odd that there are people who rather lauch attack under the flag of Nichiren to acuse, insult, drag down thosee who do not practice the True Nichiren Buddhist teachings and the teachings of The Lotus Sutra.

In my personal view, as Buddhist practitioners, isn't it so that we should practice understanding, compassion and start a dialogue and try to convince those who practice the pervert teachings, to open their eyes and try to lead them back to the True teachings ?

Eventually, organisations and persons who follow perverted teachings, will carry their own Karma.
They will without fail, have to face their own actions and bear the fruits that have been planted with their actions.

I do seriously believe that Buddhism is an individual path that leads to Enlightenment without fail by practising the teachings of The Lotus Sutra.
Now, as a relatively new member, i may have little to none profound knowledge of Nichiren, Nichiju, the Gosho or The Lotus Sutra itself, yet i do carry along with me a copy of The Lotus Sutra, my juzu and an image of the Kempon Gohonzon.

I strongly believe it is not my duty to talk bad, insult, hurt, drag down, scold or even physically attack those who practise perverted teaching, nor any living being at all.

I am aware i am not a perfect human being , but in my humility and modesty, i am trying hard.
Trusting that through the Gohonzon, i am connected with the mind of Lord Shakamuni, trusting in Him to be my guide  and pray for the receptivity of my mind ,so that The Eternal Buddha Shakamuni can guide me in my ways.

Another point that came out of the meeting was my personal translation of the Kempon Lithurgy.
I have receieved some helpfull hints, tips and tricks to make a new start with it.
At this point it is still unknown when or how to create the Dutch KemponHokkeShu Lithurgy, but i trust in the Gohonzon and the Eternal Buddha, that at some point it will be made known to me , how and when to put this into action.

Untill that time i can only chant for guidance.

I am thankfull for the Sangha for their support, I owe gratitude to Rev. Tsuchiya and to  Lord Shakamuni.

Bless you all ,

Namu Myoho Renge Kyo !

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

The Teacher of the Dharma, Chapter 10 (Scriptures 57/58) - Rev. Tsuchiya


The teacher of the Dharma, chapter 10
(scripture 57)
If you want to get rid of laziness in your mind, you should listen to this sutra at any cost.

(significance)
The Lotus Sutra is not lukewarm teachings like negativism or pessimism. Because the Lotus Sutra is for those who hope to have bravery and unwavering pursuit of faith, and spend a life with the great willingness and good deeds, you can get rid of laziness and have a dynamic and hopeful life if you listen to this Sutra. Therefore, it is said that those who are worried about having a weak will should listen to the Lotus Sutra to get the strong spirit of making a great effort, at any cost.

The teacher of the Dharma, chapter 10
(scripture 58)
If those who have heard that this profound sutra is the king of all the sutra which reveals the meaning of the teachings for Sravakas well consider about it after that, you should know this, those persons will surely approach the wisdom of the Buddha.

(significance)
The Lotus Sutra is the sutra which has profound teachings. It is explained about so-called "Kaiken" of the Lotus Sutra which uncovers expedients and reveals the truth. Since the Lotus Sutra reveals the meaning of the teachings for Sravakas, the Agama, it is called the king of all the sutra. Therefore, you should not leave the teachings of Sravakas as it is. You should listen to it with the teachings of the Lotus Sutra, and explain it from the standpoint of the Lotus Sutra. The believers of the Agama are not able to display its true worth, even if they expound it just as the Agama. If you listen to the Agama from the standpoint of the Lotus Sutra, then are able to understand all sutras by the profound teachings of the Lotus Sutra, you become a person who approaches the wisdom of the Buddha. Those who study Buddhism inconsistently by saying that the Agama is just the Agama, or the Hokke is just the Hokke, are those who are far from the wisdom of the Buddha. The Buddha Shakamuni says clearly that those persons will not be able to fulfill the will of the Tathagata.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Rev. Tsuchiya on Kyogan Sojo (The Succession of the Scrolls)

The Succession of the Sutra. Kyogan-Sojo

Nevertheless, in the Nirvana sutra preached under the twin sala tree, the will of our compassionate Father Sakyamuni Buddha, it is said that we should rely upon the dharma preached by the Buddha, not upon persons who preach wrong thoughts. It means that even the highest ranking bodhisattvas such as Fugen and Monjyu should not be trusted unless they preach the sutra in hand. Grand Master T’ien-tai says, “Adopt whatever agrees with the sutra, and do not believe in that which is not found in the sutra in word or in meaning;” while Grand master Dengyo sates, “Rely upon the words of the Buddha in sutra. Do not believe in what has been transmitted orally.” (Kaimoku-sho,Open Your Eyes)

Some stupid and arrogant persons abuse the sentence of "Rely on the Law and not upon person",then speak ill of others when they can't do their own way. This is very wrong thought.

"Rely on the Law and not upon person" means that if there are persons who insist on different teachings from the Lotus Sutra(Law), you must not follow these persons. On the other hand, it means that if there is a person who propagates the Lotus Sutra correctly, you should follow that person. Any good teachings are transmitted rightly to people through good teachers. "Rely on the Law and not upon person" doesn't mean that "I am superior than you."

Sunday, July 21, 2013

On Badmouthing Others

Rev. Tsuchiya:

I want to say to stupid and arrogant persons. Speaking ill of others is not "Shakubuku." There are many useless priests and religionists in Mappo era. It is a matter of course. Even if you speak ill of those persons, you can not become a reliable man. It is a matter of course. Therefore, you should learn Buddhism correctly, and become a good practicer than them for the world.
 
From the Dhammapada, the early teachings of Shakyamuni Buddha:

Verse 360. Sense Discipline

Right is restraint in the eye,
restraint in the ear is right,
right is restraint in the nose,
restraint in the tongue is right.
Explanation: It is good to be disciplined in the eye. It is good to be disciplined in the ear. It is good to be disciplined in the nose. To be disciplined in the tongue is good.
 

Verse 363. The Ideal Monk

Whatever bhikkhu tongue-controlled
speaks wisely and who is not proud,
who theory and practice can expound,
sweet as honey is his speech.
Explanation: The monk who controls his speech, who speaks wisely with his mind composed, who explains the meaning of the Dhamma - sweet are the words of that monk.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Essay by Rev. Tsuchiya

If you have the true faith to the Lotus Sutra, the eternal Buddha Shakyamuni, the main body of Buddha Shakyamauni, is guiding you to the enlightenment anytime. Because the eternal Buddha Shakyamuni lives with you in your mind forever.

If you realise that there is no difference between your mind and this world you see, and if you manage your mind by listening the guidance of the eternal Buddha Shakyamuni, your life will go forward to your ideals. You will be a person who challenge to change this world to the ideals.

Nichiren shonin says in Kaimoku-sho,
"The Lotus Sutra alone among them represents the true words of our Lord Sakyamuni Buddha and various Buddhas residing in the world throughout the universe in the past, present, and future." "Compared to Hinayama Buddhism, all non-Buddhist schools in India are in error. Compared to the Lotus Sutra, the correct way of Hinayama Buddhism or the first four of the so-called “five flavors” and the first three of the Four Teachings are all evil and erroneous. The Lotus Sutra alone is true and correct. The “perfect teaching” preached in pre-Lotus sutra is called perfect but its perfection in only from a relative point of view. It is still inferior to the absolute exquisiteness of the Lotus Sutra."

It means that the Lotus Sutra is the only sutra for getting an enlightenment and becoming a Buddha. It is useless to practice with other sutras to get an enlightenment for people in Mappo era. But it means not that you should not refer to other sutras preached by the Buddha Sakyamuni. Nichiren shonin also had quoted many sutras to his works.

As the teachings of the Lotus Sutra, we have to meditate the Buddha Sakyamui always preaching for us. Therefore, we have to know the character of the actual Buddha Sakyamuni who is the manifestation of the eternal Buddha Sakyamuni. We have to know well what kind of wisdom he has, what kind of compassion he has.
So, Kempon Hokke is recommending especially to read the Agama Sutra such as Dammapada. Because it is said that those sutras closely related to actual teachings of the historical Buddha Sakyamuni. We respect it as an elementary text book of Buddhism.
The Lotus Sutra is superior than any other sutras. But it is very difficult to understand its philosophy. So, you need to strongly believe the Lotus Sutra which preaches about the truth of the Buddha Sakyamuni at first.

This is the Kempon Hokke's style, the Succession of the Sutra. Kyogan-Sojo
Nevertheless, in the Nirvana sutra preached under the twin sala tree, the will of our compassionate Father Sakyamuni Buddha, it is said that we should rely upon the dharma preached by the Buddha, not upon persons who preach wrong thoughts. It means that even the highest ranking bodhisattvas such as Fugen and Monjyu should not be trusted unless they preach the sutra in hand. Grand Master T’ien-tai says, “Adopt whatever agrees with the sutra, and do not believe in that which is not found in the sutra in word or in meaning;” while Grand master Dengyo sates, “Rely upon the words of the Buddha in sutra. Do not believe in what has been transmitted orally.” (Kaimoku-sho,Open Your Eyes)

Let's say to SGI believers! Let's save SGI believers!
The Buddha Shakyamuni is the founder of Buddhism. SGI slanders the Buddha Shakyamuni and the teachings of the Buddha Shakyamuni. SGI says that the Lotus Sutra preached by the Buddha Sakyamuni and the Buddha Sakyamuni are useless. So SGI believers are not able to understand that Nichiren shonin respects the Lotus Sutra preached by the Buddha Sakyamuni and adores the eternal Buddha Sakyamuni. The teaching of SGI is not Buddhism. Bodhisattvas of the earth are disciples of the Buddha Shakyamuni. You are not a bodhisattva of the earth. You are not in position to discuss about Buddhism. If you want to become a true Buddhist, you should quit SGI. If you want to practice true Nichiren's teachings, you should quit SGI. If you want to get not brainwashing but salvation, you should quit SGI. If you quit SGI, we welcome you. If you quit SGI, Nichiren shonin welcomes you.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Weekly Dharma Lesson from the Lotus Sutra

The teacher of the Dharma, chapter 10
(scripture 55)
Anuttara-samyak-sam-bodhi which all the Bodhisattvas should attain is belonging to this sutra. This sutra opens the gate of expedients and reveals the real state of the truth.

(significance)
Even if there are the words of Bodhisattvas in other sutras that they have attained enlightenment, all those Bodhisattvas had already performed the practice of the Lotus Sutra in the past, as a matter of fact. As if you can remember about your destination, saying "I got it", when you walk the street which you have passed in the past, Bodhisattvas who have practiced with other sutras attain enlightenment when they remember the true nature of the universe explained in the Lotus Sutra. Therefore, the Buddha Shakamuni declares that all Bodhisattvas are belonging to this sutra, that everything is benefit of the Lotus Sutra. Although other sutras include many expedients and keep the truth back, the Lotus Sutra uncovers the teachings of expedient and reveals the truth which exists in the bottom of them. This thought which reveals the true teachings which exist in the bottom of provisional teachings is called "Kaigon-Kenjitu." The teachings which are expounded in Expedients, A Parable and The Simile of Herbs, have been also intended to open the gate of expedients and reveal the truth.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

The Daimoku

I was going through a lot of files I have from when I first found Kempon Hokke. This is an essay written by H. Graham Lamont...I think you will find it interesting. If you re-post this elsewhere, please acknowledge Mr. Lamont as the author.

Kanjin Honzon Sho. “Entrustment means: it is this Sutra that is only entrusted to the Bodhisattvas Who Sprang Forth From Beneath the Earth . . .” (STN, v.1, 717)

The meaning is clear. The Daimoku is the Dharma entrusted to the Bodhisattvas Who Sprang from the Earth. Such an interpretation agrees entirely with the Sutra, as cited above, and is reasonable. The Eternal Buddha, who is ever present but hides His Presence, entrusts His Dharma, “Namu Myoho Renge Kyo” to His Own Disciples from the most distant past.

Daimoku is the Dharma, not the Buddha. “On Upbraiding Blasphemy Against the Dharma and Extinguishing sins” (Kashaku hobo metsuzai sho) says, “During more than two thousand two hundred years it is the painted images and wooden images of the Master of Teachings Lord Shakya that worthy kings and saintly rulers have taken as the Object of Worship. However, although it was only the Buddhas of the Lesser Vehicle, and of the Kegon, the Nehan (Nirvana), the Kangyo, the Manifestation Doctrine (Shakumon) of the Hokekyo, the Fugengyo, of the Great Vehicle, the Buddha of the Dainichikyo in the Shingon, and Shakya and Taho of the Chapter of the Jeweled Stupa that they wrote, the Lord Shakya of the Chapter of the Measure of Life is not yet in the temples and monastic residences.” (STN, v. 1, 784).

The Object of Worship, not yet actually installed in Buddhist temples, is to be none other than the Eternal Lord Shakya. The Dharma is the Daimoku and the ones who are entrusted with that Dharma are the Bodhisattvas Who Sprang from the Earth. The Daimoku is especially formed as the Essence of the Sutra by the Buddha, Lord Shakya, and he has specifically summoned the Bodhisattvas Who Sprang from the Earth and given His Own Inner Realization (the unity of Wisdom and its Field or Object) in the form of “Namu Myoho Renge Kyo” to them to spread at the beginning of this age of the Latter Dharma.

It is obvious then:

1) The source of the Daimoku which contains the Buddha’s Inner Realization is Lord Shakya 
2) That same Lord Shakya transfers this Daimoku to the Bodhisattva Jogyo andhis fellow Bodhisattvas Who Sprang from the Earth;
3) This transfer has already taken place as described in the undeniable Sutratext referring to, forming the Essence, and its Entrustment. In other words, thedoctrine was Sutra based;
4) Nichiren Shonin modestly denies that he is actually that Bodhisattva butindicates he is at least their forerunner.

Despite Nichiren Shonin’s modesty, it is obvious from the other documents citedabove that he and his immediate followers identified him as being preciselythat Bodhisattva, who had received the Daimoku from Lord Shakyamuni.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Weekly Dharma Lesson from the Lotus Sutra

Here is this week's Dharma lesson from Rev. Tsuchiya;

The teacher of the Dharma, chapter 10
(scripture 54)
Listen, Medicine-King. For example, there is a man who was thirsty and seeking water. He dug a hole in order to get water. As long as he saw that the dug-out lumps of earth were dry, he would know that water was still far off. But if he went on making an effort to dig hole and found mud finally, he would be convinced that water was surely near.

(significance)
It is taught about the Buddha-nature by the parable of digging a well. It is not easy to get water from the dry earth like India, when you are thirsty and dig a well. But if you continuously make an effort to dig a hole, you will finally find mud and be convinced that water is surely near. The Buddha-nature is the same as it. There is person who reveals his Buddha-nature without making many efforts. But also, there is a person who finally finds it by digging a hole more deeply. However, like you can get water from any kind of plateau if you don't stop digging a hole, all human beings surely have Buddha-nature. If you can find wet lumps and finally get water, making efforts to develop Buddha-nature will be very pleasure for you. That is to say, the Lotus Sutra encourages you to make efforts to perform the practice of Bodhisattva, and gives a great pleasure and good effects on your life by teaching the activity of Buddha-nature. This is a great spirit which runs through the entirety of Buddhism, and becomes the basis of our practice on the public moral, like the ethical doctrine of Mengzi that human nature is fundamentally good.
 
If you don't have a copy of the Lotus Sutra the best current translation available is that of Rev. Senchu Murano of NIchiren Shu, published by the University of Hawaii Press. Here is the link
http://www.uhpress.hawaii.edu/p-9062-9780971964563.aspx
 

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Myomanji

I thought people would enjoy seeing the head temple Myomanji, beautiful pic,

isn't it. The temple is in the northern section of Kyoto with wonderful views

of Mt. Hiei. I love the raked gravel too.
Myomanji also has this wonderful re-creation of the stupa at Bodhgaya in India

it's where the earthly Shakyamuni became enlightened. More fabulous views

of Mt. Hiei, that's where the Tendai sect which reveres the Lotus Sutra is

situated.

Finally an altar at Myomanji:
          
I don' t know if it's the main one I have to ask, but it's wonderful....

And finally here is a pic of the original Mahabodhi temple in India that my friend Ven. Indrajala took:

I hope you enjoyed these photos and maybe one day make a visit! My gohonzon

did. Here is it's eye-opening ceremony:

Next time it will be me!

Monday, July 8, 2013

A Renewed Faith

Hello all,
first things first, so i would like to start with a short introduction about myself, which seems reasonable, right ?

As you can see, my name is Richard, I'm 41 years old and live over in very ever-changing climate of The Netherlands, Europe.

My interests were, since the age of 23, into Buddhism, Daoism and martial arts.For some reason that has always been the thin red line in my life, and things would always reoccur on my path towards spiritual growth.
At some point ( i believe this was in my end 30's) i came across Nichiren Buddhism and found that the nam myoho renge kyo was a part of this.
I had learned about nam myoho renge kyo by my martial arts teacher, who used to recite it 3 times after training sessions, just to clear the mind from trouble and the physical pain.

I ended up with SGI, attended gongyo and meetings and learned a some stuff on Nichiren.
This went on and on, until i found myself working shifts, meaning i couldn't always attend meetings.
Another thing that came to disturb me was the constant battle and arguing between Nichiren Shu and SGI about pervert priests and the likes.
I decided to step out of it and went independent for some time.

Upon trying to explain this to people who were still related to sgi, i found that there was no room for my opinion, no room for any discussion, there was only room for Ikeda and attending meetings and if possible, make donations.

That was a the sign for me that sgi wasn't so happy with people thinking for themselves, i got over sgi pretty soon and moved ahead for myself and had no intention to join any organisation ever.

Until last year when i was still searching to find the right path, i ran into this site, contacted the person and got a reply.
I had ran into the Kempon Hokke.

The man introducing me to the Kempon told me there were several ways to practice, that appealed to me since i am not the kind of person to follow blindly or just to do as i'm told.

I got a Sutrabook document and a gohonzon ready for print and use.
First thing i did was to print out the gohonzon na dgot off reciting and perform gongyo.
It felt better than ever before, since there was no pressure on me, no people telling me i had to attend meetings nobody asking me for money, it was a  complete relief.

I went on doing gongyo during that year , sometimes a day in between, sometimes morning, sometimes afternoon and sometimes before bed.

March 1st this year, i made a final decision, i submitted the declaration of faith and officially joined the Kempon.
Believe it or not , but even just to commit oneself to the  Buddha Shakyamuni, the Lotus Sutra and Nichiren Daishonin makes such a differenece in ones life.
I have already experienced proof of faith and practice several times.

Now, to me being with Kempon Hokke feels like being among minds alike, obviously.
I do owe gratitude to the people who helped me out by sending me pdf's to read, who chant with me during the monthly Sangha (community) meetings, to the man introducing me to the Kempon Hokke, and of course Rev. Tsuchiya, who takes the time to answer my questions and provides every one with study materials and leaves us with enough freedom to do things our own way.

Now since this is my first blog for the Kempon, i do sincerely hope that my writing is understandable and easy to read.

I'm pretty sure you'll read more from me another time soon,
Namu Myoho Renge Kyo !


Saturday, July 6, 2013

What Makes Kempon Hokke Different?

One of the things that attracted me to Kempon Hokke years ago is the simplicity of the practice. Kyogan Sojo is what sets this school of Nichiren Buddhism apart. Kyogan Sojo means each practitioner’s Buddhahood is realized through the succession of the scrolls of the Lotus Sutra, not through any “special transmission,” or person, or group or organization. If a person really wants to learn the right way to practice, follow the teachings of Nichiren and the Lotus Sutra. Good teachers can also make the difference!

We don't need any special meetings or a "Sensei".  Everything you need is contained in the Lotus Sutra and Nichiren Shonin's writings.  For a list of Nichiren's authentic writings, go here:

Kempon Hokke - Authentic Writings



Friday, July 5, 2013

Our Bloggers

A Group Blog:

  To avoid confusion I just wanted to let our blog readers know that this is a group blog.

All the Kempon Hokke  members own this blog and write independently about whatever 

topic is interesting. We're a diverse group and so we'll have more writers in the 

future! So that's the beauty of the Lotus Sutra, as all of us in our splendid differences

will attain buddhahood.

 

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Daily Life as a Buddhist in Kempon Hokke




"You must believe AND understand the Tathagata’s words of sincerity and truth."  Three times.  The Boddhisattvas ironically respond by promising not to understand, but to take the Original Buddhas word on faith.  And on that basis, Nichiren (I am assuming here), at times in his writings defended his disciples saying just because they don’t read and write the Lotus Sutra or maybe understand its meaning, the fact that they are chanting is enough to bring them the wisdom they need to live the Lotus Sutra.  

However, the Kempon Hokke sect studies,  reads directly from the Lotus Sutra and discusses it in terms of trying to understand it.  It is through the dharma school headed by Rev. Tsuchiya and his lectures that has spurred the membership to find (or open) their copies of the Lotus Sutra and study Buddhism from the source of Buddhist teachings.  

After so long in another sect busying myself with meetings and other distractions, I think now that somewhere along the line, I lowered my own expectations about what I really needed to know about Buddhism in general.   One thing that I did know, was my practice, that is to say my chanting and recitation of gongyo was not very dignified and felt wrong to me for years, going after things, my head full of my own desires that I was to extinguish by showing proof of this practice thereby having to make all these desires come to fruition.  

But,  after being on my own and having only the writings of Nichiren to hang onto for six or seven years, I was able to clear a lot of old terminology and buzz words, misleading understandings of true Buddhism and read Nichiren’s teachings without some editor in my head telling me what was important  and what to ignore.  

For me it took that kind of redirecting my mind and interest in real Buddhism to recognize the Kempon Hokke Sect as a true and valuable source for living Nichiren’s teachings when I ran across it.  

And now,  after meeting and discussing some pretty heady concepts from the Lotus Sutra and other real issues of Buddhism with very a well read, (and out of my league) group of  people, it feels  like I am attending the Oxford school of Buddhism, and I’m so excited and enthusiastic to see what Reverend Tsuchiya gives us and then how it is received by this very studious group of people, myself included .   It had never occurred to me to find a copy of the actual Lotus Sutra, (let alone the ‘correct’ translation . . . ) and being up for the challenge of discovering the truths of Nichiren's teachings.  It is a privilege to be in front of my Gohonzon (with Eyes Open), chanting to hear the Dharma, acknowledge Shakyamuni as the Original Buddha and finally as I sit down to practice dignifying the true Ceremony, with relevant prayers and vows, and to know inside that I am practicing True Buddhism the way Nichiren taught with a true teacher and sincere fellow believers.   I am happy and at ease.  

The "True" Buddha

I am sure many of you, like me, have come across the term, "True Buddha." In my flirtation with Nichiren Shoshu and SGI, I used to hear this term all the time, especially in reference to Nichiren Shonin. So what (or who), exactly, is the "True Buddha?" I did a lot of research on this and found a great explanation...

Nobody. It’s a misleading term made up by the Taisekiji branch of Nichiren Buddhism (Nichiren Shoshu and, by association, Soka Gakkai International). The term is not used by Nichiren anywhere in the Gosho. It is not used by any other branch of Nichiren Buddhism. There is no such thing as a “true Buddha;” either one is a Buddha or one isn’t. There is no “false Buddha.” The Taisekiji branch believes that Nichiren is the “True Buddha,” saying that because he inscribed the Go
honzon, he must be superior to Shakyamuni, and therefore the only “true” Buddha. They then discard Shakyamuni, which has the action of discarding the Eternal Buddha, and thus invalidating their entire set of beliefs. In the Lotus Sutra, the Buddha prophesied that this would happen during the period of the decline of the Law, the Age of Mappo that we are living in now. Those that heed the prophecy and follow only the Eternal Buddha can be called true “votaries of the Lotus Sutra,” otherwise it is called “slander.”

A simple reading of the Lotus Sutra and Nichiren’s writings shows that the Buddha revealed his own Eternal nature, and that Nichiren (having studied the Lotus Sutra extensively, and can thus be considered an expert on it) revered Shakyamuni as both the “Eternal” and the “Original” Buddha.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Dharma Lesson

Here is this week's Dharma Lesson on the Lotus Sutra from Rev. Tsuchiya. Reposted from our KHS facebook group
 https://www.facebook.com/groups/132617453417313/
 
The teacher of the Dharma, chapter 10
(scripture 53)
You need not enshrine my relics into the stupa, because my whole body already exists in there.

(significance)
This teaches that believing the Lotus Sutra means believing the real existence of the eternal Buddha Shakamuni. It is said that you need not enshrine His relics (Shari) which are bones and ashes after cremation, because it is taught by the Lotus Sutra that the Buddha is eternal without appearance or disappearance and that His whole body is beside those who believe the Lotus Sutra. That is to say, it teaches that you need not enshrine His relics, because you believe the eternal Buddha who is active having perfect body. The faith to the Lotus Sutra is to believe the real existence of the Buddha. Although we make a wooden statue of the Buddha or write the name of the Buddha, it is not the intention of the Lotus Sutra that you worship the statue or the character of name as the Buddha. In the Jyuryo chapter 16, it is said that "I am here, not extinguished yet", in the Jinriki chapter 21, it is taught that "In any place where the Lotus Sutra is enshrined, I am always there." Therefore, it is the ideal of the Lotus Sutra that you should advance to the awareness of the real existence of the Buddha.

Of course, making statue and picture of the Buddhait is not bad deed, but devoting yourself to worship those substances formally is not the intention of the Lotus Sutra. Because the Buddha said "You need not enshrine my relics", also statues or pictures become the same object as relics. If you stick to those portrayal objects and forget the eternal Buddha, there is a possibility that you will fall into the idol worship. There is the wrong sect which says "Only our Mandara Honzon enshrined in the head temple is orthodox" and "Other Honzons which are not directly connected with our Honzon have no benefit." They think it is most important that Nichiren shounin wrote Mandara, but don't understand why Nichiren shonin gave Mandara Honzon written by characters. If you are asking persistently "Which is best one to worship, image of Buddha or Mandara?", your study won't make progress to the consciousness about the real existence of the original Buddha.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Erect a toba for animals

We were talking about the buddhahood of animals:

and for those of us like myself who were drawn to the Lotus Sutra because of its

great vision of the buddhahood of all sentient beings, there is something we can do

to help animals achieve liberation. What is it? Here let me quote from a gosho

Nichiren wrote To the Tonsured Layman Nakaoki  ( Nakaoki nyudo goshosoku, STN, v.2

1718-1719)

Moreover, on the thirteenth anniversary of the death of your infant daughter, you erected a sixteen foot sotoba with the seven characters Namu-myoho-renge-kyo inscribed on it. When the north wind blows, it is said, fish in the southern sea who are touched by it will be released from their sufferings; and when the wind comes from the east, birds and deer in the western mountains who come in contact with it will escape from the path of Animality and be born in the inner court of the Tushita Heaven. 

Tushita Heaven is a pure land where the future Buddha of the earth, the bodhisattva

Maitreya dwells, Nichiren explained that such various pure lands are in reality the pure 

land of Eagle Peak of the 16th chapter of the Lotus Sutra where the Eternal Buddha 

Shakyamuni is. 

Now a toba is usually understood as a Japanese memorial tablet commonly put up for 

dead like here:
                         

 
 Toba is the Japanese term for a stupa. It can be for living beings too. So if

you wish to help the birds, insects, fish, butterflies and your loving pets, inscribe a toba

with Namu Myoho renge kyo and set it up outside and by this toba and faith in the

Lotus Sutra you will benefit the multitude of animals so  they will be born in the pure 

land of Sacred Eagle Peak and achieve 

buddhahood.
                              

Monday, July 1, 2013

Online Sangha

Online sangha meets Sunday July 7th, 9pm GMT:

Our online sangha meets via Google Talk  the first Sunday of the month, 9pm 

GMT, London time; that's 10 pm Netherlands time, 4pm EST, 3pm MT, 1pm PT, 

10am Hawaii time.

Everyone is welcome to join us, all you need is a free gmail account and to 

download free Google Talk http://www.google.com/hangouts/   Hmm, well

they've changed the name, but you get the point. Anyway we have gongyo: we 

chant Chapters 2 and 16 from the Lotus Sutra, then we have study, discussing

the sutra then we chat and we wind up with daimoku. It lasts about an hour.

If you have questions, ask anything you want, we're an open group.

If you wish to join just send me your gmail address and also your time zone, so

I can tell you when we'll start. 

It's really great if you a practicing alone to have a group of friendly faces to 

chant with. And no pressure; I promise I won't come to your home later and 

make you 

join;-).