"Real happiness is found in the struggles we undergo to realise our goals, in our efforts to move forward." Daisaku Ikeda
Yesterday I was reading through a new book that I picked up from the YWD Training Course. It is called “Learning from the writings, The Hope-Filled Teachings of Nichiren Daishonin. SGI President Ikeda’s Lecture series.
I highly recommend it for any SGI member, or person interested in the teachings of Nichiren Daishonin Buddhism.
A page (47) struck me yesterday as I was contemplating some of the negative thoughts and feelings of anger I’ve been facing this week, post training course. I think it is natural to feel challenged by lower life states after such a high intensity experience, and one solely based on the study, practice and development of faith towards the Lotus Sutra and Mystic Law inherent in all things. It is the nature of our innate darkness and external forces willing to knock me off this higher plane because of the study and steadfast determination to challenge all that stands in my way. To amp up my chanting and to spread this Buddhism through dialogue.
I felt compelled enough to share this piece of writing with our Ikeda-Kayo-Kai group and felt it may be of use to you too. So here goes. Please remember when studying this Buddhist practice, words are merely words. So do not get caught up on those, there is always a deeper more significant meaning to each word used. And as the teachings are primarily translated from Japanese to English some times the translations aren’t precise words that we would use in every day English culture. The word Devil and King in particular – Are merely representing the concept of innate darkness or evil that presides over our lives at any given moment. Negative thoughts, feelings… towards generally very trivial circumstances. Or a defeated attitude towards something that seems insurmountable.
Hey ladies, had such a great time at TC, started feeling lower life states this week though! I was just reading this. It’s a bit long – but please bare with it.
“Since the lotus sutra is a teaching of freedom and self-empowerment of the most profound degree, the devil king (DK6) seeks to interfere with it’s development, practice and propagation.”
DK6 is considered a manifestation of the fundamental darkness inherent in life.
“A state of delusion in which one denies or is ignorant of the essential truth, namely that Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo is one’s own life.” Myo being the mystic force, and law of our interconnectedness and life itself. The molecules and particles that give us physical and non physical existence.
“fundamental darkness is not destroyed by Buddhahood, nor is Buddhahood destroyed by fundamental darkness, since life at every moment possesses each of the Ten worlds from Hell to Buddhahood. Instead the continued practice of Buddhism in the face of obstacles establishes Buddhahood as the dominant life condition, thus minimizing the influence of the devil king.” This is by far the most important part of this sharing.
It is saying that without a doubt we will face challenges in practicing this Buddhism because it is of the purest form. It is empowering people – ALL people regardless of who they are, and where they have come from to realise that there is Buddhahood in ALL people and that we can attain buddhahood in this lifetime for certain. It is a state of life, which stabilizes the more we practice and chant Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo. The more we chant, the more obstacles and situations will occur that will attempt to stop us from doing our morning and evening Gongyo. But what is most important is that we CONTINUE to practice in the face of obstacles. Thus enabling our Buddha selves to be the dominant state of life. Making it easier to shrug off challenges and suffering a lot quicker.
Michael Coles has said in the latest focus that “Buddhism is about striving, creating value in each moment through strong positive life-force coupled with wisdom, compassion and courage” he also looks over the last few years of his chanting and says that “It is clear to me that I have dug out of ruts faster and I’ve reacted to criticism more constructively.” This is a prime example of using our practice to forge a more unshakable state of life able to deal with any adversity we may face. Lastly he says “Nichiren Buddhism allows me to say that chanting to the Gohonzon with faith builds character value, or builds and maintains the life-force required to engage positively with any environment.”
Something I have been thinking about a lot, and was struggling to understand why I was feeling thoughts of anger, frustration. It is a sign to do more chanting, and to overcome these natural human impulses. I am taking action through chanting to persevere and to continue challenging those thoughts. To deepen my roots of faith, and practicality in this world of suffering and challenge.
Stay well, xx Warm xx and Happy!
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