Sherlock wrote:This is somewhat related to the Dharma and magic thread in the free-for-all section, you might like to go through that thread as well.
I know little about SGi but rituals for worldly aims have been common in most types of Buddhism for millennia and SGI really should not be criticised for that alone. Now if these worldly rituals become the mainstay of their practice then there is a problem IMO though.
Jikan wrote:I'd like to know if this aspect of practice in SGI departs in a significant way from the Buddhism that Nichiren taught. I have some ideas on this, but I'll defer to those who know better before I open my mouth on it.
Jikan wrote:I'd like to know if this aspect of practice in SGI departs in a significant way from the Buddhism that Nichiren taught.
Queequeg wrote:I watched for years as my mother, a founding member of Soka Gakkai in the US, counseled people facing real life struggles. There is a reason why no other Buddhist organization has been able to make inroads into such a diverse population - not everyone is a privileged middle class college educated white person. Real people have real problems, not just first world problems http://www.quickmeme.com/meme/35kv9g/. I saw people in mentally and physically abusive relationships, with no money and crying kids to take care of grasping for the least hint of hope in life. They didn't need the Buddha to tell them that life is suffering. What they needed was something to hope on and give them the strength to keep forging on in their life.
And when the rent is paid, when the kids are fed, when the immediate danger is passed, when we have been lured out of the burning house with promise of goat carts, horse carts and ox carts, and some of the advantages that enable us to undertake Buddhist practice are secured, then one can start worrying about the True Aspect of Reality and all that stuff the 'elite' Buddhists think is what Buddhism is really about.
OregonBuddhist wrote:Thank you.
I've heard the term "Desires are enlightenment," but I'm not sure if I should trust that this comes from Nichiren himself. Does anyone know? Thanks.
Queequeg wrote:In my experience, it does not matter. We often practice in front of a mandala. I was taught to focus my gaze on the "myoho" "妙法" characters of the Daimoku, and that's what I do. However, I also chant the Daimoku to myself all the time - walking down the street, laying in bed, brushing my teeth, watching football games I have money riding on... just kidding about the last one. I stopped doing that a long time ago.
I've always thought it would be difficult for people who can't read the characters on the mandala to know what they are looking at. What good is staring at a bunch of calligraphy?
It might be good to understand what one is looking at when looking on the Gohonzon, and understand its symbolic meaning. This would be appropriate for another thread. Then you might find the answer for eye open or closed for yourself.
Jikan wrote:Kirt is right. Chih-i (Zhiyi) produced a number of radical claims: that evil is, in a sense, precisely good (for instance). It's not an invitation to indulgence, hatred, or stupidity, or passivity for that matter. It means that awakening is to be found in everyday experience, inclusive of the afflictive emotions. Without ignorance, could wisdom ever emerge?
Jikan wrote:Kirt is right. Chih-i (Zhiyi) produced a number of radical claims: that evil is, in a sense, precisely good (for instance)... It means that awakening is to be found in everyday experience, inclusive of the afflictive emotions. Without ignorance, could wisdom ever emerge?
The perfect-and-sudden [method of practicing cessation-and-contemplation] involves taking the true aspects [of reality] as the object from the very beginning. Whatever is made to be the object [of contemplation], it is the Middle; there is nothing that is not truly real. [When one attains the state of contemplation wherein] reality itself (dharmadhatu) is fixed as the object [of contemplation], and thoughts are integrated with reality itself, [then one realizes that] there is not a single color or scent that is not the Middle Way. It is the same for the realm of the individual, the realm of Buddhas, and the world at large. All [phenomena experienced through] the aggregates (skandha) and senses (ayatana) are thusness; therefore there is no [substantial] suffering that needs to be removed. Since ignorance (avidya) and the exhausting dust [of passionate afflictions (kleša)] are indivisible with bodhi-wisdom, there is no origin [of suffering; i.e., craving] to be severed. Since the extreme [dualities] and false [views] are [indivisible with] the Middle and what is right, there is no path to be cultivated. Since [this cyclic world of] samsara is [indivisible with] nirvana, there is no extinguishing [of craving] to be realized. Since suffering and its causes do not exist [substantially], there is no mundane world [to be transcended]; since the path and the extinction [of craving] do not exist [substantially], there is no transcendent world [to be gained]. There is purely the single true aspect [of reality-as-it-is]; there are no separate things outside this true aspect. For things in themselves (dharmata) to be quiescent is called “cessation”; to be quiescent yet ever luminous is called “contemplation.” Though earlier and later [stages] are spoken of, they are neither two nor separate. This is called perfect-and-sudden cessation-and-contemplation.
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