Rokushu wrote:Oh Illarraza, somebody on another thread said you are a member of Kempon Hokke Shu and you could tell me about this group, are you a priest? Please do tell, what are your teachings? Who are some famous enlightened masters in your school? If someone practices Dharma according to KHS, can they attain enlightenment quickly? I'd appreciate any response, thanks so much!
Rokushu wrote:If Dogen were alive today, would he teach Zazen "just sitting", or maybe join Kempon Hokke Shu and become a zealous follower? Guess it depends on who you ask. So funny to think about!
I have heard that the SGI in Japan is falling apart and faction-izing, I do not know whats going on in Japan, sounds like it could be worse.
We are all terrible. I am not overly smart and I do not have any solutions other than senior members need to realize that they should put aside hissy fits from yesteryear because its all nonsense now, those days are over.
Queequeg wrote:I'm not sure where you heard this...
Queequeg wrote:The nonsense stops with us if we want it to. Do a little Jesus martyrdom - let the sins die with us.
JonJay wrote:Yes, this is one of the reasons I left SGI recently. I joined almost three years ago because it was the only "buddhist" sect in my area. I enjoyed it at first because of the diverse membership, the stress that was put on studying, and the teachings regarding persoanl responsibility.
The local members are great, and caring individuals. But the more I delved into the SGI history, and found quotes from President Toda about all religions being the enemies of Soka Gakkai, the continuous focus on a person (Ikeda) rather than the law, the non-disclosure of SGI-USA finances, etc. I just could not take it anymore. It was just getting too "culty" for my taste.
I understand that the SGI has helped many members and has many good qualities. I harbor no ill will. I have even met recently with the area leaders to discuss the reasons I decided to leave. All have been friendly conversations. I still consider them good people.
However, having studied further, I have come to the conclusion (although I'm always learning) that the Lotus Sutra has to be considered within its academic context. It was likely compiled long after the Buddha's time, by Mahayana devotees to defend their teachings.While it should be considered a valuable sutra, I don't believe at is necessarily THE sutra. I prefer to study with Tibetan Buddhists in a more traditional teaching. I like the sutra studies, the meditation practice, etc.
I'm still on the fence about rebirth, prophecies, and some of the esoteric teachings. But I prefer to concentrate on the practices designed to relieve suffering and attain Buddhahood in our lifetime. For me, this is the important point of Buddhism. I'm really not big on "doctrinal" issues. I think this is a really great philosophy, and one that can propel us into the next century. If human wisdom can advance on a par with technological achievement, we will all be better off.
Myoho-Nameless wrote:Before people had the Sutras, they had Shakyamuni in person. Someone (Madgulyayana?) after his death and after the compiling of the sutras said something like "its good that we have the sutras, but for me I will always remember the Buddha as an example".
As far as authenticity, the Lotus is in the exact same position as the Pali canon, or more importantly, the Pali canon is in the same position as the LS, ditto for the other sutras.
The problem is that Soka Gakkai took a fairly well developed form of Buddhism and then adapted it for modern Japanese. They then exported these crib notes abroad thinking they would work for people whose character and world view was forged in completely different historical conditions. The problem is, people outside Japan are not Japanese, and they have different sensibilities. SGI screws up because they try to take these crib notes and then adapt it to the local people. You're trying to idiosyncratically distort what is already distorted to meet the needs of non-Japanese.
I don't understand. What is the distortion? How was the teaching "adapted"?
I don't know your level of knowledge of Soka Gakkai doctrines or Nichiren doctrines, so I really don't know where to start. If you're really curious, a google search is a good place to start and will turn up plenty of material exploring all the ways Soka Gakkai is wrong. If you want more scholarly quality stuff, a good place to start is the Nanzan University Journal of Japanese Religions archives which are available online. It includes many articles from the 60s, 70s and 80s on Soka Gakkai. I guess we can start with this: in the late 40s or early 50s, Josei Toda got together with Hori Nichiko, the Abbot of Taisekiji, the head temple of the Nichiren Shoshu sect of Buddhism to formulate a daily practice for Soka Gakkai lay persons based on practices at Taisekiji. That practice was then marketed heavily as a magical formula to get you whatever your heart desired; to put more polish on it, they would talk about world peace through individual happiness, with happiness being very heavily defined by the materialism of the post-war period. They pretty much took the doctrine, Earthly Desires are Enlightenment (Bonnosokubodai) at face value and sold that to a populace recovering from the material and spiritual devastation of the Second World War. The two presidents, Toda, and then Ikeda, did a lot of interpreting of Nichiren's writings, as well as the Lotus Sutra, to arguably make it more relevant and accessible to modern Japanese. Some of it was arguably harmless. Some of it good. Some of it was, in my opinion, bad.
Beyond that, I'm not sure where to go. Happy to discuss.
Can't open the Nanzan articles and other sources don't look promising. Let's start with bonno soku bodai.
In what way were the teachings distorted?
Its like I wrote above, people in Soka Gakkai tend to take that concept at face value and equate pursuit and fulfillment of their desires as Buddhist enlightenment.
If they do, I would say their understanding of the principle is superficial at best.
Not getting what you want is one of the eight sufferings inherent in temporal existence.
Overcoming suffering is the purpose of Buddhist practice.
Changing karma isn't magic. It's cause and effect.
This article, which unfortunately is now off limits to non-contributors, is an interview with Jacqueline Stone of Princeton. She says praying for material gains has a long history in Buddhism and strong basis in Buddhist scripture. She said that historically Buddhists in Asia have always viewed the fulfillment of spiritual and temporal needs as being on a continuum. http://www.tricycle.com/special-section ... line-stone
dude wrote:Are you telling me that there was a physical confrontation between SGI members and Nichiren Shoshu priests in New York City?
joybringer wrote:dude wrote:Are you telling me that there was a physical confrontation between SGI members and Nichiren Shoshu priests in New York City?
Yes there was a incident where members of the Young Men's Division were sent to physically yell at and confront the local Priest in Queens New York.
I was deeply disturbed by the incident since I was in fact a YMD leader and I was specifically excluded from being told about going. I believe that they knew that I would have said we should or could speak to the local Priest but to yell at or act in a way to convey physical intimidation is wholly at odds with Buddhism. My seniors in faith tried to convince me it is was all for theatrics and to send a message. I knew however at that time in the organization you didn't send YMD to convey a message. We were a very aggressive group at that time and sending those young men to confront the priest in that manner was clearly seeking to create a situation or "incident" that could be used later as a rallying cry.
In any event soon thereafter I had to go to grad school and when I came back I had not been removed from my position but no one ever contacted me about any activity or function. No one. I did in fact visit the Cultural center in Manhattan New York on my own and the environment was one of suspicions about everyone. The center really had the feeling of an armed camp. In any event that was my last significant experience though in order to support friends in SGI I did go to the center many years later and the members seemed very happy and the energy I felt earlier had seemed to dissipate.
The major change I see now from a distance is that almost everything is centered around President Ikeda's pronouncements and elucidation of Buddhism as opposed to a focus on Nichiren Daishonin as seen through the eyes of the understanding of the priesthood.
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