I watched a few episodes of Lisa Ling’s “This is Life” last year and the title of her TV show made me think of the circumstances we presently face. I’ve often thought over the years that my (our) battle is one of truth and justice or good versus evil. I felt out numbered all these years in the fight for justice, when it seemed the evil was stronger than the good. Last week I realized that this battle is also for life itself.
In Buddhism, life encompasses both birth and death as well as both sentient and insentient beings. The term “Buddha” or “Buddhahood” literally means “enlightened one,” but also means life in its purest form. Buddhahood – described as a state of life that is free, open, and harmonious – is achieved by chanting Nam Myoho Renge Kyo.
Although I never gave much thought as to how I would describe this state of life (Buddhahood), Second SGI President Toda described his feelings after attaining his realization in prison:
It is like lying on your back in a wide open space looking up at the sky with arms and legs outstretched. All that you wish for immediately appears. No matter how much you may give away, there is always more. It is never exhausted.
“Living Buddhism” February 2017, p. 13
The image this brings to mind is one of a young child lying in a grassy field on a summer day staring up at the blue sky and the white clouds. The last two sentences make me think of love: “No matter how much you may give away, there is always more. It is never exhausted.”
“No matter how much love you may give away, there is always more love. It is never exhausted.” Love isn’t something we run out of, or only have in limited supply. It can be given to or shared with one person or many. I think we have an unlimited amount of love to share with each other.
DUST IF YOU MUST
Dust if you must, but wouldn’t it be better
To paint a picture or write a letter,
Bake a cake or plant a seed,
Ponder the difference between want and need?
Dust if you must, but there’s not much time,
With rivers to swim and mountains to climb,
Music to hear and books to read,
Friends to cherish and life to lead.
Dust if you must, but the world’s out there,
With the sun in your eyes , the wind in your hair,
A flutter of snow, a shower of rain.
This day will not come around again.
Dust if you must, but bear in mind,
Old age will come and it’s not kind.
And when you go – and go you must –
You, yourself, will make more dust.
Forever and Anon
Happy New Year! I received these set of stamps from SGI President Ikeda in 1999 as part of a young women’s behind-the-scenes support group with the SGI-USA in Washington, DC.
The left stamp says:
GOOD HEALTH & LONGEVITY
The stamp on the right says:
I hope we all find good health & longevity in the coming year and are able to work for world peace for many more years to come.
Happy New Year!