Beach Bonfire

The Eternity of Life

When I was younger, I remembered this quote from a passage of Nichiren Daishonin’s writings: “One should first study death before all other matters.” Perhaps death isn’t a very cheerful matter to delve into, but I did this in college with another book on Buddhism, “Unlocking the Mysteries of Birth and Death: A Buddhist View of Life.” This book provided me with a much greater understanding of both life and death, and I have relied on this view since that time. From a Buddhist perspective, life is eternal and birth and death are both part of eternal life.

“The life of a human being is fleeting. The exhaled breath never waits for the inhaled one. Even dew before the wind is hardly a sufficient metaphor. It is the way of the world that whether one is wise or foolish, old or young, one never knows what will happen to one from one moment to the next. Therefore I should first of all learn about death, and then about other things.”

The Importance of the Moment of Death, WND II p. 297

When we’re young, we give little thought to growing old or the reality of death. For many people, death and dying is their greatest fear, others give no thought to how they live.

President Ikeda summarizes the importance of being true to ourselves succinctly: “Death will come to each of us some day. We can die having fought hard for our beliefs and convictions, or we can die having failed to do so. Since the reality of death is the same in either case, isn’t it far better that we set out on our journey toward the next existence in high spirits with a bright smile on our faces, knowing that in everything we did, we did the very best we could, thrilling with the sense ‘That was truly an interesting life’?” (“The Buddha in Your Mirror” p. 202).

“Buddhist Concept for Today’s Living” Living Buddhism October 1, 2001 p. 6

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Happy New Year!

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:

WORLD PEACE

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!

Jennifer

On Establishing the Correct Teaching for the Peace of the Land

If you care anything about your personal security, you should first of all pray for order and tranquillity throughout the four quarters of the land, should you not?

“On Establishing the Correct Teaching for the Peace of the Land” WND Vol: 1 p.24

Myo Means To Open

In Nichiren Buddhism, the Gohonzon is considered the object of worship. Honzon is a Japanese word meaning “object of fundamental respect or devotion.” The prefix go means “worthy of honor.” While Nam-myoho-renge-kyo is the ultimate law of the universe, the Gohonzon is its graphic expression. Nam Myoho Renge Kyo is written down the center of a rice paper scroll in a combination of Sanskrit and Chinese characters.

 

The Chinese character myo is pictured here:

The character myō (from Nam Myoho Renge Kyo) is rendered in Sanskrit as sad, and in Chinese, as miao. Myō means to be fully endowed, which in turn has the meaning of “perfect and full.” Nichiren Daishonin explains that people can rid their lives of negative karma and gain fortune and virtue because the Mystic Law, as represented by the character myo, produces three beneficial results. It enables people to “open” their lives and draw forth their innate Buddha nature; to see their lives “fully endowed” with everything they need to become happy; and to “revive” their lives to the state of Buddhahood. This is taken from the “The Daimoku of the Lotus Sutra” in which Nichiren Daishonin explains the two meanings of myo—to be fully endowed and to revive. So when Nichiren Daishonin says that the meaning of the Mystic Law is “fully endowed” or “perfection,” he tells us that our lives are innately endowed with everything we need to become happy and free, exactly the same as the Buddha’s life.

Study of Nichiren Daishonin’s Writings: “The Daimoku of the Lotus Sutra”

Living Buddhism, May 1 1997, p 6.