Buddhism,  Enlightenment,  True Cause

Eternity In A Moment


The Buddhist principle of “three thousand realms in a single moment of life” suggests that the past, future and all aspects of the physical environment exist in the present. [1]

Nichiren Daishonin writes:

Just as a commoner can become a king in this present life, so can an ordinary person become a Buddha instantly. This is the heart of the doctrine of ‘three thousand realms in a single moment of life.’ [2] We, therefore, have the power, at each moment, to transform our circumstances and create a positive future.

The Soka Philosophy of Empowerment ~ Living Buddhism ~ June 1, 2022 ~ p. 12

GB 684 Borrelli Arte affresco su rete e tnt tessuto non tessuto

The three thousand realms of existence are all possessed by life in a single moment. If there is no life, that is the end of the matter. But if there is the slightest bit of life, it contains all the three thousand realms…This is what we mean when we speak of the “region of the unfathomable.” [3]

SGI President Ikeda writes:

“A change in our mind or single life-moment can greatly alter our state of life and open up our world.”

Buddhism teaches that at every moment, our individual lives are a manifestation of the life of the universe itself. The essential, eternal nature of life and the variety of ways it can manifest as temporary phenomena are the workings of the Mystic Law or Myoho. [4] [5]

Buddhism of the True Cause

Nichiren’s teaching is known as the “Buddhism of the True Cause” because it elucidates the fundamental Law of Nam Myoho Renge Kyo by which all Buddhas attain their original enlightenment and by which all people can reveal their own Buddhahood. To explain further, Nichiren states, “If you want to understand the causes that existed in the past, look at the results that are manifested in the present. And if you want to understand what results will be manifested in the future, look at the causes that exist in the present.” [6]

Past, present and future – from the standpoint of the mystic principle of true cause – exist fully in this moment.

SGI President Ikeda writes: “By chanting Nam Myoho Renge Kyo, we can instantly cause…the life state of the Buddha, just as it is, that resides within all of us – to emerge from the depths of our lives. In other words, the act of chanting Nam Myoho Renge Kyo is the very practice that condenses eternity into a single moment of life.” [7]

From this perspective, enlightenment or happiness is an ever-present potential within our lives, just waiting to be brought forth in the present moment, regardless of what happened to us in the past.



[1] The Soka Philosophy of Empowerment ~ Living Buddhism ~ June 1, 2022 ~ p. 12

[2] Letter to the Sage Nichimyo ~ The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin ~ Vol. 1 p. 324

[3] The Object of Devotion for Observing the Mind ~ The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin ~ Vol 1 p. 354

[4] Three Thousand Realms In A Single Moment of Life ~ Living Buddhism ~ Nov 1, 2009

[5] The “Teaching Hidden in the Depths of the Sutra” – The Supreme Law That Opens the Path to Buddhahood For All People ~ Living Buddhism ~ July 1, 2017

[6] The Opening of the Eyes ~ The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin ~ Vol 1. p. 279

[7] Basic Buddhist Concepts: Creating Our Destiny in the Present Moment ~ Living Buddhism ~ Mar 1, 2011

Featured Image: Ancient Egypt Sketches, Kevin Zamir Goeke on ArtStation

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