500 Yojanas

Once upon a time there was a dangerous, bad road five hundred yojanas long. It was so fearful that no men lived in the neighborhood. Now many people wished to pass through this road in order to reach a place of treasures.

The Parable of a Magic City, Chapter VII, The Lotus Sutra

The idea for the title of this website comes from Rev. Ryusho Jeffus’ “The Magic City: Studying the Lotus Sutra.” Ryusho Shonin explains: “Yojana is both a measurement of distance as well as time. Simply stated a yojana is the distance an ox-cart can travel in one day. As carts improved in construction and roads also improved the distance grew but it was still a measurement of days.”

A journey of 500 yojanas that ends today, Thursday, February 22, 2018, began 499 days ago on Tuesday, October 11, 2016. And a journey of 500 yojanas that begins today will reach its destination on Saturday, July 6, 2019

Ryusho Shonin goes on to say, “I wonder what you could accomplish in your life if you made a commitment from today for 500 days to practice on a regular consistent basis towards the achievement of some change in your life? Would you be able to travel the entire 500 days without giving up or abandoning or forgetting your goal and effort?”

On Aug. 30, 2015, I had something of an epiphany: At 63, I’m old enough to believe I’ll live to see my death.

A month later, Rev. Ryusho Jeffus, during a discussion following online services at Myosho-ji, suggested that a 500-day journey is trivial. A 10-year timeframe is more useful for judging the merits of the practice of Nichiren Buddhism.

One of the aspects of this 500 Yojanas project that I’m enjoying is its finite nature. My goal is, quite literally, to blog until I die.

The idea here is to help remember the goals and the causes made and lessons learned.

500 days. 10 years. This journey will be a lifetime.

John Hughes
Sacramento, California

On the Journey to a Place of Treasures