Category Archives: Awakening to the Lotus

The Lesson of Bodhisattva Never Despise

Because all human beings have the potential to become Buddhas – their lives contain the world of Buddhahood because of ichinen sansen – we should treat all other people was we wish to be treated ourselves. We should keep in mind the lesson of Bodhisattva Never Despise in Chapter 20 of the Lotus Sutra, who told everyone that he met that he respected them because they would become Buddhas one day.

Awakening to the Lotus

Basic Truths

The Nichiren Shu recognizes certain basic truths that our daily lives should express in our actions. These truths … should naturally arise from our Buddhist practice; that is, we should live this way not because we are supposed to follow some rules, but because they express our natural beliefs.

Awakening to the Lotus

Nichiren Shu Creed

Nichiren Shu creed:

  1. We base our life on the example of the Lotus Sutra as personally experienced by Nichiren Shonin.
  2. We put our faith in the Eternal Buddha Sakyamumi, who is the true teacher of wisdom and compassion for all people.
  3. We train ourselves to attain Buddhahood by upholding Namu Myoho Renge Kyo, both in action and in spirit.
  4. Our teacher is Nichiren Shonin, who vowed to cultivate the Buddha nature of all people and create the land of the Buddha in this world. We also vow to work for that goal.
  5. We are all the Buddha’s children, and we will live together peacefully with all people in our search for the Truth.
Awakening to the Lotus

Understanding by Faith

In the [Lotus] sutra, the Buddha said, “They will be able to understand [this sutra] by faith.” The transfer of merit from the Odaimoku is based simply on faith, not on intellectual understanding. Note that this is not “blind faith” as it is sometimes understood in Western culture; instead, it is initial trust that allows us to move to a point at which we see the truth of the Lotus Sutra for ourselves.

Awakening to the Lotus

The Jewel of Salvation

In his Treatise on Spiritual Insight and the Most Venerable One, Nichiren Shonin explained how the Buddha extends his salvation to us:

For those who are incapable of understanding the truth of ichinen sanzen, Lord Sakyamumi Buddha, with his great compassion, wraps this jewel with the five characters of myo, ho, ren, ge, and kyo and hangs it around the neck of the ignorant in the Declining Age of the Dharma. [Writings of Nichiren Shonin: Doctrine 2, p. 164]

Awakening to the Lotus

The Precept Platform

Nichiren Shonin’s teachings indicate that the precept platform can be anywhere one practices chanting Namu Myoho Renge Kyo.

Awakening to the Lotus

Rich Soil of Buddha Nature

Buddha nature is like rich soil that has great potential to bring forth excellent fruit. Nonetheless, in order to make the fruit, you need not only the soil but also seeds, water, and sunshine. This is the function that our Buddhist practice serves. In Nichiren Buddhism, the Lotus Sutra and the Odaimoku are the seeds of Buddhahood that with careful practice will sprout and grow. Eventually the “sprout” will mature and the flower of enlightenment can bloom.

Awakening to the Lotus