Category Archives: Awakening to the Lotus

Death

The suffering of birth, old age, sickness, and death are facts of everyone’s lives. No matter how developed science may become or how far medicine may advance, these cannot be avoided. Buddhism teaches, however, that when a person discovers that he or she exists within the life of the Eternal Buddha and can perceive the great stream of life flowing endlessly from the past through the present and into the future, he or she will escape the suffering that these events normally cause.

Awakening to the Lotus

The Pilgrimage to Mount Sacred Eagle

Most Buddhists do not believe that everything about us ceases to exist upon our death. Death is the starting point of a new journey. Nichiren Shonin taught that death is a pilgrimage to Mount Sacred Eagle – an encounter with the Eternal Buddha and with Nichiren Shonin.

Awakening to the Lotus

Changing the World

We can truly change the world for good. This is the bodhisattva ideal: to save all living beings as we walk our own path to enlightenment. By following the teachings of Nichiren Shonin and the Lotus Sutra, we can walk the Bodhisattva Path and transform this world into the Buddha’s Pure Land.

Awakening to the Lotus

Judging the Truth of Any Teaching

The Nirvana Sutra … set out four guidelines for judging the truth of any teaching. … These guidelines are: (1) to rely upon the Dharma, not upon persons; (2) to rely on the meaning, not on the words alone; (3)to rely on wisdom, not on knowledge alone; and (4) to rely on sutras that reveal the whole truth, not on sutras that only reveal partial truth.

Awakening to the Lotus

The Buddha’s Last Words

Finally, in the night of February 15th, the Buddha spoke the words, “Make yourself your guiding light; rely on yourself instead of on others. Make the Dharma your guiding light; rely on the Dharma instead of on others.”

Awakening to the Lotus

True Compassion

When we feel true compassion, our words and actions will affect other people and serve to increase their joy or lessen their pain. When this happens, we will make this world the Buddha’s pure land, not only in deepest truth but in a way that can be seen by all people.

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