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Mandala Gohonzon

Rare view of the full Mandala Gohonzon at the Sacramento Nichiren Buddhist Church
Mandala Gohonzon at Sacramento Nichiren Buddhist Church

The third Sunday of December is designated as the day to do a thorough cleaning of the temple. At the Sacramento Nichiren Buddhist Church this is a rare opportunity to see the full Mandala Gohonzon. Normally, the statue of Nichiren obscures the bottom third.

Before beginning, Ven. Kenjo Igarashi lit incense and then cleansed his hands in the smoke. After moving the statue of Nichiren he cleansed a large calligraphy brush with the incense smoke and proceeded to dust the statue.
The annual cleaning of the altar includes dusting the inside of the Butsudan.

Here’s a video that includes 125 Mandala Gohonzons inscribed by Nichiren Shonin.

Cleanup

Flowers offered for the Dec. 17, 2017, service at the Sacramento Nichiren Buddhist Church.
Ven. Kenjo Igarashi performed a Bodhi Day service commemorating Prince Siddharha’s becoming the Buddha followed by the monthly Kaji Kito purification and concluding with a memorial service for a relative of a church member. Wasn’t surprising at all that the topic of his lecture was year-end cleaning.

When Rev. Igarashi first became a minister his master would constantly tell him just clean up — clean up the temple, clean up the altar, clean up everything first. That’s how you practice. Chanting the sutra is very important but cleaning the temple, cleaning the altar and cleaning everything is the first practice. That’s why all the time I just clean up everywhere.

When Rev. Igarashi first arrived in Sacramento, it was a tradition that male members of the church would get together monthly to clean the grounds around the temple. But they just complained and complained, and so, little by little, Rev. Igarashi took over the gardening and cleanup of the grounds by himself. One day, long after the tradition of having men clean the grounds was abandoned, a church member commented to Rev. Igarashi that the church had a pretty good gardener and a pretty good janitor.

“So that’s why I’m a pretty good janitor or a gardener than a good minister,” he said, laughing. “That’s alright. It’s just my practice is to clean up everything.”

This isn’t just trash, he explained. It’s a treasure mountain. There is a lot of treasure to be found in cleaning up. That’s why practicing and cleanup is very important.

“Now I am giving you purification — kaji kito. I’m cleaning up your mind and your spirit too, not just the temple,” he said. “I clean up your spirit and mind all the time.”

Rev. Igarashi then told the story of Ksudrapanthaka, one of the Buddha’s disciples. Ksudrapanthaka had joined with his brother, but unlike his brother Ksudrapanthaka just couldn’t remember anything he was taught. Not even the simplest verse. Eventually his brother grew angry and told Ksudrapanthaka to get out of the sangha. Sakyamuni found Ksudrapanthaka outside the monk’s quarters crying and asked him what was wrong. Ksudrapanthaka explained he couldn’t remember anything.

Sakyamuni gave Ksudrapanthaka a broom and told him to just remember “This is broom” as he cleaned up the temple. Ksudrapanthaka cleaned and chanted “This is broom” finally he remembered and developed strong faith. (See this explanation of Ksudrapanthaka’s realization.)

Rev. Igarashi also offered a little Japanese side note explaining why eating Japanese ginger is considered to make you forgetful. It turns out that when Ksudrapanthaka was buried Japanese ginger sprouted atop the grave.

As the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries of Japan explains in a Facebook post:

We have a saying in Japan, “You become forgetful if you eat myoga (Japanese ginger).” Do you know why? … A long time ago, one of the Buddha’s disciples was so virtuous that he became enlightened but, at the same time, he was extremely forgetful. Often, he even forgot his own name, so he hung a nameplate around his neck, but he was never able to remember his name for his entire life. After his death, the unknown plant that sprouted from his grave was given the name “myoga,” which means “bearing a name.”

Rev. Igarashi encouraged everyone, “At the end of this year, please clean up your spirit and clean up everything.”

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Inside cover of Myoho Renge Kyo Romanized

Thirty-two times thirty-two. That’s what the title explains. Each of the Post-It note arrows on the inside cover of my copy of the Nichiren Buddhist Sangha of Greater New England‘s Myoho Renge Kyo Romanized represents one time through the 28 chapters divided into eight volumes with each volume divided into four equal parts.

Inside cover of Myoho Renge Kyo RomanizedBack on July 19, 2016, I commented at length about the first 16 times through the 32-day cycle – 500 Days Divided By 32. The second time through the feat seems somewhat less noteworthy. Having surpassed the initial 500 days, I’m focusing now on that second goal: 10 years. That will be a little past the 114th time through, a future date somewhere in the eighth row of arrow PostIts.

Today’s milestone follows last month’s Two Lotus Sutra Years Later, which marked the first 24 months of 32 days of my complementary practice of repeating in English in the evening what I recited that day in Shindoku and posting excerpts here.

I have received immense benefits from this practice coupled with my other reading. Where will I be in 2025, when I enter my 10th year?

Butterfly Wings

In Chapter 3, A Parable, in the discussion of what to do about the burning house, Śākyamuni says:

Śāriputra! Seeing all this, I [also] thought, ‘I am the father of all living beings. I will eliminate their sufferings, give them the pleasure of the immeasurable wisdom of the Buddha, and cause them to enjoy it.’

“Śāriputra! I also thought, ‘If I extol my insight, powers, and fearlessness in the presence of those living beings only by my supernatural powers and by the power of my wisdom, that is to say, without any expedient, they will not be saved because they have not yet been saved from birth, old age, disease, death, grief, sorrow, suffering and lamentation, but are burning up in the burning house of the triple world. How can they understand the wisdom of the Buddha?’

This idea that Śākyamuni is capable of eliminating our sufferings but holds back is an important point taught in the Lotus Sūtra: We have to gain enlightenment ourselves; no god will intervene on our behalf.

I’ve been looking for examples to illustrate this concept, and the other day my yoga instructor, of all people, brought up this tale:

A man found a cocoon of a butterfly.

One day a small opening appeared. He sat and watched the butterfly for several hours as it struggled to squeeze its body through the tiny hole. Then it stopped, as if it couldn’t go further.

So the man decided to help the butterfly.

He took a pair of scissors and snipped off the remaining bits of cocoon. The butterfly emerged easily but it had a swollen body and shriveled wings.

The man continued to watch it, expecting that any minute the wings would enlarge and expand enough to support the body.

Neither happened!

In fact the butterfly spent the rest of its life crawling around. It was never able to fly.

What the man in his kindness and haste did not understand: The restricting cocoon and the struggle required by the butterfly to get through the opening was a way of forcing the fluid from the body into the wings so that it would be ready for flight once that was achieved.

Sometimes struggles are exactly what we need in our lives. Going through life with no obstacles would cripple us. We would not be as strong as we could have been and we would never be able to fly.

So we begin with this truth, told by Śākyamuni in Chapter 2, Expedients:

The Dharma cannot be shown.
It is inexplicable by words.
No one can understand it
Except the Buddhas
And the Bodhisattvas
Who are strong in the power of faith.

But we are not without directions on the effort required. This is how Lotus Path: Practicing the Lotus Sutra Volume 1, puts it:

We are given the perfect instructions in the Lotus Sutra for our individual attainment of enlightenment. It really doesn’t matter who we are, or even who we think we are. We can achieve the same enlightenment as all the Buddhas, though it will be unique to our individual selves. The directions are pretty straightforward. They are not complex, though they are difficult to maintain. Keeping, or upholding the sutra, reading it, reciting it, copying it and teaching are all we have to do. Praising the Lotus Sutra in all we do is fundamentally at the heart of each of these things.
Lotus Path: Practicing the Lotus Sutra Volume 1

And we do this practice every time we declare our devotion to the Sūtra of the Lotus Flower of the Wonderful Dharma.

As we struggle and chant Namu Myoho Renge Kyo and struggle and study and struggle and practice we prepare ourselves to escape this cocoon of illusions and emerge is this true Pure Land.

Shōretsu vs. Itchi Approach

Recently I’ve been refining my explanation of why I left Soka Gakkai and joined the Sacramento Nichiren Buddhist Church and Nichiren Shū.

Here’s the most recent example:

I joined Nichiren Shoshu in 1989 and when the split with Soka Gakkai occurred I stayed with SGI. Beginning around 2010 I felt a strong need to expand my practice. I attended more meetings, and volunteered at the SGI community center. I also read all of Nichiren’s writings, first in the Nichiren Shoshu translation and then in the Soka Gakkai. But instead of growing closer to SGI, I grew further away. Finally on Jan. 1, 2015, I severed ties with SGI and called Rev. [Kenjo] Igarashi and asked when the next service was scheduled.

A man on a plateau, feeling thirsty,
Dug a hole in order to get water.
As long as he saw the dug-out lumps of earth were dry,
He knew that water was still far off.
When he found the earth wet and muddy,
He was convinced that water was near.

In the same manner, Medicine-King, know this!
Those who do not hear
The Sūtra of the Lotus Flower of the Wonderful Dharma
Are far from the wisdom of the Buddha.

That quote from the Lotus Sutra, Chapter 10, The Teacher of the Dharma, describes my experience. All of the moisture is sucked out of the ground by SGI’s focus on President Ikeda. The Lotus Sutra is not studied. Śākyamuni is not worshiped as the original Buddha. Nichiren’s role as a great bodhisattva, the reincarnation of Jogyo, is ignored. I found moisture in Nichiren Shū and as I have continued to practice and study I have found water. I have a personal website where I store this water, with quotes from books and daily recitations of the Lotus Sutra and other dharma material. I also created the church’s website and stocked it with brochures from the Nichiren Buddhist Information Center and Rev. Igarashi’s lectures in an effort to attract more people to the church. I am no longer the newest member of the congregation.

I have been reading book three of the Nichiren Mandala Study Workshop’s The mandala in Nichiren Buddhism. Book three focuses on analysis of the mandala structure and development of the Gohonzon within successive Nichiren lineages. Last night I came across this explanation of the split in Nichiren schools.

The first schisms and formation of lineages

It is generally thought that the first division within the Nichiren Sangha was caused by different views about the calligraphic mandala versus the three-dimensional representation, made with a set of statues. Another important point of contention raised by the third and fourth generation disciples was the Shōretsu versus the Itchi approach to the Lotus Sūtra. The Shōretsu School considers the first half of the Sūtra as inferior, since the essence is found only in the second fourteen Honmon chapters. The Itchi School instead maintains that the entire 28 chapters should be considered as a whole. The two factions were basically centered on the following temples:

A flowchart illustrating lineages of Nichiren Buddhism. Click to see full image.
Shōretsu group

  • Nikkō faction: Taiseki-ji, Fuji Honmon-ji, Hota Myōhon-ji, Kyoto Yōhō-ji
  • Nichijō faction: Kyoto Myōman-ji, Kyoto Myōsen-ji
  • Nichijin faction: Echigo Honjō-ji, Kyoto Honzen-ji
  • Nichiryū faction: Kyoto Honnō-ji, Amagasaki Honkō-ji, Kyoto Myōren-ji
  • Nichishin faction: Kyoto Honryū-ji

Itchi group

  • Hama faction: Kamakura Hokke-ji
  • Nichirō faction: Kamakura Myōhon-ji, Ikegami Honmon-ji, Hiraga Hondo-ji
  • Nichizō faction: Kyoto Myōken-ji, Kyoto Myōkaku-ji, Kyoto Ryūhon-ji
  • Rokujō faction: Kyoto Honkoku-ji, Kyoto Honman-ji
  • Minobu faction: Minobu Kuon-ji, Mobara Sōgen-ji, Kyoto Myōden-ji
  • Nakayama faction: Nakayama Hokekyō-ji, Kyoto Chōmyō-ji, Kyoto Honpō-ji

In brief, the Shoretsu group considers just the Hoben and the Juryō chapters of the Lotus Sūtra as being essential and includes only the 2nd and 16th chapters in daily practice. The Itchi group studies and chant portions from the whole Sūtra. Nevertheless these two chapters are regarded as the most important and included among others in daily worship.

When I read this it occurred to me that this further explained the reason why I found the dirt so dry when I was digging for water under Soka Gakkai and Nichiren Shoshu. SGI and Nichiren Shoshu are Shōretsu. The Sacramento Nichiren Buddhist Church and Nichiren Shū are Itchi. (Rev. Igarashi considers himself a member of the Minobu school.) “Those who do not hear the Sūtra of the Lotus Flower of the Wonderful Dharma are far from the wisdom of the Buddha.” To consider any part of the Sūtra to be inferior sucks even more of the moisture from the ground. The wellspring is found in the 28 chapters of the Sūtra of the Lotus Flower of the Wonderful Dharma.

Lessons in Four Great Persecutions

Ven. Kenjo Igarashi’s lesson Sunday, Nov. 12, 2017

Attended the Sacramento Nichiren Buddhist Church Komatsubara Persecution Service on Sunday. Ven. Kenjo Igarashi‘s gosho covered the four great persecutions that followed Nichiren’s submission of the Rissho Ankoku-Ron.

As explained by Rev. Igarashi:

Nichiren Shonin used “strong words” in establishing the supremacy of the Lotus Sutra and Sakyamuni Buddha because he was trying to save the suffering people of Japan. But those strong words provoked many people to attack Nichiren Shonin.

Today we don’t use shakabuku to break people’s ideas and then teach them the correct view. Now we teach using shoju to lead and convince them by respectfully, accepting and understanding their viewpoints and situations.

In Nichiren’s time, however, the calamities and unhappiness were seen as the consequence of failing to embrace the Lotus Sutra and Sakyamuni. Strong words were necessary to break the wrong views and to enable the embracing of the supreme teaching of the Lotus Sutra. Only then would the protective deities return to Japan and make peace for the people.

Today many people don’t care. They’re just living day to day. But all life is the result of your cause and condition. That’s why you must extinquish your bad karma otherwise you can’t be happy, you won’t have deities protecting you. You have to chant all of the time. Then you will be happy and then the whole world will be at peace.

Nichiren Shonin was Jogyo Bodhisattva, who was one of Sakyamuni’s original disciples. He could have become Buddha but instead he chose to be born in this world in order to save suffering people. That’s why Nichiren never stopped his propagation.

If everyone follows Nichiren Shonin, then Sakyamuni Buddha and the deities are going to protect us all the time. Then we will be happy. Then we will have world peace.

Ven. Kenjo Igarashi lighting candles before the service.

Q&A Curiousity

Recently I was hunting for refills for a staple gun in the printer room at the Sacramento Nichiren Buddhist Church. This is also the room where Ven. Kenjo Igarashi keeps his extra copies of books. While I was looking for the staples I took the opportunity to browse the books on the shelf. That’s when I came across a 54-page booklet entitled “Questions and Answers on Nichiren Buddhism” by Senchu Murano. The booklet was published in 1998 by the Nichiren Shu Overseas Propagation Promotions Association. Rev. Igarashi said I was welcome to take a copy.

Beginning this morning I will be reprinting portions of the book over the next several days.

The book is divided into three chapters:

  • Chapter I. Buddhist Concepts
  • Chapter Il. The Mandala
  • Chapter Ill. The Komon Ha and Taisekiji Temple

The entire third chapter and portions of Chapter 1 focus on Nichiren Shoshu and Soka Gakkai. Since my purpose in publishing quotes on this site is to help me remember important topics and concepts, I don’t see a point in publishing the disputes with Nichiren Shoshu and Soka Gakkai. It’s not important to me. However, I am making available the entire book for download here.

Oeshiki Service

Cherry blossom decorations symbolizing the flowers that bloomed out of season when Nichiren died
Banner saying Namu Nichiren Bosatsu outside temple.

Attended the annual Oeshiki service at the Sacramento Nichiren Buddhist Church. During Ven. Kenjo Igarashi’s sermon he explained that 735 years ago Nichiren “returned to his original place.” That orginal place is as Jogyo, Superior Practice Bodhisattva, one of four leaders of the Buddha’s original desciples.

We decorate with paper flowers on bamboo branches in remembrance of the cherry tree that bloomed out of season on Oct. 13. 1282, when Nichiren died.

In Japan, Nichiren’s memorial is treated like a festival, with crowds parading with lanterns drapped in flowers, beating drums and ringing bells and dancing.

Why is everyone happy? Nichiren Shonin was a desciple of the original Sakyamuni Buddha, the Eternal Buddha. He was already a Bodhisattva. He chose to be born into this suffering world. It was his intention to enter this world to save people.

Everyone has causes and conditions that bring them to this suffering world. Everyone has a Buddha seed within them. If you don’t practice, you can’t get a good condition. The seed needs condition – soil, water, sun – otherwise it never grows. Everybody has a Buddha nature, this seed. That is why when you chant Namu-Myoho-Renge-Kyo you can approach enlightenment.

The Lotus Sutra is the supreme teaching of Sakyamuni Buddha. Today we can study the Lotus Sutra and chant Namu-Myoho-Renge-Kyo because Nichiren Shonin chose to come back to this suffering world. That’s why today the memorial service for Nichiren Shonin expresses our gratitude to him for his gift to us.

Review: Dancing In The Garden Of The Lotus Sutra

dancing-lotus-reviewbook cover

Finished reading “Dancing In The Garden Of The Lotus Sutra: A Buddhist Perspective On The Three Gates To Freedom From Alcohol Addiction” earlier this month. In reading, and subsequently reviewing this book, I arrive with an interest in seeing how Nichiren Shu’s teachings can be put to work in the real world, a world full of suffering. I have no actual experience in addiction recovery and therefore no way to judge the value of this work for recovering addicts beyond the declaration of author Margaret Cram-Howie of the benefits that blossomed in the garden of the Lotus Sutra.

For what it’s worth, I heartily recommend this book. I wrote the review pictured above, giving the book the first of what I hope will be many 5-star ratings.

Margaret Cram-Howie and Rev. Kanjin Cederman
Woven throughout the book are the lessons of the Parable of the Hidden Gem, the Parable of the Burning House, the Parable of the Poor Son and the Parable of the Magic City, the Five Precepts, the 10 Worlds, Mara’s challenge of Siddhartha and story of Kishimojin. Beyond the Lotus Sutra and teachings picked from her mentor, Kanjin Cederman Shonin of Seattle Choeizan Enkyoji Temple, Cram-Howie interweaves lessons from her studies with Marshall Rosenberg and Nonviolent Communication and her studies with Dr. Deepak Chopra, where she became a certified meditation teacher with The Chopra Center.

The book’s “Journey Out Of Addiction” passes through three gates, which are broken into nine chapters:

  • The First Gate: Awareness
    • Chapter One: Lifting the Veil of Delusion
    • Chapter Two: Discovering Your Buddha Nature
    • Chapter Three: Taking Refuge
  • The Second Gate: Introspection
    • Chapter Four: The Precepts
    • Chapter Five: Planting the Roots of Virtue
    • Chapter Six: Atonement
  • The Third Gate: The Dance of Life
    • Chapter Seven: Flow
    • Chapter Eight: Prayer and Meditation
    • Chapter Nine: Opening the Mind and Heart to Love

While reading I highlighted a number of quotes. I’ve taken those quotes and created what I consider to be a summary of the book’s teaching of the Lotus Sutra in the author’s words. This is not a summary of the book, since there is a great deal more in the book about addiction and recovery. However, I see this as a reasonable representation of the author’s effort to bring the Lotus Sutra and Nichiren Shu to bear on the problems of addiction recovery.

In the words of Margaret Cram-Howie:

The steps along the path in this book are loosely based on the principles I extracted from The Twelve Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous. I started my recovery journey in the rooms of AA. The primary difference between the twelve steps as presented in this book and the official twelve steps of Alcoholics Anonymous is that there is no mention of a god of any understanding in the steps along the path presented in this book. I never believed in an external god of any description and this was problematic for me in making sense of the steps.

The discrepancy between what I was being told in twelve-step programs and what I was personally experiencing finally became reconciled when I began to study Nichiren Shu Buddhism. The concept is actually very simple. The “Power” is my “Buddha Nature.” This power is within each of us. There is a “Buddha Nature” within me. There is a “Buddha Nature” within you. It is our original nature. We are born with it. The reference to “myself” is pointing to ego-self. In recovery, we need to look for help beyond our ego-selves, that serves only our self-interest, and instead cultivate our “Buddha Nature,” that connects and aligns us with all other beings. The Lotus Sutra is the primary text that Nichiren Shu Buddhists study. There is a story in Chapter 8 of The Lotus Sutra that helps illustrate this idea of going beyond our ego-selves and polishing the gem of our “Buddha Nature.” When we polish the gem of our “Buddha Nature” we see it more clearly.

This story is called a parable because it is used to illustrate a spiritual lesson. The poor man is each of us before we realize our hidden gem, our “Buddha Nature” that exists within each of us. Without awareness it will remain hidden. The wealthy friend is the Buddha who has given each of us this precious gift that can remove suffering and provide ease in our world. As long as we wander around in a drunken state, a state of unawareness, nothing will change. We remain lost in the world of the Ego.

So, how do we polish this stone, this gem, and bring out our “Buddha Nature”? Nichiren Daishonin states in Showa Teihon, p.1433, “A singing bird in a cage attracts uncaged birds, and the sight of these uncaged birds will make the caged birds want to be free. Likewise, the chanting of Odaimoku will bring out the Buddha nature within ourselves.” Chanting the Odaimoku is the primary practice of Nichiren Shu Buddhism. “Odaimoku” translates as “great” (O), “title” (dai), and “chant” (moku). The chanting of the Odaimoku is made up of the characters, “Namu Myoho Renge Kyo.” “Namu” is derived from a Sanskrit word meaning “I honor” or “I give reverence to.” Together it translates to “I give reverence to the Lotus Sutra.” The Lotus Sutra is the title of our primary text. Make it a practice to start each day by chanting the Odaimoku aloud a minimum of three times. “Namu Myoho Renge Kyo, Namu Myoho Renge Kyo, Namu Myoho Renge Kyo.” This is the starting place for becoming aware of and growing the Buddha seed that exists within you. As you become more comfortable with your chanting, increase the number of repetitions.

This final step on the path of awareness is all about making a decision, a personal choice. Choose wellness! Make the decision to cultivate your “Buddha Nature.” Allow your essential nature to grow. Allow happiness to permeate your life. There are many different forms of Buddhism, but one common characteristic is that each “takes refuge” in the Buddha, the Dharma, and the Sangha. To take refuge means both to seek protection from harm and danger and also to seek spiritual guidance and direction. A Buddhist is a person who seeks protection and guidance by turning to the Buddha (the Enlightened One), the Dharma (the teachings of the Buddha), and the Sangha (the community that learns and practices the Buddha’s teachings).

The Dharma includes all of the teachings of the Buddha. In Nichiren Shu Buddhism, the Lotus Sutra is considered to be the Buddha’s supreme teaching. In order to take refuge in the dharma, you will need to read and study the Lotus Sutra. … It is important to study the Lotus Sutra under the guidance of a Nichiren Shu minister. Look online to see where the nearest Nichiren Shu Temple is and then contact the minister attached to that temple.

Regardless of whether you participate in a Taking Refuge ceremony or not, it is important for you to create the habit of starting your day in front of your home altar. Up until this point, you have been starting your day by chanting “Namu Myoho Renge Kyo.” Once you make this decision to leave your addictive life behind and embrace recovery with the assistance of Nichiren Shu Buddhism, you need to learn more about this spiritual path.

Each morning, Nichiren Shu Buddhists start the day in front of their home altar. A candle is lit to represent light or enlightenment. Incense is lit using the light from the candle. The burning of incense purifies the air and also represents purifying our senses. Thus the day begins by being reminded to keep one’s senses clear, to not lay interpretation or judgment upon them. Being restored to sanity, becoming addiction-free, begins with seeing (or hearing, etc.) clearly. Start each day by chanting the Odaimoku in front of your simple home altar.

By tapping into our “Buddha Nature” during chanting or other mantra-based silent meditation practices, we are able to grow our “Buddha Nature.” As you grow your “Buddha Nature,” there is less and less room for troublesome thoughts or feelings. You become less reactive to specific situations and people. You see the bigger picture. You no longer see yourself as a separate being.

Being able to rest and renew ourselves through meditation is an exceptional skill. However, the peaceful land of meditation is not our destination any more than the Magic City was the final destination of the travelers in the parable. Once rested, they returned to the road and traveled on to the land of treasures. On our road through life, we may need to stop and rest from time to time. But then we return to the road of life until we reach our treasure land, the world of the bodhisattva.

In the world of the bodhisattva, you will recognize and use your innate talents and creativity in order to add happiness to your own life and to the lives of others. In this way, your human life becomes meaningful. The mind opens to all kinds of possibilities and the heart opens to all those who suffer. This is the treasure land, the Garden of the Lotus Sutra. Our destination, as humans, is full and abundant living in harmony with all others.

Full and abundant living involves inclining the mind towards wholesome mind-states. It is there that we will find the principles that guide us in this human life. These principles, these wholesome mind-states include, but are not limited to, the following: honesty, truth, acceptance, hope, commitment, willingness, courage, integrity, humility, love, reflection, justice, forgiveness, perseverance, vigilance, service, wisdom, compassion, responsibility, freedom, respect, generosity, joy, delight, and happiness. It is my wish that in reading this book, you may be able to bring sobriety and the fullness of life into your world. May it be so.