Category Archives: Books

Selected Quotes

Here you will find books that I have purchased – sometimes more than once and in multiple formats – and read. Included on this website are extensive quotes I’ve taken from these books. I’ve done this for my own use as a way of helping me remember. (Anyone under 60 will just have to take my word for it.) If you don’t own one of these books, you are strongly encouraged to purchase it. Each book is linked to a website where it can be purchased.

If you wish to dwell in the enlightenment of the Buddha,
And to obtain the self-originating wisdom,
Make offerings strenuously to the keeper
Of the Sutra of the Lotus Flower of the Wonderful Dharma!

If you wish to obtain quickly the knowledge
Of the equality and differences of all things,
Keep this sutra, and also make offerings
To the keeper of this sutra!

Chapter 10, The Teacher of the Dharma

Buying these books says, Thank you!, to the people who worked to make this information available.

Lotus Sutra Practice Guide bookcoverThe Magic City Book CoverNichiren The Buddhist Prophet bookcoverHistory of Japanese Religion bookcoverAwakening to the Lotus bookcoverPhysicians Good Medicine bookcoverLotus Path: Practicing the Lotus Sutra bookcoverOdaimoku bookcoverLotus World bookcoverLotus in a Sea of Flames  bookcoverLotus Seeds bookcoverLecture on the Lotus Sutra bookcover
The Doctrine of Nichiren bookcoverNichiren, Leader of Buddhist Reformation in Japan bookcoverSpring Writings bookcoverSummer WritingsBasic Buddhist ConceptsBuddha Seed book coverbook coverbook coverQuestions and Answers book coverA Phrase A Day

Suggest a book

Lotus Sutra Practice Guide: 35-Day Practice Outline

Lotus Sutra Practice Guide bookcover
This book is available for purchase on Amazon

From Amazon:

35-Day Practice Outline; Introduction to the Lotus Sutra and beginning practice. This 35-Day guide presents an organized introduction to the study of the Lotus Sutra, the sutra revered by Nichiren Buddhists all over the world. Using this book along with a translation of the sutra the practitioner will gain an overview of the entire Lotus Sutra as well as a systematic approach to beginning to practice Nichiren Buddhism. This guide is not intended as an in depth study of the Lotus Sutra, but as a way to begin to establish a greater relationship with one of the most highly respected of the Buddha’s teachings. It is recommended that this serve as a companion book to your own Lotus Sutra translation book.

This book is serialized on the author’s website:

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Summer Writings

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From the Forward
It has been a wish of mine to publish these wonderful teachings of our lineage of Nichiren Shu Buddhism for a long time, in order to disseminate their wisdom throughout the world. They are very special to me, because they are from the many newsletters that I collected during my Buddhist education at the Toronto Nichiren Buddhist Temple under my teacher Kanto Tsukamoto Shonin, who was the head priest of that Temple for over 10 years. I carried this collection of newsletters with me when I moved from Buffalo to Seattle, waiting for the right opportunity and support to bring this project to fruition. So indeed, this is a happy event.

Tsukamoto Shonin’s teachings are wonderful, because he reveals to us a very simple but profound insight into our daily lives, through many stories and allegories. Through each story he shares his very personal and emotional experience of life, with an awareness which has allowed people, despite cultural and language differences, to relate with the Lotus Sutra and Nichiren Buddhism. Tsukamoto Shonin became a Kaikyoshi early in Nichiren Shu’s activities outside Japan, in order spread the teachings of Nichiren Shu Buddhism across the ocean to English speaking people. This was at a very important time in our propagation efforts, and began the movement towards establishing Nichiren Shu Buddhism outside of Japanese ethnic communities.

With Gassho
Kanjin Cederman Shonin
Head Priest
Seattle Choeizan Enkyoji Nichiren Buddhist Temple


  • Gratitude
  • King of Hell, “Emma-san”
  • Matsubagayatsu Persecution
  • My Unexplainable Experience
  • Reasons for holding Memorial Services
  • View of Hell
  • “What is Karma?”
  • Urabon-e

Quotes from this book will begin appearing July 7, 2018, after quotes from Spring Writings conclude.

Awakening to the Lotus

An Introduction to Nichiren Shu

Awakening to the Lotus bookcover
This book is available for purchase at

From NBIC website

One of the most important and widely practiced forms of Japanese Buddhism, Nichiren Shu is also one of the least known outside of Japan. The few books available in the West are either college-level texts or direct translations of works that assume some prior knowledge of this uniquely Japanese school of Buddhism.

Awakening to the Lotus finally explains Nichiren Shu in terms that everyone from the most basic beginner to those with previous experience of Nichiren Buddhist schools can understand. Examining the foundation, the teaching, the practice, and the beliefs of Nichiren Shu, this book can serve both as a handbook for those just beginning to practice Buddhism and as an information resource for those who simply want to learn more about this fascinating school.

Beginning with the basics of general Buddhism, Awakening to the Lotus quickly focuses in on the specific doctrines and teachings of Nichiren Shu. Ceremonies, special events, personal practice, the Lotus Sutra, and the teachings of the founder of the school, Nichiren Shonin, are all covered fully in easy to understand language.

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Questions and Answers on Nichiren Buddhism

Questions and Answers book cover
Download PDF copy of book
From the Preface by Senchu Murano
Senchu Murano

Nichiren Buddhism is one of the most outstanding religions in Japan. It is a collective name for all the Daimoku-chanting denominations: Nichiren Shu, Nichiren Shoshu, Nichiren Honshu, Kempon Hokke Shu, Hokke Shu Jimmon Ryu, Hokke Shu Hommon Ryu, Hokke Shu Shimmon Ryu, Hommon Hokke Shu, Hommon Butsuryu Shu, Nichiren Shu Fujufuse Ha, Fujufuse Nichiren Komon Shu, and many new religions whose names end with “Kai”. Although all these organizations are independent of each other administratively, they are one in that they center around the personality of the founder Nichiren (1222-1282).

Born as son of a petty officer of a manor in the Province of Awa (Chiba-ken), Nichiren studied at the Hieizan Buddhist Institute under the patronage of the owner of the manor. He was a good writer. He had a vast knowledge of the history of Japan, China, and the neighboring countries including Western Turkistan. He contributed to the study of the history of Japan by recording several events which were not described in any documents other than Nichiren’s writings. He was persecuted oftentimes because he bitterly criticized the chanting of the Nembutsu. But he was loved and respected by commoners. Within a few years after the proclamation of his new faith, he collected votaries numerous enough to make the Government careful of his faithful followers, who were misconstrued as dissidents to the Government.

Nichiren attempted to restore the dignity of Sakyamuni Buddha, who was almost forgotten under the popularity of other Buddhas and Bodhisattvas such as Amida, Dainichi, Yakushi, Kannon, and so forth. According to the Lotus Sutra, Shakamuni is the Original Buddha, all the other Buddhas being his emanations. Shakamuni also is the Eternal Buddha, who is still now expounding the Dharma to save us.

I have had many chances to make contact with my friends overseas. They ask me many questions. Some of the questions are not asked in Japan because we take the matters just for granted. Thanks to the questioners abroad, I could re-study many things to prepare for my answers. The Lotus Sutra begins with the question asked by Maitreya Bodhisattva. There are many Maitreyas in the world. We must listen to them, understand what they want to know, and study the points in the light of the Lotus Sutra and the Gosho of Nichiren.

Here I have collected some questions and answers on Nichiren Buddhism from the letters exchanged between various persons abroad and myself. I shall be very glad if this collection will be able to conduce to the right understanding of Nichiren Buddhism.

Senchu Murano
Kamakura, Japan

Questioners (Alphabetical order)

  • Simon Continente, Faithful Follower of Nichiren Shonin in England.
  • Stephanie Maltz, Faithful Follower of Nichiren Shonin in the U.S.
  • Daniel B. Montgomery, Author of Fire in the Lotus: The Dynamic Buddhism of Nichiren (London, 1991 ).
  • Senkei K. Pieters, Nichiren Buddhist Temple Hokkeji, Moorslede, Belgium.

Only portions of the book will be posted here. A PDF copy of the entire book can be downloaded here.

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Dancing In The Garden Of The Lotus Sutra

book coverFrom the author’s Preface

Margaret Cram-Howie and Rev. Kanjin Cederman

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. I hear from many others in recovery that the issue of the word “god” in the twelve-step programs is a problem for them too. For some, this problem keeps them away from recovery programs. It is my hope that this book will be of help to those addicts who want the principles of recovery without committing to a god.

I met several teachers/mentors along the way. I studied with Marshall Rosenberg and learned the gentleness and wisdom of Nonviolent Communication. I studied with Dr. Deepak Chopra and became a certified meditation teacher with The Chopra Center. I blossomed in the garden of the Lotus Sutra, studying and practicing with my Buddhist minister, my sensei Reverend Kanjin Cederman. It is in the beautiful stories, parables, and teachings of Nichiren Shu Buddhism that I find the fullness of life. It is my hope that by sharing my path, you may also find a passage out of addiction and into joyfulness.

See blog post reviewing book

Introduction to the Lotus Sutra

From the Overview

The most complete collection of Buddhist scriptures, the Taisho Edition, consists of 3,497 works. Among them, 1,487 are called sutras, and consist of sermons preached by the Buddha. Among these more than a thousand sutras, the Lotus Sutra, or Sutra of the Lotus Flower of the Wonderful Law, is the most popular and best known. When Buddhism was introduced into Japan in the mid-sixth century, Prince Shotoku lectured on this sutra and wrote a book on it called Hokke Gisho (A Commentaty on the Lotus Sutra). About two hundred years later, in the early Heian Period (794-1185), Saicho, who is also known as Great Master Dengyo, established a Buddhist school on Mt. Hiei, whence he propagated the Lotus teachings throughout the country. His school, the Tendai (“Heavenly Terrace”), was for many centuries the most influ ential in the country. …

Nichiren, who also studied the Lotus Sutra there, founded his sect on doctrines resting squarely on faith in the Lotus Sutra. He devoted his whole life to advocating it and putting its teachings into practice. While other Buddhist sects today read it as a supplemental scripture, the Nichiren lineage considers the Lotus Sutra to be its basic text.

This book is an English translation of Shinjo Suguro’s Kokekyo Kogi, vols. 1 & 2, published in Japanese in 1993. This translation was done by Daniel B. Montgomery and the Nichiren Buddhist International Center and published in 1998.

Note: Quotes from this book will appear in connection with the daily posts in the 32 Days of the Lotus Sutra project. One quote a day will be published with each day’s portion of the Lotus Sutra until all of the selected quotes have been published.

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The Magic City: Studying the Lotus Sutra (Volume 1)

The Magic City Book Cover
This book is available for purchase on Amazon

From Amazon:

In depth study of Parable of the Magic City one of the 7 major parables in the Lotus Sutra. The parable is about the spiritual journey to attain enlightenment overcoming numerous obstacles along the path. Finding temporary relief along the way in order to continue the journey.

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The Doctrines of Nichiren with a Sketch of His Life (1893)

The Doctrine of Nichiren bookcoverFrom the Introduction

A few words only are necessary in order to introduce this essay to the public.

Captain J. M. James, of Shinagawa, is an English gentleman who has lived in Japan for more than twenty years. He is a professional man, and the consistent way in which he has always devoted his skill and genius to the interest of both Government and people has made him universally beloved. No sooner did he arrive among us than he was struck with astonishment at the great predominance of Buddhism in the country, and this led him to enter upon a systematic study of Buddhist doctrines. His researches resulted in the discovery that Religious Truth is contained only in the religion of Buddha, especially as set forth in a sacred book of ours called ‘The Lotus,’ and that the teachings of this book are best exemplified in the doctrines and practices of the Nichiren school of thought. Thenceforward he directed his exclusive attention to the Nichiren form of Buddhism, and frequently visited our late lamented prelate, the Most Learned and Virtuous Archbishop Nissatsu Arai, at the temple of Ikegami, in order to receive his instructions. His knowlege thus increasing, his faith in what he learned kept pace with it. This faith, on his part, was doubtless due in a measure to the unfolding of his predestined nature; but must also be attributed to the high intellectual power he exercised in testing and observing truths.

[From the Doctrine of Nichiren book] This is a very good portrait of our Founder. It is copied from one preserved in the Temple of Minobu, which contains the sepulchre of Nichiren and stands at the head of all temples of the Sect. When Nichiren was still alive, Sanenaga Hakii, one of his most eminent adherents, employed a painter to sketch his portrait. It is this which is now preserved in the Temple of Minobu.
[From the Doctrine of Nichiren book] This is a very good portrait of our Founder. It is copied from one preserved in the Temple of Minobu, which contains the sepulchre of Nichiren and stands at the head of all temples of the Sect. When Nichiren was still alive, Sanenaga Hakii, one of his most eminent adherents, employed a painter to sketch his portrait. It is this which is now preserved in the Temple of Minobu.
Some time ago Captain James made me acquainted with a friend of his, Mr. Frederic H. Balfour, who had made a special study of the philosophico-religious systems of China. This gentleman, at my request, undertook to write out in its present form the essay now given to the world, which is from the pen of the late Archbishop of Ikegami above referred-to. This was most excellent and meritorious on the part of Mr. Balfour, who has thereby rendered a great service to our Sect. Never before have the doctrines of Japanese Buddhism been published by any European author in such detail. My warm acknowledgments are also due to Mr. K. Tatsumi, Professor of Sociology in the Nobles’ School, for his invaluable assistance in Englishing the original text. It is now printed for the advantage of all who are interested in the subject, and will be sent far and wide over the face of the globe. The doctrines it sets forth should not be confined to our own country; they are intended for the enlightenment of all living beings wherever such may be — in all times and ages, all spheres and realms of life. It is for this reason that the whole world is now given an opportunity of hearing and embracing the Truth.

Kobayashi Nitto,
College of the Nichiren Sect,
Abbot. Takanawa, Tokyo.

26th Year of Meiji (1893).

The book is available free on Google Play

Download a PDF copy of The Doctrine of Nichiren with a Sketch of his Life

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Buddha Seed: Understanding the Odaimoku

Buddha Seed book coverFrom Nichiren Buddhist International Center
Since April 28, 1253, when our founder, Nichiren Shonin, first recited the Odaimoku, Namu Myoho Renge Kyo, followers have been chanting the Odaimoku with faith in the Eternal Buddha Sakyamuni and chanting the Lotus Sutra. Chanting the Odaimoku is the core practice of Nichiren Buddhism, and many have wondered how people can be saved or reach Buddhahood by chanting the Odaimoku.

Buddha Seed, Understanding the Odaimoku, Namu Myoho Renge Kyo fully explains the Odaimoku and how it can help save people from suffering.

From the Introduction
This booklet explains the meaning and significance of the Odaimoku (Sacred Title) of the Sutra of the Lotus Flower of the Wonderful Dharma (Saddharma Pundarika Sutra), or for short the Lotus Sutra. A more complete understanding requires a brief exploration and an examination of several foundational issues such as the beginnings of Buddhism based on the specifics of the life of Śākyamuni as well as his teachings.

The Lotus Sutra is the ultimate or most complete of all the Buddha’s teachings. The core or essence of the Lotus Sutra is contained in the concept known as Ichinen Sanzen of Ji, which translates to 3,000 existences in a single moment of thought. Before we talk about this concept of “Ichinen Sanzen” we first need to understand the Buddha and his life.

Quotes from this book will begin appearing Jan. 23, 2018.

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Basic Buddhist Concepts

Basic Buddhist ConceptsFrom Amazon

One of the world’s oldest and greatest religions, Buddhish–like its companions, Christianity and Islam–has experienced schism and division which scatter its teachings among separate sects, nations and sets of ritual practice. Nonetheless, it is possible to identify common teachings which form the essence of Buddhist belief. This book provides lucid explanations of such fundamental concepts as the Three Treasures, the seals of the law, the Four Noble Truths, the Eightfold Path, the law of causation, and the threefold learning—teachings that all Buddhists honor, which bare the heart of this complicated and magnificently profound religion.

From the Preface:
In its more than twenty-five hundred years of history, Buddhism has acquired an extraordinarily complicated body of doctrines that vary from sect to sect throughout Hinayana and Mahayana, the religion’s two main streams. Grasping all of its content is extremely difficult. In this book, to make entry into the field easier for the inexperienced, I have attempted to cut through sectarian differences and to set forth basic truths common to all Buddhism. My approach is justified since, in its purest form, Buddhism inclines to no particular group or sect but reveals the universal human condition. In this sense, it is the ideal religion for the future. A person who understands its truth, even though he or she Jacks knowledge of special doctrinal terms and vocabulary, cannot fail to see that Buddhism is correct and applicable to all places and times.

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