Category Archives: Daily Dharma

Daily Dharma

The Daily Dharma is produced by the Lexington Nichiren Buddhist Community. To subscribe to the daily emails, visit zenzaizenzai.com

Daily Dharma – Jan. 20, 2018

Śāriputra! Some disciples of mine, who think that they are Arhats or Pratyekabuddhas, will not be my disciples or Arhats or Pratyekabuddhas if they do not hear or know that the Buddhas, the Tathāgatas, teach only Bodhisattvas.

The Buddha makes this declaration to his disciple Śāriputra in Chapter Two of the Lotus Sutra. When the Buddha says he only teaches Bodhisattvas, he does not mean that he excludes anyone from his teaching. It is only when we realize and develop our capacities as Bodhisattvas, beings who exist to benefit all beings, rather than being preoccupied with our own suffering, can we hear, practice and appreciate the Buddha Dharma.

The Daily Dharma is produced by the Lexington Nichiren Buddhist Community. To subscribe to the daily emails, visit zenzaizenzai.com

Daily Dharma – Jan. 19, 2017

When they expound the scriptures of non-Buddhist schools, or give advice to the government, or teach the way to earn a livelihood, they will be able to be in accord with the right teachings of the Buddha.

The Buddha gives this explanation to Constant-Endeavor Bodhisattva in Chapter Nineteen of the Lotus Sūtra, describing those who keep the Lotus Sūtra. In this chapter, the Buddha shows that our practice of this Wonderful Dharma is not separate from our existence in this world. The purpose of the Buddha’s wisdom is not to escape to a better life, but to see our lives for what they are, and to use that clarity for the benefit of all beings.

The Daily Dharma is produced by the Lexington Nichiren Buddhist Community. To subscribe to the daily emails, visit zenzaizenzai.com

Daily Dharma – Jan. 17, 2017

Anyone who protects this sūtra
Should be considered
To have already made offerings
To Many-Treasures and to me.

The Buddha makes this declaration to all those assembled to hear him teach the Dharma in Chapter Eleven of the Lotus Sūtra. In the story, Many-Treasures Buddha has just appeared to confirm the truth of the sūtra, and the Buddha has asked who will protect and preserve this sūtra after his extinction. By considering anyone who defends the meaning of the Lotus Sūtra to be one who has been personally present before these Buddhas, the Buddha invites us to consider not just our previous lives, but our current lives. We repay these Buddhas for this wonderful teaching by bringing it to life ourselves. As Nichiren wrote, “even if only a word or phrase, spread it to others.”

The Daily Dharma is produced by the Lexington Nichiren Buddhist Community. To subscribe to the daily emails, visit zenzaizenzai.com

Daily Dharma – Jan. 16, 2018

Expound the Dharma, reveal the Dharma,
And cause us to obtain that wisdom!
If we attain Buddhahood,
Others also will do the same.

These verses are sung by the sixteen children of Great-Universal-Wisdom-Excellence Buddha in a story told by the Buddha in Chapter Seven of the Lotus Sūtra. When the children learned of their father becoming enlightened, they gave up their toys and preoccupations and begged that Buddha to teach them. With this declaration they showed their father that they were ready to receive his wisdom and set off on the path to their own enlightenment.

The Daily Dharma is produced by the Lexington Nichiren Buddhist Community. To subscribe to the daily emails, visit zenzaizenzai.com

Daily Dharma – Jan. 15, 2018

Anyone who does not keep our spells
But troubles the expounder of the Dharma
Shall have his head split into seven pieces
Just as the branches of the arjaka-tree [are split].

The ten rakṣasī demons and Mother-of-Devils sing these verses in Chapter Twenty-Six of the Lotus Sūtra. They are among the many gods and other supernatural beings who vow to protect all those who keep and practice the Buddha Dharma. These verses help us to understand the nature of those who create harm in the world and to develop a heart of compassion towards them. The nature of delusion is that it sets up a world separate from the world we all share. It puts a barrier between us and the world out of fear that this world will harm us. The Buddha’s teachings show us how to develop the courage to live in harmony with this world, rather than splitting ourselves from it, and splitting ourselves in it.

The Daily Dharma is produced by the Lexington Nichiren Buddhist Community. To subscribe to the daily emails, visit zenzaizenzai.com

Daily Dharma – Jan. 14, 2017

Tears keep falling when I think of the current unbearable hardships, but I cannot stop tears of joy when I think of obtaining Buddhahood in the future. Birds and insects chirp without shedding tears. I, Nichiren, do not cry, but tears keep falling. These tears are shed not for worldly matters, but solely for the sake of the Lotus Sutra. Therefore they should be called tears of nectar.

Nichiren wrote this as part of his letter to monk Sairen-bō in his Treatise on All Phenomena as Ultimate Reality (Shohō-Jissō Shō). For the sake of the Lotus Sūtra, Nichiren endured two harsh exiles, his house being burnt down, ambushes by soldiers with swords, being placed on the execution mat himself, and the persecution of his followers. Despite all these obstacles, he held true to the Buddha’s teaching in the face of all opposition. Most of us who practice the Lotus Sūtra today have lives of relative comfort. It is wonderful that we have Nichiren’s example. He was a human being just like us, and we too are capable of his faith and determination

The Daily Dharma is produced by the Lexington Nichiren Buddhist Community. To subscribe to the daily emails, visit zenzaizenzai.com

Daily Dharma – Jan. 13, 2018

The Bodhisattva-mahāsattva also should know the following truth. All things are insubstantial. They are as they are. Things are not perverted. They do not move. They do not go. They do not turn. They have nothing substantial just as the sky has not. They are inexplicable. They are not born. They do not appear. They do not rise. They are nameless. They are formless. They have no property. They are immeasurable and limitless. They have no obstacle or hindrance. He should see all this. Things can exist only by dependent origination. Only perverted people say, ‘Things are permanent and pleasant.’ This truth is the second thing he should approach.

The Buddha gives this explanation to Mañjuśrī in Chapter Fourteen of the Lotus Sūtra in which he describes the peaceful practices of a Bodhisattva. The Buddha does not see the world as we do. This section explains how changing our view changes the world. When we no longer see beings with power to overwhelm us, and see beings in whom delusions have been created, we see our abilities to cut the root of those delusions and benefit them. These passages are what make the Lotus Sutra difficult to believe and understand, since they go against our habits of manipulating the world to become happy. As we learn to work with our minds, then we truly change the world.

The Daily Dharma is produced by the Lexington Nichiren Buddhist Community. To subscribe to the daily emails, visit zenzaizenzai.com

Daily Dharma – Jan. 12, 2018

Although he was abused like this for many years, he did not get angry, He always said to them, ‘You will become Buddhas.’

The Buddha tells this story of Never-Despising Bodhisattva in Chapter Twenty of the Lotus Sūtra. This Bodhisattva did not read or recite sutras. His practice was simply to tell all those whom he encountered, “I respect you deeply. I do not despise you.” Despite his pure intentions, the deluded minds of those who heard him caused them to be angry with him, beat him, and chase him away. While he did not stand fast and endure their abuse, he did not lose his respect for them. This is an example for us who aspire to practice the Wonderful Dharma to show us how we can learn to treat all beings.

The Daily Dharma is produced by the Lexington Nichiren Buddhist Community. To subscribe to the daily emails, visit zenzaizenzai.com

Daily Dharma – Jan. 11, 2018

Anyone who wishes to expound this sūtra
Should give up jealousy, anger, arrogance,
Flattery, deception and dishonesty.
He should always be upright.

The Buddha sings these verses to Mañjuśrī in Chapter Fourteen of the Lotus Sūtra in which he describes the peaceful practices of a Bodhisattva. The way we live our lives can either reinforce our delusions or help us gain more clarity about how things really are. In these verses, the Buddha advises against these actions not because he will think less of us when we do them, but because when we find ourselves behaving these ways it is because we are not seeing things for what they are.

The Daily Dharma is produced by the Lexington Nichiren Buddhist Community. To subscribe to the daily emails, visit zenzaizenzai.com

Daily Dharma – Jan. 10, 2018

When you see anyone who does not receive [this sūtra] by faith, you should show him some other profound teachings of mine, teach him, benefit him, and cause him to rejoice. When you do all this, you will be able to repay the favors given to you by the Buddhas.

The Buddha gives these instructions in Chapter Twenty-Two of the Lotus Sūtra. They remind us to be patient with those whom we work to benefit. Even though they may not be ready to hear the Wonderful Dharma, we can use the Expedient Teachings to prepare them for the Buddha’s highest teaching. When we are assured that countless beings are helping us all to become enlightened, we are less likely to be disappointed in the progress that we see.

The Daily Dharma is produced by the Lexington Nichiren Buddhist Community. To subscribe to the daily emails, visit zenzaizenzai.com