Category Archives: Lotus Path

Potato Chips

I used to try to make potato chips at home for my partner. Time after time I tried and they just never came out anything like the chips you could get in the bag. The bag chip was his favorite kind, but I tried none-the-less.

At one time I worked right next to a deli and the guy who owned it made his own chips every day. So I asked him what the secret was to making chips. He told me it was the soaking in water. You have to soak them in water to remove all the starch from the slices. Who would have thought? I had tried adjusting the thickness of the slice, the oil, the heat, the pan, all kinds of things I tried. I never knew soaking in water that was the key ingredient. …

Chanting Odaimoku is so simple. It is like soaking the potatoes in water to remove the starch. We need to soak our lives in the Odaimoku of the Lotus Sutra to remove the things that hold us back from enlightenment.

Lotus Path: Practicing the Lotus Sutra Volume 1

With Joy

We can be as the Tathagatas and show our friends many examples of how with our Buddhist practice we can repair and become happy in the triple world. Let us renew our efforts to practice with joy, live with joy, and interact with joy. Lets all manifest and bring into reality the Buddha land in our lives.

Lotus Path: Practicing the Lotus Sutra Volume 1

The Greatest Song

When we chant the Odaimoku we are on one hand meditatively engaging in the recitation of the Sacred Title of the Lotus Sutra, we are also singing our praise of the teachings of the Buddha, which it contains. The greatest song we can sing is the Odaimoku that comes from joy within our lives. When we can chant with great joy, a joy that wells up from within then our entire life becomes a song. Our life can touch other’s lives through the beautiful music that is our unique life.

Lotus Path: Practicing the Lotus Sutra Volume 1

Awakening Our True Selves

Chanting Odaimoku and reciting the Lotus Sutra can bring about the awakening to our true selves. As we practice the eight-fold path and chant Odaimoku we can make the necessary changes in our view and our existence to ensure overcoming any obstacle.

Lotus Path: Practicing the Lotus Sutra Volume 1

Sandcastles

We may have had an experience of building sandcastles while on vacation at some beach. Sandcastles are not very long lasting, usually until the next tide cycle, and then they are gone.

Sandcastles are a fun way to spend some relaxing time. Yet how much of our lives do we spend constructing sandcastles in our everyday lives? We make castles of stuff, basking in our accomplishments. We build mighty fortresses out of our sense of self and rightness. We build walls of superiority and arrogance to ward off the connections of life and the world around us. We go to great lengths doing what seems worthwhile and important, yet in the end it is worthless. And can easily be destroyed by the changes in life, be it job, relationships, income, health, even aging.

The reality of impermanence and the truth of change is relentless at tearing down our sandcastle walls. Only when we awaken to the true nature of reality – the Buddhahood that perfectly exists already in our life – can we experience a life of indestructible happiness.

Lotus Path: Practicing the Lotus Sutra Volume 1

Being a Bodhisattva Who Arose From Beneath the Ground

The Bodhisattvas who arose from beneath the ground are none other than ourselves, if we open ourselves up to realizing it. But the realization is not just a mental acceptance of such information. It is deeper. It occurs on a different plane from intellect. In order to be those Bodhisattvas we need to manifest that condition, draw it out of who and what we are in this life. There are not two separate entities, self and Bodhisattva from beneath the earth, however it is up to us to unify them in body and mind, in action and in word.

Lotus Path: Practicing the Lotus Sutra Volume 1

Human Being, Human Doing

Some view Buddhism as merely a self-help process, practicing mindfulness as if that was all there is. If we view our Buddhist practice in such a way then we are still residing in the realm of doing, even if the doing is more beneficial than other doings.

As a self-help model alone we would be merely replacing one method of doing with another method. Buddhism offers more, much more. Buddhism creates the conditions within our lives for a transcendent experience of our relationship not only to and with ourselves but also being transcendent with all else.

Finding our true identity is key, and we can’t do this if we ignore the being part of human. Daily we work hard and worry, yet the gem we truly seek is something we already posses.

Lotus Path: Practicing the Lotus Sutra Volume 1

Playing Our Role

We should not forget that as a householder, businessman, computer programmer, maintenance technician, clerk, no matter what, we are indeed playing a role. We have chosen to manifest ourselves in this life as common ordinary people who are in fact Buddhas. At the core of our life is the truth that, no matter what, we are Buddhas who have assumed a role in order to lead others to enlightenment.

Lotus Path: Practicing the Lotus Sutra Volume 1

Expedients

Previous to teaching the Lotus Sutra the Buddha taught expedients to lead people to the ultimate teaching of the Lotus Sutra. In many ways it was as if he were leading the blind to the train station so they could then find the way to the true complete teachings contained in the Lotus Sutra. But we need to remember that the train station is not the destination, the expedients are not the sum of the Buddha’s teachings.

Lotus Path: Practicing the Lotus Sutra Volume 1