Although the time is ripe for the Lotus Sutra to convert everyone, teachers who propagate it are ordinary teachers while their disciples are wicked and sickened by the three poisons of greed, anger and ignorance. They avoid teachers who preach the True Dharma, befriending teachers who preach false Dharma. Is it not natural then that he who practices the Lotus Sutra, the true teaching of the Buddha, and his disciples and followers and lay followers are persecuted more severely than the three kinds of enemies?
Nichiren wrote this passage in his Treatise on the True Way of Practicing the Teaching of the Buddha (Nyosetsu Shugyō-shō). In our efforts to uphold and practice the Wonderful Dharma of the Lotus Sūtra, we may be surprised to be the targets of anger or aggression from others, especially from others who also practice the Dharma with us. These difficulties will be opportunities for us to practice wisdom and nourish our compassion. We can learn to recognize others’ delusions within our own minds and remain focused on ridding ourselves of the three poisons, rather than attempting to change someone else’s behavior. In this way we become an example for how to live, and allow the Ever-Present Buddha Śākyamuni to work within our hearts.
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