Lecture on the Lotus sutra

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Over several years I have given various lectures on the Lotus Sutra. In some instances the talks were given to a few people, in others the audience was quite large. Some times the same person would hear one or two lectures, but no one has heard them all. For what they are worth I have decided to put much of the best of the lectures here in this book. I first encountered the Lotus Sutra in 1969 when I was fresh out of Marine boot camp. I knew a little about Buddhism before I went to that first activity. I had studied a little of Buddhism in high school and college. I can honestly say now that what I really knew at that time was next to nothing. This is not a linear exposition of the sutra. This is a very circular approach, meandering even, I’ll mention something about a chapter in one part of the book, and then in another part of the book I may mention the same thing again but from a different perspective. I like to think of my approach to unraveling the mysteries of the Lotus Sutra as thematically oriented. This is not to say my approach is better than a linear chapter-by-chapter explanation. It is just a way that makes sense to me. I should point out that non-linear story telling is very popular in the south in America as well as much of Africa. There is reason to suspect the non-linear way may actually resonate with others as well. It is always a great joy when I am able to talk about the Lotus Sutra, and this book project has been no exception. I hope you think of this as a couple of friends sitting on the porch swing talking about something that means something important to both.

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