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


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


Acedia is a word we could use more often, although no one would have the foggiest idea what we’re saying. Having no interest or concern about one’s condition – in other words to be unable look at one’s problems and see the work that needs doing – is acedia. It is much easier to see the problems of others. It is easier to do that than to look at our personal issues and weaknesses.

Physician's Good Medicine

Self-Work Is Critical and Fundamental to Buddhism

Until a person works on his individual enlightenment and self-improvement, the ability to fulfill our bodhisattva vow to enable all others to attain enlightenment will remain out of reach. It will continue to be a challenge to show the benefit of practice to others if the benefit isn’t manifest in one’s life. Self-work is critical and fundamental to Buddhism.

Physician's Good Medicine

Facing Inward

When a person is willing to delve into his weaknesses and troubles while ignoring those of others, the real benefit of Buddhist practice will appear. Buddhism, at the core, is not a religious doctrine that subscribes to the practices of judgment. Facing inward is where Buddhism invites us to direct our energy.

Physician's Good Medicine

Possible Joy

Illness is not just the sicknesses that lead us to medical practitioners. It is also the many illnesses that rob us of the joy that is possible in each of our lives.

Physician's Good Medicine

Embodiment of the Scripture

Much was written on the Lotus — philosophical treatises, miracle stories, poems, and prayers; the book also inspired many painters and sculptors, and we have a rich store of works of art whose subjects are taken from it. But there was none, until Nichiren “read” the book in his original way, who derived from it such a wonderful power of strenuous, militant life, and thereby lived a life of striving toward the ardent zeal exemplified by primeval disciples of Buddha. Indeed, Nichiren deemed himself to be an embodiment of the Scripture, a personal version of its teachings and prophecies and a living testimony to them.

Nichiren, The Buddhist Prophet