“Investing Energy in Face-to-Face Solidarity” – December 3, 2016

I hesitate to post this, so much has been said, written, and transmitted regarding events past and pending in the US especially after the election of our next president.  Noteworthy is virtually everyone has an opinion yet when tallied next to votes cast there is a surplus of opinions compared to total votes.  I did vote, I worked at the polls on election day.   In my opinion what first needs to happen is to…

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Sakyo and Shabutsu Dharma Talk – 23 October 2016

Thoughts on why we do this, how you might do it as part of your daily life, what you might do with the finished item. Let us combine both Shakyo and ShaButsu all together here to simplify the response.  Also I would like to set aside any discussion of the highly ritualized and formal practice. There is value in the formalized practice and there is value in a less formal practice.  It difficult to do…

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Rituals

(Revised from a blog post originally appearing January 20, 2013) In Nichiren Shu, there are rituals as part of the practice. For some these rituals can seem to be limiting. There may come times when we ask why do we do the same thing over and over? Nothing to changes, and it is annoying. Why don’t we do something different? Buddhism talks about a path to enlightenment. The Buddha revealed the destination through his personal…

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New Year’s Greeting – 1 January 2016

Good morning. Happy New Year 2016. I suppose I could end my greeting here and have said perhaps the most important thing I could say. Somehow though it doesn’t seem enough. So I’ll just keep going. I received an email New Years message from a Sangha member today. In the email, the individual shared with me their feeling of being in the right place in their life. Being in the right place is a profound…

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Incarcerated Lotus – #9 – Anger

Anger is one of the Ten Worlds and, therefore, a very real part of our whole self. The question for us as Buddhists is not to eliminate anger; that is impossible. I believe we serve ourselves well, and thereby improve our lives if we examine when we are the master of anger and when anger is our master. When anger so consumes you that you act without thinking or, act in ways you would not…

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Incarcerated Lotus – #8 – Vulnerability & Safety

In this installment I present two sections from the chapter tentatively titled Vulnerability. Vulnerability Vulnerability is a subject that I feel is important for you and me to consider. Much of what I feel important in Buddhist practice is about realizing we are all vulnerable, we all have hurts and pains, we all have our own areas of brokenness. Learning to be vulnerable can be healing and empowering. It may sound counterintuitive to say being…

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Incarcerated Lotus – #7 – Personal Practice

Personal Practice It is impossible for me to write a customized daily practice routine for each person who may read this book. I figure I’m not telling you anything you don’t already know. I’m just making sure you understand that what follows will be a suggestion. Please use this according to your situation based upon the idea that every moment is an opportunity for you to engage in your Buddhist practice and to live a…

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Incarcerated Lotus – #6 – Isolated Practice in Crowded Environment

This portion of the book is out of sequence. This is from what will be Chapter 4. I have not posted anything from Chapter 3 yet. The series number is simply offered so any reader will be able to follow the sequence I post things in. Writing is an organic process for me. I simply go with what emerges offering up the structure of my outline conception as a framework from which thoughts and ideas…

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Long View Dharma Practice

September 9 – random thoughts from home – This morning I received an email from a Nichiren Buddhist friend who recently was contacted by her first convert to Nichiren Buddhism some 40+ years ago. On top of that a few days later she was contacted with friends in Ghana whom she had known 30+ years ago. In each of these cases they were people she had not heard from nor knew anything about their lives.…

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Incarcerated Lotus – #5 – Chapter II Summary

(you probably didn’t realize it was Chapter II) Before we move on to look at challenges you may face as a Buddhist who is incarcerated, let’s review the chapter. I have given you two exercises or activities to engage in. One is to practice gratitude awareness. Doing this by keeping a gratitude journal would be highly recommended. For anyone who comes to me for advice, or guidance on practice, or who wishes to train with…

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