Chapter V – Part 1 – If They Have Not Yet Done So

 This chapter opens with the parable about the cloud of rain that waters the plants in the land.  Even though the plants have many differences they all are equally nourished by this rain.  Early on in this project I did a piece of art which I donated to Myokei Shonin, Bishop of NONA.  In the parable mention is made of roots, stems, branches and leaves of trees and grasses.  This often does not get explained…

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Chapter IV – Part 2 – Treasury of the Buddha Law

The translucent layers in both of the art pieces are representative of the multiple layers, the various ways of being in our lives.  In each case nothing is completely covered over, nothing is eliminated and especially in the last piece every layer is required in order to form the whole.  So too in our lives all of our outward self, our actions and behaviors are integral to who we are, even if they may at…

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Chapter IV – Part 1 – Never Had Before

Chapter IV is written from the voice of the Pratyekabuddhas, the elders of the Sangha.  This group of people and the World, in the Ten Worlds, it represents is sometime called the self-enlightened or the contemplatives.  In both of my art pieces for this chapter I used translucent layers in a variety of ways.  The idea was to show how even though our appearance or behavior at times seems to not be that of the…

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Chapter III: Part 3 – Rejoice

Chapter III provides me with many different inspirational passages which have defined my practice of the Lotus Sutra and how I have tried to encourage others.  I am using page 81 from the Murano 3rd edition translation of the Lotus Sutra.  You may have by now noticed a trend or theme in my choices so far.  Mostly I have selected passages which have allowed me to highlight my joy of practice.  This is perhaps a…

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Chapter III: Part 2 – Peaceful as the Sea

In this passage  we have Shariputra telling the Buddha about how confused he was, about how perplexed, and even afraid.  He had begun to suspect that Mara was impersonating his beloved teacher, his doubt had become so great.  As a teacher I have had people react to me in similar and even harsher ways when I’ve not made myself clear and my message has become confusing.  There have been times too, as a student when…

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Chapter II: Part 2 – Even Children In Their Play

King Asoka was the benevolent ruler of the Maurya Dynasty who ruled almost the entire Indian subcontinent from 304-232 BCE. One of the stories I was told when I first began practicing Buddhism was about the previous life of King Asoka. I was reminded of that story as I was working on creatively expressing how I experienced the portion of the sutra about children drawing images of the Buddha in the dirt using sticks. According…

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Chapter II: Part 1 – Inexplicable by Words

It is March 2016 as we begin examining the manifestation of the Chapter II, Expedient Means, from the Lotus Sutra. There is so much to explore in this, the longest chapter in the Lotus Sutra. For this chapter and probably for other chapters in the Lotus Sutra I will not be limiting myself, or you, to only the Murano translation. There are good words and good phrases in other translations which sometimes elicit more images…

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Chapter I: Part 4 – Conclusion

Submissions by practitioners for “Lotus of Your Life”: I’ll present items shared with me by others on the page linked. In the future this link will appear at the end of the each post. February has almost ended and in the month of March, we will be looking at Chapter II, Expedient Means. While I won’t be posting on Chapter I, Introductory, it doesn’t mean it is finished. In fact, I have several other areas…

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Chapter I: Part 3 – The Event

For now I am calling this section The Event, I may come up with a better title later on. To write this section presented me with not only the challenge of the name but I’ve also had to tackle the problem of what to suggest to you for your exploration. I knew what questions I was answering for myself, I simply was not sure, or confident about, what they might be for others. In this…

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