35 Day Practice Day 9

35 Day Practice Day 9

Read Lotus Sutra
M p. 105 from beginning of Chapter V to p. 106 end of first full paragraph
R p. 159 from beginning of Chapter V to p. 160 end of third full paragraph

Simile of Herbs

This is one of several short similes and parables found in the Lotus Sutra. Today after you finish reading this short section spend half your remaining time practicing to read the Shindoku portion of Chapter 16. We will continually come back to this so that you can gain greater skill at saying this important portion of the Lotus Sutra. The other half of your practice time spend chanting Namu Myoho Renge Kyo.

Yesterday I suggested that you pick out one of the Eightfold or Eight Right Ways to focus on during the course of your day. I hope you will continue to focus on this same Right Way for the entire week. I think sometimes it is easier to really focus on one thing at first and perhaps achieve some success rather than try to remember all eight, get confused and overwhelmed, and become discouraged. Remember we are taking this one day at a time preparing for a lifetime endeavor.

This short story we read today is important for a variety of reasons. One thing this short story demonstrates is that the Buddha’s teaching is equally available to everyone and we each absorb it and manifest it according to our unique capacities. No matter what our capabilities or capacities are the rain of the Dharma provides nourishment to all with out distinction.

The rain of the Dharma nourishes all the plants even though some are tall and some are not, some are fruit trees, some are flowering bushes, the distinctions are endless but the Dharma is universal and not dependent upon the capacity or capability of the one receiving the nourishment.

Though it is not in the short portion I suggested reading today it does appear in this chapter the merit or the promise of what we should expect because of our practice of Buddhism and the Lotus Sutra. The promise of being peaceful in their present lives, nothing material, this is not a prosperity practice, this is about being peaceful and at ease. There is not basis or proof that material prosperity either induces or is directly influences being peaceful and at ease.

Again, today after reading the short section from the sutra, split your remaining time between practicing the reading of Chapter 16 in Shindoku and chanting Namu Myoho Renge Kyo. Also continue focusing on one of the Eight Right things without becoming discouraged if you forget or are unable to fully do it. Intention is key!

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About Ryusho 龍昇

Nichiren Shu Buddhist priest. My home temple is Myosho-ji, Wonderful Voice Temple, in Charlotte, NC. You may visit the temple’s web page by going to http://www.myoshoji.org. I am also training at Carolinas Medical Center as a Chaplain intern. It is my hope that I eventually become a Board Certified Chaplain. Currently I am also taking healing touch classes leading to become a certified Healing Touch Practitioner. I do volunteer work with the Regional AIDS Interfaith Network (you may learn more about them by following the link) caring for individuals who are HIV+ or who have AIDS/SIDA.