The day and night went silently by

My objective while in France – to the French People

To be honest I spent most of the day trying to be nice and trying to take advantage of the schedule of the conference. My body was not so cooperative and laid down numerous times to sleep for varying lengths of time with at time dubious results.

The meals were sufficient for European preferences, sadly I didn’t have the same objective. Coming off of a day of no food I was much more hungry than the food provided could satisfy.

I overslept the evening meal which I am sure was small. I escaped the prison of the abby. I say prison because they lock the gate at 23:00. I made a stop where the lady was incredulous that I would even suggest they served anything such as food. This was a bar after all and they have their boundaries clearly marked out and food was not something they choose to do. You go to a restaurant for that, not a bar.

I ordered a regular Coke which is not to be confused with an irregular coke. The kind lady told me of a pizza place around the corner where I could enjoy the fabled spaghetti. On the way I spotted a Food Lion grocery store where I will go when it is opened to purchase my preferred caffeine beverage to bring back to my room.

The conference staff gave me two bottles which I put on my window ledge to refrigerate and so this morning to ease myself awake I am sipping one.

I must admit I am a spoiled traveler and find if I don’t get enough food and my diet coke I am in ill sorts.

During lunch I met an MD who is not a Buddhist and would very much like to meet me in Paris. There is a large Paris contingency this time unlike when the conference was in Madrid two years ago.

The hospital where he works is near one we are already scheduled to visit. I am excited that opportunities such as this are developing and we can hopefully accomplish much more than I expected.

As I have written to the French Nichiren believers I’ve been taking care of for 6 years now these meetings are hopefully an opportunity to undo some of the damage another group has caused and thereby put Nichiren Buddhism in a favorable and respectful light it deserves. It will be up to the Nichiren Buddhists of all schools to manage these openings and to do so focusing on the Lotus Sutra and not on trivial denomination squabbles. Nichiren Buddhism fractured is an insignificant religion doing a poor job teaching the most important teaching of the Buddha. Divided and arguing over which denomination is the best is foolish and will never demonstrate to all but a few the appropriate teaching for our time.

I am going to meet with representatives from the Buddhist French Union talking specifically about hospital and prison chaplain work. Because of the actions of a bad player currently Nichiren Buddhist are not represented in any such conversations. This can not continue to exist. I will fight tooth and nail anyone or group that seeks to further alienate society from Nichiren Buddhism. Each denomination has a part to play, an important part to play to manifest the beauty and truth of the Lotus Sutra. It’s past time that Nichiren Buddhism in all of it many forms either work together or reveal yourself as an enemy of the Buddha and Nichiren.

These are the things Buddhism has stood for centuries, ending suffering, tending to the dead the dying the sickness of humanity. You could say Buddhism began with these based on the four sightings made by the Buddha when he left his palace compound.

I do not give a hoot what color your robes may be, or where your head temple is or who your head priest is. It is all shit and worthy only of outhouse discussions only. I don’t care who this offends so save any self-righteous indignation for someone who does care.

Unless you have a better idea that includes all people who wish to join in as they are, the way the Buddha welcomed all people as they were then you’re not practicing Buddhism.

I’ll be the first to admit I am not the person who should be doing this. Sadly those people are either uninterested, don’t care, or incapable. I am only able to this because I will be relying on my reputation, my hard work over the years which has given me a dubious legitimacy to sit with various heads of organizations and doctors. I hope that once again a favorable light will shine on Nichiren Buddhism. I will have exhausted all my good name in this process. It will be entirely up to French Nichiren Buddhist to carry this ball forward.

I will of course hopefully be around a few more years and will be eager to help along the way forward which the French much chart for themselves. Once this ball is in play it will be up to the French to move it down the field.

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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.