Nichiren Manga by Masahiko Murakami

In 13th-century Japan, disease, famine, violence, and natural disasters plague society. Samurai lords, blinded by power, shirk any responsibility to protect the citizenry. Religious leaders care more about currying favor with the powerful than helping common people find hope and a positive way to deal with their suffering. But one unknown Buddhist monk dares to speak the truth to power: Nichiren remonstrates with the authorities. He insists that all human life is precious and that…

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Children’s Books Relating to Nichiren Shu or Lotus Sutra

Children’s book based upon a tale from the Lotus Sutra found in the chapter of the same name King Wonderful Adornment. It has been many years I have had the idea of turning this story found with in this sacred text of Buddhism into a children’s story. There are few books currently for children on Buddhism and fewer still from the Lotus Sutra. Through the actions of the children they are able to convince their…

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March Trilogy – Books 1-3 by Congressman John Lewis

Books One, Two, and Three Available       Book One Congressman John Lewis (GA-5) is an American icon, one of the key figures of the civil rights movement. His commitment to justice and nonviolence has taken him from an Alabama sharecropper’s farm to the halls of Congress, from a segregated schoolroom to the 1963 March on Washington, and from receiving beatings from state troopers to receiving the Medal of Freedom from the first African-American…

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BLM Reading list for teens and YA

Suggested Reading This curated list of suggested reading for Young Adults and teens comes from a list put together by Chelsea Couillard-Smith, a librarian for Hennepin County (MN) Library.  The list can be found also at Black Lives Matter Reads for Teens. (The links below where available take you to Amazon.  Purchases made through these links do generate income at no expense to you, for the temple.  It is small, and every small bit helps.  I thought you…

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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 III: Part 1 – Greatest Joy

The first time I heard a recounting of this chapter from the Lotus Sutra the story teller had Shariputra leaping with joy upon learning that he too would become a Buddha.  That image up leaping joyfully has stayed with me through many years.  Those exact words do no appear in any translation of the sutra, yet I don’t feel it is inaccurate.  Some of the words used to describe the emotional condition of Shariputra are,…

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