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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Spirituality and Compassion in Healthcare

Here is the text of my prepared presentation given in Grenoble on Spirituality and Compassion in Healthcare “Good evening, thank you all for your curiosity about my thoughts on caring for those among us, our families, and friends, who suffer from illness. I would like to express my gratitude to Hocine and others for making the arrangements which make my presence here possible. At this time, I would like to introduce to you the two…

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Determination – April 28, 2013

Spending Founding Day of Nichiren Buddhism in England was a wonderful treat. I am so great full to Rev. Tsukamoto and the London Sangha for allowing me to spend the day commemorating Nichiren chanting Odaimoku at Seicho-ji and the beginning of his unrelenting efforts to spread the teaching of the Lotus Sutra, to Japan and the entire world. Frequently there come times in our lives when we are faced with choices, ones that require a…

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Detachment an Excuse for Indifference?

Detachment an Excuse for Indifference? Engaged Buddhism I was asked the other evening if I believed that the concept of Engaged Buddhism was genuinely Buddhist or whether it was some Western idea of charity and good works being applied to Buddhism. I explained to him that I honestly felt that Buddhism at its core is all about social involvement and charity and all the things we now identify as Engaged Buddhist activities. I explained how…

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Nonviolent Communication – Dharma Talk Given June 12, 2011 (With Italian Translation)

Italian translation appears after the English Nonviolent Communication Dharma Talk 6/12/2011 Good morning, thank you all for coming to the temple this morning and joining together to practice the Lotus Sutra. Today and every Sunday through the entire summer, 13 weeks, I will be devoting my Dharma talk time to teaching and leading learning in Nonviolent Communication. These will be structured sessions that will involve various activities and take-away practices. On some Sundays we will…

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Living with them

Frequently in life we find ourselves living or working or engaging in commerce with people who don’t believe, think, or act like us; and it can be most frustrating.  In almost all things the thing we find most uncomfortable is to be exposed to people different from ourselves.  We find comfort in sameness and likeness. As Buddhist, or any other minority belief, it can be especially challenging when faced with very dogmatic and strident believers…

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Cause and Effect – False Causes

In Buddhism the terms ‘Cause & Effect’ are constantly tossed around.  People even of non-Buddhist religions ascribe to certain interpretations of the concept of cause and effect.  I was re-reading a book titled Basic Buddhist Concepts by Kogen Mizuno in which he talks about views of cause and effect that were prevalent during the time of the Buddha and for which Buddhists at the time found many faults. One false interpretation of cause and effect…

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Bodhisattvas From Underground

When the Bodhisattvas from beneath the ground make their appearance as told in Chapter 15 of the Lotus Sutra one of the first things they do is to greet the Buddha, enquire about his well-being, and ask how the teachings he is engaged in our progressing.  This is in marked contrast to how others had approached the Buddha, those Bodhisattvas in the provisional part of the Lotus Sutra, Bodhisattvas in preceding chapters, where people asked…

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Charlotte Gay Pride – 2009

What a weekend just wrapped up.  There are hundreds of positive words that could be used to describe the events of Pride here in Charlotte this year.  Joy and Happiness are two that come to mind most immediately.  Yes success, victory, wonderful and so forth could also be used, however, I think joy is the one I like the best. There was so much joy this past weekend.  Folks were out and OUT being themselves…

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