howard on buddhism

Here are a few thoughts about how the Buddhism of Nichiren Daishonin has had a profound effect on my life.

Firstly, I am learning to take responsibility for all the things that happen to me. I try not to go around blaming this person or that person for the circumstances that I face. This has meant that I feel empowered to work towards changing the things in my life that are bothering me and I learn that this begins with a change in my inner life and attitude to my world. If things go horribly wrong, or even slightly wrong, I try to see this as a circumstance that I am responsible for and it is up to me to change it. By chanting NMRK and reciting gongyo twice a day, I am able to raise my life state to win the battle between my negative tendencies and my positive nature. This is a battle that I know will go on throughout my life and will not suddenly evaporate. Buddhism is teaching me to respect all life and to respect my fellow human beings and myself. Buddhism is teaching me that to nurture a deep respect for others and oneself is the reason for practicing, and that this is the only way to feel truly happy.

Fame, wealth, social standing can not be carried through to our next existence and so Buddhism is teaching me to develop a life state that is truly happy whatever my circumstances may be. Buddhism has taught me that attaining the life state of the Buddha is something that all human beings and I can achieve in this lifetime and therefore we are all equal and worthy of respect, even when our actions may not be.

I belong to a Buddhist lay organisation called SGI which is a world-wide group of practitioners of Nichiren Daishonin's Buddhism dedicated to bringing Buddhist humanism to people who want to create a peaceful world through education, culture and the study of peace. Inspired by the example of our President Daisaku Ikeda, we strive alongside him and each other to encourage fellow members through activities such as monthly discussion meetings and study meetings, often held in each other's homes.

Best wishes,

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