35 Day Practice Day 16

35 Day Practice Day 16

Read Lotus Sutra
M p. 175 “I have expounded many sutras….(continue to p. 176)….will approach Anuttara-samyak-sambodi”
R p. 229 “Then the Buddha spoke once again…(continue to top p. 230)…will come nearer to supreme awakening.”

After you have read the selection today split the remainder of your practice time between practicing reading the Shindoku of Chapter 16 as before and chanting Namu Myoho Renge Kyo. You are also continuing to observe two of the Eight Right Ways you selected to focus on. Hopefully you also are thinking about your connections to others as you engage in some of your daily activities.

As you think of your connections I wonder if you consider the artist who designed any packaging for any of your food products or other items you buy? Do you think of the advertising departments that crafted the advertisements that may have influenced your purchases either now or in the past? How about the janitor in the bank that keeps your money safe or even processes your card transactions, then there is the security guard who refills the ATM if you used that, or the guard that picks up the money from the store daily so that the store is able to process payments. As you see the list can go on for quite some time. See if you can think of some other more obscure connections you may not have previously thought about.

Relics of the Buddha or Teaching of the Buddha

In the reading for today There are a couple of things I would like to call your attention to which may have escaped your consideration. One is the term ‘Anuttara-samyak-sambodhi’ as Murano has it or ‘supreme awakening’ as Reeves terms it. The other is did you catch the transition moment in the last paragraph of today’s reading from remains to a copy of the sutra?

The term Anuttara-samyak-sambodhi is actually appears for the first time in the Lotus Sutra. We will read about this in the selection for tomorrow but I wanted to mention it today so you can be observant to it. Previous to the Lotus Sutra the goal of Buddhist practice had been the attainment of Nirvana. But with the Lotus Sutra the Buddha says that actually Nirvana was just an expedient in order to cause people to begin to practice, it was never the ultimate goal, just one step along the way, so to speak. You’ll read this tomorrow.

Today however in the last paragraph you read there occurs one of several key transition moments in the Lotus Sutra. I like to celebrate and mark these because they are points when the Buddha’s teaching move to newer levels, or take a different turn than previously.

Today the Buddha tells us that the veneration of relics of the Buddha, or the body of the Buddha is being replaced by veneration of the teaching of the Buddha. It is the Dharma that now occupies the primary focus of our attention. It really always has been but the Buddha makes it clear so there can be no doubt.

In a way the beginning of the Lotus Sutra has been preparing us for this moment, especially when the Buddha said things like he would reveal the purpose for the appearance of any Buddha throughout time. Or statements like replacing the Three Vehicles with the Single Vehicle.

The ‘perfect body’ of the Buddha exists within the contents of the Sutra, specifically the Lotus Sutra being taught at this point. Here at the temple we have a stupa erected in the front with this passage written on it as well as the Odaimoku, Namu Myoho Renge Kyo.

I hope that you also realize that as you chant and Namu Myoho Renge Kyo and study the Lotus Sutra you are erecting a stupa of seven treasures within your life.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

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.