35 Day Practice Day 18

35 Day Practice Day 18

Read Lotus Sutra
M p. 181 Beginning of Chapter XI to end of first paragraph p. 183 “Thereupon a stupa of the seven treasures ….. We wish to see that Buddha.”
R p. 235 Beginning of Chapter XI to end of last full paragraph p. 236 “At that time a stupa of the seven precious….we want to see this Buddha’s body.”

Stupa of Many Treasures

I hope that the portion you will read today won’t be too long for you. Please spend the remainder of your practice time today chanting Namu Myoho Renge Kyo. As before continue to work on your connections to the many people who make it possible for you to do the things you do in your life. Continue also, working on the two Right Ways that you have selected to focus on. You might take some time to also write out ways in which you have been successful in following the two chosen Right Ways.

Today I would like to encourage you to select one activity that you engage in during your day and add chanting Namu Myoho Renge Kyo while you do that activity. So for example you might perhaps choose driving. So beginning today every time you drive as much as you can remember to do so chant Namu Myoho Renge Kyo while driving. It might be walking, or it might be washing dishes or some other thing. As before when you catch your mind wandering while doing this activity say the word ‘thinking’ to yourself and come back to your chanting. Of course be safe in whatever activity you choose to do this practice.

Today in our reading something really phenomenal has happened. A huge stupa, or mausoleum has arisen from beneath the ground and appeared hanging in the sky above the congregation. The size of this structure is huge. I did a rough calculation once and it works out to be between roughly one fourth to one half the diameter of the earth in height. This stupa, because it is decorated with seven different treasure is called the stupa of treasures.

As you read a loud voice, it would have to be loud to be heard, praises the Buddha saying; “Excellent, excellent!” and says that the Buddha Sakyamuni, has expounded the Lotus Sutra and that it is all true. A phenomena such as this has not occurred at any time before in the teachings of the Buddha. Those in the congregation are amazed, as I am sure we all would be if we witnessed something of this magnitude.

The Buddha then explains why this stupa has appeared and who is on the inside. He tells us that a Buddha from a long time ago, an ancient Buddha, once made a vow that whenever and wherever the Lotus Sutra is taught he would cause his remains and mausoleum to appear in the presence of the teaching of the Lotus Sutra and declare its validity.

Nichiren, in many of his writings referred to the seven treasures as the seven characters that make up devotion to the Lotus Sutra, as written in Chinese 南無妙法蓮華経 or Namu Myoho Renge Kyo. These seven characters are written down the center of our Gohonzon Mandala and form the basis of our object of veneration.

Today is a lot to absorb. Let me leave you with this final thought. This object that has appeared before the congregation is phenomenal and seemingly impossible to have happened. Nichiren was quite clear about the possibility of manifesting this from within our own individual lives. As with all the teachings in the Lotus Sutra, they become real when we ourselves begin to change and reveal the truth from within our lives. Through chanting Namu Myoho Renge Kyo and following the practices given in the Lotus Sutra and applying the teachings in our lives we can reveal the truth of the teachings in our own unique ways. The treasure tower is none other than our own lives.

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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.