35 Day Practice Day 19

35 Day Practice Day 19

Read Lotus Sutra
M p. 183 “Many-Treasures Buddha made another great vow….(continue to top of page 187)…..I have come to hear this sutra direct from you.”
R p. 236 “The Buddha said to Great Delight….(continue to almost end of page 239)….I have come to this place to hear.”

Purification of the World

Today I have given you a very long portion to read. If you have any time remaining please chant Namu Myoho Renge Kyo. If you have used all of your practice time reading please do not worry, just chant Namu Myoho Renge Kyo three times and conclude you formal practice. As always throughout the day observe your two Right Ways and connections mindfulness practices. Also as you began yesterday continue with your selected activity during which you are chanting Namu Myoho Renge Kyo silently to yourself.

I apologize for giving you such a long reading assignment. I considered breaking it all apart to shorten it, but I felt that would make it too disjointed and might loose the effect.

You might wonder why reading this is so important. Let me see if I can briefly explain some things to consider about the passage you just read.

Have you ever wondered why there were so many Buddhas? Maybe you didn’t even realize there were a lot, or maybe you never gave it any thought, or maybe you were confused. At any rate there are many different Buddhas in Buddhism, yet there is truly only one. In the portion we just read you may have noticed a term in the Murano translation called “Buddhas of his replicas” and in Reeves called “embodiments of that Buddha”. Both of these are referring to the many manifestation or concepts of Buddha that are revealed in various other sutras.

In the Lotus Sutra, in this passage, we have the revelation of the unification of all the various names and personages of the various Buddhas as being the Single Buddha. We see that the purpose of these various manifestations is so that an appropriate Buddha for the needs of the various peoples is teaching Buddhism. The Buddhism they are all independently teaching though is actually leading to the Single Great Teaching of the Lotus Sutra. As we have read previously, there are many ways that Buddhism is taught, but there is only one truth and as the Buddha says, that truth is revealed in the Lotus Sutra.

Ok, beyond that, and that is a major concept, why did I suggest you read about all the purifications that take place and the calling back of all these various representation of the one Buddha?

The way I like to teach this is being similar to what we engage in every day as part of our daily practice, though I have not mentioned it previously.

Every day as we begin our practice we are encouraged to prepare our sacred space, hopefully you either have one already or are considering creating one for yourself. At any rate as you begin your practice from today forward you should prepare your space by freshening it up, dusting, clearing away dead flowers or old offerings of fruit and such. You might be offering water, which is traditional, in which case you offer fresh water.

In a way I hope you equate this to the purification the Buddha does in this chapter. You are preparing the wonderful ground on which your practice occurs. Also, as you purify your physical space I hope you consider your mental or spiritual space as well. Focus on eliminating any distractions you may have going around in your head, the considerations of chores of the day or even what has occurred previously.

In a way, these are your emanations, your reflections, and your replicas. They are little mental pieces of yourself that are off some place doing some thing on your behalf. As you prepare to do your daily service, bring them all home, call them back to yourself and focus your entire mind and body on practicing in this moment in this space Buddhism.

This may be a new way of considering your daily practice and it will take practice. Please know that this is important. That is why I had you read this entire portion today.

Please be well!

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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.