35 Day Practice Day 20

35 Day Practice Day 20

Read Lotus Sutra
M p. 187 “Having see that the Buddha….(continue on same page)….to someone so that this sutra may be preserved.”
R p. 239 “Then the four groups…. (continue to page 240) ….Wonderful Dharma Flower Sutra to someone.”

Two Buddhas Sitting Side-by-Side

Today the reading is much shorter than it was yesterday but what you read today is very important, so please read it slowly and deliberately. After you have finished the reading today before you begin chanting spend 3 to 5 minutes and just sit with your feelings about what you have just read. Let it sink in for a while. Once you have done this spend the remainder of your time chanting Namu Myoho Renge Kyo.

There are three major things that occur in this short section. One is Many Treasures Buddha offers the seat beside him to Shakyamuni Buddha who then takes that seat. Two is Shakyamuni Buddha raises the congregation into the air so they can be on eye level with the two Buddhas. Three the Buddha asks those present who will teach the Lotus Sutra in the Saha-World, this world, so that it may be preserved?

Previously I had mentioned that the characters Namu Myoho Renge Kyo down the center of our Gohonzon, the object of veneration of the Lotus Sutra, represent the Stupa of Many Treasures. Just to the left and right of Namu Myoho Renge Kyo are the Two Buddhas, Shakyamuni and Many Treasures. Sometimes this is depicted in statues it is also depicted in calligraphic form on a paper Mandala.

Previously I had talked about transition moments and this is another of those. At this point the entire congregation is now in the air and this is called the second location of thee that occur in the Lotus Sutra. It is also a transition moment that reinforces one that occurred previously, and that is the shift from the present to the future with regard to propagation and protection of the Sutra.

Here also we have the unification of the past Buddha with the present Buddha, both of whom are looking toward the future. So the focus really shifts firmly to the future of Buddhism and who will practice and spread the Dharma in the ages after the death of the Buddha.

This passage has some profound philosophical importance that I can not fully address here in this short introduction so I hope you will contact your teacher to further explore this. You may also listen or read some of my lectures on the Lotus Sutra for further information.

Continue in your practice of following your two Right Ways and your focus on connections to the many beings that make various aspects of your life possible. Also remember to continue your chanting during some of your daily activities.

It is important to as deeply as possible connect your life with chanting Namu Myoho Renge Kyo so that the Lotus Sutra is never far from your thoughts.

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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.