35 Day Practice Day 31

35 Day Practice Day 31

Read Lotus Sutra
M p. 308 beginning of Chapter XXIV “Thereupon Sakyamuni Buddha faced east…(continue to p. 309)…Do not consider that that world is inferior to our!”
R p. 363 beginning of Chapter XXIV “At that time Shakyamuni Buddha entered…(continue to p. 364)…it bodhisattvas, or the land there.”

Wonderful-Voice Bodhisattva

After you have completed today’s reading split your remaining time between chanting Namu Myoho Renge Kyo and reciting the Shindoku of Chapter 16. If you are able to complete your reciting of Chapter 16 in less time then spend the extra time chanting Namu Myoho Renge Kyo. But remember there is no rush to complete reciting Chapter 16.

In all aspects of our Buddhist practice we should not rush. As I mentioned when we first began I am reluctant to place time limits or restrictions on our practice. However, for the purpose of this introductory practice time gives us some structure. Eventually I hope you shift to a practice that is based upon your personal needs.

We are nearing the end of the 35 days and as we approach this point it would be my wish that you be mindful of what you are feeling as you practice. Eventually as you become more proficient in Chanting the Shindoku of Chapter 16 you can spend more of your time chanting Namu Myoho Renge Kyo. As that occurs hopefully you will transition to chanting not for time but for fulfillment, or until you are full.

The portion we read today of the Lotus Sutra talks about a practitioner of the Lotus Sutra in another world that has been illuminated by the Buddha of our world, Shakyamuni. I would like for you to think about the passage where the Buddha of that other world instructs Wonderful-Voice Bodhisattva not to disparage this world in which we live, this Saha World.

Wonderful-Voice is told not to think less of this world, our world, just because it is full of mud, stones, and impurities. I think this is an important reminder for ourselves. We should not think that we are somehow inferior, or that our faults are something to be ashamed of.

There is much in society that seeks to have us believe that we are somehow inferior. Think about advertisements for example, the whole purpose of advertisements is to convince you that you are incomplete, or lacking, or inferior to some ideal because you don’t use a particular product. You may have even received messages in school or growing up, which you carry around, that make you feel you are not worthy of being happy.

The message of this chapter is that there is not one among us who is disqualified from attaining enlightenment or of being happy. We are not missing any thing, nor are we short of anything, nor are we not good enough to become Buddhas.

Think back to yesterday and I mentioned about the torch dispelling darkness from a cave regardless of the time the cave had been dark. Our lives are in darkness before we begin to practice Buddhism. We are in fact wandering around trying to become happy, yet frequently we stumble or we make wrong efforts. Once our life is illuminated by the Lotus Sutra, and our Buddhist practice allows us to see how to live in such a way as to cease our sufferings.

The life you are, is perfect for becoming a Buddha like no other. You have unique qualities and talents and are perfectly suited to become enlightened. You do not need to become someone else you merely need to become your true self. So do not think less of yourself, we all have faults and shortcomings but we can polish those rough spots up and revel the true gem of our lives.

Please continue with your practice of mindfulness of your connections to other living beings as well as your efforts observing the Right Ways you have selected to work on.

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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.