Determination – April 28, 2013

20130428-220146.jpgSpending Founding Day of Nichiren Buddhism in England was a wonderful treat. I am so great full to Rev. Tsukamoto and the London Sangha for allowing me to spend the day commemorating Nichiren chanting Odaimoku at Seicho-ji and the beginning of his unrelenting efforts to spread the teaching of the Lotus Sutra, to Japan and the entire world.

Frequently there come times in our lives when we are faced with choices, ones that require a great determination to not just make but to follow through on. While we may easily see a solution to our difficulty or it may come to us after deep reflection, that is really only a part of the solution.

Yes, at times we may feel that we have achieved a breakthrough, and indeed to a degree we have; now being able to perceive a solution to a particular problem. The Buddha attained enlightenment, the great awakening to the way to eliminate suffering. Nichiren after great study a d contemplation realized the way to eliminate the sufferings of mankind was to re-establish the importance of the Lotus Sutra as a teaching most appropriate for the time, the age, in which we live.

If, however, there is no follow up action, no matter how good our idea or solution is, if we fail to follow through, then we have accomplished nothing of any real and permanent value. Once the Buddha became awakened, he had to make up his mind whether he would try to teach others of this great liberation. He wrestled with the fear that he would not be able to accomplish this goal, he worried whether or not he was capable or if the people could understand. Nichiren too, struggled with knowing how hard it would be to spread the Lotus Sutra. He knew that he would face sever persecutions.

Not unlike ourselves, each had to then resolve to take action. Both of these people realized there was no benefit to keeping their awakening to them selves.

We too, when face with a difficult decision first need to come to an understanding of the best possible solution. And we too must make a determination to make effort to ensure we follow through on our decision. It is hard to never give up, it is hard to overcome obstacles, but it is even harder to stay stuck in a cycle of suffering and defeat.

For my non-Buddhist readers, you may be inspired by other people who have shown great resolve in the face of adversities. It is the victorious person who takes action action.

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 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.
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3 Responses to Determination – April 28, 2013

  1. krisquigley says:

    Hi Ryusho,

    I was thinking about the 108 earthly desires as represented on the prayer beads which led me to be somewhat confused. Are earthly desires good or bad, and what are the 108 earthly desires exactly?

    Thank you for your time.

  2. I think the good or bad of anything is somewhat relative. Food is good, too much food is bad. Rest is good, too much is harmful.

    I think what Buddhism calls us to do is look deeply into our lives and search for the truth within; to do bones deep inner reflection.

    As for what each of the 108 is I think It is more of a metaphors, though it certainly has some basis some place.

    Here is one listing compiled by someone. Not sure of the accuracy however. It is an interesting list though.

    Thanks again for your question.

    With Gassho,

  3. krisquigley says:

    Thanks for the reply.
    There is some great information in that link, thanks. I think for me, at this point, that the word list of 108 defilements make more sense to me. I don’t quite understand the other explanation:
    “{sight, sound, smell, taste, touch, and consciousness} × {positive, negative, indifferent} × {attached to pleasure, detached from pleasure} × {past, present, future}
    = 6×3×2×3 = 108″
    It seems too far detached from anything at this point in my understanding. Perhaps it will mean more to me the stronger my faith becomes.

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