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Re: [SGI] Greetings to those here from new guy Will

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  • verrytesty
    What you say is this particular meeting is more correctly the outline of pretty much every large meeting over the past several years.  It seems
    Message 1 of 61 , Feb 1, 2013
      What you say is "this particular meeting" is more correctly the outline
      of pretty much every large meeting over the past several years. 

      It seems existential-insecurities related to being excommunicated from
      traditional direct connection to Nichiren has turned forever sensei[s]
      from a playful tune of comradeship into a primary pillar of practice in
      the org today. 

      SGI members risk castigation if not outright censure by the powers that
      be for questioning Ikeda-ism.  Priests in layman clothing do not see
      this as a problem to be fixed.



      --- In SokaGakkaiUnofficial@yahoogroups.com, jarlom@... wrote:
      >
      > While I do agree that President Ikeda deserves respect for making
      Nichiren
      > Buddhism known in the West, why do you suppose you have had to explain
      " a
      > million times" that the SGI does not worship President Ikeda?
      >
      > Would you agree that there is at least a perception that this is
      happening?
      >
      > One of the dictionary definitions of worship is: "To regard with
      great,
      > even extravagant respect, honor, or devotion."
      >
      > I once brought a friend to a cultural center to introduce her to the
      > practice. This particular meeting started off with an experience in
      which the
      > speaker lauded President Ikeda as his mentor. (Well, that's okay, if
      it
      > helped him..Great!)
      > This was followed by a film about Ikeda's youth. (Okay, interesting
      > experience).
      > This was followed by a Gojakai film explainig the requirements to
      join, one
      > of which was to have read The New Revolution, by President Ikeda (Not
      the
      > Lotus Sutra, not the writings of Nichiren).
      > The meeting concluded with "Forever Sensei."
      > I think this fits the definition above.
      >
      > At this point my friend wanted to leave as her "cult-meter" started
      going
      > off. She though we were like the Moonies with all the Ikeda stuff.
      >
      > Please understand that I am not trying to be disrespectful of
      President
      > Ikeda, or to minimize the value of those that have been helped by his
      > mentorship. I value the SGI as a great organization that is trying to
      bring peace
      > and happiness to the world.
      >
      > But it is a fact that this continued focus on Ikeda turns a lot of
      people
      > off, and has lead many to stop coming to meetings, or to leave the
      > organization. I don't want that. You don't want that. To simply view
      this as
      > "negativity" will not address the problem. In order to fix a problem,
      one must
      > first admit there is a problem.
      >
      >
      > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      >
    • John the Buddhist,-Lotus fan 卐卐
      It also should be noted perhaps that this was a climate in which the religious institutions sought out state patronage and the people honestly believed or some
      Message 61 of 61 , Feb 25, 2013
        It also should be noted perhaps that this was a climate in which the religious institutions sought out state patronage and the people honestly believed or some of them did that the state religion would actually bring about "heavenly favor" from "providence" if they picked the right Buddhism, so rhetoric would be harsh. Imagine today if separation of church and state was gone and suddenly the various religious groups and atheist "churches" who spring up in counter movements had to compete with each other for state favor, what would they say to each other? what would we have on billboards and on buses?



        --- In SokaGakkaiUnofficial@yahoogroups.com, Stace Near <dorrje_2003@...> wrote:
        >
        > I would also add that Nichiren had specific reasons for blasting other groups, understanding these helps.  Nichirens criticisms are known as the 4 dictums:
        >
        > 1. Nembutsu leads to the hell of incessant suffering.
        > 2. Zen is the creation of the devil of the 6Th heaven.
        > 3. Shingon will ruin the nation.
        > 4. Ritsu is a traitor to the nation.
        > So why did he say these things? Nichiren believed that authentic Buddhism upheld the teachings that:
        >
        > 1. The Lotus Sutra is the Highest teaching and should be revered.
        > 2. Shakyamuni is the Buddha of our world and is to be revered.
        > 3. One should rely on the spirit of the law and not only the letter
        > 4. Buddhahood (enlightenment) is available to us all here and now in this very body.
        > So Nichiren saw each school he criticized as betraying one or more of these.
        > 1. Nembustu (Pureland School) reveres Amida Buddha and the Infinite Life Sutras over Shakyamuni and the Lotus Sutra, and puts off enlightenment till one reaches the pureland.
        > 2. Zen considers itself a special transmission outside of the sutras and therefore does not need the sutras including the Lotus Sutra, in Nichiren's day some Zen teachers may have considered all sutras useless.
        > 3. Shingon revered Mahavairocana Buddha and sutra and considered the Lotus inferior.
        > 4. Ritsu considered the path to enlightenment living in strict accord with the precepts (vinaya), while Nichiren considered living in accord with the spirit of the teaching more important than living in exact accord with it's letter. I think they also incorporated some Shingon practice.
        > Anyway that is the best I can do with why Nichiren was critical. In fact I agree with many of Nichiren's points, however I don't agree that the Lotus Sutra promotes only One Way to practice, but rather teaches that all ways lead to Buddhahood when practiced with the Bodhisattva spirit, and that in fact is the single Buddha vehicle and the unsurpassed teaching.
        >
        > All the best,
        >
        > Stace
        >
        >
        > ________________________________
        > From: Doc Coyote <doc.coyote@...>
        > To: "SokaGakkaiUnofficial@yahoogroups.com" <SokaGakkaiUnofficial@yahoogroups.com>
        > Sent: Monday, February 25, 2013 10:37 AM
        > Subject: Re: [SGI] Many questions/ Many troubles... help!
        >
        >
        >  
        > Absolutely awesome Reply Stace!  Thank you so much.  I am indeed in sync with you my friend.  I am learning the hard way maybe I don't know?  What's funny is, I first wanted to learn all about Shingon as I love Mantra and Mudra and Mandala.  I rushed through my Hindu Studies as I knew I would not stop to practice mush ov that... though I did for a while.  Maybe this is why I love Mantra and Mudras.  Now I come to Nichiren and he is Blasting the Shingon's out ov the water saying they tech demonic doctrines and are all going to hell.  As much ranting and raving as he does about Hell, you sure don't see that mentioned much in modern literature lol.
        >  
        > Will
        >
        > ________________________________
        > From: Stace Near dorrje_2003@...>
        > To: "SokaGakkaiUnofficial@yahoogroups.com" SokaGakkaiUnofficial@yahoogroups.com>
        > Sent: Monday, February 25, 2013 1:05 AM
        > Subject: Re: [SGI] Many questions/ Many troubles... help!
        >
        >  
        > Hi Will,
        >
        > You didn't come to "Buddhism", you came to "Nichiren" Buddhism, a very small sub-sect of a much larger whole.  Nichiren taught an exclusive path based on his interpretation of the Lotus Sutra. Many agree, many disagree. Welcome to the storm.
        >
        > Nichiren was born in 12th century Japan. They believed all kinds of pre-scientific things. Many people still believe things like this. Witness fundamentalist Christians blaming 9-11, Katrina, etc... as Gods wrath or Gods lifting his protection from the USA because we tolerate Atheist and gay folk. Same thought process- we have abandoned the true way and now are being punished.
        >
        > I came to the SGI with many of the same issues as you have. I practiced with them pretty diligently for a few years then faded away as the conflict between my personal thoughts and the organizations doctrine clashed. I rejected the One true way of Christianity as you did, why would I believe it with another religion. Having said that, I think Buddhism is the best path to "Higher Human Evolution of consciousness and spirit." 
        >
        > I still chant and I am exploring the Lotus Sutra, Buddhism as a whole, meditate and I am seeking out Sanghas to find a new home. I feel as if I will always chant Daimoku and hold the Lotus as a main teaching for me personally.
        >
        > Buddhism is much bigger than Nichiren. There are many schools. A Lotus Sutra based school that takes an inclusive approach to the Dharma is the RisshoKosei Kai. You might also like some Tibetan schools. Magick and mystery play role in some of their esoteric teachings. Shambhala is a modern Buddhist movement born out of the Tibetan traditions, I have attended some classes with them and read some books. Some of their teachings have counter parts with Nichiren Buddhism. Such as; Turning poison to medicine, using the stuff of life to bring enlightenment (desires are enlightenment), etc...
        >
        > Anyway, there are many schools of Buddhism. I would recommend doing a search on some of the ones I mentioned and looking at other.
        >
        > For now, you can take the Lotus Sutra, NamuMyo Ho RengeKyo and just chant and practice meditation. The Lotus Sutra does not belong to SGI nor Nichiren. 
        >
        > Here are a couple links about the Lotus Sutra that bring a different understanding of the teaching.
        >
        > RisshoKosei Kai founding presidents book on the Sutra, online free:
        >
        > http://www.rk-world.org/publications/buddhismfortoday_toc.aspx
        >
        > Free Buddhist Audio various speakers associated with the Triratna Buddhist Order on the Lotus Sutra and its teachings. I like the Triratna group:
        >
        > http://www.freebuddhistaudio.com/search.php?q=lotus+sutra&s=0&at=audio&r=10&b=p
        >
        > Any way,
        >
        > Take your time, explore, find what is right for you.
        >
        > Stace
        >
        > ________________________________
        > From: Doc Coyote mailto:doc.coyote%40yahoo.com>
        > To: "mailto:SokaGakkaiUnofficial%40yahoogroups.com" mailto:SokaGakkaiUnofficial%40yahoogroups.com>
        > Sent: Saturday, February 23, 2013 8:46 AM
        > Subject: [SGI] Many questions/ Many troubles... help!
        >
        >  
        > Ok, I have read over 100 pages from Selected Writings ov Nichiren and so far the main things I have seen him talk about is:
        > 1. Shomon and Engaku can attain Buddhahood.
        > 2. Shakyumani Buddha had many previous lives.
        > and 3. IchinenSanzen. 
        >  
        > I am having a hard time with all of these"proofs" having their foundation in the fact that Japan is/was experiencing Earthquakes and such due to either not teaching the right teachings or not correctly observing the Lotus Sutra or its votary (Nichiren).
        >  
        > I mean we really can't "prove" things based upon Natural disasters such as storms and such?
        >  
        > I am very surprised as to the Preachy fashion in which Nichiren presents his doctrine... VERY dogmatic and exclusionary... reminds me of a Protestant hell fire and brimstone preachers of the 60's and 70's.  Or Pat Robertson saying that the twin towers were a result of "sin" and people not obeying God.  Anyone find this repulsive? 
        >  
        > I mean were people against Nichiren, not because of the Doctrine but because the way he went about things? I mean he made a career out of telling people they were wrong and that storms and earthquakes were the result of their error and that they were going to hell...? 
        >  
        > Are we supposed to believe that if everyone was chanting and living according to the Lotus Sutra then there would have not been any calamity? 
        >  
        > Then he goes on and on about how everyone else is wrong, Shingon, Zen, etc.  That's a lot of people discounted no? 
        >  
        > I find myself constantly asking myself..."Do I want to follow someone who constantly condems others to hell and says that everyone else is wrong?  I mean, I don't want to be that way...  In the Christian world I couldn't stand those who were like that.  Now I come to Buddhism and it's that same thing all over?  I thought it would be different.  It seems like it has been turned into a battle over who's teaching is correct more than actually living in love.  Anyone else thought like this before?
        >  
        >  Little side note question:
        > As a Nichiren Buddhist are we not allowed to have any other practices wich as Medicine Buddha Mantra or even in a fun way dealing with Hotei Buddha?
        >  
        > Thanks so far!
        >  
        > Will
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