Monday, February 27, 2006

On Appreciation

[The following was written for an SGI District meeting - a neighborhood size meeting, which took place on Monday, February 27th, 2006.]

Like most things relating to Nichiren Shoshu, discussing the concept of appreciation of this Buddhism is somewhat amorphous. Trying to describe it is like trying to describe why you appreciate life itself. You could quote poems, or Nichiren Daishonin directly; you could describe aspects of how this Buddhism has affected you, or how you notice it taking action in your world.

It is a lot like trying to define simplicity using nothing but metaphors. It could get confusingly multi-faceted.

Instead, I will point you to Nichiren's letter to Shijo Kingo named Happiness In This World; for I believe the one of the keys to understanding this concept lays within it.

Specifically, I'm talking about the passage that begins with: "Suffer what there is to suffer, enjoy what there is to enjoy. Regard both suffering and joy as facts of life, and continue chanting Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo, no matter what happens. How could this be anything other than the boundless joy of the Law?"

Please note the brevity of this sentiment (and of the letter itself); please also note the wisdom in this statement.

To say that to base one's life around this simple point of view is challenging is an understatement, especially in the "gotta fix everything now and who can I blame?" society we're currently living in.

Here is a point of view that simply states "good shit will happen to you, bad shit will happen to you; that's the deal. Keep going for what you're going for [continue chanting Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo...], no matter how bad/good things get. Don't puss out."

And how great is that, when you come right down to it? There are no elaborate stories to muddy the issue here; there are no exhortations about mysterious machinations or to simply accept your fate. Neither does it say anything about dwelling or not dwelling on the issue; this passage assumes that you will do what you need to, but advises to continue striving to take your life where you want it to.

To not do so is to deny "the boundless joy of the law." Or to say that life isn't worth living.

How can you not appreciate that?


Blogger Stine said...

An evening conversation between the Ly and I

"You know, this morning...I had this...oh, I dunno...calm sense of well-being that lasted for awhile..." Lyamhound

Dood...seriously, he said it.


2:01 PM  

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