Saturday, 31 March 2012

Gohonzon map

Receiving your Gohonzon is one of the most important moments in the life of a Buddhist person. I will dedicate an entire post to it.

Meanwhile, here is a useful document that shows the meaning of the characters on the scroll.

As I was looking for it I found countless pictures of Gohonzon scrolls, and I wanted to use this post to point out something. A Gohonzon is an object of devotion. When we are not chanting, it should be protected by the Butsudan and it should not, for any reason, be reproduced on picture or film. It's just not respectful. 

This map refers to the Nichikan Shonin Gohonzon, the one that was generously donated to the Soka Gakkai.

Disclaimer. I did not create this wonderful handout. If you happen to know who is the Bodhisattva of the Earth who made it, please give them my thanks and let me know, so I can credit them.

Below is the embedded PDF file and a link to download it.

Sunday, 25 March 2012

... there's an app for that.

So, I am an Apple freak. I have a MacBook, two iPods (although I gave one to my mum) and an iPhone. Haven't gone as far as an iPad yet because I can't in all honesty justify buying it. I will probably find a way around it sooner or later.

Wonder of wonders, there is actually a daimoku app available on the UK App Store.

I did a lot of troubleshooting and experiments with it, so that I could write a detailed review of it. This meant that I actually ended up doing a lot more daimoku than my daily target. What can I say? It's a hard job but someone's gotta do it.

Saturday, 17 March 2012

A chat with the Gohonzon

This is something I was sent years ago by email. I found it really interesting and I decided to translate it into Italian and send it around to my Buddhist friends. Here is the source.



Gohonzon: Hello. Did you call me? 

Me: Called you? No. Who is this? 

Gohonzon: This is Gohonzon. I heard your prayers. So I thought I will chat.

Me: I do pray. Just makes me feel good. I am actually busy now. I am in the midst of something. 

Gohonzon: What are you busy at? Ants are busy too.

Me: Don't know. But I can't find free time. Life has become hectic. It's rush hour all the time. 

Gohonzon: Sure. Activity gets you busy. But productivity gets you results. Activity consumes time. Productivity frees it.

Me: I understand. But I still can't figure out. By the way, I was not expecting you to buzz me on instant messaging chat. 

Gohonzon: Well I wanted to resolve your fight for time, by giving you some clarity. In this net era, I wanted to reach you through the medium you are comfortable with.

Me: Tell me, why has life become complicated now? 

Gohonzon: Stop analyzing life. Just live it. Analysis is what makes it complicated.

Me: Why are we then constantly unhappy? 

Gohonzon: Your today is the tomorrow that you worried about yesterday. You are worrying because you are analyzing. Worrying has become your habit. That's why you are not happy.

Me: But how can we not worry when there is so much uncertainty? 

Gohonzon: Uncertainty is inevitable, but worrying is optional.

Me: But then, there is so much pain due to uncertainty. 

Gohonzon: Pain is inevitable, but suffering is optional.

Me: If suffering is optional, why do good people always suffer? 

Gohonzon: Diamond cannot be polished without friction. Gold cannot be purified without fire. Good people go through trials, but don't suffer. With that experience their life become better not bitter.

Me: You mean to say such experience is useful? 

Gohonzon: Yes. In every terms. Experience is a hard teacher. She gives the test first and the lessons afterwards.

Me: But still, why should we go through such tests? Why can't we be free from problems? 

Gohonzon: PROBLEMS are Purposeful Roadblocks Offering Beneficial Lessons (to) Enhance Mental Strength. Inner strength comes from struggle and endurance, not when you are free from problems.

Me: Frankly in the midst of so many problems, we don't know where we are heading. 

Gohonzon: If you look outside you will not know where you are heading. Look inside. Looking outside, you dream. Looking inside, you awaken. Eyes provide sight. Heart provides insight.

Me: Sometimes not succeeding fast seems to hurt more than moving in the right direction. What should I do? 

Gohonzon: Success is a measure as decided by others. Satisfaction is a measure as decided by you. Knowing the road ahead is more satisfying than knowing you rode ahead. You work with the compass. Let others work with the clock.

Me: In tough times, how do you stay motivated? 

Gohonzon: Always look at how far you have come rather than how far you have to go. Always count your blessing, not what you are missing.

Me: What surprises you about people? 

Gohonzon: When they suffer they ask, "Why me?" When they prosper, they never ask, "Why me." Everyone wishes to have truth on their side, but few want to be on the side of the truth.

Me: Sometimes I ask, "Who am I?" "Why am I here?" I can't get the answer. 

Gohonzon: Seek not to find who you are, but to determine who you want to be. Stop looking for a purpose as to why you are here. Create it. Life is not a process of discovery but a process of creation.

Me: How can I get the best out of life? 

Gohonzon: Face your past without regret. Handle your present with confidence. Prepare for the future without fear.

Me: One last question. Sometimes I feel my prayers are not answered. 

Gohonzon: There are no unanswered prayers. At times the answer is `No'.

Me: Thank you for this wonderful chat. 

Gohonzon: Well. Keep the faith and drop the fear. Don't believe your doubts and doubt your beliefs.

Sunday, 11 March 2012

Guilt and Hon-nin myo

Today I did lilac at the Youth inspiration day at Brixton National Centre.
I had never been to that centre before and I was eager to visit it and lilac there. I was also looking forward to the day. Every year, we hold a big inspirational event on or around the 16th of March. I will write on the importance of the day in my next post.

In my experience, based on how I feel after, there are mainly two types of buddhist meetings. There are those that make you feel full of energy, happy and bouncing around, feeling absolute joy and elation. I feel like that after most meetings, and I feed off that joy and energy for days after the meeting.

Then there's a more complex sort of reaction. Sometimes, after a meeting, I feel weird. I can' exactly pinpoint what's wrong, I just know that something IS wrong. The best ways I can explain it is, I feel fragmented, unsure, swaying between a world and the other without any specific purpose. Until suddenly, something clicks. Something I was mulling over at the back of my head surfaces and I have to deal with it. This more often than not ends in tears, then something else clicks, and I feel better, until eventually, I reach that same feeling of joy and elation, just maybe a bit less euphoric and more serene.

In other words, folks, some meeting make me feel happy, some others trigger my human revolution.

Saturday, 3 March 2012

A short glossary of Japanese terms used in SGI

As I promised, here is a short glossary of Japanese terms used in everyday Buddhism. 
This list is by no means comprehensive (basically I put in here everything that popped into my mind, but there's surely more that slipped through :))

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...