Friday, 15 January 2016

Buddhist quotes - January

After the assemblies mentioned in my latest experience, I wanted to do some more research on the parable of the Jewel in the Robe.
This is what is mentioned in the SGI Library:

parable of the jewel in the robe [衣裏珠の譬] (Jpn eriju-no-tatoe )Also, parable of the gem in the robe or parable of the jewel sewn in the poor man's robe. One of the seven parables in the Lotus Sutra. It is related in the "Five Hundred Disciples" (eighth) chapter by five hundred arhats to demonstrate their understanding of the one vehicle teaching. It tells of an impoverished man who goes to visit a close wealthy friend. Being treated to wine, he becomes drunk and falls asleep. The wealthy friend must go out on business, but before leaving, he sews a priceless jewel into the lining of his sleeping friend's robe. When the poor man awakens, he has no idea that he has been given the jewel. He then sets out on a journey. To provide himself with food and clothing, he searches with all his energy, encountering great hardship. Being always in want, he is content with whatever little he can obtain. Later he happens to meet his old friend, who is shocked at his poverty and shows him the jewel in the robe. The man realizes for the first time that he possesses a priceless jewel and is overjoyed. The five hundred arhats explain that, just as this man was ignorant of the treasure he possessed, so the Buddha's disciples were unaware that the Buddha had caused them to plant the seeds of an unsurpassed aspiration and were instead satisfied with provisional teachings and a small portion of nirvana.[quoted from here]

Friday, 1 January 2016

Shakubuku and obstacles

This is an experience I shared at my area kick-off. It was supposed to exemplify the "Light of Courage".

In this experience I will talk about how I challenged my tendency to focus on outside validation over internal validation through my fight to do shakubuku.

I am a fortune baby, which means I grew up in a Buddhist household with both my parents, my paternal grandparents and other members of my family practising.
My house was full of Buddhist publications, we had at least one meeting a week and according to my dad Nam Myoho Renge Kyo was one of my first words.

I have always struggled with shakubuku. Talking about the practice was never a problem, but I did not feel “qualified” to introduce someone to the practice as I did not experience being shakubukued. Something so simple as: “Do you remember the first time you heard Nam Myoho Renge Kyo?”, which is an experience most people shared, is not a question I can answer.

This caused me a lot of suffering because I felt I was lacking as a disciple of sensei since only one person received Gohonzon after being introduced to the practice by me (my kindergarten teacher when I was three years old, btw), so I naturally chanted quite a bit about it and started taking bolder actions, such as handing out NMRK cards, something that I found really hard before.

Now, let me say a few things about what I came to call my “One Evil”, as in my tendency to attach my self worth onto external confirmation and gratification.
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