So, it’s now almost 8 months since I made the decision to quit the SGI. My reasons for quitting were primarily my inability to stomach the Ikeda worship, but since that time I have also come to regard the whole Nichiren movement as too entangled with materialism at a fundamental level. It’s pointless trying to explain this to anyone who is still in the SGI why this is so, but anyone who has spent any time studying Buddhism in a [...]
It’s been a while since I have posted. Since my practice has changed, and I have been gaining a deeper understanding of what the Heart and Diamond Sutras are saying, I have been experiencing a kind of spiritual crisis (someone has called it a spiritual emergency, with some accuracy). I’ll write about this another time, but for now, after some considerable family difficulties, I would like to share this short story, or fable. It will probably mean most to those [...]
In the aftermath of the Sandy Hook school shootings in Connecticut, and the suicide of Jacintha Saldanha, the nurse who became the victim of a mindless radio show hoax call, it’s time again to look at how we all share responsibility for these events. In the Guardian on Monday, President Obama was criticised for the stark contrast between his outpouring of grief for the children and staff who lost their lives in this tragic incident, compared to the countless innocents [...]
I’m an atheist. Buddhists are, pretty much by definition, atheists. Buddhism isn’t, however, about denying the existing of God. If buddhists spend their time denying anything, it’s the existence of a permanent and independent self that continually suffers. Why? Because when we can alter our mind to accept at an unconscious level that we are impermanent, interdependent on the rest of the universe, and that suffering is the result of ignorance and delusion, then what naturally arises is boundless compassion [...]
I’ve been busy for a while finishing a book which I hope to soon publish. In the meantime, I thought it would be good to return with a wild title. However, beneath the attention getting headline there is a genuine desire to try and explain the link between our ignorance and the suffering of our children. Just over two years ago I became a grand parent for the first time, and since then my family has extended rapidly to include [...]
Chapter 25 of the Lotus Sutra (as translated by Kumarajiva) provides a teaching regarding one of the most important characters in Mahayana Buddhism. The title of this chapter is variably translated as: The Universal Gateway of the Bodhisattva Perceiver of the World’s Sounds – Burton Watson The Gateway to Everywhere of the Bodhisattva He Who Observes the Sounds of the World – Leon Hurvitz The All-Sidedness of the Bodhisattva Regarder of the Cries of the World – Bunno Kato, Yoshiro [...]
The videos recently posted on YouTube mocking the Islamic prophet appear to have been the catalyst for horrific violence throughout the Arab nations. Christopher Stevens, and three other American diplomats were killed in an attack on the US embassy in Benghazi on Tuesday. Although the amateur film “Innocence of Muslims” portrayal of the Islamic prophet is certainly ill conceived, and will undoubtedly be perceived as an insult from the West against Islam following years of questionable foreign policy by the [...]
An estimated 90,000 Rohingya Muslims have now been forced from their homes in Rakhine state in western Burma. Many have been trying to make the perilous journey over the Naf river estuary to Bangladesh only to be turned away by the authorities there. The escalating violence between ethnic Buddhists and the minority Rohingya has led to the NGOs recalling their personnel on safety grounds. Homes have been razed to the ground, and many lives on both sides have been lost. [...]
Having come to Buddhism through the SGI, I had for a long time remained ignorant of other schools’ practices, and had not even read the Lotus Sutra until I began to look at Nichiren Buddhism – or more precisely the SGI’s practice of Nichiren Buddhism – in a more critical light after taking a more serious look at Nagarjuna, and how his Middle Way influenced T’ien-t’ai, Tendai and subsequently, Nichiren Daishonin. On one hand, the lay practice of Gongyo and [...]
I don’t watch a great deal of TV apart from the news and the occasional documentary, but last night I saw a TV ad that reminded me of why we in the west are still a long way from understanding happiness. An ad for the Virgin Fibre Broadband service was highlighting how frustrating it can be when online media stutters and pauses while buffering. Now, call me Mary Whitehouse, but as I watched David Tennant grab a baseball bat and smash the [...]
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- SGI UK – a look back and a look forward
- The horse and the pond
- The knot of hope
- Why does compassion have to be boundless?
- Fixing the Dharmic plumbing
- The dogma of atheism
- Mindlessness can lead to baby eating
- The life of Nichiren Daishonin
- Faith is a well baked loaf
- Liberation from cannabis
- Was Nichiren Daishonin saved by the Dalai Lama?
- Persecution and extremism
- Would you do this on faith alone?
- Say it ain’t so – Silence continues on plight of Burmese Muslims
- Meditation in Nichiren Buddhism
- The difficulty of middle way thought
- When anger is hardly noticed – Virgin Broadband adverts
- Springstein’s microphone cable cut by the Blade Wheel
- Opening the Eyes of Wooden and Painted Images
- Fast Daimoku and Long Daimoku – A Middle Way?
- Turning poison into medicine
- Inclusive and exclusive readings of the Lotus Sutra
- What is the Mystic Law of the Lotus Sutra?
- How does Human Revolution contribute to world peace