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Sunday, July 3, 2016

"I can't believe you are working full time. That's amazing." -- Nephrologist

My kidneys failed on or around the 1st of January due to an exceedingly rare Kidney Disease. I have been on daily peritoneal dialysis since around the first week of February. I was offered full disability by the Department of Human Services which I turned down and started again to work around the 1st of March thanks to the Gohonzon. Since then, I am working full time, 5 days a week. I was placed on a waiting list for renal transplantation last Friday. Also, thanks to the Gohonzon, more than twenty people have offered me one of their kidneys. Nichiren teaches,

"Life lasts no longer than the time the exhaling of one breath awaits the drawing of another. At what time, what moment, should we ever allow ourselves to forget the compassionate vow of the Buddha, who declared, “At all times I think to myself: [How can I cause living beings to gain entry into the unsurpassed way and quickly acquire the body of a Buddha]?” On what day or month should we permit ourselves to be without the sutra that says, “[If there are those who hear the Law], then not a one will fail to attain Buddhahood”?

"How long can we expect to live on as we have, from yesterday to today or from last year to this year? We may look back over our past and count the years we have accumulated, but when we look ahead into the future, who can for certain number himself among the living for another day or even for an hour? Yet, though one may know that the moment of one’s death is already at hand, one clings to arrogance and prejudice, to worldly fame and profit, and fails to devote oneself to chanting the Mystic Law. Such an attitude is futile beyond description! Even though the Lotus Sutra is called the teaching that enables all living beings to attain the Buddha way, how could a person such as this actually attain it? It is said that even the moonlight will not deign to shine on the sleeve of an unfeeling person.

Moreover, as life does not go beyond the moment, the Buddha expounded the blessings that come from a single moment of rejoicing [on hearing the Lotus Sutra]. If two or three moments were required, this could no longer be called the original vow of the Buddha endowed with great impartial wisdom, the single vehicle of the teaching that directly reveals the truth and leads all living beings to attain Buddhahood."


"As I have been saying for some time, in your situation as a lay believer, you should just single-mindedly chant Namu-myoho-renge-kyomorning and evening, day and night, and observe what happens at the last moments of your life. At that time, hasten to the summit of perfect enlightenment, and look around you in all directions. The entire realm of phenomena will have changed into the Land of Tranquil Light, with the ground made of lapis lazuli, the eight paths1 marked off by golden ropes, the four kinds of flowers2 raining down from the heavens, music resounding in the air, and Buddhas and bodhisattvas all being caressed by breezes of eternity, happiness, true self, and purity. We, too, will surely be among their number. The Lotus Sutra is indeed such a splendid sutra!"


"No matter what, always keep your faith in the Lotus Sutrasteadfast. Then, at the last moment of your life, you will be welcomed by a thousand Buddhas, who will take you swiftly to the pure land of Eagle Peak where you will experience the boundless joy of the Law. If your faith weakens and you do not attain Buddhahood in this lifetime, do not reproach me. If you do, you will be like the sick man who refuses the good medicine his physician prescribes and takes poison instead. He does not recover, but it never occurs to him that it is his fault, and he blames the physician. Faith in this sutra means that you will surely attainBuddhahood if you are true to the entirety of the Lotus Sutra, adhering exactly to its teachings without adding any of your own ideas or following the arbitrary interpretations of others.

Becoming a Buddha is nothing extraordinary. If you chant Namu-myoho-renge-kyo with your whole heart, you will naturally become endowed with the Buddha’s thirty-two features and eighty characteristics. As the sutra says, “hoping to make all persons equal tome, without any distinction between us,”10 you can readily become as noble a Buddha as Shakyamuni. A bird’s egg contains nothing but liquid, yet by itself this develops into a beak, two eyes, and all the other parts, and the bird soars into the sky. We, too, are the eggs of ignorance, which are pitiful things, but when nurtured by the chanting of Namu-myoho-renge-kyo, which is like the warmth of the mother bird, we develop the beak of the thirty-two features and the feathers of the eighty characteristics and are free to soar into the sky of the true aspect of all phenomena and the reality of all things. This is what is meant by the sutra passage that says in essence: “All people dwell in the shell of ignorance, lacking the beak of wisdom. The Buddha comes back to this world—the land where sages and common mortals live together, the latter undergoing transmigration with differences and limitations—just as a mother bird returns to her nest, and cracks the shell of ignorance so that all people, like fledglings, may leave the nest and soar into the sky of the essential nature of phenomena and the reality of all things.”


"Stop and ponder! How rare is the faith that moves one to give almsto the priest who knows the heart of the Lotus Sutra! One will not stray into the evil paths if one does so even once. Still greater are the benefits arising from ten or twenty contributions, or from p.1027five years, ten years, or a lifetime of contributions. They are beyond even the measure of the Buddhas’ wisdom. The Buddha taught that the blessings of a single offering to the votary of this sutra are a hundred, thousand, ten thousand, million times greater than those of offering countless treasures to Shakyamuni Buddha for eighty million kalpas. When one encounters this sutra, one will overflow with happiness and shed tears of joy. It seems impossible to repay one’s debt to Shakyamuni Buddha. But by your frequent offerings to me deep in this mountain you will repay the merciful kindness of both the Lotus Sutra and Shakyamuni Buddha. Strive ever harder in faith, and never give in to negligence. All the people appear to believe sincerely when they first embrace the Lotus Sutra, but as time passes, they tend to become less devout; they no longer revere or make offerings to the priest, giving themselves up to arrogance and forming distorted views. This is most frightening. Be diligent in developing your faith until the last moment of your life. Otherwise you will have regrets. For example, the journey from Kamakura to Kyoto takes twelve days. If you travel for eleven but stop with only one day remaining, how can you admire the moon over the capital? No matter what, stay close to the priest who knows the heart of the Lotus Sutra, keep learning from him the principles of Buddhism, and continue your journey of faith."


"Snow piles up five feet deep, blocking the mountain trails that are deserted to begin with, and no one comes to visit. My clothes are thin and hardly keep out the cold, my food supplies are exhausted, and it would seem that my life must come to an end. At such a moment, toreceive a gift like yours, one that has saved my life, is an occasion for both joy and lamentation. Just when I had resigned myself to the thought of starvation, your gift came like oil added to a lamp that could hardly last much longer. How wonderful, how welcome, how generous the heart of the giver! Surely it must have been the design of Shakyamuni Buddha and the Lotus Sutra."


  1. Your experience resonates deeply with my understanding; that we who persist in propagating the Law and rebuking slander as true followers of Nichiren , will experience joy amidst the hardships we encounter, just as Nichiren shared, so long as we maintain firm faith in the Lotus Sutra.

    "...Shariputra , Mahakashyapa, and the others who make up the twelve hundred [arhats] and the twelve thousand [arhats]. and all the others of the two vehicles who attained Buddhahood, will certainly respond to the prayers of those who practice the Lotus Sutra, and they will take on the pains of such practitioners."

    How wonderful is the actual proof of Nichiren's teachings ---
    truly it cannot be expressed in mere words!

    Namu myoho renge kyo!