Japanese school based on the Lotus Sutra, emphasizing recitation of the daimoku
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    Green Koans Case 9: General Stone Tiger Paid Member

    BACKGROUND:Nichiren (1222 – 1282) is the founder of the sect of Japanese Buddhism that bears his name. A firm believer in the unity of faith and social action, he challenged the political and religious order of his day. One of the great prose stylists of Kamakura era, his letters are filled with references to Chinese history and legend and demonstrate an encyclopedic knowledge of Buddhist scripture. Nichiren Buddhists believe it is possible to attain Buddhahood in this lifetime by chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo (the title of the Lotus Sutra) with an attitude of intense devotion and faith. More »
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    Eugène Burnouf (1801-1852) Paid Member

    In April 1837, twenty-four Sanskrit manuscripts arrived in Paris, sent from Kathmandu by Brian Houghton Hodgson, British Resident at the Court of Nepal. They were Buddhist sutras and tantras, long lost in India but preserved in Nepal. The Société Asiatique instructed two young scholars, both named Eugène—Burnouf and Jacquet—to examine the texts. Burnouf began with the Perfection of Wisdom in Eight Thousand Stanzas. He had no idea of its importance; he only knew that it was one of the “nine dharmas,” the central texts of Nepalese Buddhism. But he didn’t like it, writing to Hodgson, “I saw only perpetual repetitions of the advantages and merits promised to those who obtain prajnaparamita. But what is this prajna itself? This is what I did not see anywhere, and what I wished to learn.” Burnouf kept reading. More »
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    The Lotus Sutra Paid Member

    The Buddha said:“Good man, suppose there are innumerable hundreds, thousands, ten thousands, millions of living beings who are undergoing various trials and suffering. If they hear of this bodhisattva Perceiver of the World’s Sounds and single-mindedly call his name, then at once he will perceive the sound of their voices and they will all gain deliverance from their trials.“If someone, holding fast to the name of Bodhisattva Perceiver of the World’s Sounds, should enter a great fire, the fire could not burn him. This would come about because of this bodhisattva’s authority and supernatural power. If one were washed away by a great flood and called upon his name, one would immediately find himself in a shallow place. More »
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    As American as Apple Pie? Paid Member

    "THIS IS VULGAR," A. pronounced loudly into my ear. "This is vulgarity itself." We were standing under an arch in the gymnasium of a public school in Manhattan in June 1971. Fifteen clean-cut, energetic young men were waving their arms about vigorously, leading the audience in a song called "Have a Gohonzon,"* set to the Jewish song "Havah Nagila": Have a Gohonzon, Have a Gohonzon Have a Gohonzon, Chant jar awhile. You'll find your life will be Full of vitality, Watching your benefits Grow in a pile ... More »
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    Faith in Revolution Paid Member

    DAISAKU IKEDA is President of the Soka Gakkai International, the world’s largest Buddhist lay group and America’s most diverse. In a rare interview, Ikeda speaks to contributing editor Clark Strand about his organization’s remarkable history, its oft-misunderstood practice, and what its members are really chanting for. More »
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    The Wisdom Of Frogs Paid Member

    Outside the south window of my house is a small patch of weeds that never gets mowed because it lies between the fuel tank and the wall. Every year in early spring, three or four frogs take up residence there, singing at intervals throughout the day, often while I am chanting. A few years ago, when I placed the altar next to the window, I had not yet noticed their song. Now I would never consider moving it. Even though the frogs sing only three or four weeks out of the year, I have the vague feeling that even when I can no longer hear them, they are there all the same. Sometimes when I am chanting late at night, I can sense their seedlike bodies under a foot or more of snow, patiently waiting to be reborn. I know that I am supposed to be chanting to the mandala on the altar, but having come to Buddhism through haiku poetry, the truth is, I am often singing to the frogs. More »