Becoming Reacquainted With Nichiren Shoshu Buddhism


Nichiren Shoshu Buddhism
Summer 1980

It was lonely at first. Carin was living in Scotland’s Findhorn commune.
Her parents were excited over the idea. (Actually, I think they were just happy
to scurry their daughter away form me, a nice guy, but not really good
son-in-law material.) At work, I went from midnights to second shift.
My new shift, 4:30 p.m. to 1:00 a.m., helped me deal with Cairn’s
absence. The heavy going at the end of a love affair, those late night
pain hours, became less severe because of work. In fact, I used work time to
practice japa– mind discipline. For six hours, I would do mental
work. The other two on the job hours, I would read or eat. Since my
work did not require a lot of mental attention, I had lots of
free time to silently repeat the mantra that was given to me eleven
years ago by the Nichiren Shoshu Buddhist group in San Diego. Now I
was really putting my mantra “nam myoho renge kyo” to use.

At that time, I was also taking a yoga class. It met on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
Jean, a graduate student in Art, taught the class and she was a very good
instructor. As it turned out, she was also practicing Nichiren Shoshu
Buddhism. After I told her about my early experience with the Buddhist sect
she said, “It’s not done like that anymore. You were street shockabukued;”
meaning that I became a Buddhist initiate before I had the foggiest notion of what
I was agreeing to. I defended myself by telling her that I had studied Buddhism in
an Asian Philosophy class before I became initiated and, therefore, I wasn’t forced
into doing something that I didn’t want to do. She didn’t agree with me and I had to
admit that I had no idea what made Nichiren Buddhism different from the
Buddhism I had studied in class. As it turned out, there was quite a bit of difference.



About bwinwnbwi

About me: Marvin Gaye’s song, "What’s Going On" was playing on the jukebox when I went up to the counter and bought another cup of coffee. When I got back, the painting on the wall next to where I was sitting jumped out at me, the same way it had done many times before. On it was written a diatribe on creativity. It was the quote at the bottom, though, that brought me back to this seat time after time. The quote had to do with infinity; it went something like this: Think of yourself as being in that place where infinity comes together in a point; where the infinite past and the infinite future meet, where you are at right now. The quote was attributed to Hermann Hesse, but I didn’t remember reading it in any of the books that I had read by him, so I went out and bought Hesse’s last novel, Magister Ludi. I haven’t found the quote yet, but I haven't tired of looking for it either.
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5 Responses to Becoming Reacquainted With Nichiren Shoshu Buddhism

  1. I studied it in my early years in California. I wish I had taken it more seriously, but back then I was sort of lost. Though one could argue I still am.

    • bwinwnbwi says:

      In my youth I was lost too. Being lost, however, is not all bad. There are stages in life that need to be traveled before we can appreciate where we have been as opposed to where we are,– and where our future lies. Thanks for the comment. Take care.

  2. lara hentz says:

    I have a small card of the Nam Myoho Renge Kyo chant where I can see it every day – my Navajo friend Sararesa has a group who meets on her rez to chant— it’s more and more obvious as I grow into this journey that we are all related…

    • bwinwnbwi says:

      We are all, most definitely, related and that’s the good part. The more complicated part (but still good) is that this relationship is founded upon the Rock of Gibraltar, on one side of the rock we encounter “no” and on the other side of the rock we discover “yes” and the path traveled in this relationship is always full of rough seas. Thank you very much for all your comments.

  3. Pingback: Nichirin shoshu | Azwomeninblue

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