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A Question of faith

February 16, 2017

I’ve been struggling with my Buddhist practice recently (nothing new really), this coincides with some Buddhist studies I’m undertaking at the moment, and I suppose as with any study undertaken, it makes you re-evaluate what and why you are doing something.

I’m looking into the concept of ‘kuon ganjo’ a Buddhist phrase translating to roughly ‘time without beginning’ and also the concept of ‘original Buddha’ that is the Buddha of kuon ganjo, a lot of this is based on the various translations and transcriptions of the Lotus Sutra (chapter 16 the Juryo chapter), the chapter where ‘Shakyamuni Buddha (Gautama Buddha) drops the bombshell that he originally gained enlightenment, not under the papal tree in Gaya, but in the remote past of gohyaku-jintengo (500 dust particle kalpas) ago.

 

I often unknowingly (or certainly not intentionally) approach bold statements in Buddhist writing with an air of scepticism and suspicion, so when I saw the statement that Nichiren Daishonin was the original Buddha, I had to take another look at the evidence, so I’ve been doing quite a bit of digging around and have found the whole thing is very interesting.

 

Now that the (SGI) Rotherham & Doncaster district has been disbanded, it’s been decided (on my behalf) that my new district is now Sheffield, when I recently mentioned to a leader that I would try and attend meetings in other areas, and kind of just ‘float’ about, he got his feathers a bit ruffled.

 

I guess that’s always going to be a problem when you mix systems of religious hierarchy and an individual’s freedom of faith, it can be seen the world over in each spectrum of religion and belief system.

 

So this time my struggle is with the concept of faith, faith isn’t a concept I came across very often when I began my Buddhist practice in the Zen tradition, however now in the Nichiren tradition it is a cornerstone of the practice, having faith in the ‘mystic law’.

I know the importance of deep faith, as my Mother was dying of cancer her strong Christian faith kept her strong and was a great support for her, it was that lesson (her final lesson, I guess)that set me on my own spiritual quest, to find my own religious path.

 

I’m hoping that, the more research and study I do, the more I understand, then gradually my faith with grow stronger, although I expect that sometime in the future I’ll have to close the books, and as the Zen tale tells us take that first step off the hundred foot pole.

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