Becoming a Buddha – In This Lifetime
We are told at the beginning of our interest in the Buddhist philosophy that the word “buddha” translates as “awakened.” So it should not come as a shock upon discovering One’s Buddha-nature, that this spiritual pathway is the One Vehicle to freedom. Within the Buddha Dharma or wisdom teachings we find answers to all our questions we find peaceful means, joy, happiness, health, wisdom, as our inner selves become awakened, enlightened. How different from co-dependency, from “its Gods Will” of Christianity.
Within our teachings as contained in the Lotus Sutra we learn of the Ten Worlds
and the Ten Factors. Nichiren tells us: “the significance of the Ten realms of dharmas and their three thousand existential spaces of the dharma realm, is the oneness of mind, its subjectivity, it dependent environments, its materiality and mind, its insentient plants and trees; without ignoring its empty space, the flash of time in the terrain of where the one instant occurs or even one particle of its dust, all of these are stored away in a single instant of mental activity.” Here is a statement One can meditate on for a long time.
In Chinese, we call this Ichinen Sanzen, in English we call it the moment of NOW. Within our cranium or brain there are as many as ten thousand flashes of electro-magnetic energy pulsing throughout ready to take action the moment we reach up and choose a thought, millions of which we let pass through, others we rely on the make decisions we must live with. The oneness of mind is our reminder that we already contain all matter, all infinite knowledge; so how do we get at it? We can work on becoming awakened or a Buddha in this lifetime, through our teachings, through the knowledge that we select, through our daily chanting, practice and meditations; adding profoundly to our many “single instants of mind.”
In this day and age most psychologists, spiritual philosophies, religions and even some doctors are getting it; everything is “within.” The outside may look good, act good, but it is the inner mind of understanding that allows One to reflect on truth instead of half truths, to realize superior wisdom from shallow mind. Choosing spiritual sustain-ability, rather than reliant on pills and drugs. How many expedient means or off track pathways does a person, one insentient BE-ing have to practice before coming to the Lotus Sutra. How fortunate we are living in the Latter Day of the Law, a time when we are told even the most simple person may realize their all empowering Buddha-nature? That which leads to an awakening of body, mind and spirit!
Nichiren, reminds us: “You must give rise to a deep mind of faith to understand that when we recite and read MyoHo Renge Kyo, which is in the Sutra on the Lotus Flower of the wonderful Dharma, it refers to the one instant of thought containing three thousand existential spaces that make up our lives. You must under no circumstance ever imagine that the repository of the eighty-four thousand dharmas of a lifetime of spiritual teaching as well as all the Buddhas of the past, present and future of the ten directions, exist anywhere else other than in your own mind.”
Tien Tai tells us: “if you do not contemplate your own mind you will never eradicate the layers of karmic entanglements in your life.” Here is a personal challenge and a statement worthy of deep and long meditation. How much pain do we want in our lives? How many mistakes do we want to repeat over and over again? How many troublesome worries, how much stress do we wish to live with? It is only when we are willing to meditate and contemplate our inner most BE-ing that freedom comes!
We can build a mind of faith by living the Buddhist Precepts, by taking our personal Vows and living up to our promise to keep the faith, practicing daily, studying until we become teachers of the Law ourselves; one person to one person, friend to friend, family to family, so that we can assist in ending suffering of others that cross our pathway.
How much chanting of the Infinite Title of the Lotus Sutra, Namu-MyoHo-Renge-Kyo, should we do to achieve these goals? The answer is it is different for every person, some have the karma to make things happen quickly, some have the energy force of empowerment to cause harmony wherever they are. Some have to deep a little deeper and do more, to get results, but the mystic, universal Law feels even our slightest sincere efforts and responds with practical proof, that which we can see, hear and receive.
When we realize the doctrine of MyoHo the all embracing presence of wonder, joy and love, then we will not fall backwards. We will achieve the compassion of practice, which is the way to awakening. This is how we polish our mirrors day and night. Nichiren says: “how do we do this, just by reverently reciting Namu MyoHo Renge Kyo. Only the few become enlightened, work through One’s doubt, to stop back falling into negative habits, to progress away from ego towards the infinite path to freedom. Realizing our Inner-Self is the gateway to becoming a Buddha in this lifetime.
Our historical Buddha, Gautama Shakyamuni, in his time told his followers:
“after my passing over to extinction you must hold to this Sutra, [Lotus Sutra] those people who do so shall decidedly, without any doubt whatsoever, be on the path of enlightenment.” Don’t you agree it is quite wonderful, this promise made by the Buddha?
There can be no doubt that each of us can become happy, knowledgeable, and wise.
Knowing this goes beyond discovering our buddha-nature and takes us on the main freeway towards Buddhahood in our present lifetime. How wonderful, how profound, how silent I become, when I realize these factors contained within my mind.
Thus It Has Been Shared……….. Respectfully, Kanji Henry