Life offers each One of us several doors or pathways into the Worlds of Learning and Realization, the seventh and eighth World within the concept of the Ten Worlds.
Based on our early life condition these doors are first opened or kept closed by family, mother, father, brother, sister, aunt, uncle, grandparents and others. As we begin to think for ourselves the pathways begin to merge with those we call friends and loved ones. Then those who influence our thinking as our teachers and mentors. And finally
if we are the fortunate few, we begin that “inner” journey towards spiritual sustain-ability and peaceful means. Not an easy journey by any means.
Soon with our “will power” we begin to employ our own perceived alternatives, yes, no, maybe, definitely not, definitely yes; then in our own aspect of thinking comes anger, frustration, denial, emptiness, existence [of ideas.] And the pathways of happiness, joy, and truth, [ as we see it] even glimpses of wisdom.
From our Buddhist perspective we call these awakenings the Four Doors. The Door of Early Lesson, the Door of Separate Lesson, the Door of Common Lesson and the Door
of Perfect Acceptance.
Entering the Door-ways
First comes consciousness and recognition of people, places and things that surround us, Early lessons. The doorway or pathway of Separate lessons helps us defining the people, places and events that affect our who, what, where, and why? Awakening a considerable combination of confusion, fear, anger, acceptance, rejection, appreciation, love and joy. The doorway of Common lessons defines our faith; Christian, Muslim or Buddhist and of what denomination, the schools we go to, the environment we live in. Our mindful choices determine future days and events in life. They may be temporary, in most cases they are, as we busily merge our past, present and future in the here and now of this lifetime. Our determinations may take on a more permanent role. However, for the most part most people just go along, they do not really think for themselves, making decisions based on the early, common and separate doorways. People make small and even medium decisions based on the Five Challenges, some significant some held back in denial and procrastination, as we are not ready for wisdom and enlightenment. Thus we call this decision making the separate and common doorways. Unfortunately, in our time of dumbing down people much damage in our society as a whole has taken place. Common sense, respect, hope, wise decision making in so many respects no longer the mainstream of life. Even the respect for life has lost too much of its wonder and significance!
How fortunate the few who are able to discover their Buddha-nature, which can lead One to the door of perfect acceptance. But, what does this mean? Perfect acceptance?
For Mahayana Buddhist’s it means finding the Middle Pathway. It means One comes to realize most significantly that in our samsara world of endurance there is much ignorance, which is a major cause of co-dependent behaviour.
One comes to Realize all of our human afflictions and suffering, affirmations and attainments belong in the realm of temporary existence. With this Realization life takes on a more realistic perspective. My time here is short; how do I best utilize these moments of temporary existence? How can I assist others as well as myself end the cycles of illusion and suffering in this life? How can I enter the door of Perfect Acceptance, finding spiritual sustain-ability and peaceful means, for myself and others?
Now, we come to the Realization that faith, practice and study will lead us to this Fourth Door, as we walk the walk, the pathway broadens, we begin to truly think for ourselves. We seek the Buddha’s teachings, we practice what we learn with a new energy. We find that living in the higher worlds, away from Hell, Hunger, and Anger, more in the Worlds of Humanity, Learning and Realization, infinitely more natural than before. Our teachings and practice lead to small, medium and even large individual Realizations. We find our judging of others a bad habit, we find there is much work to do on our self! We accept with a new reality that our time on Earth is limited and in the space we have, we should dwell on the important rather than the noise and busyness. We find joy in the smallest of In-Sight and Awareness Meditations. We go where others cannot go!
The Four Doors are available to all humankind. But, for too many the provisional way is as far as they will be able to achieve, in this lifetime. Though we are spiritual Beings on a human journey this will be missed by most, confusing the humanistic perspective as all there is; they will be unable to even hear the word Dharma in this lifetime.
We understand life as Cause, Effect and Karma. We understand ignorance is the cause of too much suffering. But, nature sends us reminders of how small our identity really
is in the form of sickness and world disasters. Our meditation then must be that we can resolve to a mind of determination; a heart-mind correctly initiated. A mind that leads One to the pathway of spiritual progress, a perfect balance of Mind, Body and Spirit.
Nichiren Buddhists challenge the Four Doors through the sound of our voices chanting
Namu – Myoho – Renge – Kyo everyday, everywhere we go, everywhere we are.
The doorway to perfect acceptance is not easy, it is most difficult, offering Ten Pathways to get there. Thus we find faith, practice and study; the Buddha’s teachings, personal practice and our individual realizations, opening broadly all Four Doors. Which lead us to lives of indestructible health and happiness. Well done, well done.
Thus It Has Been Shared, Respectfully, Henry, Master Teacher, Author
Nichiren Buddha Society®