When our life is filled with excellent health, happiness, joy, we give thanksgiving for the wonder of BE-ing? We are grateful for the benefits of our good living, and offer our daily appreciation with our meditations. If our life condition does not have these benefits then we need to ask, how can I get to this enlightened state of being? Which bestirs the question; does faith, meditation and effort really work? Can all our doubts be answered? How does “Cause and Effect” actually manifest in my life?
In our Buddhist philosophy of life, benefits are of two kinds: Conspicuous and Inconspicuous. Conspicuous benefit means easily understood and felt. Inconspicuous benefit means that which is buried deep within, so that we may not perceive or see the benefit at this time in our life. Benefits occur according to the cause or effort we put in; this energy of course is changeable just as our emotions are. Like the seasons of the year, we have the opportunity of benefit according to our sowing, maturing and harvesting. Shakyamuni Buddha teaches that “the seed of Buddha wisdom is within everyone!”
The Lotus Sutra teaches the many wonderful benefits of being a Bodhisattva of the Earth [a human being with faith and the desire to help self and others] Living in this manner, we can attain personal growth, health, happiness, both short and long term life benefits. It is up to us to awaken to our potential beautiful Buddha nature. It is a personal matter of attitude, learning, realization, wisdom and love.
In our Buddhist school our foundation is grounded through the manifest energies of “Sound Meditation, the chanting of the Infinite Title of the Lotus Sutra, Namu Myoho Renge Kyo. This may seem so simple, yet it is a most profound action that brings with it many benefits that talk to us from the depths of our soul; accomplished through “conscious communication” of Cause, Karma and Effect, within the eternal Law; that process some call God. In our silent meditations and moments, we are able to hear the inner voice of this communication from afar!
“On Attaining Buddhahood” the Great Sage of the 13th Century, Nichiren states: “A mind which presently is clouded by illusions originating from the innate darkness of life is like a tarnished mirror, but once it is polished it will become clear, reflecting the enlightenment of immutable truth. Arouse deep faith and polish your mirror night and day. How should you polish it, by chanting Namu Myoho Renge Kyo.” MW Vol. 1
No matter which of life’s Five Challenges [Family, Relationship, Career, Health, Money] one is facing, benefit will accumulate as we continue to chant and amass sound meditation at all times and in all places. We may not understand the technical appreciation of how a light bulb works or the rules of digital technology that bring much benefit to our lives, but Nichiren shared almost 800 hundred years ago the benefits of chanting: “When you chant Namu-Myoho-Renge-Kyo, the highest state of life is brought up from Within you.” In our early teachings we learn that all the Ten Worlds [ Ten Worlds: Hell, Hunger, Animality, Anger, Humanity, Heaven, Learning, Realization, Bodhisattva, and Buddhahood ] exist within this Body and temporary Mind of ours, we manifest that World based on our desire to create benefit to Self and others in our daily life. Perceiving that we can communicate with Eternal life, through conscious communication, we know that neither Heaven or Hell exist outside our self; all aspects of humanity exist within the miracle of life that we are. Nichiren states: “awakened to this actuality one is called a Buddha, not recognizing this one is called a common mortal.” As humans enlightenment is the Realization [ Eighth World ] of who we are, where we come from, and what we are doing here! Far to deep a concept for most of humanity! But for those willing to do the research, the promise is, a life filled with enlightenment and a bright “awakening” in the discovery of One’s own true nature. How wonderful!
With this simple faith we are given a dynamic energy tool for reducing stress and producing personal happiness. When we chant for difficulties to vanish, we are practicing the three stages of benefit, that is we are Sowing the seeds, we are tending the garden of Maturity that leads to life’s many benefits, so we can indeed reap the Harvest of our garden in this lifetime. We must embrace the world we live in! The great Chinese teacher and scholar Tien T’ai Chi’ I over fifteen hundred years ago said: “all phenomena manifesting the reality of the secular world, concerning politics, economics, and culture, are the direct representations of the constant presence of the Buddha nature in all things.” In other words, if we want to see benefits in our family and community, we can’t hide under a log, we need to play an active role in what goes on.
Using our daily meditations, observing our mindfulness, practicing healthy life skills, we come to understand that the laws of our everyday world are in themselves the Laws of Buddha Nature, not separate entities, but an inseparable part of the Oneness of All that is. The Buddha shares: “gradually, in this present lifetime, you will manifest the true enlightenment of the Buddha.” Now this is true freedom! Some days it may seem like nothing is happening, but the law of Cause and Effect is always at work whether we believe it or not. Ask any scientist and we learn that they understand that energy is constantly changing, expanding, moving, this is why we call it Life.
Here we have the opportunity to understand we receive life’s benefits, according to our input! Nichiren shares: “when meditating that the seven difficulties vanish and the seven blessings to appear, the Lotus Sutra is the most effective of all. This is because it promises that one “will enjoy peace and security in this life.” MW Vol. 5 Here then are the benefits to consider that lead to wisdom and enlightenment. There is no greater benefit, conspicuous or inconspicuous.
Thus It Has Been Shared, Respectfully, N. Henry, Nyudo Buddha
*Seven difficulties: attachment, sorrow, shallow belief, negative relationships, wrong career, economic debt, a poisoned mind
*Seven blessings: healthy mind, belief system, loving family, positive relationships, loving friends, right career, economic blessings,