If we are to survive, a stronghold of peace must be fashioned within the mind of every single man, woman and child on the earth. This stronghold must resolutely hold out against the invasion of any idea to make war.
In the “Record of the Orally Transmitted Teachings,” Nichiren says, “One should regard meeting obstacles as true peace and comfort.” You may wonder how encountering obstacles could be a source of peace and comfort. But the truth of the matter is that through struggling against and overcoming difficulties, we can transform our destiny and attain[…]
What was the secret to Thomas Edison’s success? He explained that it was to never give up before he succeeded in what he was trying to do. Not giving up—that’s the only way. Once you give up you are defeated. This is equally true in the realm of faith. Quitting is not faith. We have[…]
Viewing events and situations in a positive light is important. The strength, wisdom and cheerfulness that accompany such an attitude lead to happiness. To regard everything in a positive light or with a spirit of goodwill, however, does not mean being foolishly gullible and allowing people to take advantage of your good nature. It means[…]
When we create or appreciate art, we set free the spirit trapped within. That is why art arouses such joy. Art—whether skillfully executed or not—is the emotion, the pleasure of expressing life as it is. Those who see art are moved by its passion and strength, its intensity and beauty. That is why it is[…]
There is no trace of coercion or concern for appearances in Nichiren’s behavior. He looked on those who were suffering, those who were bravely fighting alongside him, as if they were himself in the same situations. He prized each and every one of them. He encouraged them and sympathized with them, and we must never[…]
The times when I have most intensely felt and experienced the inner reality of creation have been those times when I have thrown myself wholeheartedly into a task, when I have carried through with that task to the very end. At such times, I experience a dramatically expanded sense of self. I can almost hear[…]
Ultimately, we are responsible for our own destiny. It may seem to us that our fate is predetermined, whether by our genes or by our environment. What really matters, however, is how we can improve ourselves from this moment forward, how we can change the circumstances that we find ourselves in. This enormous transformative force[…]
Buddhism teaches that human life is endowed simultaneously with both good and evil. The human mind is interpreted as partaking of ten different conditions, or states, including, at one end of the scale, hell, which is filled with suffering; hunger, dominated by greed; and animality, characterized by fear of the strong and contempt for the[…]
The people we are close to are important. We should treat them as our treasures. When dealing with others, we should always be sincere and polite. Nothing is stronger than sincerity. I have made many friends around the world and made them all with the same sincerity. A relationship built with sincerity will never be[…]
Prayer in Nichiren Buddhism is fundamentally a vow. It is a pledge or commitment to follow a chosen course of action; it is a declaration to challenge a clear objective. As such, how could anything be more wonderful than the vow to realize our personal human revolution and actualize the goal of world peace?
Buddhist optimism is not the escapist optimism of those who throw up their hands and say, “Somehow or other things will work out.” Rather it means clearly recognizing evil as evil and suffering as suffering and resolutely fighting to overcome it. It means believing in one’s ability and strength to struggle against any evil or[…]
Wisdom for Modern Life by Daisaku Ikeda Friday, August 1, 2014: By wholeheartedly and directly meeting life’s challenges, we bring forth from within ourselves the “three bodies of the Buddha,” which are truth, wisdom and compassion. The light of this internal wisdom constantly encourages and guides us toward true and correct action.
What is the purpose of life? It is happiness. But there are two kinds of happiness: relative and absolute. Relative happiness comes in a wide variety of forms. The purpose of Buddhism is to attain Buddhahood. In modern terms, this could be explained as realizing absolute happiness—a state of happiness that can never be destroyed[…]
Compassion is the very soul of Buddhism. To pray for others, making their problems and anguish our own; to embrace those who are suffering, becoming their greatest ally; to continue giving them our support and encouragement until they become truly happy—it is in such humanistic actions that Nichiren Buddhism lives and breathes.
The Buddha’s compassion is perfectly equal and impartial. The Buddha views all beings as his own children and strives to elevate them to attain his same enlightened state of life. It’s not that there are no differences among people. Rather, it’s that the Buddha, while fully recognizing people’s differences, does not discriminate among them.
The Argentine educator Almafuerte wrote: “To the weak, difficulty is a closed door. To the strong, however, it is a door waiting to be opened.” Difficulties impede the progress of those who are weak. For the strong, however, they are an opportunity to open wide the doors to a bright future. Everything is determined by[…]
Josei Toda always urged us to live our lives with courage and never be cowards. He said: “Those who can’t do anything but live cowardly lives are like beasts. They are ignoble and unhappy. Those who live out their lives courageously, on the other hand, lead the noblest and most sublime existences; they are happy.”
Human beings inherently possess the strength to overcome any hardship. Religions have traditionally taught the importance of such spiritual strength. This is Buddhism’s point of origin. Shakyamuni Buddha taught us to strive to win happiness and peace, not outside but within ourselves.
What will the future be like? No one knows the answer to this question. All we know is that the effects that will appear in the future are contained in the causes made in the present. The important thing, therefore, is that we stand up and take action to achieve great objectives without allowing ourselves[…]
Daily life can seem all too drab and unexciting. Living itself can sometimes seem a strain, and few of us realistically expect what joy we feel to last forever. But when we fall in love, life seems filled with drama and excitement. We feel like the leading character in a novel. But, if you get[…]
An awareness of death enables us to live each day each moment—filled with appreciation for the unique opportunity we have to create something of our time on Earth. I believe that in order to enjoy true happiness, we should live each moment as if it were our last. Today will never return. We may speak[…]
No one can better bask in summer’s balm than those who have endured winter’s bite. Similarly, it is those who have suffered through life’s darkest hours who are able to truly savor the bright dawn of happiness. The person who has transformed the worst of fate into the best of fortune is life’s champion.
The heart of the Buddha’s lifetime of teachings is the Lotus Sutra, and the heart of the practice of the Lotus Sutra is found in the “Never Disparaging” chapter. What does Bodhisattva Never Disparaging’s profound respect for people signify? The purpose of the appearance in this world of Shakyamuni Buddha, the lord of teachings, lies[…]
People’s hearts are growing more complex, more confused and harder to understand. The same is true for human institutions. The darkness of this complicated and disturbed age may grow even deeper. This is why there is an even greater need for the brilliant inner light of culture, for education that polishes people’s wisdom and character.[…]
When open and engaged, we are experiencing the greater self. When closed off, we are putting forth our “lesser self.” The lesser self is a deluded condition, while the greater self is synonymous with the Buddha nature. To live for the greater self means to recognize the universal principle behind all things and, thus awakened,[…]
Buddhism concerns itself with winning. When we battle a powerful enemy, either we will triumph or we will be defeated—there is no middle ground. Battling against life’s negative functions is an indivisible part of Buddhism. It is by being victorious in this struggle that we become Buddhas. We have to win. Moreover, Buddhism ensures that[…]
Buddhism, which is founded on the law of cause and effect, stresses the concept of karma. This principle explains that life at each moment is subject to the cumulative effects of causes made in the past. What we do, what we say and what we think are all causes. And according to Buddhism, the moment[…]
Having the energy to argue is a sign of good health! When the two people in a relationship share similar conditions, it is only natural that they will lock horns from time to time. On the other hand, if one party begins to outgrow the other, then the two will probably not have serious confrontations,[…]
A great inner revolution in just a single individual will help achieve a change in the destiny of an entire society and, further, will cause a change in the destiny of humankind.