Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Could peace become as common as the bicycle?

Once-upon-a-time there were no bicycles, not a single one.

Then from out of the blue someone had the idea, like a spark of inspiration in the night, it became manifest in the mind and imagination of a single human being.

Today; billions of people ride bicycles all over the world.

The potential for this concept of riding on a device with two wheels didn't exist before, it was only a dream.

Once an idea becomes a possibility, it reaches the mass consciousness of humanity and becomes possible, when enough people connect with it it goes from fantasy to reality.

The same goes for peace, when enough human beings have peace in their hears and minds, it will be become a reality and be as common place as the bicycle.

Nam myoho renge kyo

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

The weak are meat and the strong must eat?

As a vegan and a Buddhist I find the fact that people have to kill anything unfortunate, I woke up to this truth last year, however, as my friend Ian pointed out once, we only tend to want to save the cute animals. What about the billions of other animals like cows, horses, chickens that die every single day in often horrific and painful circumstances?

Human beings are brutal creatures, we have been since we left caves and tribal roots, but we are evolving at an exponential rate. A plant based diet is not only beneficial to your health it is beneficial to the environment, and if you are suffering from diet related illnesses or obesity it could save your life. You only need to take a look at the China Study https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_China_Study To see evidence of these claims.

Monday, 20 January 2014

The world is full of Love. The World is full of Hate.

The world is full of Love. The World is full of Hate. The world is full of Life and the world is full of Death. The world is full of Light and the world is full of Dark. We exist within this constant state of flux.

The universe is a place of creation and the universe is a place of destruction.

When we focus our intention, our minds, our lives on creating value, it fuels us with the energy to become a force for good, because when we see this value, it gives us hope, and in that hope is great potential. This doesn't mean we place our heads in the sand, it means we pour our energy into being productive and doing good.

When you post stuff to Facebook and talk to your friends be careful not to give in to scaremongering and gossip, it is vital that we try to make sure what we are sharing is correct and not just propaganda. There are people out there that want you to feel hopeless and powerless.

There are religious organisations out there that want us all to despise each other and fight over our beliefs. We can live in a harmonious world, it is possible.

Thank you to my friend for sending this image, happy Monday.

Nam myoho renge kyo

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

What is Buddhism? Part 1 and Part 2. Highly Recommended Watching.



What is Buddhism?

Buddhism is a religion to about 300 million people around the world. The word comes from 'budhi', 'to awaken'. It has its origins about 2,500 years ago when Siddhartha Gotama, known as the Buddha, was himself awakened (enlightened) at the age of 35.

Was Jesus a Buddhist Monk? A BBC documentary

Was Jesus a Buddhist monk? Leave your thoughts in the comment.

Monday, 13 January 2014

Want to build and run a civic or democratic website?

Hello! We are mySociety International

Want to build and run a civic or democratic website? A site that gives people the power to question those in authority, or make their own community better? Great! We can provide the code and the support you need.

We can help you get your project up and running
Email international@mysociety.org now

What do you want to do?

We have the software and the knowledge to help you

Growth is essential

Life is a never-ending struggle to grow.

Life is a never-ending struggle to grow. - Daisaku Ikeda

Friday, 10 January 2014

The Gohonzon, SGI and Nam myoho renge kyo

You are nam myoho renge kyo,  you and everything else around you. 

As a member of the Soka Gakkai (The Value Creation Society in English) and someone who has a public profile, I am often subject to many letters and requests that I should quit the SGI, that I am on the wrong path. That I have joined the wrong "gang" I have been told all sorts of wild and wonderful things on an almost daily basis.

However; the one that stands out the most for me is the sticky subject of our Gohonzon. The running theme that most people write to me about is that as a member of the SGI, I have been given a fake or inaccurate Gohonzon.

Nichiren Daishonin himself wrote: "Life at each moment permeates the entire realm of phenomena and is revealed in all phenomena. To be awakened to this principle is itself the mutually inclusive relationship of life at each moment and all phenomena. Nevertheless, even though you chant and believe in Myoho-renge-kyo, if you think the Law is outside yourself, you are embracing not the Mystic Law but an inferior teaching.

“Inferior teaching” means those other than this [Lotus] sutra, which are all expedient and provisional. No expedient or provisional teaching leads directly to enlightenment, and without the direct path to enlightenment you cannot attain Buddhahood, even if you practice lifetime after lifetime for countless kalpas. Attaining Buddhahood in this lifetime is then impossible. Therefore, when you chant myōhō and recite renge,1 you must summon up deep faith that Myoho-renge-kyo is your life itself.


Powerful and profound words. The very core of my practice.

But what did he mean by this? For me, the answer is quite simple and it is something I repeat over and over again.

We are already it. We don't need a temple, a priest, a god, an angel, a wizard, a witch, someone wiser, some older, something more experienced in life.

The mystic law is you and you are the mystic law,  you were born with it, you were born within it. It is the universe, because you are the universe.

When Nichiren inscribed his first Gohonzon, I do not believe for one minute he would expect people would be squabbling over who had the correct copy.

The essence of the Gohonzon is nam myoho renge kyo and this is what is evoked when we chant, this principle is where we focus our prayer.

We all have a copy of a copy of a copy... does it make the Gohonzon any less powerful or important. No it does not.

Pick up your cell/mobile phone. That device is the result of hundreds of human minds coming together, as well as thousands of human hands coming together to build something of great power and potential. For at some point in history it did not exist. It was simply an idea in the mind of a  person.

But as that persons determinations grew to create it, it became a reality and it changed the world as we know it.

In your hands you hold a copy of a copy of a copy, it is a device that is capable of many great things, it has the power to connect you to ANYONE on EARTH instantly, it is 1000x more powerful than the computers used to send people to the moon in the 1950s.

I have called the Gohonzon spiritual technology before, and I think that that for me is the best analogy, to me the Gohonzon is like a device, without me the paper scroll is just that, a paper scroll, but the moment I engage with it, the neurons in my mind fire, the potentials within my Buddha-Nature light up, the seeds of my compassion flower.

If  we stop fixating for a second on ritual and remember why we are here. What is the point to your life? What is your purpose?

You are here to live, love and to experience. You are here to express your humanity in every way you know how.

The Gohonzon is a principle, written in sumi ink that awakens you to that possibility.

And when you awaken to that possibility you leave behind all the differences we seem to have and realise that we are all one in the same. We are all here to become more human.

We are pure consciousness expressing itself in physical form.

I am a part of the SGI because I believe in the goal of our movement, we are a group of people who seek peace, friendship and equality for all.

This isnt the case for all of us, as we are still a human network, with all its frailties and egotistical tendencies, but realise that, we are human. We are who we are.

Buddhism is life. And life is ever changing. So to all the people out there who foolishly believe we must stay the same, we must stay rigid, I am here to tell you that if that is the mindset you wish to maintain you will find it very hard accepting the future, because the future is coming, whether you like it or not. Its so important that we open our minds and our hearts to change, for forgiveness, for adaptation. We must adapt, for if we do not we are destined to repeat the same mistakes over and over again.

In the UK we have around 12 000 members, its still quite small, but in 193 countries we are quite a large group of at least 12 million people. And in that group we come from all walks of life, all nationalities. Within our movement is the potential to support the world in a great leap forward.

This is why I chant. I chant to have the courage to take bold steps to transform what I can while I still exist within this body. Your and my time is limited. That is why we must use it wisely.

We call our goal Kosen Rufu, and even though it isnt the exact translation and original meaning, we have given it new meaning, we have breathed new life into this determination that we all try to hold in our hearts and our daily prayers.

Our final prayer each morning and evening is "I prayer for the happiness of all humanity..."

I hope that in 2014, we can take a great leap forward in our worldwide efforts for kosen rufu, for peace and the equality and respect of all human.

Have a wonderful day, wherever you may be.

Nam myoho renge kyo
Nam myoho renge kyo
Nam myoho renge kyo


Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Magic Makers - The teens changing the world

Please support my friend Melissa Jun Rowley get her show funded, a earth shattering and life affirming production that showcases a collection of incredibly gifted teenagers from across the globe, inventing solutions to address some of the toughest problems we face today.

Learn More and DONATE here: https://memeni.com/magicmakers


Melissa says "Hello! My name is Melissa. A year ago, I noticed a trend taking shape in technology, science, and the arts. I began hearing stories about brilliant, imaginative teens inventing solutions to address some of the toughest problems across the globe.

One day, I read a story about a 16-year-old who found a new way to detect pancreatic cancer. A week later when l learned of a 17-year-old who created a robotic arm that’s controlled by brainwaves. After that, I was introduced to a teen author, who spoke at TED about what adults can learn from children. I thought, “something special is happening.” This isn’t a trend. It’s a movement. There is a STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art & Math) renaissance beginning to set fire to the world, and young people are moving mountains to see it to fruition. I decided that I needed to meet these teens and other young STEAM activists and tell their stories. That’s how the idea for our docu-series “Magic Makers” evolved. We want to collaborate with students, teachers, and mentors to spotlight the work they’re doing to improve education models, and work with them to prototype solutions for challenges in their schools and hometowns.

Our crowdfunding goal is to raise $75K to film the pilot of “Magic Makers” in New York City. The funds will cover production fees, travel expenses, and post-production costs.

Every time I talk to the current nine cast members of “Magic Makers”, I am inspired by their fearlessness, authenticity, and drive to help others. They are genuine articles of the most connected and informed generation to date. Please join us on what is sure to be an epic journey and celebration of what the convergence of youth, STEAM education, and the great human spirit can accomplish."

Profile picture for melissajunrowley.com
Melissa Jun Rowley is a television and online journalist, writer and activist who currently resides and works in Los Angeles.

Rowley's writing has been featured on CBS News, Mashable, Discovery Channel, BlogHer and others, and she has produced and reported on the Academy Awards, Golden Globes, Grammy Awards, and SAG Awards for CNN, Associated Press, E! Entertainment, TV Guide Channel and AMC. She has also covered business news from the New York Stock Exchange for CNN Business News.

Rowley is currently the Social Media Correspondent for the live interactive show What's Trending. She is the founder of Incentivize, Inc., a media company dedicated to creating content that drives social good.

Friday, 3 January 2014

Grief and love by Charlotte Pulver.

Found my self in a storm of grief today.
Being a human being certainly is a wild thing.

You never know what is round the corner, what lesson there is to learn, how much further the heart can hold pain, expand and stretch.

Love and grief walk hand and hand I feel.
I am learning that they are lovers.
When I truly allow the grief to wash through me, my heart feels like it is both breaking into pieces...yet breaking open.....breaking open into...love.

Humans grieve essentially for the loss of love, life and beauty in which our hearts have been profoundly touched.

I am learning when grieving the loss of some one, thing or experience...the tears of grief are indeed an ally. An ally for the heart to be cleansed and held...ferrying us like a boat through the shock and loss...into love.

Because when we say goodbye to those we love...and at the end of our very own days...the only thing we can ever take with us is...love.

So in those times of loss, the natural forces of change - I encourage you not to be scared by the tidal waves of grief. Make an ally of it - it will help you to extract the love. The essential medicine that is at the heart of everything. And this love is something that can never be stolen, destroyed or lost...for it is truly eternal.

By Charlotte Pulver

Thursday, 2 January 2014

Happy 86th Birthday to Daisaku Ikeda

Happy Birthday to a great man and my teacher Daisaku Ikeda. 86th years today. Congratulations.

Despite all the hardships, and the ill health in his youth he has gone on to build the largest Buddhist lay movement in the world. The movement created by his two mentors and teachers Tsunesaburo Makiguchi (1871-1944) and Josei Toda Josei Toda (1900-1958).

The SGI exists as a movement of people dedicated to peace, friendship, culture and education.

A movement who's primary focus is to help all people realise the goal of true happiness, through the life affirming teachings of the Lotus Sutra, using the direct experiences and lifes work of a 13th century Buddhist monk Nichiren Daishonin (1222 - 1282).

I am proud to be a part of a movement of people, working to make a difference in the world.

Together we are stronger.

Find out more about Daisaku and his work here: http://www.daisakuikeda.org/

Nam myoho renge kyo
Letters to a Nichiren Buddhist.


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