Applause to the Kids of Colorado – Civil Disobedience IS Patriotism

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/colorado-high-schoolers-protest-conservative-proposal/

I am so encouraged to see young people who get it, who are engaged. I now know there is hope for the future to see that these young people understand what America is all about, though sadly, the elders on their school board do not.

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The Purpose of Storytelling and of Reading

Vincent Harding: I maintain that for every country in the world to develop a healthy democracy, we must share our stories as well as listen carefully to the stories of others.

Daisaku Ikeda: As human beings, we share our past, exist together in the present, and aspire to create a common future. And we come to know that, as we have our own precious stories, other people likewise have their own valuable stories. The foundation of mutual understanding that emerges through dialogue is the lifeblood that animates democracy. To develop a close, understanding community, we need opportunities for intimate, mutually inspiring dialogue that enables each person to share the story of his or her life.

(America Will Be! Conversations on Hope, Freedom, and Democracy, Dialogue Path Press, Cambridge Massachusetts 2013)

September 12

Tuesday, September 9, 2014: The Christ you see on the Cross is the Christ being crucified, the ordinary human being suffering the intense agony of torture. If you could see the real Christ, the resurrected Christ, what you would see is something totally different. Just picture, for a minute, the shapes, lines and curves that artists have rendered for centuries of the suffering, tortured Christ that Christians pray to. Now imagine those same shapes, lines and curves shifting slightly and revealing the image of the Chinese characters Nam-myoho-renge-kyo beaming forth down the center of the Gohonzon, flanked by all the living beings of the ten worlds. That is the risen Christ, the eternal Buddha of time without beginning that is the NAM-MYOHO-RENGE-KYO essence of every human being and every life form permeating the universe. To realize this physically through chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo to the Gohonzon is to experience eternal resurrection that is in each moment of time.

How SGI Buddhism unlocked me out of that guilt

Tuesday, September 2, 2014: The great thing about Nichiren Buddhism in the SGI is that I don’t have to feel morally better or beat myself up so I can justify myself to anybody. As long as I do my best to chant to the best of my ability—not anyone else’s high-falutin standard of correct practice—and strive to absorb and live with Sensei’s guidance, I can live as the asshole I really am with no pressure, being honest that I’m selfish, greedy and only want to do things for others in order to be loved in return or because I know my Buddhist practice will enable me to do things that help, support, sustain and better the lives of others whereas beating myself up trying or pretending to be someone I’m not won’t do anyone the least damn bit of good and will continue to get me really sick and in tons of the same physical pain I’ve known for years. But because I’ve given all that pressure up, my daimoku feels better and I can feel something beginning to break that will enable me to gather the treasure on the other side that is neither selfish nor selfless but is a soothing bath of fortune I and others can fully immerse ourselves in and enjoy together freely.