Forging Ties with the Buddha
Nichiko Niwano, President of Rissho Kosei-kai
Learning from Encounters
Buddhism’s worldview is based on the doctrine of
This can be basically understood as the relationship
between causes and conditions. In other words, it can be
expressed in the familiar formula: “When this exists, that
exists; with the arising of this, that arises. When this does
not exist, that does not exist; with the cessation of this, that
ceases.” Through one of the basic practices of Rissho
Kosei-kai—guiding someone new to the faith, sharing the
teachings with other members, and participating in hoza
sessions—we can experience the Law of dependent
“Guiding”means forging ties with the Buddha.“Sharing the teachings” means inviting other members to
opportunities for getting in touch with the Dharma.“Participating in hoza sessions” provides the chance to
reflect with fellow practitioners on oneself and others in
accordance with the teachings.The three elements can be
understood as one, and what is common to them all is to
value the importance of encounters and to learn from
When we visit someone for guiding and sharing the
teachings, we sometimes are not well received by that
person. If this happens repeatedly, calling upon others can
become burdensome. If our wish to help someone find
happiness is not understood by that person, our
consideration for that person may weaken.
However, such occasions can provide us with a golden
opportunity to learn from the relationship we have with
such a person.
Our encounters with others should be accepted as
appropriate chances to objectively examine ourselves and
our attitudes. Through such self-reflection, we will
gradually receive the Dharma and make it our own.
Putting Our Hands Together in Reverence
Since we grasp the teachings of the Buddha through
our interactions with others, the reality is that all of us
will sometimes meet with whom it is difficult to get
along. In order to be able to put our hands together
reverently before people with whom we do not get along,
the fact that we are first able to put our hands together
reverently for ourselves is of great importance. When we
can do that, then we can truly put our hands together
reverently for others.
From the viewpoint of the doctrine of dependent
origination, every one of us is equal to each other in
receiving the gift of precious life from heaven and earth.
And since all living beings are permeated by the law of
impermanence, we all certainly will die. When we look
squarely at this fact, we come to understand the
preciousness of our lives and so naturally understand the
preciousness of the lives of others. We then can truly put
our hands together reverently before everyone.
When we are able to put our hands together reverently
before everyone we meet, we receive the “eyes of
wisdom” by realizing that all life is interconnected. This
means we can then truly worship, with hands folded
reverently, before the Eternal Buddha.
Read past Guidance messages from President Niwano.