Enjoy Walking the Way
Nichiko Niwano, President of Rissho Kosei-kai
The Buddha Way in Today’s World
In Rissho Kosei-kai we are now carrying out the installation
of an icon of the Eternal Buddha Shakyamuni and
the Dharma Titles of Founder Nikkyo Niwano and
Cofounder Myoko Naganuma at the home altar of each
member. We are doing this out of our wish that everyone
lead a joyful and meaningful life, as explained in
our guiding principle of dissemination activity.
The Eternal Buddha Shakyamuni, in whom we take
refuge as Buddhists, can be understood as the great Life
of the cosmos, original life. And as we all spring from
that one source, we can even say that we have a parentchild
relationship with the Eternal Buddha. After
installing as the focus of devotion an icon of the Eternal
Buddha symbolizing this parent, through our daily
prayer offerings we deepen our faith and recognize the
oneness of all living beings and the Buddha (this is the
truth that living beings and the Buddha inherently have
the same nature). This causes our joy in leading a life
we are sustained to live to grow still more.
In addition, when we install the Dharma titles of the
founder and cofounder who transmitted the Buddha’s
teaching to us, we demonstrate our attitude to our faith,
how we look up to them as our revered teachers and
move to increase our diligence.
The essential point of the installation is that through
that ritual we are invoking the Buddha to abide in our
home altar and preach the Dharma to us. In this sense,
the invocation by all members of the focus of devotion
and the Dharma titles at their home altars means that in
our minds we can “hear” the Eternal Buddha
Shakyamuni’s voiceless preaching of the Dharma, that
we walk the Buddha Way in today’s world with the
founder and the cofounder as our guides.
Putting Our Hearts and Minds in Good Order
As we complete the enshrinement of the focus of devotion
and the Dharma titles, we find that our hearts and minds
also come into good order. We begin to be able to savor in
our daily lives our gratitude and joy at being caused to
live, our discontents and dissatisfactions disappear, our
hearts are peaceful and our minds at ease. I have heard
that some families who did not used to offer prayerful
reverence before their family altar begin to make offerings
on a regular basis following the enshrinement.
We are able to share the joy and gratitude of all members
following the installation and then talk with other members about it. I thi nk in this way our plan for all members
to conduct the installation can progress, and the number of
happy families leading lives centered on the home altar
will surely increase.
Enjoy Being Together
At the beginning of this year, I suggested, “Through the
pleasant study of the Dharma let us lead lives filled with
gratitude and happiness.” Study of the Dharma means
forming the habit of using the Buddha’s measuring stick to
view things, and putting it into practice in our daily lives.
As the Analects of Confucius say, “Knowing something
does not equate with liking the object. And liking
something does not equate with enjoying the object.” In
this case, “knowing” means knowing something intuitively;“liking” is taking one step beyond that through the
person’s personality and emotions, advancing to the next
level, taking an interest in the object. “Enjoying” is one
step further beyond that, grasping the essence of the object
with the power of our reasoning. When we grasp things
rationally, we are no longer alone; we become capable of
enjoying being with other people, and we feel their
sorrows and their suffering as if it were our own, like true
bodhisattvas. Through our study of the Dharma we
become aware of the many mysteries in the midst of things
that we used to take for granted and think of as nothing out
of the ordinary, and in turn our feeling of gratitude intensifies.
In the last half of this year, let us enjoy walking the
Way through our study of the Dharma.
From “Kosei” Translated by Kosei Publishing
Read past Guidance messages from President Niwano.