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Rissho Kosei-kai
International of North America
Buddhism for Today
Phone: (323) 262-4430
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Enjoy Walking the Way

Nichiko Niwano, President of Rissho Kosei-kai

President NiwanoThe 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.

July 2009
From “Kosei” Translated by Kosei Publishing


Read past Guidance messages from President Niwano.



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