The virus has forced us to face the impermanence of our lives and has brought death into full view. We might say that we are living in winter. When Nichiren and his disciples encountered adversity he reminded them:
“Winter always turns into spring, Never from ancient times has anyone heard or seen winter turn back into autumn. In discussion on Youth, Ikeda says “No matter how long and bitter winter may be, spring always follows. This is the law of the universe, the joyful law of life.””
How does winter function in the universe? Think about how the plants are sending down roots deep into the earth. Winter is a seed time for awakening inherent power and latent potential as living beings go inward.
The treasures of the heart can never be destroyed, even by the harshest blizzards of adversity. Indeed it is during times like these that these treasures may be brought to the surface to bloom.
What can we do to stabilize ourselves and encourage others to put down roots that will blossom in the spring.
Practice for Oneself:
Chant abundant daimoku. When we chant we activate the powerful protective forces in the universe – the shoten zengen. Chant for protection for yourself and your loved ones.
Chant to elevate your life state.
Read something every day.
Here are some gems I have found.
“Those who experience the greatest suffering will come to attain the greatest happiness. Never forget that happiness is the flower that blossoms from the earth of patient endurance. Those who don’t let anything defeat them are victors.”
Great events never have minor omens. When great evil occurs, great good follows.” WND, p. 1119
“Although evils may be numerous, they cannot prevail over a single good, just as raging fires are quenched with a single shower of rain.” Daisaku Ikeda
Work on Your Human Revolution
Patience is in and of itself, a great challenge and often holds the key to breaking through a seeming impasse. FIA p. 144
This is a great opportunity to practice mastering your mind. When you find yourself being down or bored, notice what you are thinking and change it to something more positive.
It’s a good time to learn new things or develop; something new. We have so much available online.
Deliberately look for the good
Look for positive things happening in the world to share with others. The bodhisattva spirit seems to be activating in situations I see and read about. Here are a few examples I found just today.
The states are talking about marshaling the stock of ventilators and sending them to the hot spots in the country rather than fighting over who gets what.
Teachers are trying to find ways to support their students in this changed environment.
People are deliberately trying to support local restaurants, so they won’t go under.
Others are coming out to support the doctors in the front line.
The spirit of ‘we are all in this together’ is rising. This is a very different spirit from what we have been seeing in the US with the extreme polarization in the last few years.
A young man plays his music on his apartment porch and opens up dialogue with the neighbors he might never have met, as they come out to hear his music. This is a unique way to create community.
A restaurant chain is feeding hungry people for free.
A graduating music student who pulled together her orchestra, had each instrument play separately at home and then edited them together to play an hour of her music online. It went viral and gave many people pleasure.
Practice for Others
Elevate the life state of everyone you meet. This might mean refusing to be impatient when the check out line is slow in the supermarket but instead giving a word of encouragement when it is your turn. As Daisaku Ikeda says
“If a person is hungry, we should give them bread. When there is no bread, we can at least give words that nourish. To a person who looks ill or is physically frail, we can turn the conversation to some subject that will lift their spirits and fill them with hope and determination to get better. Let us give something to each person we meet, joy, courage, hope assurance, philosophy, wisdom, a vision for the future, Let’s always give something.”
Encouraging another person is also encouraging ourselves – mutually strengthening one another’s Buddha nature.
Encouraging another person is a sure way to elevate the state of humanity and transform the land around us.
The Lotus Sutra teaches the importance of surmounting life’s winters. Our continuous effort to transform winter into spring brings fulfillment and growth in our lives, so let’s make use of this time. Spring is coming.
Even though we are in winter now, spring always follows.
What we can do now for ourselves and for other people.
Chant a lot of daimoku.
Study something from our Buddhist literature every day.
Work on your human revolution
Look for the good in the world.
Know Why It ‘s Important to Master Your Mind? https://wp.me/p3V1J9-17w
Have You Fallen into Fundamental Darkness? https://wp.me/p3V1J9-15E
The Blessings of the Practice in a Life-Threatening situation https://wp.me/p3V1J9-15E
Thank you all for your feedback and for sending me ideas for topics. I appreciate them. I love you all and please stay safe. I’ll see you in two weeks.