First Class as “Visible Reward”

Personal Narrative
As I have often mentioned before, it is said that, where there is unseen virtue, there will be visible reward. ~Nichiren  Despite mainstream portrayals to the contrary, some people live lives that are not wholly centered around little plastic rectangles. They may operate in cash, or favors, or may require little in the way of strict identification for one reason or another. I, on the other hand, am one of those beholden to plastic rectangles. For better or for worse, many of my most important transactions are facilitated via these objects and their imprinted numbers, letters, and/or photos. So when I found a wallet bulging with these Rectangles of Life, my next steps were easy. Those of us whose lives are married to those plastic rectangles know the frustration, and, depending…
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Continuing Faith | #30in30 #WriteLikeCrazy

30 Day Blog Challenge, Spirituality, Temple Building
To accept is easy; to continue is difficult. But Buddhahood lies in continuing faith. Nichiren wrote The Difficulty of Sustaining Faith to one of his most trusted disciples, Shijo Kingo. Shijo was being pressured to give up his practice of Buddhism, and Nichiren reminded him that difficulties were predicted in the Lotus Sutra – that he must bear this firmly in mind and remain steadfast. Although this letter is about maintaining faith in Buddhism, the encouragement is applicable to anyone. Victory lies in never giving up. It requires one to be relentless in her commitment to a task. How many times do we start something – anything – with energy and verve, only to be to swayed when difficulty comes along? For instance, let’s say your goal is to run a…
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Treasures of the Heart | #30in30 #WriteLikeCrazy.

30 Day Blog Challenge, Spirituality, Temple Building
The treasures of the heart can never be destroyed. Daisaku Ikeda wrote a message to fellow Buddhists and other Tohoku residents whose surroundings were decimated in the 2011 earthquake and tsunami. His message included these words, which were meant as both solace and inspiration. I’m attending a Buddhist lecture this weekend, and the members of Tohoku were used as an example of maintaining faith – the spirit to remain hopeful and cheerful – in the most dire circumstances. Ikeda wrote to encourage them to remain undefeated, even in face of devastation. Now, over a year later, many people have temporary housing and still don’t have jobs, yet they maintain high spirits. Ikeda’s encouragement was based on this well-known passage from the gosho: More valuable than treasures in a storehouse are the…
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