“There is a Bodhisattva named Bodhisattva Never Despise who appears in the Lotus Sūtra and who practices the teachings of the Lotus Sūtra. He bows and pays reverence to whomever he meets with folded palms. He is a monk, but does not read sūtras. Before anything else he bows and venerates others. At a time of decline of the Buddha Dharma when the hearts of the people are hardened and dissolute, lecturing others based on academic learning will not do to cure them. In terms of sophistry one cannot win. Bodhisattva Never Despise only bows and venerates, and speaks of the significance of his veneration. He bows and utters the words of “I deeply respect you. I shall never despise you for you shall eventually become Buddha.” When hearing these words and receiving veneration maybe one in a thousand might start to think whether he or she has the seed to Buddhahood, or something that deserves veneration by others. This is the only way to emancipation. If we were to say that we would not venerate others because they do not venerate us, nothing good would come out of it. A likely outcome would be a spat. We must find the reverend in our heart and mind if we wish to lead a noble life. If our eyes are opened to see the reverend within our heart and mind, we find everyone we see reverend. Everyone becomes the object of veneration. That is when peace will prevail in the world.”
May 6, 1978. Atami Dōjō, Japan. Venerable Nichidatsu Fujii. Translated by Yumiko Miyazaki
On February 3th of 2013, Setsubun will be celebrated throughout Japan. Falling at the end of the period defined by the solar principal term Daikan (Severe Cold), Setsubun occurs one day before the sectional term Risshun (Spring Begins).
The beating of the drum is frequently referred to in Buddha’s scriptures, particularly in the Lotus Sutra. Out of some 70,000 [Chinese] characters that comprise the Lotus Sutra, characters relating to the drum are found in more than 30 places. Also there is a Japanese legend that relates to the drum. Legend has it that a period of prolonged darkness shrouded the world. Various gods and deities converged in one place in order to lure the goddess of the sun from a rock cave whose entrance was blocked by a huge boulder. Cocks were gathered to crow; and a young goddess danced and beat the drum. Its sound is said to have drawn the sun goddess out, piercing the long night with light. For this reason, a drum to pray with is always placed in front of altars enshrining Japanese gods. Anyone young or old, female or male, of high social status or low can beat the drum to pray. The sound of this instrument embodies the prayer of the Japanese people seeking escape from sorrow and suffering. It symbolizes our search for light in which the actual world of suffering is transformed into a Pure Land of peace. The sound of the drum is an expression of the workings of God hoping to awaken the people, who are trapped in an eternal slumber of darkness as opaque as lacquer with no hint of when dawn might come. The sound of this instrument represents the mind and heart that enunciates the simple chant of Na Mu Myo Ho Ren Ge Kyo.
from I Bow to the Buddha in You Dharma Talks and Writings of The Most Venerable Nichidatsu Fujii p. 50 Letter to Gandhiji October 4, 1933 Wardha, India
GOOD NEWS AND THANK YOU: $5,630 in offerings has been received in our first week of rapid response! This brings us over 25% in accomplishing our goal of $20,000. 224.2 offering units (@25 each) are in hand. 575 offering units remain. Much gratitude to all for your effort to send the offerings in timely manner!
We are sharing the photos below so you can see how things are going.
The electrician has come. The electrical work is 97% completed, so that now every exposed wall and ceiling can be covered with sheet rock. This means that the walls are ready to be “taped and mudded.”
(to the left: kitchen sink installed and hooked up under the south window, with tiles underneath, To the right: new gas stove, all hooked up, sink and stove installed in an almost fully sheet rocked kitchen!)
With recently received offerings, the decision has been made to hire a professional “taper,”
so that there can be more rapid movement in getting the walls prepared for
painting. Very fortunately, Towbee Shonin has located an excellent taper, who will assess and give an estimate in the next couple of days, and will have time available to do the work. In the meantime, folks are volunteering to get to all those places on walls and ceilings that need sheetrock.
Some of the small construction details have been started – like the transoms over the doors to the study rooms as above.
Work has begun in earnest on the green house floor. All the vents and pipes, installed a number of years ago are carefully being exposed for deep cleaning and industrial vacuuming. This has required “unearthing” and heavy earth moving. Once the vents and ducts are prepared, the greenhouse floor can be be “rebuilt” with the proper layers of gravel and paving in preparation for tiling.
As Bob Jennings, Pace Pagoda and New Temple Engineer has shared;
“No matter what your skill level, there is some aspect of this work you can do. If you have time and interest, please call 413-367-2202 and leave your name and number. I look forward to working with you! “ Bob Jennings
HELP US REACH OUR GOAL OF READYING THE TEMPLE RESIDENCE FOR OCCUPANCY! ONLY 576 offering units needed now. (@ $25.00 each unit)
No offering is too big or too small.
All offerings gratefully received.
Please make out your check to New England Peace Pagoda, put “Construction Fund” in the memo and send to: Friends of the Peace Pagoda c/o Jim Perkins, 49 Richardson Road, Leverett, MA 01054
A CALL FOR IMMEDIATE HELPTO SECURE THE OCCUPANCY PERMIT this FALL 2012 for our Beloved Monks and Nuns!
August 20, 2012
Dear Friends of the Peace Pagoda, THANK YOU: Work on the Residence for Our Monks and Nuns, continues at the New Temple! Much progress has been made over the winter months and into the summer. And we thank you all for your willing offerings of support and financial resources that have brought the work thus far towards completion.
GOOD NEWS: The offerings that came from our modest fundraising initiative last October raised over $10,000.00. These offerings contributed greatly to the winter’s efforts to sheet-rock the walls and ceiling, tile bathrooms, and hire an electrician and assistant when the students at Franklin County Technical School were called back to work on the electrical needs of the County. About three-quarters of the electrical work has been done. All the plumbing has been installed and is in working condition. The kitchen sink and the gas stove are hooked up and working in the kitchen. The bathroom sinks and toilets are also installed and working.
There is much more needed: While we are writing to share the good news of all that’s been accomplished, we also must share with you that much more needs to happen in order obtain the necessary occupancy permit for residency in the New Temple. Once this permit is obtained, our monks and nuns can move in!
The time has come for movement into the New Temple. The New Temple, like the Peace Pagoda, is a place where all are welcome. It is a place for prayer and contemplation, to strengthen belief deep in our hearts that we can make this world a peaceful and secure world. . The monks and nuns are greatly anticipating the time when they can take up residence and fully practice in the Temple. When this happens, they give the care that is truly needed for the Sacred Space; and by being “in residence” and therefore present - make it a place of practice accessible to all. Right now morning and evening services are conducted in the New Temple Prayer Hall, regardless of the weather; and one monk must sleep in the Temple overnight.
Our appeal is urgent. The 27th Anniversary will be celebrated this year on September 30th. We have reasonable time to make quantum strides before the 30th. Mostly what is lacking are the funds to pay for electricians and other professional service providers, the funds to purchase specific and necessary items such as fire doors, closet doors, tiles for the hallways, electrical fixtures, and light fixtures.
10 day Rapid Response is necessary. Your rapid-response within the next ten days to this appeal will make it possible to do the following before September 27! FIRST: Continue to retain the electrician and assistant to finish the electrical work. Once the electrical work is finished, the following can happen: 1.The remaining places in ceilings and walls left open for the electrician can be closed with sheet-rock and painted. (supplies are already on hand) 2.The electrical fixtures and light fixtures can be installed. (fixtures need to be purchased) 3.The Remaining wood floors can be installed. (wood already on hand) 4.The remaining tile flooring can be installed. (tiles need to be purchased) 5. Fire doors, bedroom doors, entry doors can be installed. (Doors need to be purchased.)
SECONDLY: Finish the greenhouse area, which is an essential part of the active solar heating system. 1. Clearing out the lower level, including clearing out air ducts 2. Installing and adjusting appropriate air returns 3. Building the greenhouse floor, including gravel and paving tiles. (Tiles need to be purchased.) 4. Building the planter boxes .
WE ASK FOR YOUR IMMEDIATE HELP AND RENEWED SUPPORTOur goal is $20,000. To reach that goal, 800 offerings of $25 each are now needed. WE KNOW that IF everyone who receives this letter pitches in with one or more offerings of $25 each, we will reach the goal of $20,000. WE HOPE that those who can, will consider making bigger offerings of $100, $250, $500, $1,000 or more.
No offering is too big or too small.
All offerings are gratefully received.
By pitching in together to respond to this call for help and support, our community gathers in spirit. Step by step, every step a prayer, every step a miracle! When our treasured community gathers in spirit, There’s no telling what miracles will manifest!
Please make out your check to New England Peace Pagoda,
put “Construction Fund” in the memo and send to:
Friends of the Peace Pagoda
c/o Jim Perkins, 49 Richardson Road, Leverett, MA 01054
With deep gratitude
from the Friends of the Peace Pagoda Coordinating Committee,
Blessings of spirit to all,
COORDINATING COMMITTEE Paula Green, Thomas Heineman, Beth Inham, Bob Jennings Elaine Kenseth, Al Miller, Jim, Perkins Carrie Schuchardt, John Schuchardt.Suzanne Webber, Chieko Yamazaki
the 2012 Lil & Bill Corrigan Peacemaker Award recipient
Na Mu Myo Ho Ren Ge Kyo
Nipponzan Myohoji-Atlanta Dojo would like to invite you to a Flower Festival Ceremony, celebrating the birth of Lord Buddha and the coming of spring (though it has arrived already well ahead of schedule). The ceremony will include interfaith prayer and conclude with the 8th presentation of the Lil & Bill Corrigan Peacemakers Award to Mike Vosburg-Casey.
For anyone who gets out on the streets in Atlanta, Mike is a familiar face at peace vigils and among the homeless, frequently accompanied by his 20-month-old daughter, Elena. We have long admired the way Mike puts his Christian faith into practice by associating with and supporting the poor and exploited, much in the way that Jesus did. A few months back, this good and gentle friend of ours and of all who seek justice was diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer, a devastating diagnosis at any age, but all the more so for a 37-year-old husband and father. With the support of many prayers and the medical resources of Emory University, Mike is making good progress, and the cancer seems to be in retreat. We present the Peacemaker Award this year in love and gratitude for Mike’s work and as a symbol of the hope and prayers we all hold for him and his family.
As always, the ceremony will be followed by lunch, and we hope everyone can join. Please feel free to bring friends to the event and flowers to offer to the altar. We are located at 1127 Glenwood Ave., Atlanta 30316. Parking is available nearby at a parking lot on the corner of Moreland and Glenwood (Buffalo China side) or on nearby streets. Please contact us if you have any questions or visit our website for directions: http://atlantadojo.org
FEBRUARY 11th & 12th -WORK DAYS AT THE PEACE PAGODA- COME JOIN US
The January Work Days on the 29th and 28th of January were so successful that everyone shouted “MORE!” Thanks once again to Rick Baruc from Seeds of Solidarity who is organizing these Work Days with Towbee Shonin. He may be reached at 978-544-7564. Or leave a message for Towbee Shonin at the Peace Pagoda: 413-367-2202.
· CONTINUED INSTALLATION OF DROP CEILINGS
o To continue installing frames for the drop ceilings – a task much easier to do with two people.
o To continue installing the drop ceilings once frames are installed.
· INSTALLATION OF FURRING STRIPS
o To measure with plumb lines and chalk the positions for the furring strips.
o To install furring strips on the concrete walls still lacking sheet rock.(Requires strong arms and shoulders.)
· CONTINUED INSTALLATION OF SHEET ROCK (lots to do!)
o To continue installing sheetrock on the ceilings.
o To continue sheet-rocking walls of rooms, hallways, closets.
· HANGING MULTITUDINOUS DOORS (skilled carpenters for this)
o Hanging doors in bathroom stalls
o Hanging doors to rooms/closets
· OTHER ODD JOBS ABOUT THE TEMPLE
· COOKS TO CONTRIBUTE SOUPS/SALAD/BREADS/DESERTS and GOODIES for BREAK TIME
A nineteen-day walk from Seabrook Nuclear Power Plant in NH to Plymouth Nuclear Power Plant in Plymouth, MA on the anniversary of the catastrophe at Fukushima, Japan and ending the walk in Vernon, VT at Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Plant.
Schedule is subject to change
For details, to join the walk or to support the walk when it comes to your community, contact: Tim Bullock at 413-485-8469 or email - firstname.lastname@example.org
“I HAVE received a hundred slabs of steamed rice cake and a basket of fruit. New Year’s Day marks the first day, the first month, the beginning of the year, and the start of spring. A person who celebrates this day will accumulate virtue and be loved by all, just as the moon becomes full gradually, moving from west to east, and as the sun shines more brightly, traveling from east to west.
First of all, as to the question of where exactly hell and the Buddha exist, one sutra states that hell exists underground, and another sutra says that the Buddha is in the west. Closer examination, however, reveals that both exist in our five-foot body. This must be true because hell is in the heart of a person who inwardly despises his father and disregards his mother. It is like the lotus seed, which contains both blossom and fruit. In the same way, the Buddha dwells within our hearts. For example, flint has the potential to produce fire, and gems have intrinsic value. We ordinary people can see neither our own eyelashes, which are so close, nor the heavens in the distance. Likewise, we do not see that the Buddha exists in our own hearts. You may question how it is that the Buddha can reside within us when our bodies, originating from our parents’ sperm and blood, are the source of the three poisons and the seat of carnal desires. But repeated consideration assures us of the truth of this matter. The pure lotus flower blooms out of the muddy pond, the fragrant sandalwood grows from the soil, the graceful cherry blossoms come forth from trees, the beautiful Yang Kuei-fei was born of a woman of low station, and the moon rises from behind the mountains to shed light on them. Misfortune comes from one’s mouth and ruins one, but fortune comes from one’s heart and makes one worthy of respect.
The sincerity of making offerings to the Lotus Sutra at the beginning of the New Year is like cherry blossoms blooming from trees, a lotus unfolding in a pond, sandalwood leaves unfurling on the Snow Mountains, or the moon beginning to rise. Now Japan, in becoming an enemy of the Lotus Sutra, has invited misfortune from a thousand miles away. In light of this, it is clear that those who now believe in the Lotus Sutra will gather fortune from ten thousand miles away. The shadow is cast by the form, and just as the shadow follows the form, misfortune will befall the country whose people are hostile to the Lotus Sutra. The believers in the Lotus Sutra, on the other hand, are like the sandalwood with its fragrance. I will write you again.
The fifth day of the first month”—Saint Nichiren