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Sunday, March 23, 2008

The Lotus Sutra Was Written About Me

When Prof Carl Bielefeldt of Stanford met me for the first time in 2003, he asked, "You're not one of those guys who thinks the Lotus Sutra was written about them, are you?" Well, . . . actually, Carl . . . here it is, right here in the 25th Chapter. It nails me exactly.
NYAKU U SHU JOU
TA O IN NYOKU
JOU NEN KU GYOU
KAN ZE ON BO SATSU
BEN TOKU RI YOKU
***
NYAKU TA SHIN NI
JOU NEN KU GYOU
KAN ZE ON BO SATSU
BEN TOKU RI SHIN
***
NYAKU GA GU CHI
JOU NEN KU GYOU
KAN ZE ON BO SATSU
BEN TOKU RI CHI
***
"If there are any living beings with much lust and craving, and if they constantly keep in mind and respect Avalokiteshvara Bodhisattva, they will be set free from these desires.
If they have much anger, and if they constantly keep in mind and respect Avalokiteshvara Bodhisattva, they will be set free from their anger.
If they have much ignorance, and if they constantly keep in mind and respect Avalokiteshvara Bodhisattva, they will be set free from their ignorance."
"Much craving, much anger, much ignorance," that's me to a tee, Carl!
Painfully aware of this early on, for 40 years now I've been calling on all 33 forms of Avalokiteshvara for relief. And it HAS helped, lots, but even now we still see remaining greed-anger-and-ignorance. "You have really heavy karma," as Master Lee explained.
*
When Carl asked his question, I just laughed, and so it seemed I slipped past the interview and was set to give a single guest lecture in his class on T'ien T'ai Buddhism. However, Carl had one final concern: "I hope you're not going to talk about the Aquarian Age."

1 comment:

Doko said...

I remember at a certain point during the gyo, my body was very tired. We had already completed the first two sets of 108 prostrations that day and my body just couldn't do the last set. I decided to stand in from of Kannon Bosatsu for the last set and as we lined up I began quietly chanting the 10 verse Kannon Sutra. From that point on I resolved to just surrender completely to the gyo and not to entertain any more thoughts of how it could be done. To be honest, I don't really know HOW we were able to complete the gyo but once I quit thinking about it and focused on doing it I found a lot of joy and beauty in the practices. Thanks for playing the Taiko and counting the prostrations for us, Keisho.