Friday, February 8, 2008

Six Paramitas 2/8/08

“How are you doing, Rev. Mizutani?” I appreciate these telephone calls from members of Rissho Kosei-kai LA, where I served as minister for the last seven years. I also appreciate all great comments and encouraging emails from those who have read this Blog. Thank you, all.
Yes, I eat well. Thank you.  Do I miss my family? Yes, I do. I try to call them and send email to them often, so that they don’t forget me.

Starting the new office and living home alone bring me many challenges. What I can say is that practicing the Dharma is truly the way to keep me on the right path.

I have written in this blog that I practice the sutra chanting whenever I need strength and Buddha’s wisdom. But please do not misunderstand. It is only one aspect of my Dharma practice. In Rissho Kosei-kai Buddhist tradition, the bodhisattva way, or the Six Paramitas*, is the fundamental Dharma practice as in other Mahayana schools.
In the Chapter 3, “Ten Merits”, in “The Sutra of the Innumerable Meanings”, it says;
“This sutra makes a miserly one raise the mind of donation,
makes an arrogant on raise the mind of keeping the precepts,
makes an irascible one raise the mind of perseverance,
make an indolent one raise the mind of assiduity,
makes a distracted one raise the mind of meditation,
and makes an ignorant on raise the mind of wisdom.”

The terms with underline are the components of the Six Paramitas. This part of the sutra teaches that those who realize the truth will be able to attain all these Buddha-like dispositions. And it also reminds us and encourages us to practice hard each of the Six Paramitas for awakening.

Practicing the Six Paramitas builds one’s positive karma for the future happiness.
But from my own experience, practicing the donation (serving to others, or rendering loving kindness to others), for example, brings awakening right that moment.

Sometimes I am in a hurry on a freeway. Usually in those times, I am very self-centered. When some car suddenly cuts in just in front of me, I get angry feeling within myself. But when I try to think of helping other cars, I am willing to accept those cars. And I feel as if the wall which had been surrounding my mind is now disappeared. I feel a great connection between the driver and myself. A freeway is not just the way to go somewhere, but it is the way for awakening.
The best book I would like to recommend you to read is the “Buddhism for Today” by Rev.Nikkyo Niwano, founder of Rissho Kosei-kai. It is a wonderful guide for those who want to learn Buddhism in the everyday life context.

Thank you, Buddha.
Shoko Mizutani

*the six kinds of practice that bodhisattvas should follow to attain enlightenment.

1 comment:

Jay Andrew Allen said...

Very nice post on the paramitas. Thank you!

I recently moved to Oklahoma City, and have been looking for a Zen center that fits into my crazy schedule. I'm glad your center has started offering meditation times on Thursday nights. Hopefully I'll be able to make it in this week, and see your wonderful space for myself.

Thank you for all the work you do on behalf of the Dharma.