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Earthly Desires Are Enlightenment
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Sun Road in Nobeoka can be a pleasant place to walk on Sundays.
English Class in Nobeoka on Wednesday Nights at 8:30 pm Tel: 0982-34-5666 or ahner1@hotmail.com
Monday April 14, 2008 7:30-9:00 pm English Class Tel: 0982-34-5666
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What kind of English does Howard Ahner teach in Nobeoka City, Japan?
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Urusura Junior College, Japan
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Whitey Handled, Urusula, and Takoyaki Shop
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2007 Urusula Junior College
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Conversation between a Sage and an Unenlightened Man
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Earthly Desires Are Enlightenment
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My English Classes in Nobeoka Information

Earthly Desires Are Enlightenment
 
I deeply appreciate your visit here and your constant concern  over the numerous persecutions which have befallen me. I have  met these great persecutions as the votary of the Lotus Sutra  and do not regret them in the slightest. No life could be more  fortunate than mine, no matter how many times one might repeat  the cycle of birth and death. [Were it not for these troubles,] I  might have remained in the three or four evil paths. But now, to  my great joy, I am sure to sever the cycle of the sufferings of  birth and death and attain the fruit of Buddhahood.
 
T’ien-t’ai and Dengyo were subjected to hate and jealousy  merely because they propagated the doctrine of the theoretical  ‘three thousand realms in a single moment of life’ of the first half  of the Lotus Sutra. In Japan this doctrine was propagated and  handed down successively by Dengyo, Gishin, Encho, Jikaku  and others. Among the many disciples who followed the Great  Teacher Jie, the eighteenth chief priest of the Tendai sect, were  Danna, Eshin, Soga, and Zen’yu. At that time the sect’s  teachings were divided in two: the administrator of monks Danna  transmitted the doctrinal studies while the supervisor of monks  Eshin devoted himself to the meditative practices. Doctrinal  studies are comparable to the moon and meditative practices to  the sun. Doctrinal studies are shallow, while meditative practices  are deep. The teachings expounded by Danna were therefore  broad but shallow, while Eshin’s teachings were deep but limited.
 
The teaching that I, Nichiren, am now propagating may seem  limited, but it is actually exceedingly profound. This is because it  goes deeper than the teachings expounded by T’ien-t’ai and  Dengyo. It consists of the three important matters contained in  the Juryo chapter of the essential teaching. To practice only the  seven characters of Nam-myoho-renge-kyo may appear limited,  yet since this Law is the master of all the Buddhas of the three  existences, the teacher of all the bodhisattvas in the ten  directions, and the guide that enables all living beings to attain  the Buddha way, its practice is incomparably profound.
 
The sutra states, "The wisdom of the Buddhas is infinitely  profound and immeasurable." "The Buddhas" means every  Buddha throughout the ten directions in the three existences. It  represents every single Buddha and bodhisattvas of any sutra or  sect whatsoever, including both the Thus Come One Dainichi of  the Shingon sect and Amida of the Pure Land sect, every  Buddha of the past, the future or the present, including the  present Thus Come One Shakyamuni himself. The sutra refers  to the wisdom of all these Buddhas.
 
What is meant by the ‘wisdom’ of the Buddhas! It is the entity of  the true aspect, or the ten factors, of all phenomena, the entity  that leads all beings to Buddhahood. What then is the entity! It is  nothing other than Nam-myoho-renge-kyo. A commentary states  that the profound principle of the true aspect is the originally  inherent Law of Myoho-renge-kyo. The true aspect of all  phenomena indicates the two Buddhas Shakyamuni and Taho  [seated together in the treasure tower]. Taho represents all  phenomena and Shakyamuni, the true aspect. The two Buddhas  also indicate the two principles of the truth as object and the  wisdom to grasp it. Taho signifies the truth , as object and  Shakyamuni, the wisdom. Although these are two, they are fused  into one in the Buddha’s enlightenment.
 
These teachings are of prime importance. They mean that  earthly desires are enlightenment and that the sufferings of birth  and death are nirvana. Even during the physical union of man  and woman, when one chants Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, then  earthly desires are enlightenment and the sufferings of birth and  death are nirvana. Sufferings are nirvana only when one realizes  that life throughout its cycle of birth and death is neither born nor  destroyed. These principles are what is meant by the following  passages. The Fugen Sutra states, ‘Without cutting off earthly  desires and separating themselves from the five desires, they  can purify their senses and wipe away their offenses.’ It is stated  in the Maka shikan that ‘the ignorance and dust of desires are  enlightenment and the sufferings of birth and death are nirvana.’  The Juryo chapter of the Lotus Sutra says, ‘At all times I think to  myself: How can I cause living beings to gain entry into the  unsurpassed way and quickly acquire the body of a Buddha?’  And the Hoben chapter states, ‘All the characteristics of the  world are eternal.’ The entity is none other than Nam-myoho- renge-kyo.
 
It was this most august and precious Lotus Sutra which in past  existences I put under my knees, despised, scowled upon in  disgust and refused to believe in. In one way or another, I  maliciously ridiculed people who studied the Lotus Sutra and who  taught it to others, even if only to a single person, thereby  passing on the Law for the future. In addition, I did everything I  could to hinder people from embracing the sutra by asserting  that they should set it aside for a while because, though it might  be suitable for practice in their next lifetime, it would be too  difficult for them to practice in this lifetime. Slanderous acts such  as these have now brought on the many severe persecutions I  have suffered in my lifetime. Because I once disparaged the  Lotus Sutra, the highest of all sutras, I am now looked down  upon and my words go unheeded. The Hiyu chapter states that  other people will neither concern themselves with nor have  sympathy for one even though one sincerely tries to be friendly  with them.
 
As a votary of the Lotus Sutra, you suffered severe  persecutions, yet still you came to my assistance. In the Hosshi  chapter the Buddha states that he will send the four kinds of  believers, magically conjured, monks and nuns and laymen and  laywomen [for the sake of the teachers of the Law]. If you are not  one of these laymen, then to whom else could the passage  possibly refer? You have not only heard the Law, but have taken  faith in it and since then have followed it without turning aside.  How wondrous! How extraordinary! Then how can there be any  doubt that I, Nichiren, am the teacher of the Lotus Sutra? In  other words, I almost resemble "the envoy of the Thus Come  One"; I am carrying out "the Thus Come One’s work." I have  propagated the five characters of the daimoku which were  entrusted to Bodhisattva Jogyo when the two Buddhas were  seated together within the treasure tower. Does this not indicate  that I am an envoy of Bodhisattva Jogyo? Moreover, following  me, you as a votary of the Lotus Sutra also tell others of this  Law. What else could this be but the transmission of the Law?
 
Carry through with your faith in the Lotus Sutra. You cannot  strike fire from flint if you stop halfway. Bring forth the great  power of faith and establish your reputation among all the people  of Kamakura and the rest of Japan as ‘Shijo Kingo of the Hokke  sect.’ Even a bad reputation will spread far and wide. A good  reputation will spread even farther, particularly if it is a reputation  for devotion to the Lotus Sutra.
 
Explain all this to your wife, and work together like the sun and  the moon, a pair of eyes or the two wings of a bird. With the sun  and the moon, how can you fall into the path of darkness? With a  pair of eyes, how can you fail to behold the faces of Shakyamuni,  Taho and all the Buddhas of the ten directions? With a pair of  wings, you will surely be able to fly in an instant to the treasure  land of Tranquil Light. I will write in more detail on another  occasion.
 
With my deep respect,
Nichiren
 
The second day of the fifth month
Reply to Shijo Kingo

  

English
Nobeoka
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Midorigaoka Takoyaki and Chicken

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Whitey Handled, Urusula, and Takoyaki Shop

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Kami Igata Cho

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To, 2007 !

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Ahner Eikaiwa Nobeoka
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