Mar 30, 2008
Mar 29, 2008
I went to slow gongyo this morning and then spent the afternoon hanging out with friends and chanting. It was a very peaceful day. I've been stressed out lately and needed the respite, so it was very welcome.
I think one of the reasons that I have been drawn to Buddhism over the years is the connection I see between Buddhism and Existentialism. I identified Existentialism as a philosophy that I could relate to when I was still in high school (three cheers for Emerson). The feeling that I am ultimately responsible for my life, my choices, my happiness and the relationships I have, fits well with Buddhism and with Existentialism.
This is a prayer that was recently given to me, which epitomizes the way I hope that Buddhism will help me to deal with the negative aspects of my life and my attitude.
For having the Gohonzon
For being able to change my Karma
For being alive at this time
For all the people around me
For everything being a teacher to me
Realize again that for every external cause (nyo ze en)
there is first an internal cause (nyo ze in)
Every hurt, anger, frustration, irritation,
or painful situation that
occurs is MY responsibility.
My karma forced that to happen, or forced them to behave that way
I can turn this poison into medicine (hendoku iyaku),
become aware of my own internal "hooks" that
drew such an experience to me.
I, ALONE am responsible for raising my life condition
For current slander in Thought, Word, and Action
Let me not want to do it anymore
Daimoku of altruism - chant for the health and
Well-being of the person(s) involved and that
they will deepen their faith. Ask the
Gohonzon, "What can I do to rectify the situation?"
To work harder for Kosen Rufu
To CREATE value in the area of family relations,
school, job, and activities
ONLY AFTER CHANTING FOR ALL OF THE ABOVE, SHOULD YOU CHANT FOR WHAT YOU DESIRE OR WANT TO CHANGE OR ACHIEVE IN YOUR LIFE
Orchid Tree Blossoms by Finijo
Mock Orange Blossoms by Finijo
I took these pictures of flowers from our yard. The spring flowers are in bloom, and I am really enjoying the view from the computer desk as I blog. The explosion of Spring me pondering the nature of change and impermanence. Looking at the beautiful blossoms, it is clear to me that change and impermanence may often be uncomfortable, but more often than not it is for the best.
Mar 26, 2008
These are some shots of a recent visit to the Nature Discovery Center in Newcastle Park. My visit coincided with Spa Day for the animals. Before I left the park, I was able to get a shot of the hairdressers giving a few of the residents a blow dry.
Mar 25, 2008
I drive past this house several times a week and never fail to laugh out loud as I pass what must be one of the worst statues I have ever seen grace the lawn of an expensive home.
Mar 24, 2008
I went to Mom and Dad's house and helped them clean out their closet. I think they were surprised at how much they could easily get rid of (I know I was). Dad was a reluctant participant. For all of his complaining, he put forth an equal amount of effort and he is now minus about 50 shirts and other pieces of forgotten clothing. Mom gave up at least that much and most of the clothing and other items will go to men's and women's shelters around town.
Mar 22, 2008
I got up this morning and went to the Community Center for Slow Gongyo. I am as yet unable to recite the sutras at the same pace as the other children, so I decided to put myself back and join the remedial group. It helped. With some luck and a lot of effort, I will be playing with the big kids soon.
Mar 21, 2008
Tom Robbins may have started Villa Incognito with the funniest beginning to a novel ever written, when he wrote:
It has been reported that Tanuki fell from the sky using his scrotum as a parachute. That is not so ridiculous when we take into account the unusual size of Tanuki's scrotum. Well, okay, it's still pretty ridiculous - and no less so just because in relation to his overall body mass, Tanuki's scrotum is proportionately larger than the scrota of elephants, whales and the Jolly Green Giant.
Mar 20, 2008
I had a little accident a couple of days ago, so I spent yesterday doing all of the follow up that follows up an accident. I met with the adjuster, dropped my car off at the dealership for repairs, and picked up a rental car. BTW - Chevy Aveos (my rental) are cute, but ultimately crap cars.
Mar 19, 2008
Mar 18, 2008
Mar 17, 2008
Connor and I went to the Kosen Rufu Day event for SGI at the University of Houston at Clear Lake. It was a beautiful day and I got a lot of pictures of some statues at the university and also of a park that we visited afterwards.
Mar 13, 2008
Mar 11, 2008
There is a variety of religious objects, steer skulls, sea shells, cacti, succulent plants and ceramic bric-a-brack. If you click on the photo, it will enlarge and you can see that the creator of the display has placed a carousel and a windmill among the rocks. This kind of display fascinates me because it is like peeking into someone's mind or soul. Nobody can really explain it except for the person who created it.
Mar 9, 2008
Mar 8, 2008
This building was in the process of being hollowed out by a demolition crew. The inside is all gnarled steel and broken bricks and cement. I think the outside of the building was holding up remarkably well considering what was happening on the inside. It reminds me a little bit of The Alamo.