Notes on “A Father Takes Faith”

The point is this passage is simple. Nichiren states: “It is when the age is in turmoil that both sages and fools come into view,” and having faith that unity of purpose will help us identify the difference so we can act accordingly is the point of this letter in my opinion.

Nichiren wrote the letter that we now call, “A Father Takes Faith,” to the Ikegami Brothers in 1278. The Ikegami Brothers of Japan were loyal follows of Nichiren. Their faith was so strong that were unswayed by their father threatening to disinherit them if they did not give up their faith. Later, they converted their father to the Mystic Law. This letter was written in celebration of that fact.

In “A Father Takes Faith”, President Ikeda states that Nichiren was highlighting the truth that Unity is strength, and faith is the “sharp sword” that can cut through all of our obstacles and troubles. In the letter, Nichiren alludes to the power of unity. In this case, the power of unity within the Ikegami family.

In this letter and also in the “Letter to the Brothers,” he applauds the brothers for their faith. Regarding their faith, President Ikeda states: “When we realize that the appearance of the three obstacles and four devils signals that we are on the verge of achieving a profound inner transformation in our lives, we will be ready and eager to rise to the challenges they present, our hearts filled with courage and self-assurance.”

Unity is important because in the latter age begins, “even those who seek the way adopt erroneous views.” Therefore, during this time it is crucial that we fight for unity to keep us on the right path. Faith supports unity. When we have faith, we are able to accept that unity is possible. In the letter, “A Father Takes Faith,” Nichiren shows that the Ikegami family proved that unity despite obstacles is possible if we have faith—even in an age of turmoil.

By Michelle Flowers (c) 2012, All rights reserved

Visit the FNCC

I’ve just added a trip to the Florida Nature and Culture Center (FNCC) to my goal list. I stay current on the schedule of events and I think it’s simply amazing!!! The FNCC offers several courses in Nichiren Buddhism and how it applies to various career fields from education to science, from the arts to emergency response and medical. That’s what this practice is all about–impacting the lives of others in the best ways that we can through our lives, our careers, and our faith. It is timely to think about the relevance of careers on our practice because in the month of August we are collectively supposed to focus on the World Tribune article called “Working for Beauty, Gain, and Good.” I am sure that this article may be found in your local SGI bookstore, or in your home mailbox.

In the meantime, be sure to peruse the SGI-USA website for more details about upcoming FNCC events and information here. Surely, you can read the website and find relevant information about workshops and events that are relevant to your career, and ways in which you can help other people. Sensei says, “People can only live fully by helping others to live. When you give life to friends you truly live…” Let us strive to work in our chosen careers to be an asset to the people and world around us.

By Michelle Flowers (c) 2011, All rights reserved

Celebration of Independence

Happy Birthday to the United States of America. Today, we celebrate our independence from Great Britain. Barbecues are in full swing and fireworks will be bursting into the nighttime skies. On today, it only seems right to remember this quotation from President Ikeda:

Freedom doesn’t mean an absence of all restrictions. It means possessing unshakable conviction in the face of any obstacle. This is true freedom.

This is the kind of freedom that comes from chanting Daimoku while believing in the Mystic Law and the practice which supports it, the Soka Gakkai International.

 

Move Forward

I am very moved by today’s Daily Encouragement from SGI-USA, and I want to share it with you. The focus is moving forward:

“When you devote your life to achieving your goal, you will not be bothered by shallow criticism. In fact nothing important can be accomplished if you allow yourself to be swayed by some trifling matter, always looking over your shoulder and wondering what others are saying or thinking. The key to achievement is to move forward resolutely along your chosen path.”

–Excerpt from “For Today and Tomorrow,” a book of daily inspirationals by SGI President Daisaku Ikeda.

Onward and upward!

Regarding SoCal Fires

From President Ikeda and Mrs. Ikeda:

Dear Area Leaders,

We received another message from Sensei right now which is early morning in Japan.

We would like to share this message personally with the members that are affected by the fires.

Please let me know if there are any members in your area who is affected, asap. You can call the SGI Headquarters at 310-260-8900.

Thanks.

 

Rgds,

Eric Choong

Today, Again, Never Be Defeated

The Pan Pacific Chapter Woman’s Division published the following inspirational quote from President Daisaku Ikeda. I share it with you here:

Prayer is the courage to persevere. It is the struggle to overcome our weakness and lack of confidence in ourselves.

It is the act of impressing in the very depths of our being the conviction that we can change the situation without fail.

Prayer is the way to destroy all fear. It is the way to banish sorrow, the way to light a torch of hope. It is the revolution that rewrites the scenario of our destiny. Believe in yourself! Don’t sell yourself short! Devaluing yourself is contrary to Buddhism, because it denigrates the Buddha state of being within you.

Prayer is the effort to align the gears of our life with the movement of the universe. Our lives that have been passively embraced by the universe, now embrace the universe in turn, make the entire universe our ally, and fundamentally redirect our state of life in the direction of happiness.

The Causes

This week has been tough. I expected it to be busy, but I didn’t think that so many doors would slam shut in my face this week. So far, I have experienced two career losses, one missed creative opportunity, and one personal disappointment that has broken my heart.

President Ikeda says: “Victory is a cause for defeat, and defeat is a cause for victory.” This evening, I chant and think about this phrase. I let it soak deep down within me. I hope that I will learn from it, and gain more wisdom or some victory from my current challenging circumstances.

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