Black Spirituality Religion : Nichiren Buddhism

Discussion in 'Black Spirituality / Religion - General Discussion' started by RevMyokei, Nov 29, 2008.

  1. RevMyokei

    RevMyokei New Member MEMBER

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    Hello. I am a priest in the Nichiren Shu tradition of Buddhism, which is based on the Lotus Sutra. I noted the last post here was in August so I thought I would try to get things started up again.

    I was raised in the Methodist tradition, but was encouraged to seek my own path by my parents. I found Buddhism and have been a practitioner for 45 years now. I was ordained in 2007 and still find great joy and benefit to my life from this practice. I also have found my own path of serving and teaching others along the path.

    I would love to hear from others who are either practicing or interested in knowing more about the path of Buddhism.

    In gassho,
    Rev. Myokei
     
  2. Destee

    Destee destee.com STAFF

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    Sister Rev. Myokei ... Welcome Welcome Welcome ... :wave:

    What a blessing to have you with us !!! :love:

    I read your introduction, and find it simply amazing, the trails you are blazing Sister! :toast:

    That is beautiful and wonderful, for i'm sure there are many that will be able to walk more easily, the same path, because of you!

    I don't know a lot (anything really) about Buddhism, so it will be great if you'll share as much as you'd like with us! As you might be able to tell, my own personal focus is Black People, and i wonder ... are there lots of Black Folk involved in this ... or do you find yourself the lone one often?

    Does Buddhism speak specifically to us, our challenges, trials, tribulations, etc.?

    You've been in this for 45 years you say, so you obviously believe it is "the way" ... right? Or do you (Buddhism) make room for many "ways"?

    Does it have "African Roots" ... ??

    I know nothing, so please, feel free to share all that you'd like ... for it will help me, and others, i'm sure!

    I'm so honored to have you with us ... :love:

    Thanks for joining and sharing ... and please make yourself right at home, because you are!

    Much Love and Peace.

    :heart:

    Destee
     
  3. Knowledge Seed

    Knowledge Seed Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Can you, in all of its intricate details, explain Buddhist cosmology(the creation story)?
     
  4. cherryblossom

    cherryblossom Banned MEMBER

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    Introduction

    Introduction To Buddhism For African & African/Americans
    By Anthony "Amp" Elmore Sr.

    The Nichiren Shoshu Buddhist religion is a universal religion for all people. This writing is not official, sanctioned, authorized, encouraged or even suggested by the Nichiren Shoshu religious order. This writing is from the heart and mind of one single African/American who has practiced Nichiren Shoshu Buddhism for 25 years and I do not claim to be an expert or authority on Buddhist teachings. This writing is only my personal insight into the character and nature of Buddhism as I have learned for the past 25 years. I claim not to be an expert on Buddhism, but I am an expert at being an African/American Buddhist and I feel I can share some insight of Buddhism to other African and African/American Buddhist. In one Nichiren Shoshu publication I saw a Korean page, a Chinese page and somewhere I saw a Spanish page. At this time in Nichiren Shoshu there is no African or African/American Nichiren Shoshu publications or writings. One African/American female Nichiren Shoshu member practicing in Washington D.C. indicated to me that she could not give an experience on this African/American Web Site because her Nichiren Shoshu practice has taken her beyond cultural, racial and political boundaries. Although I am a Nichiren Shoshu Buddhist I do have my cultural preferences that I take pride in. I heard a concern that this African and African/American Web Site could possibly cause some racial division and some African/Americans are scared to express their cultural preferences. I make this point clear I am a Nichiren Shoshu Buddhist and a proud Black Buddhist. At Tozan (pilgrimage) at our head Temple in Japan , many racial and cultural divisions worship to the same object of worship the Dai-Gohonzon. This writer of "Introduction To Buddhism To Africans & African/Americans" cannot understand how anyone can suggest that a writing of Nichiren Shoshu Buddhism by an African/American to other Africans could be a problem. The suggestion of teachings Ebonics to African/American students in the American school system caused a lot of concerns and controversy. On this Web Site Ebonics is encouraged. For the Japanese or white people who may read this article, Ebonics means speaking Black African/American English. Ebonics is not just words but also the Black attitude. This article "Introduction To Buddhism To Africans & African/Americans" is not about Ebonics but simply and attempt to introduce my sister & brothers or my homees to Buddhism. Homey is a Black term that the brothers & sisters understand, but if you do not understand about the brothers & the sisters you would not know about homey or what it means to give some skin or five this is all Ebonics. This page is not racial but cultural. Right On Home!!!!

    Introduction To Buddhism Black Style

    If you find yourself reading this article, based on the Buddhist teaching it is no accident. The Buddhist religion is a religion based of the universal law of cause & effect. Another explanation for the law of cause and effect is the term Karma. Karma is the sum or total of causes and effects. Buddhism teaches that we all enter this world carrying causes & effects from past generations. The difficult thing about Buddhism is that it contradicts western thought or the way we were brought up. For the most of us we were taught that God created us and if we follow his teachings one day we will be blessed and go to heaven when we die. For most African/Americans it has not come out that way, but this is our most common belief system.

    For the Average African & African/American Buddhism Is Revolutionary

    Most African/Americans were brought up in a Judeo- Christian society in more common terms many African/Americans have herd the quote "Baptist born, Baptist bred I will be a Baptist until I am dead". The thought of an African/American practicing Buddhism in America is very uncommon and very little has been written about the subject and very few African/Americans have been exposed to Buddhism. Buddhism is revolutionary because it runs counter to the thinking in America and in the African/American community Buddhism is even more revolutionary. In 1974 when I began practicing Buddhism although I belonged to no religious affiliation or church when I began chanting the Buddhist phase Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo and chanting to the Gohonzon I was looking over both shoulders hoping that a bolt of lighting would not strike me for chanting. Many African/Americans or Americans for that matter do not have a basic common sense knowledge about Buddhism. To further complicate the matter when I refer to Buddhism I am talking about Nichiren Shoshu Buddhism. When one thinks of Buddhism instantly various images of the historical Buddha Shakyamuni born in India comes to mind. Nichiren Shoshu Buddhism and the Buddhism of Shakyamuni Buddhism can be best explained by my illustrating the concept of the caterpillar and the butterfly. Shakyamuni's Buddhism is like that of the caterpillar in that it served its purpose, but its relevance today is in its form as a butterfly; Nichiren Shoshu Buddhism. Worldwide the concept of Buddhism is that of the Caterpillar and not that of the Butterfly.

    Nichiren Shoshu Is The Butterfly Of Buddhism Not The Caterpillar

    On April 28, 1253 the Butterfly of Buddhism emerged in the form of Nichiren Daishonin who we refer to as the True Buddha Nichiren Daishonin, The Person, The True Buddha is not Shakyamuni born in India. I understand Nichiren Daishonin and Shakyamuni are as one as the Caterpillar and Butterfly and they are as different as the Caterpillar and the Butterfly. On October 12, 1279 the True Law of Buddhism emerged in the form of the True Object Of Worship; The Dai-Gohonzon, The Law. Nichiren Shoshu Buddhism teaches a concept of the oneness a person and the Law. If a human can become one with the law that person can achieve an enlighten life condition and become like a Buddha; enlighten.

    Nichiren Shoshu Buddhism Equates To Freedom

    Practicing Nichiren Shoshu Buddhism is not only revolutionary but also equates to freedom. In Nichiren Shoshu Buddhism you learn that you are responsible for your own life and that your fate or destiny is in your own hands. Accepting Buddhism is the equivalent of moving from the dark ages to inter-galactic travel as seen in the Star Wars and Star Trek movies. Star Trek and Star Wars corresponds very much to Buddhist teachings. Concepts of heaven, hells, commandments and austerities as taught in Christianity and Islam are identical to antiquated or what is call Hinayana Buddhist concepts. In the Star Wars and Star Trek movies there is no mention of God, Allah, or Jesus . However in those scientific movies the law of cause and effect is apparent. Advance civilizations are products of the law of cause and effect as well as primitive societies. Most of the religious thoughts of today are primitive in nature and could not past the test of scientific cognition. Nichiren Shoshu Buddhism on the other hand deals with human nature and offers a practical solution to change one’s destiny and to shapes one’s nature by providing a means for an individual to fuse his or her life (subject) with an object (Gohonzon) to change one’s reality. Nichiren Shoshu Buddhism equates to freedom because each individual learns that they themselves are the masters of their own faith and inside they posse the freedom to change without waiting on an outside entity. Nichiren Shoshu Buddhism offers a mirror as a catalyst to each individual to look inside his or her own life to develop the power, wisdom and fortune to change inside and to effect a change outside.

    The Difficulty Of Accepting The Nichiren Shoshu Buddhist Faith

    There are millions of religions and people attempting to sell a brand of religion. Many religions are very clever at attracting converts and converts are bamboozled or in ghetto terms pimped or played upon. I believe it was P.T. Barnum that said "A Sucker is born Every Minute" and many religions simply sucker converts. Navigating through the perilous religious minefield is a difficult task. Most people are Grand-fathered into religions, in other words they just accept their family's religion. Many change a church due to re-location ,demographics and the solving of social needs. In other words it is good business for many individuals to belong to a particular church or religion. Some join a church for social reasons, some churches offer prestige, some offer comrade, some churches offer comfort. In the African/American community the histrionics and theatre of worship are traditional. The African/American preachers have a long history of oratorical skills. In addition to the preachers oratorical skills, African/American Churches offer a tradition of immaculate and angelic singing which encompasses traditional African/American worship. Nichiren Shoshu Buddhism differ in culture, tradition and practice of traditional faiths in the African/American community. In addition to one rejecting traditional faiths in the African/American community, there is the fear that Christianity teaches with states in effect "place no other Gods before me or you will burn in hell ect.". Also transferring to Nichiren Shoshu Buddhism from traditional faiths will lead to being rejected, put down and often shamed by your friends and family. These are just a few of the factors and difficulty Nichiren Shoshu Buddhism. The most common factor of the difficulty of practicing Nichiren Shoshu Buddhism is that in a lifetime many will never be exposed or introduced to Nichiren Shoshu Buddhism or have the mind to accept. If you have been introduced to Nichiren Shoshu Buddhism consider yourself very, very fortunate.

    Nichiren Shoshu Buddhism In America

    Nichiren Shoshu Buddhism in America is not mass marketed via traditional marketing media’s. There are six temples in the Americas and the propagation efforts are shared by Nichiren Shoshu Priests and its Hokkeko lay members. The propagation efforts have no high pressure sales techniques, the Nichiren Shoshu Priests are not articulate orators like the African/American preachers. There is no choir to cheer you up and no promises of a mythical world absent of problems. Nichiren Shoshu Buddhism does offer a means for each individual to change his or her life at the core. This religion goes beyond the car you drive, the house you live in or the bank account you may or may not posse. This religion goes beyond that wonderful mate or honor or award you may strive for. From your life’s deepest level via Nichiren Shoshu Buddhism you can understand your reason for living and prepare yourself for this life and other existences to come. Many in America have nice homes, cars, jobs, mates, money and things unimaginable years ago. Despite our wealth and growing income status people are becoming less happy each day. Drugs are rampant, not only are there illegal drugs being sold on the corners of the Ghetto, but it seems that legal drug stores are manifesting on every major corner in America. Each day there is a quick fix solution scheme to solve life’s problems. Nichiren Shoshu Priests with the assistance of Nichiren Shoshu lay members are dedicated with a religious solution to help each individual to look within his or herself to bring absolute happiness and to help everyone to find the Buddha nature in his or her life.

    The African & African/American Buddhist Destiny

    In my personal life I searched for Buddhism prior to being introduced to Nichiren Shoshu Buddhism. I had purchased Buddhist books and when I went to my first Buddhist meeting I joined the Buddhist faith and I never looked back. The one question that I wanted answered was why was I born Black. Christianity never answered my question because I never could believe in my heart how a God could allow any people to experience the horrors of slavery. Nichiren Shoshu Buddhism answered my question and I now understand via this Buddhism why I was born black. This introduction to Buddhism for Africans & African/Americans is not my personal experience but you my want to know why I was born black, its simple, I chose to manifest this life as a Black man. During my late teenage years I was a Black Revolutionary and as well as a Japanese warrior. During my karate days I practiced Old Japanese Shotokan karate and lived by the Japanese Bushido code. Nichiren Shoshu Buddhism helped me to put my revolutionary ideas, Japanese culture in balance.

    Nichiren Shoshu Buddhism Is the Destiny Of Black People

    In February of 1998 the first Nichiren Shoshu temple opened in Africa in the country of Ghana. This temple opening in Ghana is significant for African people. Ghana's history and destiny signify the beginning of a new era for African and African/American people. Nichiren Shoshu Buddhism is in Africa opened just in time for the new millennium. It is estimated that 100 million Africans died on the middle passage coming to Americas as slaves. Nichiren Shoshu Buddhism will free the spirit of the African people who died on the middle passage. Many of the Nichiren Shoshu priests in America could not understand why African/Americans wanted to travel to Ghana to attend the Nichiren Shoshu Temple opening and many priests in America discouraged or did not support African/Americans going to Ghana. This idea of African/Americans desiring to travel to Africa is a foreign concept to Japanese Priests. In August of 1998 I was at the Nichiren Shoshu head temple with thousands of other overseas believers. During my visit I could understand why the Japanese people inherited the Buddhist law. More importantly High Priest Nikken Shonin taught us the importance of praying for our deceased ancestors. While in Japan performing this ceremony as taught by the Nichiren Shoshu Priests for my deceased ancestors I really appreciated high priest Nikken Shonin teaching us about such a ceremony. In the African culture such ceremonies are performed, but not in America. While performing the special ceremony I was thinking about my deceased ancestors who died in the middle passage in Africa. My personal desire to visit Africa is because my spirit is uneasy and I must pray for my deceased ancestors. I realize that High Priest Nikken Shonin understands the pain that many of us Africans and African/Americans feel about slavery and the suffering of our people and it is the responsibility of us living to pray for our deceased and change our karma. We Africans & African/Americans made a cause and we as a people receive the effects.

    Ghana Helps African/Americans To Understand Buddhist Destiny

    During the February 1998 Nichiren Shoshu temple opening in Ghana I was shocked and amazed at the amount of Africans practicing Nichiren Shoshu Buddhism. During my visit I produced a video documentary of the temple opening and I talked to many Ghanaians. Ghanaians were not only broad in Buddhism but they could go deep into complicated Buddhist theory and they far surpassed Americans or African/Americans in Buddhist practice. I learned from many African chiefs that Nichiren Shoshu Buddhism is akin to traditional African religions and Nichiren Shoshu Buddhism is natural to the African people. In Ghana they integrated African culture with traditional Nichiren Shoshu teaching. The result of integrating the African culture with Nichiren Shoshu teaching manifested a rapid growth of Nichiren Shoshu Buddhism in Ghana. The destiny of Ghana is changing for the better because of the Nichiren Shoshu Buddhism in Ghana.

    How To Be An African/American Buddhist In America

    We who are African/American Nichiren Shoshu Buddhist in America are only in our infant stages as Nichiren Shoshu Buddhist. Our first introduction of Buddhism was via a Buddhist lay organization. Our practice now is carried directly by Nichiren Shoshu Priests. Our research and introduction to Buddhism by the Nichiren Shoshu Priests introduced a genuine and sincere Buddhist religion. Americans and African/Americans had to simply start over and learn the pure and direct Nichiren Shoshu teachings from the Nichiren Shoshu Priests. For just the few years of practicing with the Nichiren Shoshu Priests Americans and African/Americans had to be literally deprogrammed from the teaching of the former lay organization. There is no single way to be an African/American Nichiren Shoshu Buddhist in America, however our brothers and sisters in Ghana has given us a fine example of people of African decent practicing Nichiren Shoshu Buddhism. We African/Americans can learn a great deal by following the Ghanaian example. Nichiren Shoshu of Ghana general director Joseph Asomani the first African to practice Nichiren Shoshu Buddhism, in a recent interview in February of 1999; Mr. Asomani commented to a woman years ago whose husband was a former leader in an African country who had been a victim of racial oppression. Mr. Asomani advised the former African leader to be patient, sincere and to study hard and his time would come. In Ghana the members were sincere, patient and they studied Buddhism hard. Today Ghana has the largest Nichiren Shoshu Temple outside of Japan in the World. In Ghana the Nichiren Shoshu members African culture is in tact. In Nichiren Shoshu African/Americans must study hard. African/Americans must delineate between Japanese Culture and Nichiren Shoshu Buddhism . African/Americans must practice hard to perfect the Buddhist teachings. Nichiren Daishonin writes "Practice & Study arrives from Faith without Practice & Study there can be no Buddhism " To be a Nichiren Shoshu Buddhist in America African/Americans do not have to emulate Japanese culture, however one does have to practice and study Buddhism as taught by the Buddha. African/Americans are delineating Japanese culture from Nichiren Shoshu Buddhism. In Nichiren Shoshu even our Nichiren Shoshu Priests are having to make adjustments. Attitudes and teaching approaches taught to Japanese is received or could be perceived as insulting to Americans and Nichiren Shoshu Priests are learning each day. We African/Americans are learning to put our teachings in proper perspectives. The Hokkeko movement is in it infant stages in America, in a short time we all will move past racial and cultural differences. We African/American Nichiren Shoshu Buddhist must be ourselves (true to our culture) while at the same time Nichiren Shoshu Buddhist. Many African/American Nichiren Shoshu members are demonstrating wonderful faith and cultural pride at the same time.

    Direct Teachings By Nichiren Shoshu Priest Have Helped Members To Change Perspectives Of Buddhism

    Earlier in this writing I said that the Nichiren Shoshu Priests did not have the oratorical skills like the African/American preachers but when it comes to their writings and lectures on Buddhism these Priests are brilliant and their knowledge of Nichiren Daishonin’s Buddhism is masterful. In addition to these Priests knowledge they posse a power of influence to teach just by one being in their environment. Without the fanfare or a passionate sermon Nichiren Shoshu Priests are visiting homes of each individual Nichiren Shoshu member and patiently teaching Buddhism by their demeanor, action and respect for the Gohonzon. The Buddhist teaching is not just theory and there are Nichiren Shoshu practices that have been carried out by Priest and lay believers for nearly 750 years. By taking faith, studying, and practicing the Nichiren Shoshu teachings with the Priest one will come into a clear understanding of this religion and will be able to lead a happy and productive life.

    Nichiren Shoshu Buddhism For The Black Dilemma

    African/Americans often speak of the Black dilemma or poverty, racism, in-equalities, injustice and a series of other dilemmas. My brothers often complain the white man this, the white man that. Slavery, racism, poverty and any of the Black dilemma is a matter or our own Karma. Buddhism is based on the law of cause and effect and if African/Americans would do a serious study of Black history they would find that Black people once ruled planet earth and we are getting back some of the causes we made. Religions today only penetrate the surface of problems and never get to the essence. People are still waiting to die and find peace in an after life. Buddhism teaches that heaven is a life condition and via this practice you can find heaven on earth despite your personal circumstances. It is difficult for a white person or a Japanese to understand racism. In my personal case it is difficult for me to understand how a person could take drugs or alcohol. Buddhism teaches that each individual has his own fate or karma and each individual has the power to change that fate by practicing Buddhism. We as African/Americans have collective karma as a people but individually we have individual karma both good and bad. All black people do not suffer racism, poverty, drugs. Some people are poor and happy and others are rich and miserable. In the African/American community I notice many women who have the education, the jobs, the house the car, but no mate. On the other hand there are many brothers who look to have everything but gives everything thing up for women, drugs, gambling or other bad habits. Some people have material things but have poor mental or spiritual health. Everything in life boils down to our Karma or the causes we have made in the past that is determines our present, and the causes we are making today determines our future. Practicing Nichiren Shoshu Buddhism will help you to improve your circumstances. In Nichiren Shoshu Buddhism you will not be dazzled with grand emotional preaching, or your soul will not be set afire with good gospel singing. But if you are looking to change your life on a root level Nichiren Shoshu Buddhism is the way. When you first start to practice it may be a bit scary but as you get into the practice you realize that you are getting into yourself and the hardest person to change is yourself. We who are contributing to this web site understand that it is hard seeming that you are our there by yourself. We kind of put this we site to support Nichiren Shoshu so you kind get a Black prospective from other African/Americans and we hope that we are offering some encouragement. Every week we will be adding information to this site, so check us out at lease once a week. If you have an experience you would like to share please contact us. In the meantime ask a lot of questions and read a lot. Good Luck!!!!


    http://www.proudblackbuddhist.org/introduction_to_buddhism_for_afr.htm
     
  5. Corvo

    Corvo navigator of live MEMBER

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    Its very important to know that there are a great many forms of Buddhism. Each emphisis different aspects of Buddhas teachings.

    I practice Zen Buddhism, It is not thought as a religion, but as a philosophical understanding, toward becoming one with the all.

    Buddha did not believe in neither a god(s) nor in a human soul.

    He did believed in re-incarnation and Karma, but did not put allot on emphisis on them. His teachings are focused on the living in the here and now! In being mind-full of the present moment, and that only the now exists.

    AXE!
     
  6. Knowledge Seed

    Knowledge Seed Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    I like Buddhism, but it requires too much of an individual. I'd rather go to my alter and do the necessary ritual work to bring about change in my life, as opposed to constantly chanting.

    Both are equally effective, but the former is a lot easier, and maybe even quicker.
     
  7. awo dino

    awo dino Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    cause and effect; chosen destiny; reincarnation; the importance of the ancestors; look inside oneself and make the hard changes. If someone were to ask me to name six tenets of Yoruba theology, these would be it! I have been a student of comparative religion, yet I'm still a little surprised when such distinct spiritual paths are revealed to be so similar.
     
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