Sunday, 19 May 2013

Buddhist Way of Life goes on Show in Newport

Yesterday the Isle of Wight branch of Soka Gakkai held an informal walk-in open day showing how Buddhism can benefit people in their daily lives.

Guest speakers gave talks on Buddhist practice generally and how it can improve society. There was a chance to chat to group members and ask questions.

The well attended event was held at The Lotus Tree, a yoga and healing centre, in Lower St James's Street, Newport, and ran from 1pm to 3pm.

Soka Gakkai International is a socially engaged Buddhist movement based on the teachings of the 13th century Buddhist teacher Nichiren.

At the heart of the philosophy is a concept known as ‘human revolution’, whereby the inner change sparked by Buddhist practice leads to courage, compassion and wisdom, fostering fulfilled individuals with a wish to contribute to creating a better world.

Throughout the UK there are local discussion meeting groups where people can find out about how to practise and apply Buddhism in their daily lives.

Nichiren (1222-1282) was a Japanese Tendai priest who came to believe the Lotus Sutra constitutes all of the true teachings of the Buddha. He believed also that the Buddha's teachings had entered a time of degeneration. For this reason, people must be taught through simple and direct means rather than by complex doctrines and rigorous monastic practices. Nichiren compacted the teachings of the Lotus Sutra to the daimoku, which is a practice of chanting the phrase Nam Myoho Renge Kyo, "Devotion to the Mystic Law of the Lotus Sutra." Nichiren taught that daily daimoku enables one to realise enlightenment in this life.

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