Another main reason I came to Japan was not just to surf and meet new people, but to visit the land where Nichiren Buddhism began and visit the Hall of the Great Vow for Kosen-rufu (world peace). The building itself is a symbol for actualizing worldwide peace in the world though each person individually striving for, and achieving happiness in their life. People come here from all over the world to share this determination. Only members of the Soka Gakkai International are allowed access to this particular building, but guest are welcomed in all other centers. Before the Hall, I needed to attend an orientation in the morning before the Gongyo session. Gongyo is the recitation of excerpts of the Lotus Sutra to the Gohnzon (a scroll) that serves as a spiritual mirror.
The Soka Gakkai is a lay buddhist organization that practices the buddhism taught by the 13th century Japanese monk Nichiren Daishonin. In his studies of all of the sutras, he found that the Lotus Sutra (the original buddha; Shakyamuni Buddha’s final teachings) was the king of the sutras and that these teachings would lead people to enlightenment and happiness. The basis of this practice is chanting Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo to the Gohonzon. The translation of this is: Nam-(Dedicate yourself) Myoho- (Mystic Law/ Universe) Renge- (Cause and effect) Kyo (Teaching/Sound). So it would be to dedicate oneself the the universe of cause and effect though sound or interaction. Now speaking personally, this practice of chanting Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo opens your eyes to the fact that every thing is this world is based on cause and effect. All it takes to see why the circumstances that one may be living through are an accumulation of actions in the past that create the present moment. And that every minute action in this present moment creates the outcome for the future. Which is why in this practice I do my best to take care of every moment in the present to create a good future for me and the people around me. When I change, the universe around me changes too. The exterior of my life is just a reflection of my interior life. I’ve only been in the practice for about a year and a half, and through this new perspective, I can help bus seeing things in a better light and being truly happy for each moment. Because the happy moments now bring a happy future.
In the orientation, I met the only other American that came to visit that day. And he was also from Los Angeles (Michael). He had just come from a trip though Europe before getting to Japan for the first time. Being able to speak some Japanese, I helped him around the city a little and we found a good curry place to eat before Gongyo. After Gongyo, we went to a bar and had a drink and shared some of our stories and talked buddhist philosophy. I had planned to meet with Karibu while I was in Tokyo, but it started to get late. And I had to start to make my way to Chiba before it got to late so I could check into my accommodations near Kujukuri Beach.
Only 3 trains till I made it to Togane station in Chiba where my host Takeo was able to pick me up. We stoped by a convenient store on the way to the house and I was able to pick up something to eat for the evening. I ate and was able to take a bath and a shower then head to bed and rest so I could look for surf the next day.