The Christian and The Buddhist

Buddha and Jesus
Source credit: beliefnet.com

The Christian and the Buddhist

sat down one day to talk

to understand the different paths

they chose to take their walk

Which path was right?

Was someone wrong?

Were the things they believed

wrong all along?

 

Their talk intent was not to try

to say you’re wrong, I’m right

Love of faith is just as strong

as any heartfelt love in life

No amount of reason

can convince us to believe

in something else so opposite

of all we learned, indeed.

 

It’s easier to find the strength

of things which are the same

than nit pick why the world has hate

and say your faith’s to blame

No matter what the faith we have

it’s happiness we crave

Learn right from wrong, make mistakes

then learn how to behave.

 

The Christian and the Buddhist

could debate all night and day

Where is all your proof that lies

beyond the stories that you say?

Blind faith you said is all you need

then wait to see what comes

Sometimes He helps and sometimes not

is this where faith comes from?

 

The Buddhist asks,”You believe

something apart from you

has planned your life, so you’ve read

it’s because His love is true?

What part in life do you play

as you sit and wait

humbling begging life to change

until the day gets late?” 

 

The Christian asks, “What do you do

with no Father there to guide

and protect you, watch and love you

while walking by your side?

I’m not alone because I have

his loving arms around me

He plans my life and happiness

affecting me directly

 

The Buddhist says, “That God-like nature

resides inside our heart

It isn’t something separate

It’s not an entity apart

We learn our lessons from our deeds

from wisdom we now know

Like birds that sing, the universe hears

‘nam myoho renge kyo’

 

Cause and effect, you reap what you sow

it means the very same thing

Life gives back what you give

Benefit can’t come from nothing

If God doesn’t answer the prayer you made

could it be you made no cause?

Your prayer got no reaction

the cause you made had flaws?

 

Something needs to change in us

to reflect a change outside

or life just slaps us left and right

and wisdom slips right by

Prayer is answered and wisdom gained

from climbing every mountain

Believing, having faith we change

using wisdom, never doubting

 

The Christian and the Buddhist

sat there thinking oh so quietly

The core of faith, to have no doubt

that’s hard to do in spite of me

A coward can not have his prayers

answered on a whim

A focused thought to change your life

must come from deep within

 

A prayer that begs, made in haste

with a promise to do better

Do you pray every day

to see if God decides to answer?

Make a prayer, hold out your hands

and look to see if it’s granted

If not, it would be God’s will

and wasn’t what he wanted?

 

The Christian and the Buddhist

both learned a lot that day

finding things that are alike

not listening to what people say

They talked about the things they learned

with an open mind

They promised they would talk again

to see what else they might find

 

They parted ways, shaking hands

feeling they had learned

a little something. Understanding

when each can take a turn

The underlying reason why

one wants to understand 

Is making sense of our lives

and the purpose – of man

 

Sonni Quick copyright 2017

 

 

 

Happiness is . . .

 

daisaku Ikeda guidance

I met a man today as I was picking up my belongings to leave physical therapy. He was on one of the bike type machines. Stationary bikes are boring. I had just finished fifteen minutes myself, determined to get my strength back, healing from an injury.

It looked like the effort of the exercise was causing him discomfort so I told him, “Sometimes I close my eyes and imagine I’m climbing a mountain.” I didn’t quite hear his answer but it didn’t look as though climbing a mountain seemed very appealing to him so I said next, “How about running down a beach and listening to the waves?”

His eyes welled up with tears and he looked about to cry. “No, I never want to go to another beach.” He then poured out his pain of what happened to him and the memories he had of the beach, and how through that his life fell apart. He had moved some time ago within a half hour of a beach with his wife and children. His wife had never been to a beach and she became obsessed with it. Every day she had to go to the beach, even on Christmas.  He really wanted to have Christmas at home.  She was never home. She was always at the beach.  Eventually she left him – for a woman.

Later he met another woman. He fell in love with her and asked her to marry him. She did. They were happy for awhile. He didn’t know she had an old boyfriend in prison. When he got out she left him to to go back to this man. He said, “I’m done. I can’t do this anymore. I have nothing to live for.”

I asked him,”Have you ever heard the words nam myoho renge kyo?” He had been looking down. When I said those words his eyes snapped up to mine in immediate attention. Startled. It was an unusually strong emotion for someone who had never heard the words before. But even though we don’t understand the song of birds, the birds do. Something inside him recognized what I said, even if he wasn’t conscious of it. “No, What is it?” he managed to say.

I repeated the phrase three times and he tried to say it with me without my asking him, which is unusual, especially when someone doesn’t know what it is. Why would they try to say it?

“This is the law of cause and effect,” I gave him the translation. “It doesn’t have to be like this. You are misunderstanding what happiness is. It isn’t something that completes you, that can be taken away by . Goes away. Happiness caused by things outside yourself is fleeting. That is relative happiness. What you wasn’t is absolute happiness, indestructible happiness.” With this he looked at me as though a small part of himself had found relief.

“Do you want to know more?” I gently asked him, not wanting to press too hard and scare him off. It was painful watching someone so desperately unhappy and not understanding how to change it. It takes more than wanting it or it would have been changed already. It only took the smallest kindness and a little time to show him he wasn’t invisible. I believe he felt very alone. I told him we could talk again if he wanted. He looked me in the eye and said, “I’d like that.”

The Roar of a Lion

lion

If we meekly go through life with a begging mentality, asking whatever we think is “up there” to fix whatever problem we have, we never tap into the strength we have to change it with our own focus and determination. If we meekly accept that our problem wasn’t fixed because it was the will of some entity then you have missed the chance to learn, through your own wisdom and determination, to change something that causes you unhappiness. Having faith is not about having a wonderful place to go after you die – it is about having a wonderful life while you are alive! Have appreciation for being alive and having determination to succeed. Faith is about having the tools to change the part of your human nature that causes you to do and say the things that cause you unhappiness, so we can stop making the same causes over and over. Cause and effect – or reap what you sow is the same for everyone.

I read an article on a Christian website the other day where a supposedly religious scholar wrote that it really wasn’t important to pay attention to the phrase, “you real what you sow”, even though it is mentioned numerous times, because Jesus died for your sins.  WHAT??? You don’t have to worry about the negative causes you make???  But these are the very things that  bring unhappiness into your life that lead you to need to pray to have an outside source fix them, after you caused it to happen to your life through your actions. I will end today with this daily encouragement from Daisaku Ikeda:

“The daimoku (nam myoho renge kyo) we chant is not a weak imploring plea for something. It is a lions roar that reverberates with all of our being, and is powered by making a personal vow, setting our minds on realizing it and aligning our lives with the fundamental law of the universe. There is no force stronger or more sublime.”

“Nam Myoho Renge Kyo is like the roar of a lion. Therefore what illness can be an obstacle”

Don’t beg or plead or make promises if only your prayers could be answered. That is the prayer of a coward. Summon inside yourself “no doubt – at all” that your goal will be realized, regardless of the faith you believe to be true.

http://sgi-usa.org

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Daily Encouragement for July 17

FOR TODAY AND TOMORROW

Life isn’t always smooth. If it were we would never grow and develop as human beings. If we succeed we are envied;if we fail we re ridiculed and attacked. Sadly, this is how people are. Unexpected grief and suffering may lie ahead of you. But it is precisely when you encounter such trying times that you must not be defeated. Never give up. Never retreat.

Daisaku Ikeda   SGI-USA

Lay Nichiren Buddhist organization based on the Lotus Sutra

sgi-usaPeople often have a phrase or motto that sees them through difficult or important times.  A short saying, a few words, can determine the course of one’s entire life. Nam myoho renge kyo  Nam nyoho renge kyo