There isn’t a guide or welcome pack on “How to Convert to Buddhism.” Sure, there are principles and guidelines to follow, but it’s really more about revealing the Buddhahood within you and how we can do this.
It’s important to note here that there are traditionally many forms of Buddhism. Nicherin Daishonin was born in Japan in 1222. He created the latest and most modern form of Buddhism during a time of unrest and natural disasters. He wanted Buddhism to be accessible to everyday, normal people. Unfortunately this didn’t go down too well with some and he was banished and persecuted, but his writings and teachings still live on today in a strong, dedicated Buddhist community.
The first Buddhism meeting I ever attended was during my university days, right slap-bang in the middle of a righteous and know-it-all period of life when changing from a spotty teenager into a grown adult. I thought I knew everything about religion and how I felt about it, so I went along after being invited by a lady I met volunteering. When I came away, I was actually very impressed and shocked at how much I was interested. Its not just a bunch of really overly happy do gooders who never get angry or annoyed. Its really just a lot of normal people facing every day challenges in a different way for a positive outcome.
That was almost 9 years ago.
The Buddha, according to Nicherin, is within you, you are the Buddha! There are no outside gods or influences. It is about taking responsibility for your own life and your own actions, turning poison into medicine and reaching ultimate happiness or enlightenment.
Sounds a lot easier said than done? It’s true! It is. But if you are willing to put in the effort to really transform your life state, it will give you the skills to not lead a trouble-free life without problems, but to face problems head on, learn from them and become a positive influence to others – be the change you want to see.
We each possess three complex poisons and three complex medicines in our every day lives – The poisons are greed, anger and stupidity. The medicines are courage, compassion and wisdom. We need all of them to grow and learn and reach true happiness. An equal balance of each medicine is valued when tackling issues, challenges, problems – whatever you want to call them.
There are many things you can do to begin to reveal your own Buddhahood. You can read up on the teachings of Nicherin Daishonin, attend some local meetings set up by your SGI group and speak to other Buddhists and learn from their experiences.
Everyone has the potential to reveal Buddhahood. There are lots of principles and teachings to explore, but mainly you will need to want to change your own life state, surroundings and environment in order to make way for a happier, richer life which will eventually expand and extend to those around you.