10 April 2013

Lotus Sutra Study Questions 18

The topic of Lotus Sutra chapter 18 is rejoicing in practice and in learning.  Rejoicing is a spiritual practice in its own right.  It also has a role in magnifying, if you will, the energy or effect of the activities one rejoices in.  Karma is like that:  for an action to be complete, one first forms an intention to do something, then carries out the intended act, and finally takes satisfaction in having done it.  Two thirds of all karma (at least) is mental and volitional, having to do with intentions regarding future actions and attitudes regarding past actions.

All of this means that intentionally and earnestly celebrating the attainments of others amounts to participating in that attainment, karmically-speaking.  Rejoicing in one's own virtuous actions, one's Buddhist activities, redoubles the strength of the seeds planted.  Seeds bear fruit:
Needless to say, boundless will be the merits
Of the person who hears this sutra with all his heart,
And expounds its meanings,
And acts according to its teachings.
Lotus Sutra, Murano translation, p. 268

I encourage you to rejoice in the wholesome deeds and activities of others, and the good qualities of the Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha. 

Having heard much of the Lotus Sutra and hopefully taken it to heart, what is to be rejoiced in?  Reflect on what you have learned so far:  How can you incorporate these teachings into your spiritual practice?  Into your everyday conduct with others and on your own?

1 comment:

  1. I believe that, ultimately, what being able to rejoice at the merits of another in the same spirit and with the same energy as one rejoices at one's own merits manifests the oneness of all. When my merits and your merits give me equal joy, then I have somehow manifestly connected with all beings and all things. What an easy way to measure one's spiritual development!