Order Waking the Lion Volume 1
Covers 12 writings of Nichiren
As important as Nichiren's writings are, understanding the
words of a medieval Japanese priest and incorporating them
into twenty-first century life can be a daunting task. Let's
face it -- you can't apply what you can't understand.
Enter -- Waking the Lion: A Study Guide to the Writings
of Nichiren Daishonin -- written with the lay believer
in mind. Each chapter of this book covers one gosho,
or letter of Nichiren's. Each includes a brief introduction,
an overview of what Nichiren says in that gosho (including
explanations of difficult terms) and -- most importantly --
how to apply Nichiren's words to your practice and your life.
Like Nichiren's teachings, Waking the Lion is not
meant to be simply read, but lived. Be forewarned:
reading it may awaken the lion within. So take a healthy stretch,
dear reader, and get ready to roar....
"I purchased a copy of your book, Waking the Lion: Volume
1, from Amazon.com, and absolutely loved it. The 'Putting
it into Practice' sections are priceless, and I found your
writing style to be both accessible and engaging. I am now
immersing myself in the Gosho with fresh enthusiasm, thanks
to having read your excellent book." -- Ernesto Torres,
Los Angeles, CA
Marge Kirkpatrick's Waking the Lion: a Study Guide to The
Writings of Nichiren Daishonin,is refreshing, intriguing,
and profoundly encouraging. Here are some sample quotes from
"Words speak to us on many levels. Nichiren - even in
translation - is no exception, if we will but listen. Admittedly,
when I first read Nichiren, I wasn't listening very well.
Indeed, his writings greatly troubled me. I was confused by
his talk of gods and devils, confounded by his attribution
of natural disasters to man, unnerved by his self-assurance,
and offended by his insistence about the supremacy of the
Lotus Sutra and the Buddhism based thereon. (Arrgh! I'd been
"Make no mistake - Nichiren is intolerant. Intolerant
of personal opinion in the guise of documentation, of false
respect as an excuse for not questioning hypotheses, of blind
faith as a substitute for proof.
"Yes, Nichiren, too, talks of 'faith.' But not the blind
faith necessary to accept other religions. The only faith
you really need is faith enough in yourself to try chanting
and see what happens. And as you slowly prove to yourself
that this chanting stuff really works, faith to take the next
step. And when that proves true, the next.
"Is everything Nichiren says true? Darned if I know.
But I intend to find out. I was challenged to live this life
as a Grand Experiment - as a test of Nichiren Buddhism - and
I accepted that challenge. So far I haven't been disappointed.
And - if you choose to do the same - neither will you."
"The path to enlightenment is a becoming, an uncovering
of inner wisdom, an unfolding of who you truly are. It is
your life's journey. And it is ongoing. Just as even a virtuoso
of the guitar continually learns new techniques and hones
his/her skills, so, too, does a Buddha continuously blossom,
becoming more and more enlightened. Buddhahood is not an end.
It is a beginning." p.35
"Know this: the closer you come to following Nichiren's
path, the more opposition you will face. The more successful
you are at propagating Nichiren Buddhism, the more wrath you
will have to confront. Nichiren Buddhism is not about making
others comfortable. Indeed, it's about making people uncomfortable:
uncomfortable with their anchored boats which never dare leave
the harbor; with their quiet despair lapping, lapping, at
the hulls; with cargo-holds brim full, but lives still empty.
"Which life will you choose, my friend? One full of
things? Or one full of meaning? One of ease and contentment?
Or one of purpose and positive action? Which life will bring
peace when it comes your time to say good-bye?" p.66
"We are hurting ourselves and our society and our natural
world by not living in accord with the Law of Life. That's
what Nichiren is telling us in this gosho. Look at the world.
Take a good, hard look. Nichiren is saying it doesn't have
to be this way. He's telling us we can change it by practicing
Buddhism correctly, by refusing to betray the teachings of
the Buddha with our silence." p.21
"Nichiren was a 'sore' to priests of other sects, as
well. And yes, he's a sore to us, too. Just when we get comfortable,
he kicks us over in our easy chair, spilling our bowl of buttered
complacency. What is there to do then, but get up and face
the world?" p.30
"Yes, Nichiren is enumerating common errors made by
Buddhists in his day, errors that kept them from attaining
Buddhahood. Yet to think his advice has no applicability today
is dangerously wrong, for we repeat these same mistakes, and
"Nichiren tells us it all starts with faith - faith
in our own Buddha nature and in the teachings of the Lotus
Sutra. It starts with a personal commitment based on that
faith: a commitment to be a true votary of the Lotus Sutra
- one who practices in strict accordance with the sutra and
teaches it to others. First you have the faith to make the
commitment. Then your journey truly begins.