A Guideline to Buddhism
A Guideline to Buddhism
Buddhism is the religion which was founded by Shakyamuni Buddha around two thousand five hundred years ago in northern India.
What kind of religion is it? It is a little difficult to explain because there are various teachings and forms of practices under the name of Buddhism in each country where Buddhism has been spread. I suppose it can be simply put that Buddhism is a religion that helps one to try to observe one’s mind and purify it through learning the teachings and the practices of Buddhism.
I would like to explain about the mechanism of our minds with a chart. In Buddhism, our minds are divided into three levels. The surface level is called the conscious mind. You can recognize and observe this part of your mind; what you see, what you hear or think. This mind works with the five senses such as sight, hearing, smell, taste and touch. So, it is called the six consciousness (Roku-shiki) (the five senses and the mind itself make up the six).
Under the conscious mind, there is another mind called the unconscious mind. It is called the seventh mind (Nana-shiki). The seventh mind is similar to the concept of the unconscious mind that Sigmund Freud, Austrian psychoanalyst (1856-1939) and Carl Jung, Swiss psychologist (1875-1961).
Buddhism explains that under these two minds there is a deeper mind called the eight mind (Ha-sshiki) or the Araya mind. The ‘Araya’ in Araya mind means keep in storage. What is stored in the Araya mind? The entire history of one’s life, that is all you have seen, heard, read, said, thought and done in your entire lifetime is stored in one’s Araya mind. All your acts are sowed into the Araya mind as ‘seeds’. Seeds symbolize your deeds and are spiritual energy which creates your future life.
When you think, say, hear or do something in a good way not only for yourself, but for others, it means you do good deeds. These good deeds are sowed as good seeds in your Araya mind and will provide good fortune. When you use your five senses and consciousness in bad ways, these acts produce bad seeds and these seeds create your future life in a bad way. It can be said that ‘seeds create your destiny’.
(Acts and experiences of the mouth, body and mind, etc.)
Shakyamuni Buddha often said, “Reflect on yourself”. What should we reflect on? The answer is, our mind. Through reflecting modestly on our minds, we can realize we have accumulated bad seeds through the wrong things we have seen, heard, thought and done in our daily life. Without reflecting on our minds, we can never be aware of the importance of religion.
All our acts and behavior done through our mind, body, and mouth are planted into our deepest mind, the Araya mind, and are kept in it as spiritual energy to create our own destiny. If you curse others bad luck, the feeling is sent to your Araya mind as bad energy which will curse yourself bad luck. So, we should not curse others bad luck, at least as seldom as we can!
When you offer prayer for others or wish for someone’s happiness, these acts are planted into your Araya mind and this good energy changes to seeds that will create your own destiny in a good way.
Based on the teaching of the Buddhist sutra, ‘The Lotus Sutra’, the sacred mantra, Namu Myoho Renge Kyo, is not merely a word, but is the holy energy itself that produces resonance with everything in the cosmos. When we chant Namu Myoho Renge Kyo, the Odaimoku as we call it, with pure faith, we connect with the holy existences through the Gohonzon and receive holy energy, and, as a result, we receive various rewards and protections.