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In the Soka Gakkai Dictionary of Buddhist terms it states:
“In the “Life Span” chapter, Shakyamuni revealed his attainment of Buddhahood numberless major world system dust particle kalpas in the past. No matter how far in the past, however, it occurred at a fixed point in time and therefore is not eternal.”
Uh, no, that’s not “fixed”. That’s “infinite” and just one of the meanings of “numberless”. But “fixed” is not one of them.
“Moreover, he did not clarify the Law or cause that enabled him to attain enlightenment at that time.”
Then what is the ceremony in the air, a keg party?
But what I’m really asking everyone to help me with is TIME. Why the delay from his teaching to what is commonly referred to as the Latter Day Of The Law? I know everyone always points to “the time wasn’t right”.
Well, why not? Why three time periods and wait over two millennium?
Some people respond that it’s because of the capacity of the people. (They couldn’t handle the truth.) But even Nichiren says that though people had the capacity, the TIME wasn’t right and even sages have a hard time judging time. (Who says medieval Japanese prophets don’t have a sense of humor.) And spare me “the cherry blossom blooms when the time is right” metaphors. That is a biological function based upon evolution and not a Nostradamus type prediction like this is.
So, …bring it.

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Walt Whitman (1819–1892). Leaves of Grass. 1900.
O Captain! My Captain!
O CAPTAIN! my Captain! our fearful trip is done;
The ship has weather’d every rack, the prize we sought is won;
The port is near, the bells I hear, the people all exulting,
While follow eyes the steady keel, the vessel grim and daring:
But O heart! heart! heart!
O the bleeding drops of red,
Where on the deck my Captain lies,
Fallen cold and dead.
O Captain! my Captain! rise up and hear the bells;
Rise up—for you the flag is flung—for you the bugle trills;
For you bouquets and ribbon’d wreaths—for you the shores a-crowding;
For you they call, the swaying mass, their eager faces turning;
Here Captain! dear father!
This arm beneath your head;
It is some dream that on the deck,
You’ve fallen cold and dead.
My Captain does not answer, his lips are pale and still;
My father does not feel my arm, he has no pulse nor will;
The ship is anchor’d safe and sound, its voyage closed and done;
From fearful trip, the victor ship, comes in with object won;
Exult, O shores, and ring, O bells!
But I, with mournful tread,
Walk the deck my Captain lies,
Fallen cold and dead.
Who’s being mourned?
I’ll give you a hint. It’s not “your” captain and it’s not “our” captain. But a choice is made available.

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Buddhamitra
[仏陀密多] (n.d.) (Skt; Jpn Buddamitta)
A monk of northern India, and the eighth of Shakyamuni’s twenty-three, or the ninth of his twenty-four, successors. He studied under Buddhananda, his predecessor among the Buddha’s successors, converted people by skillful means, and defeated a number of Brahmanists in debate. The king of his country, however, was strongly attached to Brahmanism and tried to rid the kingdom of all Buddhist influences. Determined to overcome the king’s prejudice, Buddhamitra, bearing a red flag, is said to have walked back and forth in front of the palace for twelve years. Finally the king, moved by his resolve, allowed him to debate with a Brahmanist teacher in the king’s presence. Buddhamitra refuted his opponent and thus converted the king to Buddhism. (Note: there are also several references to Buddhamitra as a woman, a nun.)
Sometimes in life an immediate action is required because there is no time for explanation. Like when I was stepping off a curb and some stranger grabbed my shirt and pulled me back from being hit by a cab in New York City. It was my first time to a big city and those buildings were all so tall. All I could do was look up. I also stepped in dog poop. But nobody saved me from that. Lesson learned. Sometimes an explanation wouldn’t help even if there were time. Like a parent screaming at a toddler “don’t you ever do that again” all in an effort to keep them safe from a harm they can’t comprehend. And sometimes all you can do is be actively patient.
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The Patient Giant
In 2000, my niece who was 11 at that time was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor. Except for being blind in one eye, she’s fine now and attending USC. I watched her parents go through the daily torment of facing the possibility of losing their only child. It wasn’t until the surgeon came through a pair of automatic doors, which made a “swish” sound like in the old Star Trek TV show, to tell them “We got most of it,” did they allow their resolute stoic demeanor to crack. It was more than a time to finally let go and cry. It was a crumbling. But there wasn’t much of an interval between that initial first deep inhale of release and what was to come. She needed radiation to get the rest. That was the steely truth contained within the doctor’s words, “most of it.”

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