No one intentionally wants to have bad feelings toward others. Ill feelings of hatred, jealousy, contempt, and bitterness are not enjoyable in the least. When someone has an unfair attitude toward you or mistreats you, bad feelings toward that person can turn into hatred, jealousy, contempt, or grudges. This human tendency arises from being strongly fixated on the “self.”
Buddhism teaches that one’s attachment to the idea that “the self equals the ego” is an incorrect view. Buddhism strongly urges people to get rid of that idea, since it is an illusion of thought. Ill feelings like hatred and jealousy actually arise out of a type of illusion of thought called egocentric views.
Here is what Nichiren Daishonin (13th century Japan) said about the people who persecuted him:
From the beginning, I resolved how I would live my whole life. I have not faltered in my resolution nor do I bear any ill will. I view all those evil people as good friends (zenchishiki). (Gosho, p. 584)
But even supposing that the other person was unfair and unreasonable, and you were not at fault in any way, it is extremely vital for you to regard that person as your “good friend” (zenchishiki) in Buddhist practice. No matter what the type of ill feeling, and no matter how overwhelming it may be, the merit of chanting Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo will erase those feelings without fail. What’s even more wonderful in this process, your life state will become one step higher and you will change poison into medicine.
Visit Our Buddhist Temple This Month!
Our Chief Priest, Rev Murata, at our upcoming Introduction to Buddhism meetings, will explain how to rid yourself of ill feelings towards others, how to make good friends (zenchishiki) and reveal your Buddha nature. Visit our Buddhist Temple this month to learn how to elevate your life state and change poison into medicine.
Saturday, March 7th at 2:00 p.m.
Topic: What is Buddhism? Who is Buddha? A Brief History
Sunday, March 15th at 2:00 p.m.
Topic: What is Karma?
Sunday, March 22nd at 2:00 p.m.
Topic: Buddhist Concept of the Ten Worlds
Call or email the Temple if you have questions.
Excerpted from: “How to Overcome Bad Feelings Toward Others” Nichiren Shoshu Monthly, May 2007, p.19-21.