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My Daily Buddhist Practice: Wincing in the Mirror

We, common mortals, can neither see our own eyelashes in close proximity, nor endless space far away. Likewise, we cannot recognize that Buddhahood exists within our own hearts.

Written by Nichiren Daishonin, 13th century Japan

Being honest with yourself is hard. When I read this Gosho passage it always reminds me how easily I can deceive myself. I used to wince when looking into the metaphorical mirror, seeing all my faults but feeling incapable of fixing them. When you look in a mirror and reflect on who you see, do you only see the bad – imperfections, insecurities, weakness? Or only see the good — wisdom, kindness, generosity?

I have learned both reactions are delusions. I don’t have to lie or make up stories like blaming others, creating excuses to avoid hard changes, or thinking I’m just unlucky. My Buddhist practice allows me to deeply understand I am responsible for my own actions, my causes and effects. Rather than default to denial, fear or anger I have learned to be compassionate with myself and go straight to honest assessment that leads to self-improvement.

Chanting and reciting the Sutra to the Gohonzon every day is helping me develop an honest mind. It’s real freedom to be able to stop my mind from working against me.

My Buddhist Daily Practice is a contributory blog written by Myosenji Temple Buddhists. We hope to post regularly about our experiences with our daily practice of Nichiren Shoshu Buddhism.