Dharma World

April-June 2007, Volume 34

April-June 2007, Volume 34(PDF)

Self-Examination and Peace Work

The Road to Peace through Self-Examination by Keiji Kunitomi

Self-examination can perhaps be called a practice that is common to all religions. In some religions, it might take the form of offering a prayer to the deity; in others, it might take the form of meditation. Indeed, the forms of self-examination can vary from person to person. In Buddhism, too, self-examination takes different forms depending upon the sect and the individual performing it. . . .

Keiji Kunitomi is director of the General Secretariat of Rissho Kosei-kai and a member of the organization’s Board of Directors.

Self-Examination and Peace Work by Gunnar Stalsett

To be a peacemaker, you need to understand the deeper dimensions of the conflict or struggle, and you need to see with your heart. There is a role for empathy, not only for intellect.

The Most Reverend Gunnar Stalsett, bishop emeritus of Oslo of the Church of Norway, was formerly a member of the Nobel Peace Prize Committee. He now serves as the chair of the Niwano Peace Prize Committee. Bishop Stalsett has been actively involved in efforts for reconciliation and peace building as a president of Religions for Peace and the moderator of the European Council of Religious Leaders.

Shinto, Self-Examination, and Religion as Tools for Political Control by Caitlin Stronell

I was born in a strictly atheist household and, even though I attended a Christian secondary school, I spent most of the time asking difficult questions about why Mother Mary had to be a virgin and railing against what I felt to be the inherent conservatism of the Christian establishment and values. I was very much involved in the environmental movement at the time, . . .

Caitlin Stronell moved to Japan from Australia in 1990 and received her master’s degree in law from Keio University in 1997. She has worked for the labor movement and NGOs in Japan in a wide variety of fields, including environmental issues and HIV/AIDS. She started training to become a Shinto priest at the Asakawa Konpira shrine in western Tokyo in 2000 and received official qualification from the head Konpira shrine in 2002.

Partners in Prayer and Peacemaking An Interview with Rev. William G. Sinkford

Rev. William G. Sinkford was in Tokyo in November 2006 to attend the ceremonies celebrating the centennial of the birth of Rev. Nikkyo Niwano, the late founder of Rissho Kosei-kai. During his stay, DHARMA WORLD interviewed him on the significance of self-examination by people of religion in today’s troubled world and the approach of the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) to the religious diversity in American society.

Sino-Japanese Ties Must Be Deepened An Interview with Master Jue Xing

Master Jue Xing was among the guests at a centennial celebration of Founder Nikkyo Niwano’s birth in Tokyo last November. DHARMA WORLD met with Master Jue Xing at his hotel, and he spoke to us about the importance of friendly exchanges between Chinese and Japanese Buddhists and of self-examination by people of faith.

Learning from My Family

Invaluable lessons can be taught by the members of every generation. Most important is the essential role of forgiveness in all relationships.

Robert Traer served as general secretary of the International Association for Religious Freedom from 1990 to 2000. He is the author of several books, including Faith, Belief, and Religion and Jerusalem Journal: Finding Hope , and co-author of Doing Ethics in a Diverse World with Harlan Stelmach. Dr. Traer teaches courses on ethics and religion at the Dominican University of California.

Religions Are Crucial to Attaining Peace by Christina Lee

Dedicating one’s life to the cause of peace is a commitment not to be taken lightly. It calls for courage, for knowing how to suffer.

Christina Lee is currently engaged in interreligious dialogue as vice director at the International Headquarters of the Focolare Movement near Rome. In particular she is in charge of dialogue with Buddhists and members of other Oriental religions. She is also a member of the General Council of the Focolare Movement.

World Peace Begins in Your Mind by Tulku Thondup Rinpoche

The mind is the main factor. It moves quickly and is the forerunner of all acts. Whatever you say or do with a pure mind, happiness is sure to follow. –The Buddha

Ven. Tulku Thondup Rinpoche, born in Golok, Eastern Tibet, was a visiting scholar at Harvard University (1980-83) and has since been living in the United States, engaged in scholarly work on Tibetan Buddhism. He travels in North America, Europe, and Asia, teaching Buddhism and leading workshops on healing and dying. He has published more than a dozen books on Tibetan Buddhism.


Grasping the Heart of Buddhism by Nichiko Niwano

Buddhism is the teaching of awakening. It is something we achieve, and savor the joy of, for ourselves. When we can convey that joy to others, we can say we have a self-reliant faith.

Nichiko Niwano is president of Rissho Kosei-kai and the Niwano Peace Foundation, a president of the World Conference of Religions for Peace, and chairman of Shinshuren (Federation of New Religious Organizations of Japan).


Avoiding Religious Temptations in the Global Neighborhood by Robert F. Smylie

When fundamental religions and political realities are distorted, the impact in the public arena is profound.

Robert F. Smylie served from 1975 to 2002 as the Presbyterian Church’s representative to the United Nations. Following his retirement, he worked as the director of the Disarmament Program of the World Conference of Religions for Peace. He has been a visiting professor at the Ecumenical Institute in Geneva, Switzerland, and a faculty fellow at New College, Edinburgh, Scotland.

Zen: Meditation and Simplicity as a “Sacrament” by Notto R. Thelle

Zen does not transcend the human consciousness in a search for “higher” value, this author says. On the contrary, one is summoned back to the original awareness, to this world.
Notto R. Thelle, D.Th., is a professor in the Faculty of Theology, the University of Oslo, Norway. Having studied Buddhism at Otani University in Kyoto, he acted as associate director of the NCC (National Christian Council) Center for the Study of Japanese Religions in Kyoto from 1974 to 1985, where he was a visiting scholar in 1999 and 2000.


Symposium in New York Commemorates Centennial of Founder Nikkyo Niwano’s Birth

An Engaged Buddhist View of Shared Security by Sallie B. King

What might Buddhists have to offer a world longing for security in an age of violence? This is an important but daunting topic for Buddhists! What can Engaged Buddhists, who are either pacifist or pushing as much as possible in the pacifist direction, have to offer to a world so overrun with violence and war? In the Dhammapada, the Buddha taught that hatred cannot be overcome by hatred; hatred can only be overcome by non-hatred. So perhaps Buddhists may have something to offer a violent world, after all. . . .

Sallie B. King is professor of philosophy and religion at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia. She is a trustee of the international interfaith Peace Council and former president of the Society for Buddhist-Christian Studies. She has published widely on Buddhism, the cross-cultural philosophy of religion, and Buddhist-Quaker relations.

Reflections on “Shared Security” by Christopher S. Queen

At its historic Eighth World Assembly in Kyoto last year, Religions for Peace delegates addressed what is perhaps the most urgent challenge of our time: “Confronting Violence and Advancing Shared Security.” The notion of “shared security,” or “human security,” was defined as “protecting the vital core of all human lives in ways that enhance human freedoms and human fulfillment,” and, more succinctly, as the “freedom from fear and freedom from want.” In these remarks, I would like to illustrate these ideas with four examples from the Buddhist tradition: the commitment formula of “taking refuge” in the Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha; the image of shared community in the opening scene of the Lotus Sutra; the mass conversion of Dalits–formerly the “untouchables”–to Buddhism; and Rev. Nikkyo Niwano’s discourse on the notion of jihi–“benevolence, a sense of oneness, the lack of a barrier between oneself and others”–the psychological and spiritual basis of shared security for our time.

Christopher S. Queen is lecturer on the study of religion and the dean of Students and Alumni Relations for Continuing Education in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Harvard University. Dr. Queen earned degrees in the history and phenomenology of religion from Oberlin College, Union Theological Seminary, and Boston University. His publications include Engaged Buddhism in the West.

Japanese Buddhist Folktales

The Threefold Lotus Sutra: A Modern Commentary (90)

The Sutra of the Lotus Flower of the Wonderful Law Chapter 12: Devadatta (2) by Nikkyo Niwano
This is the ninetieth installment of a detailed commentary on the Threefold Lotus Sutra by the late founder of Rissho Kosei-kai, Rev. Nikkyo Niwano.

Dharma World

  1. Spring 2024, Volume 51

    Knowing Contentment

  2. Autumn 2023, Volume 50

    Religion and the Family

  3. Spring 2023, Volume 50

    Religion’s Role in Peacebuilding

  4. Autumn 2022, Volume 49

    Religion and Happiness

  5. Spring 2022, Volume 49

    The Impact of Cyberspace on a Variety of Religious Traditions and Practices

  6. Autumn 2021, Volume 48

    Religion's Potential for Advancing Sustainable Development

  7. Spring 2021, Volume 48

    What Is Prayer?

  8. Autumn 2020, Volume 47

    Religion’s Role in Building an Inclusive Society

  9. Spring 2020, Volume 47

    Violence in Buddhism

  10. Autumn 2019, Volume 46

    Manga, Anime, and Contemporary Religion

  11. Spring 2019, Volume 46

    Is Emptiness the Goal?

  12. July-December 2018, Volume 45

    The Buddhahood of Plants and Trees: The Environment and Buddha-Nature

  13. January-June 2018, Volume 45

    Buddhism’s One Vehicle in a World of Many Religions

  14. July-December 2017, Volume 44

    Religions Tackling Extremism

  15. January-June 2017, Volume 44

    Religion and Animals

  16. October-December 2016, Volume 43

    Features: Listening

  17. July-September 2016, Volume 43

    Contemporary Ideas about Karma

  18. April-June 2016, Volume 43

    Buddhism and Food

  19. January-March 2016, Volume 43

    Dual Religious Identity: Can One Practice Two Religions?

  20. October-December 2015, Volume 42

    The Modern Significance of Meditative Practices in Religions

  21. July-September 2015, Volume 42

    Religious Rituals and Their Meaning for Today

  22. April-June 2015, Volume 42

    Religion's Contributions to Society

  23. January-March 2015, Volume 42

    Cultivating Hearts That Welcome the Other

  24. October-December 2014, Volume 41

    Buddhism and Language

  25. July-September 2014, Volume 41

    Life After Death

  26. April-June 2014, Volume 41

    Building an East Asian Community: Roles of Religions

  27. January-March 2014, Volume 41

    Aging Societies and Religion

  28. October-December 2013, Volume 40

    Nuclear Power and Contemporary Religion

  29. July-September 2013, Volume 40

    Where Does the Buddha Live Now?

  30. April-June 2013, Volume 40

    Modern Meanings of Festivals

  31. January-March 2013, Volume 40

    Transforming Greed

  32. October-December 2012, Volume 39

    Religions Coping with Prejudice

  33. July-September 2012, Volume 39

    The Significance of Religious Communities

  34. April-June 2012, Volume 39

    Buddhist Teachings on Spiritual Liberation

  35. January-March 2012, Volume 39

    The Meaning of Modern Pilgrimage

  36. October-December 2011, Volume 38

    The Evolution of Funerals in Japan

  37. July-September 2011, Volume 38

    Buddhism in North America

  38. April-June 2011, Volume 38

    Religion and the Power of Women

  39. January-March 2011, Volume 38

    What Is True Wealth?

  40. October-December 2010, Volume 37

    Dialogue Draws Religions Closer

  41. July-September 2010, Volume 37

    Tackling the Question "What Is the Lotus Sutra?"

  42. April-June 2010, Volume 37

    Religion's Role in Abolishing Nuclear Weapons

  43. January-March 2010, Volume 37

    Help in Overcoming Alienation

  44. July-September 2009, Volume 36

    Religion and Prayer

  45. July-September 2009, Volume 36

    Religion and Media

  46. April-June 2009, Volume 36

    Religion and Health

  47. January-March 2009, Volume 36

    The Changing Forms of the Family and the Role of Religion

  48. October-December 2008, Volume 35

    The Meaning of Giving in the Contemporary World

  49. July-September 2008, Volume 35

    Buddhism in the Face of Environmental Crisis

  50. April-June 2008, Volume 35

    The Many Forms of the Bodhisattva Kuan-yin

  51. January-March 2008, Volume 35

    Article 9 of the Japanese Constitution

  52. October-December 2007, Volume 34

    Buddhism and Bioethics

  53. July-September 2007, Volume 34

    Respect for Ancestors

  54. April-June 2007, Volume 34

    Self-Examination and Peace Work

  55. January-March 2007, Volume 34

    Buddhism and Social Responsibility: Boddhisattva Practice Today

  56. October-December 2006, Volume 33

    Buddishm in Dialogue

  57. July-September 2006, Volume 33

    Religions Working for Peace

  58. April-June 2006, Volume 33

    Creating the World of the One Vehicle: The Centennial of the Birth of Rev. Nikkyo Niwano

  59. January-February 2006, Volume 33

    The Human Condition and Religion: A Global Future?

  60. November-December 2005, Volume 32

    Remembering Hiroshima

  61. September-October 2005, Volume 32

    Spirituality and Development

  62. July-August 2005, Volume 32

    Women in Contemporary Japanese Religion and Society

  63. May-June 2005, Volume 32

    Rissho Kosei-kai 67th

  64. March-April 2005, Volume 32

    "Thousand Buddhas," Sanbanggulsa Temple, South Korea

  65. January-February 2005, Volume 32

    Emerging Forms of Spirituality

  66. November-December 2004, Volume 31

    Peace Building Through Multi-Religious Cooperation

  67. September-October 2004, Volume 31

    The Increasing Importance of Dialogue and Cooperation

  68. July-August 2004, Volume 31

    Paths to Reconciliation

  69. May-June 2004, Volume 31

    Religion in Crisis

  70. March-April 2004, Volume 31

    Spiritual Friendship

  71. January-February 2004, Volume 31

    Resolving Conflict

  72. November-December 2003, Volume 30

    Dividing Good From Evil

  73. September-October 2003, Volume 30

    Common Truths: Cooperation Among Religions

  74. July-August 2003, Volume 30

    Niwano Peace Foundation

  75. May-June 2003, Volume 30

    Religionists United in Prayer for Peace

  76. March-April 2003, Volume 30

    Life is Larger Than Globalization

  77. January-February 2003, Volume 30

    Emerging Forms of Spirituality

  78. November-December 2002, Volume 29

    Roundtable Disscussion at the World Congress of the International Association for Religious Freedom

  79. September-October 2002, Volume 29

    Sixth Assembly of the Asian Conference on Religion and Peace, Yogyakarta, Indonesia

  80. July-August 2002, Volume 29

    The Most Reverend Samuel Ruiz Garcia, Recipient of the 19th Niwano Peace Prize

  81. May-June 2002, Volume 29

    National Treasure Tapestry Illustrating Shakyamuni Sermon to the Faithful

  82. March-April 2002, Volume 29

    Celebration of the Anniversary of Shakyamuni's Birth

  83. January-February 2002, Volume 29

    Religious Delegates Gather in New York for WCRP Symposium