Dharma World

May-June 2003, Volume 30

May-June 2003, Volume 30(PDF)

Religionists United in Prayer for Peace


The Difficulty of Real Compassion by Nikkyo Niwano

This essay is part of a continuing series of translations from a volume of inspirational writings by the late founder of Rissho Kosei-kai. Dharma World will continue to publish these essays because of their lasting value as guidance for the practice of one’s faith in daily life.

Nikkyo Niwano, the late founder of the Buddhist association Rissho Kosei-kai, was an honorary president of the World Conference on Religion and Peace (WCRP) and was honorary chairman of Shinshuren (Federation of New Religious Organizations of Japan) at the time of his death in October 1999.

Counting Our Blessings by Nichiko Niwano

We can only realize true happiness and be filled with the joy of life when we give thanks for all our blessings. Such gratitude is the key to being able to accept as precious everything that comes to us.

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

The Stories of the Lotus Sutra

Shariputra by Gene Reeves

Although we often encounter the name of the monk called Shariputra, we do not know much about him. Sometimes portrayed as a dunce, it is to him that Shakyamuni expounded the second and third chapters of the Lotus Sutra. Just who was Shariputra, and what can we learn from his story?

Gene Reeves, former dean of the Meadville/Lombard Theological School, University of Chicago, recently retired from teaching at the University of Tsukuba, where he taught Buddhism and American studies. He holds a Ph.D. in philosophy of religion from Emory University. He is currently doing research, teaching, and writing on the Lotus Sutra at Rissho Kosei-kai in Tokyo.


The Other Side of Time by Donald S. Harrington

Donald S. Harrington has been a Unitarian Universalist minister since 1936 and is now a minister emeritus of the Community Church of New York and chair of the Council on International and Public Affairs of New York City. He is also a past president of the World Federalist Association.

Globalization for the Common Good by Kamran Mofid

Kamran Mofid, a British national, was born in Tehran, Iran, in 1952. In 1986 he was awarded a doctorate in economics from the University of Birmingham, U.K. From 1980 onward he has been teaching economics, business studies, international business, and the political economy of the Middle East. In recent years, Dr. Mofid has developed short courses, seminars, and workshops on economics and theology, the economics of the common good, and an interfaith perspective on globalization. In 2002 he founded an annual international conference “An Inter-faith Perspective on Globalisation.”

The Oneness of Religions by Harold Rosen

All the major world religions teach the same broad set of moral and spiritual guidelines, this writer points out, and their view of the good person is essentially the same.

Harold Rosen served as a Unitarian minister for 25 years, 13 years at the North Shore Unitarian Church, West Vancouver, and is now a Baha’i interfaith educator and organizer in the Vancouver area. He is secretary of a Baha’i local spiritual assembly and assistant for interfaith projects to a Baha’i auxilliary board member. He has written three books and is currently working on a book/curriculum called “Teachers of Humanity: Founders of Faith and the Evolution of Global Civilization.”


To Look into the Face of Death Is to Ponder Life

An interview with Alfons Deeken

From even before the moment of our birth, human beings are inexorably moving toward death. To help us deal with the problem of life and death, Dr. Deeken advocates what he terms “death education,” through which he hopes others will gain a deeper respect for life.

Alfons Deeken is president of the Japanese Association for Death Education and Grief Counseling. He was born in Germany and received his education in Munich, Tokyo, and New York, earning a Ph.D. in philosophy from Fordham University. Until his retirement in March, Dr. Deeken was professor of philosophy at Sophia University in Tokyo; he is now professor emeritus. In 1982 he founded the Japanese Association for Death Education and Grief Counseling, which has chapters in 47 Japanese cities with more than 5,000 members. Dr. Deeken has published 26 books, mostly in the field of death, dying, bereavement, and grief. In 1998 he was awarded the Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany, and in 1999 he received the Tokyo Metropolitan Cultural Award from the city of Tokyo.

Raising Questions Is Our Responsibility

An interview with UUA President William G. Sinkford

Last March 8, as a preemptive strike against Iraq by U.S. and U.K. forces was looming, many citizens and religionists in the United States and all across the world were apprehensive about the Bush administration’s determined choice of war and were calling for a peaceful resolution of the crisis. Against such a backdrop, Dharma World asked Rev. Sinkford, president of the Unitarian Universalist Association in North America, about how his organization was involved in efforts to prevent war.

William G. Sinkford was elected president of the Unitarian Universalist Association in June 2001. He was born in San Francisco in 1946; his commitment to liberal religion dates to his teenage years, when he was an active member of the First Unitarian Church of Cincinnati, Ohio. He graduated cum laude from Harvard University in 1968 and spent the following year in Greece as a Michael Clark Rockefeller Fellow. After college, Rev. Sinkford held management positions with large corporations, ran his own business, and later heard his call to the ministry. Toward the end of his theological education at Starr King School for the Ministry, Rev. Sinkford joined the staff of the UUA. He earned his M.Div. in 1995, and was fellowshipped as a community minister and ordained by his home congregation in the same year.

Always Moving Towards Nirvana

An interview with British composer Adam Gorb

Adam Gorb studied music at Cambridge University and with Paul Patterson at the Royal Academy of Music in London. He has composed a wide variety of works, many of which have been performed around the world. Works include: Metropolis and Awayday for wind ensemble; Prelude, Interlude and Postlude for piano; Kol Simcha, a ballet; a string quartet; and Symphony No. 1 in C for the Royal Northern College of Music Wind Ensemble. Mr. Gorb was commissioned to write a work for the Tokyo Kosei Wind Orchestra’s 74th regular concert in Tokyo on October 18, 2002, in which the result, his Towards Nirvana, premiered. He is head of the School of Composition and Contemporary Music at the Royal Northern College of Music (Manchester, U.K.).

Buddhist Living

Peace of Mind Through Faith by Yumiko Yokoyama

In this speech, which she delivered in Los Angeles on November 10, 2002, a grateful woman relates how the teachings of Shakyamuni Buddha and the Lotus Sutra not only carried her safely through life’s vicissitudes, but also blessed her with the precious gift of life.

Yumiko Yokoyama is a member of Rissho Kosei-kai of Los Angeles.

Buddhist Sculpture

Elegant Yakushi Nyorai from the Seventeenth Century by Takeshi Kuno

In the main hall of Toji in Kyoto sits the Medicine Buddha, known in Japanese as Yakushi Nyorai. Although he carved it in the seventeenth century, the Buddhist sculptor Kosho brilliantly succeeded in expressing the delicate eighth-century style in which the original sculptures it replaced are thought to have been made.

Takeshi Kuno, formerly a director of the Tokyo National Research Institute for Cultural Properties, is now director-general of the Institute of Buddhist Art Research in Tokyo.

Gotama Buddha (60)

The Four Great Instructions Taught at Bhoganagara by Hajime Nakamura

We all need to decide for ourselves whether or not what we are told is an authentic teaching of Shakyamuni Buddha, by comparing it to the teachings found in the sutras and the Vinaya. By so doing, we will naturally become grateful for the Dharma.

The late Dr. Hajime Nakamura, an authority on Indian philosophy, was president of the Eastern Institute in Tokyo and a professor emeritus of the University of Tokyo at the time of his death in October 1999. This ongoing series is a translation of Gotama Buddha, vol. 2 (Tokyo: Shunjusha, 1992).

The Threefold Lotus Sutra: A Modern Commentary (70)

The Sutra of the Lotus Flower of the Wonderful Law
Chapter 7: The Parable of the Magic City (1) by Nikkyo Niwano

This is the seventieth 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