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The most basic teaching of Buddhism is dependent origination—everything which exists does so through its relationships to everything else. I’m sure all members of Rissho Kosei-kai know this teaching very well. The question is how to actually put this teaching into practice.

First of all, ask yourself: Who makes it possible for you to make it through the day successfully? From just how many people do you receive help and support? Understanding these relationships is the starting point for the practice of expressing gratitude.

When things at work are going well, we arrogantly assume that it’s entirely the result of our own abilities and efforts and forget to be thankful.

This is why it’s important to get into the daily habit of reflecting on just how many people’s support makes our day possible.

Our morning and evening offerings of sutra recitation are one of the practices by which we can express our gratitude to them.

There is a world of difference between a life of never forgetting to genuinely express your gratitude to those around you, and a life of smugly patting yourself on the back when things go well while holding grudges when your efforts are not rewarded.

Transferring merit to one’s ancestors through sutra recitation, respecting one’s parents and looking after them, and cultivating bodhisattva practices are all ways to repay the kindness of all the people who give us the gift of life by sustaining us with their support.

Nikkyo Niwano

From Kaisozuikan 9 (Kosei Publishing Co.), pp 266-67

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