Nichiren Shoshu

Myoshinji Temple

Experience by Eric Sofge

November 16, 2014

Hello.  My name is Eric Sofge and I’m 34 years old.  5 years ago, when I was first introduced to Nichiren Shoshu Buddhism, I began waking up from a long sleep.

I came to see that so much of what I understood about the world was wrong or distorted in some way.  I drew conclusions and made judgments about things when I only understood a small fraction – if anything at all - about what was happening.  I understood even less about how things came to be, what forces were at work, and where they were going.  I failed to see the indescribable complexity and infinite number of events that coalesce to create every single moment.  Instead, I saw all things as snapshots – isolated moments in time and space that had no connection to the past or to the future and for which simple, obvious solutions existed.  Given my lack of wisdom, it’s to be expected that most of my “solutions” were nothing of the sort.

Eventually, the framework through which I understood reality became to crumble and there was nothing I could do to salvage it.  That was the beginning of my journey in this practice.  False ideas were stripped away and a new world was revealed.  I began to see the inter-connectedness of all phenomena and the singular nature of all things.  I began to see beyond the illusion we call Time and to realize that there is no such thing.  Instead of seeing isolated snapshots I saw situations whose roots extend back hundreds and thousands of years and how those deep patterns would create the future.  I began to understand Cause and Effect and the true nature of reality that is Nam-MyoHo-Renge-Kyo.  Perhaps most important for me personally, I was able to let go of so much of my suffering.

I’m not a spiritual person.  I’m not even particularly intuitive nor do I have anything resembling paranormal ability.  And I didn’t come to realize these things by reading a book or by sitting in meditation or through contemplation.  It just happened by doing Gongyo and going to the Temple.  Along the way, I just woke up. 

Now I see a different universe.   I see a magical one filled with purpose and order and in which nothing is random or meaningless.  I hope that you, too, can see the world in all its brilliance.  To that end, I would encourage you to receive Gojyukai and begin your journey to enlightenment.  Thank you.