One of the first things that brought a smile to my face when reading the writing of Daisaku Ikeda was the practical personal touch at the end of most of his letters to members of Soka Gakkai worldtwide. He would end with a word of caution like "take care not to catch a cold," or something similar. To my conditioned mind, this was not how a leader of a global movement spoke. This was not the summer of love after all.
Even Nichiren displayed the same attentiveness to matters of everyday practicality, like when he cautioned Shijo Kingo at a time when his life was at risk, writing “You must not go out alone at night under any circumstance.” At another time, he wrote, “If you should have to travel, do not spare the cost of a good horse”.
Daisaku Ikeda made it easy for me to understand Nichiren's Buddhism, that speaks of enlightenment not as a reality distant from everyday life, but as an achievable potential here and now, existing even if clouded over like a "tarnished mirror." One of the main aspects that sets Nichiren's Buddhism apart from other schools of Buddhist thought is the fact that it places the world of Buddhahood in the saha world of suffering and struggle, not as a world separate from us, and the Buddha also mutually possesses the lower worlds, and is not devoid of them. The philosopher Gurdjieff wrote, "Religion is doing; a man does not merely think his religion or feel it, he "lives" his religion as much as he is able, otherwise it is not religion but fantasy or philosophy."
From mundane tasks of daily life to the larger projects that make up our action list, from the casual interactions with acquaintances to the complex relationship of love, trust, interdependence and discipleship, from the stray thoughts that flicker through our minds to the values that make up who we are as people, faith in daily life encompasses all of it. Each action of ours can become an instrument of seeking the higher worlds of learning and realization, compassion and freedom. I try and keep this in mind when I cook. The food tastes heavenly when my life condition is high.