Introduction To Buddhism Black Style
If you find yourself reading this article, based on the Buddhist teaching it is no accident. The Buddhist religion is a religion based of the universal law of cause & effect. Another explanation for the law of cause and effect is the term Karma. Karma is the sum or total of causes and effects. Buddhism teaches that we all enter this world carrying causes & effects from past generations. The difficult thing about Buddhism is that it contradicts western thought or the way we were brought up. For the most of us we were taught that God created us and if we follow his teachings one day we will be blessed and go to heaven when we die. For most African/Americans it has not come out that way, but this is our most common belief system.
For the Average African & African/American Buddhism Is Revolutionary
Most African/Americans were brought up in a Judeo- Christian society in more common terms many African/Americans have herd the quote "Baptist born, Baptist bred I will be a Baptist until I am dead". The thought of an African/American practicing Buddhism in America is very uncommon and very little has been written about the subject and very few African/Americans have been exposed to Buddhism. Buddhism is revolutionary because it runs counter to the thinking in America and in the African/American community Buddhism is even more revolutionary. In 1974 when I began practicing Buddhism although I belonged to no religious affiliation or church when I began chanting the Buddhist phase Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo and chanting to the Gohonzon I was looking over both shoulders hoping that a bolt of lighting would not strike me for chanting.
Many African/Americans or Americans for that matter do not have a basic common sense knowledge about Buddhism. To further complicate the matter when I refer to Buddhism I am talking about Nichiren Shoshu Buddhism. When one thinks of Buddhism instantly various images of the historical Buddha Shakyamuni born in India comes to mind. Nichiren Shoshu Buddhism and the Buddhism of Shakyamuni Buddhism can be best explained by my illustrating the concept of the caterpillar and the butterfly. Shakamuni's Buddhism is like that of the caterpillar in that it served its purpose, but its relevance today is in its form as a butterfly; Nichiren Shoshu Buddhism. Worldwide the concept of Buddhism is that of the Caterpillar and not that of the Butterfly.
Nichiren Is The Butterfly Of Buddhism Not The Caterpillar
On April 28, 1253 the Butterfly of Buddhism emerged in the form of Nichiren Daishonin who we refer to as a Buddhist Sage. Shakyamuni born in India and Nichiren Daishonin and Shakyamuni are as one as the Caterpillar and Butterfly and they are as different as the Caterpillar and the Butterfly. The Law of Buddhism emerged in the form of the True Object of Worship; the Gohonzon, The Law. Nichiren Buddhism teaches a concept of the oneness a person and the Law. If a human can become one with the law that person can achieve an enlighten life condition and become like a Buddha; enlighten.
Nichiren Buddhism Equates To Freedom
Practicing Nichiren Buddhism is not only revolutionary but also equates to freedom. In Nichiren Buddhism you learn that you are responsible for your own life and that your fate or destiny is in your own hands. Accepting Buddhism is the equivalent of moving from the dark ages to inter-galactic travel as seen in the Star Wars and Star Trek movies. Star Trek and Star Wars corresponds very much to Buddhist teachings. Concepts of heaven, hells, commandments and austerities as taught in Christianity and Islam are identical to what is call Hinayana Buddhist concepts. In the Star Wars and Star Trek movies there is no mention of God, Allah, or Jesus. However in those scientific movies the law of cause and effect is apparent. Advance civilizations are products of the law of cause and effect as well as primitive societies. Most of the religious thoughts of today are primitive in nature and could not past the test of scientific cognition. Nichiren Buddhism on the other hand deals with human nature and offers a practical solution to change one's destiny and to shapes one's nature by providing a means for an individual to fuse his or her life (subject) with an object (Gohonzon) to change one's reality.
The famous Star Ship Enterprise
Nichiren Buddhism equates to freedom because each individual learns that they themselves are the masters of their own faith and inside they posse the freedom to change without waiting on an outside entity. Nichiren Buddhism offers a mirror as a catalyst to each individual to look inside his or her own life to develop the power, wisdom and fortune to change inside and to effect a change outside.
The Difficulty of Accepting The Nichiren Buddhist Faith
There are millions of religions and people attempting to sell a brand of religion. Many religions are very clever at attracting converts and converts are bamboozled or in ghetto terms pimped or played upon. I believe it was P.T. Barnum that said "A Sucker is born Every Minute" and many religions simply sucker converts. Navigating through the perilous religious minefield is a difficult task. Most people are Grand-fathered into religions, in other words they just accept their family's religion. Many change a church due to re-location, demographics and the solving of social needs. In other words it is good business for many individuals to belong to a particular church or religion. Some join a church for social reasons, some churches offer prestige, some offer comrade, some churches offer comfort.
In the African/American community the histrionics and theatre of worship are traditional. The African/American preachers have a long history of oratorical skills. In addition to the preacher's oratorical skills, African/American Churches offer a tradition of immaculate and angelic singing which encompasses traditional African/American worship. Nichiren Shoshu Buddhism differ in culture, tradition and practice of traditional faiths in the African/American community. In addition to one rejecting traditional faiths in the African/American community, there is the fear that Christianity teaches with states in effect "place no other Gods before me or you will burn in hell ect.". Also transferring to Nichiren Buddhism from traditional faiths will lead to being rejected, put down and often shamed by your friends and family. These are just a few of the factors and difficulty Nichiren Buddhism. The most common factor of the difficulty of practicing Nichiren Buddhism is that in a lifetime many will never be exposed or introduced to Nichiren Buddhism or have the mind to accept. If you have been introduced to Nichiren Buddhism consider yourself very, very fortunate.
Nichiren Buddhism in America
Black people in America if you are looking to this Proud Black Buddhist Website to find Buddhism in America I cannot deliver you to True Buddhism in America. I can only deliver you to a limited Japanese culture of Buddhism. The Buddhism as it manifest itself in America is a direct assault on the "Cultural Expression" of African/Americans that will allow Buddhism to manifest itself as a "True Entity" in the African/American community.
Nichiren Daishonin states in the Gosho “Three Kinds of Treasure,”
"More valuable than treasures in a storehouse are the treasures of the body, and the treasures of the heart are the most valuable of all".
A people's culture is a "Treasure of the Heart." In order for Buddhism to touch the heart of Black people in America, Buddhism must be taught in America in a way that integrates and respect the culture of Black people. Instead of the
profound teachings of Buddhism adapting to the culture of Black people in America, Black people are expected to adapt to the culture of Japanese people in Japan. Buddhism in America posses an African/American cultural void. As a result you will find void of strong African/Americans males engaged in the Buddhist religion. We at the "Proud Black Buddhist" website challenge this Black cultural void and Japanese cultural dominance in the propogation of Buddhism in America. We hope to carve a "Cultural Pathway" pathway in order that African/Americans and others can enjoy the profound and exciting Buddhist teachings of Nichiren Daishonin's Buddhism.
Anthony "Amp" Elmore
There are 40 million African/Americans in America. Out of 40 million African/Americans I do not know of one single "African/American" Buddhist community or group in America. When Nichiren Shoshu Buddhism started in America many African/American groups emerged, however then Japanese Buddhist leader Daisaku Ikeda manipulated the break-up of Black Buddhist groups. Daisaku Ikeda set up a Buddhist system of women that I call "The Ikeda Women." The focus of these women is to deliver individuals to cultural manipulation of Daisaku Ikeda as their Buddhist teacher and master.
In Memphis, Tennessee the late Julius Dorsey organized the largest single African/American group of Nichiren Shoshu Temple members in America. The Nichiren Shoshu Priest Rev. Murata and now Rev. Iwaki purposefully stripped the African/American cultural infusion from the Buddhist Practice in Memphis, Tennessee and both Rev. Murata and Rev. Iwaki set up a "Japanese Cultural Model of Buddhism" of Buddhism in Memphis. The Japanese cultural model was a disaster that has destroyed the faith of African/Americans in Memphis, Tennessee.
Please note that in America Buddhism has not taken on a cultural model. Let me take that back. If you are reading this you are hearing from the "Proud Black Buddhist." We are Black Proud and Buddhist. Personally I Anthony "Amp" Elmore I am a Nichiren Buddhist in that I faithfully embrace the Teaching of Nichiren Daishonin. What I do not embrace is the racist Japanese culture that comes with learning Buddhism.
We at this website took on the powerful SGI Buddhist organization and we will take on Nichiren Shoshu Buddhism and root out the xenophobic culturally inhibitive practices by the Nichiren Shoshu Priest in America. We do not accept Japanese Ethnocentricism.