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Switch to Forum Live View Homosexuality and Nichiren Shu?
9 years ago  ::  Mar 31, 2009 - 3:25PM #11
Posts: 88

I haven't been on this site in forever - this new layout sucks hard.

I'm gay and a Nichiren Shu member, and there's never been a problem.  As neverdespise mentioned the president of our lay organization is openly gay, as are some of our North American priests.

Also, I live about 3 hours from the nearest temple; it's difficult at times not being in close physical proximity, but it's do-able.  There are lots of other Buddhist groups in my town, but this is the practice that I connected with.  If this is what you really want and believe, you'll find a way to make it work.


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9 years ago  ::  Apr 22, 2009 - 10:45PM #12
Posts: 19

Hi everyone! Just thought I'd make a note on the Nichiren Buddhism and Homosexuality bit.

Nichiren Daishonin never spoke negatively about homosexuality, and (although I can't get the exact quote and reference, it was in a letter to one of His disciples) He actually spoke about the loss of the "favourite" of a General, who was one of His lay believers. To be someone's "favourite" in this period of Japanese language was to be a partner of someone without having any marriage or anything of the like. It's similar to a boyfriend or girlfriend in today's society, perhaps a little bit less in publicity.


I believe that, while Nichiren didn't treat it differently, he left some clues to His future generations, when it would become a problem in some religions, and did this because of His wisdom. 

Nichiren Shu has never had a history of homophobia or anything like that. Neither has Honmon Butsuryu Shu or Nichiren Shoshu. I think SGI had some history with it, or so my friend who was a member in the 70's had told me. I know Kempon Hokke Kyo did refuse to marry two men and two women for a year, but then rectified it, and even during that year, allowed homosexuals in relationships to join. 

Hope that insights! lol


Nam Myoho Renge Kyo

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9 years ago  ::  Apr 29, 2009 - 8:42AM #13
Posts: 2

Hi all!

I would just add with the (Nichiren) Buddhism and being Gay bit.

For all  my time as a gay buddhist (since 1977) I have not found any tradition(and I have tried a few) that were anti gay ( different to pro-gay).  I know that the NKT, FWBO and Nichiren Daishonin have all been ok about it.

Taking the basic premis that sexual orientation is not an issued with enlightend being or buddhahood. Unlike god based religions that has some god to please/suck up to.

I know a lot of gay buddhists - it seems(maybe) that other god based religions push those 'not like us' away or that the 'god' as a constant varies to whom you speak.
The warth of god, the love of god, the old testement, new testement/jesus/sundayschool version. For me this shows (like it or not) that god is created in mans own image.

Where as buddhism did not have this 'god' to try and please. It was all about you and being a better you. So Homosexuality is irrelivant.

However, in the NKT there was some questions about 'Sexual Misconduct', this was open to interpretation (being 'one of them' must surely be miss-conduct); not an issue now.

I think for a Buddhist they know what 'Sexual Misconduct' is to them.
There is the 'Do as you would be done by' guide and the kharmic 'be done by as you did' balance.

It seems that only god based religions allow 'scape goats', eg its ok to burn a witch. Those that felt that god was in everyone, would find the notion of burning god at the stake wrong unless your convinced yourself that he was the devil.  I wonder how muslim would feel about burning mohamed as the stake as a witch/heritic.

So a buddhist has the issue of in my countless rebirths have have been my mother/father/brother/sister/son and so I have at one time or other loved all man kind. Since these people that I have loved unconditionally do not have a lable, then I should treat all mankind thus.

It is then inconcevable that I should judge a person for being (or not being) gay or anything else. I prefer to imagine that all people have an immortal spark with in them that might not be apparent at first glance. I would like to beleive that even muslim suicide bombers who kill the 'infadels'  have this spark as well.

If there is a god(and for sure we can only find out when we shand before god) will we know the consequences of our lives work was. Since this is such an unknown. Buddhism deals with the here and now, the quality of how you experince this life, with the after life/bardo undefined.

For gay or straight man, thats fine because all we want to be is happy.

So this is why there is no conceivable issue with being gay and any brance of buddhism, IMHO.

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9 years ago  ::  Apr 29, 2009 - 8:46AM #14
Posts: 2

ps. spelling is not my biggest skill :)

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9 years ago  ::  Jun 19, 2009 - 12:45AM #15
Posts: 167

Regarding SGI and homosexuality, I have been a member more than twenty years. In the San Diego area the SGI sponsored a float in the Gay Pride Parade. I have been told that they have also performed same sex marriages. Their retreat at Weston, FL, The Florida Nature and Culture Center, offers an annual GLBT conference and they have appointed national leaders for the GLBT members. Obviously, your sexual orientation has nothing to do with your Buddha Nature.

Peace Smile

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7 years ago  ::  Oct 30, 2011 - 3:39PM #16
Posts: 1

It is always interesting to stumble across a posting in which I am mentioned and in this case outed I suppose in a way.  As the president of the Nichiren Order of North America which is the governing body of Nichiren Shu believers in North America for the past almost 12 years I have never made a secret of my sexual orientation.  In answer to the original question posed here, NONA has written into its by-laws a provision which forbids discrimination against people based upon their sexual orientation among other things. [This amendment was passed by the NONA delegates at our convention by unanimous vote.]  There are a number of openly gay members who serve in the governing boards of their local sanghas as well as in the national board of directors.  Priests living in those jurisditicions where same sex marriage is legal can and do perform marriages of same sex couples.

The issue of homosexuality in Buddhism is one which has not experienced the virulent homophobia that exhists in some Western faiths but there are some Buddhist groups out there who have reacted negatively to openly gay members.  In the mid to late 1980's the SGI purged its openly gay membership and basically chased them all out or into the closet.  Thankfully they reversed this policy and now have become much more accepting.  Some older, very traditional Japanese members of the Nichiren Shu and the Nichiren Shoshu have in the past reacted negatively towards openly gay members.  I suspect that in the cases of the SGI as well as, the Nichiren Shu and Nichiren Shoshu, this negative reaction was more a case of cultural differences between older Japanese and younger American members.  Japanese, particularly older Japanese tend to be very conservative when it comes to sexual matters. 

Time however has changed this and recently we had a workshop for spouses of Nichiren Shu ministers who work with their spouses in running their respective sangha activities.  The seminar included the same sex spouses as well as heterosexual spouses of Nichiren Shu ministers and no one raised any issue over this.

In the Nichiren Shu we do not segregate out members based upon ethnic, or other perceived differences including sexual orientation.  We do not hold seperate services etc for different groups but rather encourage all members to participate together as a way of increasing understanding between people of different backgrounds in the spirit of what we term as itai doshin [many in body, one in mind].  We are all Nichiren Buddhists and equal in the eyes of the Buddha.

Personally in terms of human sexuality my understanding of the Buddhist view of sexuality has less to do with the gender of your sexual partner and more to do with whether your relationship with that person is one which causes harm either to you or that person or to both.  Thius a person engaging in adultery or whose life is dedicated completely to hedonistic promiscuous sexual activity has some issues they need to work on but this is ultimately something they need to work out in terms of the Dharma.  It has nothing to do with the sangha unless their actions are directly causing harm to the sangha.

Hope this helps.

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7 years ago  ::  Nov 17, 2011 - 11:42AM #17
Posts: 3,458

Mar 26, 2009 -- 8:55AM, Metlboy wrote:

Sorry to keep pestering you with questions, but I keep coming up with more!

I was told by some SGI people that if I get a Gohonzon from them, someone will have to come to my house to be sure I have my altar set up appropriately. Is this normal for other sects of Nichiren Buddhism? It really rubs me the wrong way. I can understand wanting it to be respected, etc, but at the same time, it just seems really big brother-ey. It's my faith and my practice, so it doesn't seem like it's their business where I put the Gohonzon/how I set up the altar.

I did e-mail a couple of the Nichiren Shu ministers closest to me, and I'm awaiting a response. Thanks again for how helpful you've been.

I just wanted to touch base on this-it's not a big brother thing.  It's a "proper care and respect" for Gohonzon thing.  I wouldn't give my son a car until I showed him how to change the oil, etc.

Where, etc. is up to you.  But I would also mention that it is preferable to have TWO sets of hands for enshrining the Gohonzon, this is another issue of importance-just for proper care.  I realize this post is quite old-but it's a good question.

Anyone who would bully you and say put it here or do it like this might have the wrong attitude.  Suggestions could be made-such as "It is preferred that there is nothing higher on the wall than the Gohonzon" or "It is safer if the Gohonzon is not near a door that could swing open and damage it" and so forth.  But how you do it is indeed up to you.  

I was pleased when my YMD leader came to my house in the middle of the night to help me do a ceremony to enshrine it.  I recall I could not afford a butsudan at the time, so I used a shirtbox.  That was 20 years ago.

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7 years ago  ::  Nov 17, 2011 - 11:45AM #18
Posts: 3,458

And on Nichiren Shu vs. SGI.  Someone said it was "frowned upon" for a Shu member to come to an SGI meeting.  That is incorrect.  I would instead say that SGI frowns on Nichiren Shu's view of Nichiren and the Gohonzon.  SGI disagrees with the secondary status they give Gohonzon, and the fact that they appear to deify Nichiren-using a statue of him.  
They also reject the Dai Gohonzon.  So SGI and Nichiren Shoshu would say Nichiren Shu is heretical.  But, they would certainly be welcome to come to any meetings, chant, etc. so long as they weren't disruptive.  I'm sure they feel the same way in reverse. 

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6 years ago  ::  Dec 17, 2011 - 2:27AM #19
Posts: 1

Konichiwa!  I am brand new to this website.  I have been brought up as a Nichiren Buddhist. Firstly in the Shoshu/Gakkai school, then as due to internal strife that had led to the split between the two organisations, I had placed my Nichiren Practise on the back burner for a number of years.  I have tried to re-enter the Gakkai but was met with terrible indifference and extreme rudness and outright slander (both from a Buddhist perspective to an actual legal level). That was my recent tenure with the Sokagakkai!  Between the time I had initially dropped out of the Shoshu/Gakkai, I had taken a new course in life, a non-religious or non-sectarian by uniting with the Rosicrucian Order, AMORC.  The Order also has no issues with the GLBT Community so long as one does not flaunt it within the Temples or Lodge convocations proper.  Otherwise what one does in their own personal life is their own business exclusively.

I have found many simularities between the Rosicrucian Order, AMORC and the Nichiren School for the most part.  I know that some who may not know of or have a proper understanding of both Schools may beg to differ.  However I am in my higher Temple Degrees of AMORC and know the Order quite well and as to my Nichiren upbringing, which I am of course well familiar with, once one has a proper understanding and the "behind the scenes" deeper understanding of the various tenets and principles of both Traditions, then one can truely see that it is actually one and the same like ice cream but with different flavours.


Now, I must say, as contrary to what the Gakkai preaches in theory, in practise, I have to my horror and frustration found only indifference to AMORC and my former District Leader has been on a quest of continuous slander of such, one reason that had lead me out of their organisation or movement.


Now with Nichiren Shu, I am good friends with our priest and as soon as I receive my official jukai, which due to illness I just missed out on, as such is apparently only offered only twice a year, so I now have to wait.  However, once "in" and practicing for a while I do wish to pursue becoming a Shami and become ordained as a priest and to take the formal training at Minobusan, the traditional seat of Nichiren Shu in Honshu, Japan.  Thus I would like very much to become ordained as a Nichiren Shu Priest myself as to hopefully open what would be the first Temple in Switzerland. That is indeed my dream and sincere goal.


Now, back to the gay issue.  Yes, I shall be the first to come out as a gay man.  I have no reason to hide my sexual orientation.  BUddhism is very attractive to me as it too, again like the Rosicrucian Order looks to higher principles where one's sexual orientation is not a factor in obtaing the Great Path for the Greater Good.  Like Mahayana Buddhism in which of course the Nichiren School is a part of, AMORC also is "mahayana" in the sense that it too teaches not for selfish purposes but for the Greater Good and the benefit of other people. It is said that the Cosmic Host does not answer purely selfish Petitions but that such must in some manner be of benefit towards other people.  The Order also teaches that there is a purpose for everything in the universe.  Thus being a gay man myself, there must be some reason for that purpose, either as some karmic trait, or to in one way or another be of benefit for the Greater Good (such as the lesson of civil liberties and combating needless discrimination and predjudice).  Also the Great Law of Causality (Law of Cause and Effect) is also taught within the Rosicrucian Tradition, only the Order calls it the "Law of Karma and Compensation" and indeed is a very important tenet or principle within AMORC.


I hope I have been able to explain my present position and hope to have brought light to how both organisations that I embrace do indeed have very paralell directions.


Oh, I should also mention that I am an "issei" Swiss born in Switzerland, but not to Swiss parents, so I don't hold a Swiss passport (IVS SANGVINIS) but I do have Japanese blood as being a "Yonsei" (hence, fourth generation Japanese). FYI.

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