If Joy is the Answer, What’s the Question?

The "Endeavour"

I am a Nichiren Buddhist who happens to be a screenwriter.  Some time ago  I decided to get my nose pierced and become a Buddhist – a person who studies their own life interacting with the environment, and finding  enlightenment in the whole.

The nose-piercing was just a personal thing.  Attractive because it entailed a nurse with a needle and a bottle of scotch, plus the glee of anticipating my mother’s reaction.

Regarding Buddhism, I could use many fancy words right here,  explaining spiritual systems of thought that have been in place for thousands of years in the East that are now a part of  our Western, contemporary way of thinking,  but that’s unnecessary.   Once we have decided that “Joy” is our answer, we can then know what that question must be.  Nichiren Buddhism; is this my question?

Most important of course is the experiment of “actual proof” which accompanies this question:  “Does it work?”

If Joy is the answer, then chanting “Nam-myoho-renge-kyo” is our question.

“A fabulous New World lies in everyone’s life! The name we give it is Buddhahood,” says Dr. Daisaku Ikeda in his book, My Dear Friends in America.  I love the way he words this.

When I think of America I think of various people leaving their own lands and embarking on a journey to establish new ground and a new life of hope for themselves, their families and their descendants.

So here we all are, in 2011, more divided and at odds with each other politically than ever before.  Natural disasters abound. Corporations crush the very fight from the ordinary person.

But this may be precisely the time to experiment with and unite positively creative ideas using this philosophy to create common ground.  All humans experience certain things in common, no matter how different our backgrounds or physical appearance.  And in my case, an accent no one can pinpoint.

At the very nucleus of my life I find my chanting working on a cellular level, activating within me the  profound.  Usually something I’ve been intent on ignoring, that’s staring me straight in the face.  It’s worth it to me to have faith in this wonderful ceremony I perform daily.  I can say I believe in what I do beyond a shadow of a doubt as it manifests itself in actual,  day to day,  tactile living.

Faith for me becomes a belief in a magnificent outcome no matter what the adventure, or how uncomfortable the ride may feel at the time.

The study of Buddhism, then, is the decision to peel back the lid of that third eye in order to observe one’s mind and find light within it!

I take this enlightened journey hopeful of traveling from a blurred  awareness of myself as separate from others, to knowing myself to contain the entire universe, itself, all in a single moment!  When is that moment?  When I quiet my mind and say, “Nam myoho renge kyo.”

I stand between the earthiness of being and feeling human, and the spiritual dizziness of touching the “Law” at it’s deepest level,  revealing in an instant both the  transient and the true!  As Daisaku Ikeda says, “Truly new discoveries cannot be properly measured against old, established theories.  Their value is realized for the first time when they have been validated by clear evidence.  This is perhaps the only way that new discoveries can gain acceptance.”

For this reason we should never “prejudge a thing”, and that includes the value of where we find ourselves presently standing.

It’s at once a grand illusion and a moment in history filled with limitless opportunity.

I presently have two goals that may or may not coincide.  The screenplay that I am writing in collaboration, a challenge in itself, and the delving into gray areas of joy and painting them vivid.  These endeavours are working quite nicely, if at times uncomfortably,  yet always transformed by the vertical touch above and grounding beneath my feet.

It is my observation that we have the exact challenges we need at the exact time that we need them.

What say you?


About noirebynature

Hi. If you’re here, you know me. I’m Dax. By trade, I’m a screenwriter. I’m published in various mediums on top of screenwriting, however: interviews, blogs and philosophical magazine op-eds, to name a few. This is my personal blog. I come here to expand upon the philosophies that define my outlook on the world and within. This is where you get to know me from the inside out and hopefully where what I write touches you and makes you think. I also write about the process of writing, and sometimes touch on show biz in general. I do this in another blog, “Live Playspace,” also on WordPress. There, all of the philosophic influences I write about here bleed into my screenwriting. Please stop by there for news of what I’m writing and the process that I use to create universes that captivate your imagination. Thanks for stopping in! Dax
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2 Responses to If Joy is the Answer, What’s the Question?

  1. 4 hours agoFrancisco Arellano
    Dax, this is an excellent piece of work. Words may not be friends of O’Keeffe but they definitely are yours. You do with words what she attempts with color and shapes. This writing has great details. I know more about her than I ever did. I found the parallel you made between her and Kahlo very interesting. Two female artists experiencing similar lives. Perhaps you could (or have) write about Frieda some day. You clearly communicate O’Keeffe’s ideas on representing experience through art. Our subjective consciousness is validated through art–enlightening. “Colors and shapes make a more definite statement than words.” Interesting quote. I look at art and stare, enjoying the shapes and colors but many times not really capturing the artists experience. Maybe because words make more sense to me. But I would really like to experience what the artist experiences. If art can communicate sensations, I would really like to see art that reflects the sensation of buddhahood. “The meaning of a word is not as exact as the meaning of color.” This great quote challenges me to open my third eye even wider. I understand music as a great communicator or emotion. This rings sonorously with me. It is interesting, that sex peaks everyone’s attention. It is such a private experience but we all share it so I understand the curiosity surrounding sex. However, you astutely point out that there is a difference between sex and sensuality. This is a very important distinction. Steiglitz like Rivera had a woman who love was stronger than theirs. Women tend to stay with one man. Men, I believe, have a nature which tends to want many women. We should enjoy the looking at the menu, but only eat at home. My relationship is one of freedom. We are modern in the sense that my sweety and I have our own circle of friends we go out with and enjoy privately. There is no jealousy or insecurity. We are best friends in the deepest sense. We have agreed to support each others happiness no matter what! I know

    • Thank you for your comments, Francisco. I truly appreciate you taking the time to read. Quite enlightening, I might add. The more we ask ourselves questions and reach for answers, the more we are rewarded in kind. I can tell that you are completely appreciative of life’s experiences, and even better, you have found a partner who enjoys the same POV.

      Together who knows what you will both discover? Agatha Christie loved traveling with her husband. He was an archaeologist, and she was as you know, a murder mystery writer. She said she learned all about people and poisons from traveling with him. Interesting, that.

      Her first husband was not so faithful to her, and she left him for someone exactly suited to her, and who loved her very much.

      In 1930, Christie married archaeologist Max Mallowan (Sir Max from 1968) after joining him in an archaeological dig. Their marriage was especially happy in the early years and remained so until Christie’s death in 1976.

      I think the idea is to marry our passion with the colorful dance of life, finding joy in all worlds, tinged by the prisms of enlightened wisdom and anticipation of magnificence.

      Thank you for reading.
      Remind me to tell you about Kahlo. It will blow your mind!

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