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Gosho Study

Unity With One’s Mentor Starts Within

Photo by Benjamin Voros / Unsplash.

“Though the moon is forty thousand yojanas high in the heavens, its reflection appears instantly in a pond on earth; and the sound of the drum at the Gate of Thunder is immediately heard a thousand, ten thousand ri in the distance. Though you remain in Sado, your heart has come to this province. The way of attaining Buddhahood is just like this. Though we live in the impure land, our hearts reside in the pure land of Eagle Peak. Merely seeing each other’s face would in itself be insignificant.” (“The Drum at the Gate of Thunder,” The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, vol. 1, p. 949)

Ikeda Sensei’s Guidance

The strongest bond in the mentor-disciple relationship in Buddhism is that of the heart. The hearts of mentor and disciple who aspire for the widespread propagation of the Mystic Law can connect instantly, transcending any distance that may lie between them. Just as when the moon appears in the heavens, “its reflection appears instantly in a pond on earth” (WND-1, 949).

“The Drum at the Gate of Thunder” is like a great painting depicting the heart-to-heart exchange between mentor and disciple separated by a vast distance. …

I once responded as follows to a question about the oneness, or unity, of mentor and disciple: “It means to have a mentor in your heart while standing on your own two feet. President Toda resides in my heart. This is not something you speak out loud; it’s a matter of the heart. This is because unity is something that exists inside you.”

At all times, no matter where I am, I feel as if I am constantly engaging in dialogue with President Toda as I go about my activities. Our unity exists within me. The unity of mentor and disciple transcends distance and time. The hearts of mentor and disciple compose an eternal history of united struggle. (Learning From the Writings: The Hope-Filled Teachings of Nichiren Daishonin, pp. 3–13)

From the May 2023 Living Buddhism

SGI-USA Hawaii Culture Center

The Spirit to Strive