and the Great Mandala
[This is the same Jay that is in "Jay's Dream"]
Jay began his study of Buddhism in high school. He never stopped. He followed the flow of the Awakening as it filled new lands and languages.
Different cultures awaken differently, but always beautifully, like flowers opening.
Before he went to his first Buddhist meeting, Jay had figured out that because it could awaken all manner of beings, the Lotus Sutra was superior to all the other sutras.
Then, while walking down the street, John (a stranger) invited him to a Buddhist discussion meeting.
Jay immediately said: "Yes."
Then he asked: "Is it Mahayana or Theravada?"
John said: "That's a great question. You can ask that at the meeting."
In the apartment hallway, Jay could hear the chanting. The words sounded like the Lotus Sutra being slightly mispronounced.
When he caught a whiff of the incense, it struck him that he really was going to a Buddhist meeting. His heart raced with excitement. "Real live Buddhists!!!" he thought, then the overwhelming memory of his Tibetan dream rushed in.
After they took off their shoes, John pointed to a place on the floor where they could sit. Once settled in, John stuck a Gongyo book in Jay's face and pointed to the words.
Jay saw the Chinese characters of Gongyo. He realized the Chinese version of the Lotus Sutra was being pronounced in Japanese.
He clumsily joined in — in poorly spoken Chinese.
As they were chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, Jay looked up and saw a fancy black and gold box. Deep in the box was an illuminated scroll.
The scroll depicted an event in the Lotus Sutra called "The Ceremony in the Air," where the pledge to enlighten all beings is made.
The scroll embodies the central message of the Lotus Sutra — the enlightenment of all beings. Because it embodies the awakening of all beings, it is the Great Mandala.
Along the top row of the Great Mandala, he could see the Bodhisattvas that sprang from the Earth to make this pledge. Just then a young woman sprang up and announced "Welcome to a Buddhist Discussion Meeting!"
She glowed with joy.
As Jay read the characters of Great Mandala, different people stood up and spoke. Jay saw a correlation between the characters on the Gohonzon and the people in the room. For instance: Taho nodded in agreement with Shakyamuni, while people up front (the top row?) nodded in agreement with whoever was speaking. As he read the characters for the Ashura King, he looked over and noticed a tattooed guy in the back that seemed pissed about something.
All the people in the room were represented on the Gohonzon.
Jay wasn't just reading the Great Mandala — he was in it.
The next day, his dream
of being in Tibet came true — except for the Tibetan part.