Here is the cherry tree with blossoms in front of the house where we rehearse in Queens. I took this picture on Dec. 1, 2009. All the other trees are bare, but this one stands there like a proud miracle. "You see", it seems to say, "Nothing is impossible!" "Muster your faith more than ever."
Even more amazing to me is that I received this in an e-mail from a friend - written by Daisaku Ikeda on Dec. 2nd :
"December 2, 2009
--TO MY FRIENDS--
Buddhism teaches principle of
"cherry, plum, peach and damson blossoms,"
which elucidates the innate, unique diversity and beauty of
all living entities.(*)
A cherry is a cherry and a plum, a plum.
Don't compare yourself to others.
Chanting daimoku with an expansive life state,
blossom and flourish in a way that is the most
natural to you.
(*) "When one comes to realize and see that each thing--the cherry, the
plum, the peace, the damson--in its own entity (way), without undergoing
any change, possess the eternally endowed three bodies [of the Buddha],
then this is what is meant by the word 'ryo,' 'to include' or
all-inclusive."--"The Immeasurable Meaning Sutra, Six Impotant Points,"
from THE RECORD OF THE ORALLY TRANSMITTED TEACHINGS, p. 200.
Above is a translation of "To My Friends" that is based on President
Ikeda's recent guidance, published in the Seikyo Shimbun.
--WAGA TOMO NI OKURU--
BUPPO WA "O-BAI-TO-RI"
SAKURA WA SAKURA, UME WA UME
HITO TO KURABERU NO DE WA NAI
MAN-MAN TARU SHODAI DE
JIBUN RASHIKU SAKI KAORE!"