Copyright © Ric Dexter 1999

SGI-USA has a place in Florida where members can meet and study the Lotus Sutra and Nichiren’s Buddhist teachings. The Florida Nature and Culture Center has regular conferences. I wrote this at a 1999 conference on the study of the Lotus Sutra

In the 15th chapter of the Lotus Sutra an uncountable number of golden hued beings spring from the earth dancing with joy and greet the Buddha as an equal. Maitreya, a disciple of the Buddha, asks what is known as the most important question in the Buddhist canon. He says, essentially “Who are these guys?” The question is most important because the Buddha’s answer explains the eternity of life and the inherent Buddhism within all things.

Maitreya’s Question


What is this place
A phantom city
A White Ox cart
An excellent medicine to set us free

From our different worlds
Thus we come in groups, or alone
Seeking answers, or questions
Or a fresh spirit
To carry home

Maybe we knew some others
Before we came to this place
We recognize a city
Sometimes a name
Sometimes a place

We learn and we teach
And form new friendship rings
Dancing in joy
We visit one another
And discuss mystic wonderful things

Medicine King is present
And Never Ignores is there
With Bodhisattvas and Mahasattvas
And we are the Buddhas
At a Ceremony in the Air

Thus we came seeking something
Not knowing what, is seems
And found a Jewel in our Robe
Like the sweet rain that falls
This place, This FNCC
Is, “Expedient Means”

We came again seeking wisdom
Faith is what we found
And in finding faith
We gained wisdom through
A familiar mystic sound

We looked for enlightenment
Thinking we were human beings
We learned we are Buddhas
And delusions vanished
Like yesterday’s dreams

We vowed to protect the law
In this land and this time
We spring forth rejoicing
To preach the True Law
employing our fearless mind

After three meetings in two places
With purified senses we return
To share what we
Have gained and to
help others learn

We have chosen to be here
On the dawn of this day
To uphold the Lotus Sutra
And gain entry to
The unsurpassed way

Even if we face
Derision and scorn
Like Never Disparaging
We will lead
In Buddhism’s reform

There are more verses to be written
This epic is far from through
But they will be written in gold
In the lives of Buddhas
By me, and by you

© ric dexter 4 .17. 99