I'm taking the Grade 1 exam. I've always wanted to take the exams, all the exams up to Grade 3, and I'm finally starting.
My decision to take the exams has been faced with sanshoshima for years.
Up to 2006 I wasn't a member and I couldn't.
in 2006 I hadn't been a member for long enough and they didn't let me.
in 2007 I moved from Brescia to Bergamo around the time the deadline is and I forgot to apply.
in 2008 I moved to London around the time the deadline is and I forgot to apply.
in 2009 I moved to Romania where there are about 50 members in the whole country.
in 2010 I moved back to London around the time the deadline is and I forgot to apply.
in 2011 I really really wanted to apply. And I forgot.
So, finally, 2012, here I come!
I went to my first study meeting on Saturday and I really enjoyed it. I think it's also a great way to foster friendships in the Chapter and I'm already seeing some great Human Revolution potential in the experience.
I thought to share some notes and tips as I go through the study process.
First, the entire study material is downloadable from here, and there is a podcast you can put on you iPod and listen to on the train.
The exam is divided into four sections.
Section A is in turn divided into 2 sections, A1 and A2.
Here is a timeline of selected facts of Nichiren Daishonin's life that are relevant to section A1.
16 February 1222 - Nichiren Daishonin was born in Awa province.
1233 - at the age of 11 he became a novice-monk. (temples served as schools at the time)
28 April 1253 - ND chanted Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo for the first time.
1257 - Kamakura earthquake
1258 - ND meets Hoki-bo, a 12 years old novice who will become his disciple and, as Nikko Shonin, his successor.
16 July 1260 - ND presents the treatise "On Establishing the Correct Teaching for the Peace of the Land" to Hojo Tokiyori.
1261 - ND exiled to the Izu Peninsula (pardoned in 1263, returned to Kamakura)
12 September 1271 - Tatsunokuchi persecution
10 October 1271 - ND exiled to Sado island (pardoned in 1274, returned to Kamakura)
- ND writes in a letter "Since childhood, I, Nichiren, have never
prayed for the secular things of this life but have single-mindedly
sought to become a Buddha"
September 1279 - Atskhara Persecution
12 October 1279 - ND inscribes the Dai-Gohonzon.
And that is all for section A1!
Check out the other sections:
Section B (quotes)
Section B (answers)
Grade 1 Wrap-up