Belle and Sebastien (Belle et Sebastien)
This is the signature tune of a French show which appeared on UK TV in the late 60s. For some interconnected reason, I stumbled on it and realised that I still whistle it now and again when it pops in my head. I have to whistle it as there’s no possible way until the next life that I can hit the notes.
However, I used to be able to sing along with it, and even get the high note, before my voice broke… ;-) I sang it in tune, with the correct expression and the appropriate feeling. Because, as Nichiren said, several times,
“It is the heart that is important”
– Nichiren Daishonin, WND1 p949: “The Drum at the Gate of Thunder”
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. It is the heart that is important. Someday let us meet at Eagle Peak, where Shakyamuni Buddha dwells.
– Nichiren Daishonin, WND1 p1000: “The Strategy of the Lotus Sutra”
Masakado was renowned as a brave general who had mastered the art of war, yet he was defeated by the armies under the emperor’s command. Even Fan K’uai and Chang Liang had their failures. It is the heart that is important. No matter how earnestly Nichiren prays for you, if you lack faith, it will be like trying to set fire to wet tinder. Spur yourself to muster the power of faith. Regard your survival as wondrous. Employ the strategy of the Lotus Sutra before any other. “All others who bear you enmity or malice will likewise be wiped out.” These golden words will never prove false. The heart of strategy and swordsmanship derives from the Mystic Law. Have profound faith. A coward cannot have any of his prayers answered.
It’s important to realise that these blue words were written in feudal Japan to a nun, and to a samurai warrior. Nichiren wrote them directly to these people, to encourage them in words most appropriate to them. He did not write them to me. But the core of the meaning is just as important now in the 21st century industrialised West as it was then and I can use them just the same….
“It is the heart that is important” – it really is.