Wednesday, July 27, 2016

How to Have a More Power-Full Gongyo and Power-Full Day!


How do we have Power-FULL Daimoku? 

I'm having a blast here in Florida. This place is all I ever longed for and MORE. I'm headed to my first planning meeting right now...Nam-myoho-renge-kyo! 

Every day is a new challenge. 
Every day we wake into our glorious lives, that sometimes don't feel so glorious. 
Every day we have the chance to begin anew. 
Every morning, 
every moment 
is "Hon-nim-myo" ~ 
from this moment forth. 

This blog is for you. I do not express the official voice of the SGI, only the official voice of this one practitioner, myself, who longs for the happiness of all people! 

Fresh Determination
for a Power-FULL Happy Day!
By Jamie Lee Silver from Chantforhappiness.com

Life!
Today I embrace you at every moment
The wisdom I am creating, right now, 
through every Nam-myoho-renge-kyo I chant
pours through me every moment this day. 
Every moment is in rhythm
Every moment I am in exactly the right place 
at the right time
Seeing through the eyes of the Buddha I AM! 
I make a difference in every life I touch

The right words come at the right time. 
My warm heart shines
My confidence shines
I feel the love of those around me
I feel my love for myself, for my warm and wonderful self! 
I create an environment that appreciates me 
as I appreciate it! 
My brilliant future is assured
without me having to worry about it or strategize. 
I fuse my life force with Nam-myoho-renge-kyo and the spirit of my mentor Daisaku Ikeda. 
Together I renew my vow to change myself first, so that this will become a peaceful, respectful world! 

I am creating my future as I lovingly love my present! 
Here are some goals I am visualizing: 
_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Gohonzon!
Life!
Some kind of way 
I am showing proof of this marvelous practice 
at every moment! 
Some kind of way 
the people I am chanting for 
will be happy and healthy!
I chant for ___________________
_____________________________
_____________________________
_____________________________
their health and happiness and stability! 
their ability to tap into their practice and get results!
their strong life force!
their mission for kosen-rufu! 
For ______________________________
__________________________________
__________________________________
__________________________________
to be inspired and come to the meeting! 


This is a great day!

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

PowerPrayer to Change Your Karma Right Here, Right Now!

Nam-myoho-renge-kyo! 
Translation: I fuse my life with the Mystic Law of Cause and effect 
through sound vibration! 

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Sometimes we have to get mad when we chant! 
Lions ROAR! Lions ROAR! 

When we chant 
we are chanting 
Nam-myoho-renge-kyo 
to our own life
and sometimes we chant with this thought:

 "Life! Enough is enough! I am changing this karma NOW."

Some of you have written me that you are feeling hopeless and controlled by others. Chant and take action!

RISE UP to your life while chanting and DEMAND results now. We chant for the wisdom to take the correct action...and the courage to take it! 

We are all noble Boddhisatvas of the earth. 

In The Heart of the Lotus Sutra, Daisaku Ikeda writes:

"When we do gongyo "we are in effect vowing to advance kosen-rufu (a world of respect for all life) in accord with the spirit of the original Buddha. Every day we pledge to the Daishonin, "Without fail, I will believe in and spread the teachings of Nichiren Daishonin and help lead all people to enlightenment." 
page 150

And to fulfill this vow, we have to win in our lives. 
  
Each of us has some negative tendency that happens over and over, don't we? For me, I struggled for years with a feeling that would just overcome me, and wash over me like a wave. Out of nowhere I would feel unloved, unlovable and hopeless. I'd call my friend-in-faith Kate, and she'd remind me that this feeling was a function of the fundamental darkness within my life and within all of life, and this was AGAIN my time to summon up the power of my faith. 

That's why I say 
BE FUELED BY YOUR OBSTACLES, 
not FOOLED BY THEM! 

"Get MAD at the shoten zenjin!" Kate would say. 
(Shoten Zenjin are the protective forces that counterbalance fundamental darkness. We use our practice to increase the shoten zenjin and banish fundamental darkness.) 
And I would generate some angry energy, roar like a lion and use this PowerPrayer inspired by Kate - it totally changed my life:

PowerPrayer to say, 
"No More! Enough is enough!”
I change this negative function NOW! 
By Jamie Lee Silver from ChantforHappiness.com

I am chanting with 
absolute conviction in the power of my life to declare and demand:

No more of this karma of : ____________________________(the basic life tendency you want to change)

I root this karma out of my life with every Nam-myoho-renge-kyo I chant! 

No more of this karma 
of being abused or disrespected by anyone or any thing!

No more doubting my own Buddha Nature!

No more living in fear!

No more feeling unloved or hopeless.

No more ________________ (you fill in the blank.)

I now create _________________________________in my life starting now.

I don't CARE how many times I have to chant about this. I don't CARE how many times you try to bring me down. 

I will win! 

I MUST Win because I am a votary of the Lotus Sutra. I am living my life to prove that chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo works and to help others become happy. 

I will win!!!

I am the Buddha.
I am roaring with power in my life!
I now determine with all the power vested in me that I will___________________________.

The wisdom to take the actions to create this breakthrough comes to me now!

Here are the actions I will take today:_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________



Tuesday, July 12, 2016

When we Win - Everyone Wins!

My first meeting in the St. Pete/Tampa Cultural Center
With new friends Candida Silva and Alisa Miller

Today was a significant anniversary - July 12th last year many of you joined me as I web broadcasted Ben's Life Ceremony. 

Today I celebrated the year anniversary by bringing three youth division guests at my first SGI meeting in Florida. I'm sure Ben had a hand in this! 

(In case you are new to this blog, my son, my Bodhisattva Ben, "became eternal" at the age of 22 after suffering with schizophrenia for 2 1/2 years on July 2nd, 2015. His life ceremony was a year ago today.)

Tonight's SGI meeting was a Gosho lecture on 
"On Persecutions Befalling the Sage." 

"When people with an awareness
of their mission for kosen-rufu stand up, 
and the philosophy of respect for life 
based on the Mystic Law 
is transmitted from the people to the people 
and deeply absorbed into their lives, 
then society and the times 
will be transformed on a fundamental level.

The expansion of our Soka network 
is the surest step forward in building peace. 

The sun of the Buddhism of the people is rising now, 
shining ever more brightly as a source of hope. 

Let us set forth toward a golden age 
of victory for humanity! 
The time has come to commence the real struggle 
of genuine disciples" 

Daisaku Ikeda, World Tribune, July 2016, page 49. 

Here is the fundamental message. We must all become happy so we can lead others to happiness! America needs this. The world needs this. Our missions have never been deeper, have they? And our "persecutions," our problems - FUEL this change, FUEL our lives when we embrace our challenges, chant to use them as springboards for our lives, and do shakubuku so others can be happy.

Let's do this together. It's pretty simple. We can chant more. (I'm chanting 3 hours a day this week to kick off my new life in Florida) We can wake up earlier. We do this for ourselves and for others. 

When we overcome our own fundamental darkness we overcome the world's fundamental darkness. THIS is the essence of Human Revolution. When we win over ourselves we bring the light of wisdom to the world. Yes!  

I really enjoyed meeting the members. 
Candida Silva recognized my name and blog from her time chanting in the UK. 
Here's a shout out to my friends in the UK! 
Also, the young man who chanted with Aaron while he was away at college and studying for his medical school entrance exams is also in my new chapter. Our connections run deep...all of us Buddhas. All of us are Bodhisattvas of the earth and deeply connected. 

Now is our time! When we win  - everyone wins! 


Monday, July 11, 2016

Prayer is the Way to Destroy All Fear!



"Prayer is the way to destroy all fear. 
It is the way to banish sorrow, 
the way to light a torch of hope. 
It is the revolution 
that rewrites the scenario of our destiny."

Daisaku Ikeda, December 3, 2004 World Tribune, Page 8
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Nam-myoho-renge-kyo! 
Here I am on St. Pete Beach in Florida waking up to the sound of the waves every single day! 
This week I am chanting three hours a day towards every door opening in my life...

And look at all the doors that have opened so far. 

My two closest SGI friends came over to chant with me on Saturday morning and I'm going to the study meeting tomorrow night. Everything is so exciting, and I am keeping the fear at bay by chanting enough daimoku to feel as if I am riding on a pillow of daimoku. My life is working out perfectly. Over the past few days I've been facing the anniversaries of Ben's becoming eternal, and all the events surrounding that. And I am sailing through it all...every once in a while the sweetness of the life we had will bring tears to my eyes, and I just take a few moments to cry...write...chant, and move on. 

My life right now is just so exciting. I'm exploring the nooks and crannies of the beach, of St. Petersburg, of this area. I've already made a bunch of friends and look forward to making more. I've watched every sunset. And I'm walking miles and miles each day and falling back in love with being in this body. The last few years were difficult. Now is my time! 

I'm chanting:

Gohonzon! Life!
Bring all the energy of the universe through me right now! 
I chant to banish all dark energy and fill every cell in my body with Bonten, Taishaku and Hachiman...and the gods of the sun and the moon...and for all SGI members (and everyone in the world) to be filled with positive energy. I'm chanting to radiate forth all the love and peace and good will this world so badly needs, and to attract all good positive opportunities my way!

I'm chanting for you to realize this power in your lives too! 

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Lighting the Lamp of Hope - From Florida!

The view from my new apartment ~ Yes! 

"Live in a way that is full of life ~ 
for yourself, 
for your loved ones, 
for your friends. 
People who do so 
will find the courage 
to transform sufferings into hopes. 
Not only that, 
but they will be able to light the lamp of hope 
in the hearts of many others as well."

Daisaku Ikeda, Buddhism Day by Day, page 304.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I did it! Great victory! After having the worst possible fate befall a Mom, I have turned poison into medicine through my determination to pave the way of hope for others, and the courage generated from this incredible Buddhist practice. 

As many of you know, last year, on July 2nd, my beloved son Ben became eternal at the age of 22. Yes, he took his own life, but schizophrenia, a disease of the brain with no cure, (along with a flawed mental health system), is the real cause. I feel it's important to tell the truth about this. I know I am not the only one who has been through this kind of suffering. 

Through my tears and sorrow, I determined that, as a 31 year practicing Buddhist, I had the opportunity to create the greatest benefit from the greatest poison. And right now I have some solid results to show from this determination. 

On July 2nd of this year, the anniversary of Ben's becoming eternal, I was chanting in my new apartment right on the beach in St. Pete Beach Florida. 
And Ben's Memorial Mile, the fun and inspiring event we staged in Downers Grove Illinois on June 11th raised $22,000 for schizophrenia research (less expenses). 
There is victory all around in my life! 
But I can't bask in it forever, I must move forth and create more and more value every moment through this experience and through my life itself. 

I produced a Ben's Memorial Mile edition of the book Ben and I are currently writing together through my own pen and the eternity of his life. "Our Forever Ben."
At Ben's Memorial Mile we raised $1,100 through the sale of less than 20 of these editions. As soon as I can, I will make this available to you. (Affordably)

But first, how did I accomplish this? I chanted to create value and show actual proof THROUGH this sad experience, not in spite of it. Those of you who've been reading this blog for a while know this. And you know I'm not some super human. I am very human...and devoted to showing proof of this practice through my life.  Sure, I cried a lot during this year. Sure, my heart actually broke with missing my sweet poetic, sincere, loving son. And every morning and evening I devoted my life to chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, the essence of life itself...the vibration of perfect healing for all involved. 

This prayer is powerful. So powerful. It has the capacity to change our own lives from the inside out. And when WE change, our environments change. So I chanted with determination to show brilliant actual proof by the year anniversary. 

All my life I have lived in colder climates...Chicago, Des Moines, San Francisco (BRRRR). Never have I lived in a climate that suits my sun-seeking, heat-seeking self. So in February I traveled to Florida where my wonderful nephew had moved. 
The week I got back I spent three hours a day chanting for every door to open to move to his area of Florida - St. Petersburg. I chanted for every door to open. And I held my breath as I gave a 60 day notice on my apartment which had served me so well for 5 years. 

Mystically, my step-mother told me her cousin lived somewhere in the area. She connected us and I discovered her cousin lived exactly in the most historic building on the beach. And her cousin, such a lovely woman, connected me to a family with an extra empty apartment who usually does not rent it except while they are there...in the winter. This couple made a special trip by train - over 30 hours - to open this apartment and get it ready for me...right here on the beach. They have been so welcoming and sweet. Yesterday they bought a new TV for the apartment so I can watch my DVDs.

And, as I've written previously, my friend Tracy said "I'm Your Girl!" and helped me to find new homes for almost all my belongings, except the ones that could fit in, or on, my car. She drove here with me and just left yesterday after having a great time exploring my beach home with me. 

AND, on the day I actually moved, my friend Neha delivered my package to President Ikeda at the Hall of the Great Vow. It contains "Our Forever Ben," a letter, and the articles and results from Ben's Memorial Mile. 

What will life hold now? We shall see together! Thank you for sharing this journey with me! 


Thursday, June 30, 2016

New Beginnings - Next Post is from Florida!

The sky welcoming us to Georgia
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Almost there! Today I am arriving at my new home after a fantastic send-off from my best friends and family, and a long fun 1200 mile ride with Tracy. 

Mystically, on the day we began the journey, Neha, my friend from India, delivered my package to Sensei at the Great Hall of the Vow of Kosen Rufu. It contains the experience about Ben and our book "Our Forever Ben," along with newspaper clippings and promotional materials for Ben's Memorial Mile which just raised $22,000 for schizophrenia research (less expenses). My determination to turn poison into medicine is contained in this package! Thank you Neha! 

Several times we encountered traffic and I started chanting and boom, the traffic began moving. We drove about 700 miles yesterday. Today we will arrive at the the Starlight Tower in St. Pete Beach. I'll stay there for at least a few months as I navigate my future. 

This is the week....the week Ben "died" last year...and a great week to start my new life. I arrive with just what I can fit into "Champagne", my lovely "new" 2000 Lexus RX I got this spring. We have a roof bag, and all my clothes and belongings in it. I gave everything else away...

I chant today in appreciation for this practice, for you, and for having enough faith in the power of my own life to make this momentous change through chanting the name of the Mystic Law. Everything is possible...for me and for you!  

Nam-myoho-renge-kyo! 

Saturday, June 25, 2016

We Make Everything Magical and Every Moment Count!



"Know you, I salute the air, the ocean and the land, 
Every day at sundown for your dear sake my love."

From Walt Whitman's poem "Out of the Rolling Ocean the Crowd"
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I'm doing it! 
I am blessing most of my possessions 
and offering them to people who will love them and appreciate them just like I did, 
so I can travel to my next home. 

Every morning I am chanting in appreciation that I have become this brave person ready to take on this great adventure of going to live on the beach. 
Alone...with all the new friends I am going to make...and all my treasured friends available by technology, including you!  
I was meant to live in the beach in the warmth. 
It is time to begin my new life. 
I'm one of those people that loves hot and humid weather. 
I always have. And I adore the ocean/water. 
Will I love Florida? I embrace it with an open heart...and we'll take it from there. 

Every morning I chant to be where I can be my happiest self and make the biggest difference in the world. I will host a book launch for the book I just wrote with Ben called "Our Forever Ben." It's the poetry he and I have been writing back and forth since last summer. I just put my pen to the paper and write to him, keep my pen on the paper and he writes back to me. Incredible messages. Every time. I am working on this for you. I'll let you know when it's available! I'll publish some excerpts for you, too. 
Ben's last two lines of the book are: 
"Close your eyes.
I'll still be right here." 

Chanting brings such fortune. I'm mostly calm, happy, enjoying every moment of the goodbyes, and staying centered on my Gohonzon...on my life and the depth of my prayer. I'm bringing forth every ounce of power through chanting the name of the Mystic Law of the Universe, Nam-myoho-renge-kyo. I feel it. 
Yesterday morning I chanted for 2 hours washing my worries away and feeling great. When I get to St. Pete Beach I plan on having a long daimoku toso on Saturday the 2nd of July, the anniversary of Ben becoming eternal. I am chanting for the state of the world as well. Shoten Zenjin, protective forces of the universe...NOW IS YOUR TIME! 

I'm chanting with Daisaku Ikeda's words below in mind:

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

"Pray that instead of devils or negative, 
destructive forces infiltrating your being, 
Brahma, (Bonten in Japanese), 
Shakra, (Taishaku in Japanese) 
and the gods of the Sun and the Moon - 
~ the positive, protective forces of the universe - 
will enter your life! 
Pray that they will enter the lives 
of all the members in your region 
and the entire membership of the SGI, as well. 
If you do this, 
your strength will multiply a hundredfold, a thousandfold. 
With such prayer, 
with such faith, 
you will realize a fundamental transformation 
in the very depths of your life. 
This is the secret to achieving your human revolution." 

Daisaku Ikeda World Tribune, 9/8/2000


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 

My greatest good fortune is that my friend Tracy is helping me almost every day. Fortune, as you know, is the precious treasure that money can't buy. Having Tracy show up happily and willingly to help me now is a my great, great fortune, and a further sign that I am not alone in this. The protective forces of the universe, and our eternal Ben are right here with me. 

Last Monday I called Tracy right after I gave notice at work. And she said unexpectedly said: 

"Wow! I just downsized and sold my 3 bedroom, 2 bath house so I know just what to do to support you. Everything is fresh in my mind. I'm free till after the fourth of July so I can come right over and give you a hand." 

And she has taken over the managing of the move in a way that makes me feel the deepest appreciation imaginable. We are laughing, working, enjoying each other's company. She is patiently listening to the stories I tell when I see a picture of Ben, Aaron...my whole life, and listening to my various stories as I sort through all of my possessions and find the "treasures." These I keep, the rest is going.  
And when I ask her "Should I keep this thing or give it away?" she answers: "Well...I don't think it will fit in your backpack when you travel around the world." And I think "She does have a point," and bless it on its way. 

My goal is to put all I need into my wonderful 2000 Lexus Rx 3000 - my new car I call "Champagne," and drive to St. Pete Beach in Florida (with Tracy, bless her heart) where I am renting a furnished studio overlooking the vast waters of the Gulf of Mexico and every single sunset. Ben and I are going to love this! All I'm taking is will fit inside or on top of my car. I feel like Louise Hay. She left everything behind when she left the east coast to find her incredible fortune and happiness. She inspires us all as the founder of the Hay House Publishing empire. I love you Louise! She's in her 80's saying "EVERY decade of my life is the best decade EVER!" 

Did I tell you we raised over $21,000 for Schizophrenia research (less expenses) in the glorious Ben's Memorial Mile? We are still accepting donations at BensMemorialMile.com through the month of July, when we will close out this year's books and begin to work on next year. My personal goal is to have it net $22,000, which is the age he became eternal, and my favorite number since I was born on September 22nd. It looks like we will have it at Downers Grove North High School on June 10th, 2017, but we are waiting for confirmation from the school. I will let you know. 

Goodness, I have to go to bed so I can enjoy my last few days here in Chicago making every moment count!