Sunday, January 25, 2015

Universal PowerPrayer for Peace and Happiness for ALL

I developed PowerPrayers to keep determinations in mind while chanting. I read them before chanting to help focus my thoughts and direct my prayers while chanting the name of the Mystic Law - Nam-myoho-renge-kyo. This is my adaptation of the universal PowerPrayer...the prayer for each person who is sitting in front of their Gohonzon to realize their dream of kosen rufu and happiness. 

Universal PowerPrayer for Happiness for ALL

Every Daimoku I chant
reaches every other person who is chanting
I deepen the power of my faith by 10,000
so that all who are chanting can also deepen their faith, spread the word of this great teaching 
to those still suffering
become absolutely happy
and create a happy and peaceful world!

I chant that every single person who is chanting 
feels the full power 
sees the full power
experiences the full power
of this faith in their lives. 

I chant for all members to have faith
receive incredible 
benefits
and to know, within their DNA itself 
within every cell in their body
that this practice works!

I chant for all who are chanting. 
May my prayer increase the power of their prayer.
May everyone, and this entire planet see benefit! 

Friday, January 23, 2015

We Align with Buddhahood through Daimoku

"The air is filled with radio waves 
of various frequencies. 
While these are invisible,
a television set can collect them 
and turn them into visible images. 
The practice of chanting daimoku 
(Nam-myoho-renge-kyo) 
to the Gohonzon 
aligns the rhythm of our own lives 
with the world of Budhahood in the universe. 
It "tunes" our lives, so to speak, 
so that we can manifest 
the power of Buddhahood in our very beings."

and 

"Everything becomes a source of value, 
everything is brought to live, 
when we base ourselves on Daimoku. 
The Daishonin teaches 
that myo in Nam-myoho-renge-kyo
means "to revive, to return to life."
Nam-myoho-renge-kyo rejuvenates all knowledge;
it revitalizes our daily lives."


Daisaku Ikeda from Faith in Action p.118 in the Gongyo and Daimoku section. 

And I have great news! Ben was officially accepted into the place that will herald the next positive phase of his life. This is a place that has a great track record of helping people who have illnesses like Ben's to learn to live their lives successfully, and happily...with purpose. You know I am dancing in joy. We will be driving him the 8 hours to this location sometime in the next few days. Nam-myoho-rnege-kyo! 

Thursday, January 22, 2015

What is TRUE Success in Life?




I love reading President Ikeda's words. They are infused with the energy of life...

This morning I chanted for over an hour and did gongyo. It is an important day, I have a speech to give in the morning, a presentation to business referral sources in the afternoon, and it is also a big day personally. 

My son is being interviewed for placement in a community that will be very positive for his life. The results they show regarding the people who have lived there are remarkable. People are living lives of value...just the answer to my prayer for my son. It is two states away...about an 8 hour drive, but I'm sure, as any parent would know, that I would fly with him to the moon and back if I thought it would be a positive experience for him that would impact his life. I will miss him. But I am happy for him. It is the answer to my prayer. It IS the result of trusting the Gohonzon (the power within my own life).

So I pulled out my favorite book of Daisaku Ikeda quotes for you - Faith in Action. It has quotes arranges by category. I truly could just publish the whole book on this blog because every one of the quotes is impactful, but for today I'll just choose a few under SUCCESS. 
From Faith in Action, page 68:

"What is success in life? 
Who are the truly successful? 
There are famous and powerful people 
who become pitiful figures in their old age. 
There are people who die alone, 
feeling empty and desolate. 
Just what is success? 

The English thinker Walter Pater (1839-94) wrote:

"To burn always with this hard, gemlike flame, to maintain this ecstasy, is success in life."

The person who lives life fully, glowing with life's energy, is the person who lives a successful life."

Yes! 

and on the same page:

"Such things as money, fame and material possessions 
offer fleeting satisfaction 
that can be called relative happiness. 
However, when we transform our lives internally, 
when we develop within ourselves a brilliant inner palace, then we can be said 
to have established absolute happiness."

Daisaku Ikeda

Now, that's not to say that we can't, or should not have wealth, or fortunes of the storehouse. This practice is not about taking a vow of poverty. But we all know, that yes, money is great because we can do so much good with it, but money alone does not bring happiness. It is our inner state of life, our towering conviction that NO MATTER WHAT LIFE PRESENTS TO US - No matter what.. We will win. We can bring forth our own Nam-myoho-renge-kyo and win. That is fortune! 

Monday, January 19, 2015

3 Secrets to Setting and Achieving Our Goals


"This Lifetime will never come again; 
it is precious and irreplaceable. 
To live without regret, 
it is crucial for us to have a concrete purpose 
and continually set goals and challenges for ourselves. 
It is equally important 
that we keep moving toward specific targets 
steadily and tenaciously, one step at a time." 
Daisaku Ikeda, For Today and Tomorrow, page 55. 

We all know we need to make lists and write down our targets and goals, don't we? We've seen the studies that report that college graduates with clear goals achieve more success than others who don't have written goals. But still, somehow it is difficult to write them out and make them. 

Why is Setting Goals difficult? 
1. Many of us have set goals and failed to reach them. Ugh. For more years than I could count I set a goal to lose x amount of weight by my birthday. Raise your hands if you've ever done the same. And we've seen those targets breeze by...losing faith in ourselves. These failures mean nothing. We should make goals anyway. Read on. 
2. Sometimes it's hard for us to decide what our goals ARE. Maybe this does not describe you. Maybe YOU can set clear goals and targets and achieve them every time. Well, for the rest of us it is more difficult. For whatever reason, sometimes I just have the hardest time deciding. So I chant about making the correct decision and bringing wisdom forth from my life. 
3. We're afraid we won't reach our goals. That's a version of number 1 above. Or...maybe we're afraid we WILL reach them, and regret the outcome. 

So as I am making my list of goals I am remembering what some of my favorite mentors have to say about goal setting. 

3 Secrets For Setting Goals 
and Reaching Them! 
By Jamie Lee Silver from Chantforhappiness.com, based on the teachings of Tony Robbins. 

1. For every goal you have be clear on WHY you want to achieve that goal. Write your goal...and write WHY you want to achieve it. As a Votary of the Lotus Sutra, all of my goals include the vow to show actual proof through my own life that the impossible is possible. Years ago before I lost about 50 pounds I wrote down all of the reasons I wanted to lose this weight. I still have that list and have referred to it over and over through the years. 

2. Make yourself an inspiring name for this goal. I have a friend who embarked upon a fitness regime with a trainer. After a few days she was feeling discouraged, and I suggested she come up with a name for herself for this endeavor. She exclaimed "Fitgirl!" and has told me over and over how calling herself "Fitgirl" gets her out of bed and to her workout every day. What name can you come up with for yourself to invigorate (great word - meaning "give life to") your goals?

3. Schedule it. 

So here we are, January 20th. Be bold. Be Brave. Make your list. If I can do it...so can you! Go Buddha Go!  

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Chanting Every Morning..Every Evening...Every Morning...Every Evening!!!!



I'm getting a lot of emails from readers lately and many of them have a theme I'd like to touch on. Many of you are asking how long to chant and when and where to chant. 

I know many of us come from highly structured religions with a lot of rules to them. Our practice of Buddhism does not have these rules. It is truly a self-directed practice. 

The only "rule" I talk about and adhere to, is doing morning and evening Gongyo every single day. I also determine to chant an hour each morning.  Of course, there are days when I don't chant an hour in the morning...but I ALWAYS do gongyo every morning.  I base my life on these practices. And I adjust when I have to. If I have a plane to catch and I'm waking up at 3am, I don't usually chant an hour, but that doesn't happen very often! But the point is, the practice is UP TO US!

How much are we suffering? How determined are we to change? 

And remember, there is no guilt in this practice...there is only the law of cause and effect! 

So if you miss, don't feel bad, just determine to do better and get yourself the support you need. When I first started chanting my sponsor came over every day for a week to help me get evening gongyo established in my life as a practice.  I have helped others in this way. We have each other in the Soka Gakkai. 

My five keys to a successful practice outline the other guidelines...study, introducing others...encouraging others.
You can get them using the link to the right. 

The MOST importnat thing is do not give up. Whatever you are facing you can win. Chant every morning and evening! You can do it! 

(I'm about to go give a very brief experience about Ben at our chapter meeting. We have found a place where he can begin the next phase of his life. He has not been accepted yet, but he is so much better and so much more the Ben I know right now. I know it is my Daimoku...my deep determination that NO MATTER WHAT he will live a life of value...a life that matters to him. He is my child...we have shared karma...and I have been chanting for my OWN happiness to flow from me and affect the world - I have to leave for the meeting now - have a great day!) 



Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Making Our Troubles No More than "Dust in the Wind"


In the important Gosho "The Opening of the Eyes", Nichiren Daishonin displays for us, engraves for us, and explains for us his towering life force...the same life force that we all, as Votaries of the Lotus Sutra possess. He brought this life force out of himself and we can too. That's one of the purposes of this practice...to be happy amidst the struggles of daily life, not in spite of them and not begrudging them. 

It's words really hit home for me since I feel I have been assailed with extreme "persecutions" for the last year and a half. His words helped me to see once again that I can change my view of what is going on, no matter how jaw-dropping it is. I have the choice, and so do all of us, to embrace our karma, vow to change it, and remain as unshakable as Nichiren. 

In The Opening of The Eyes, Nichiren Daishonin writes:

"This I will state. Let the gods forsake me. Let all persecutions assail me. Still I will give my life for the sake of the law...

"Here I will make a great vow. Though I might be offered the rulership of Japan if I would only abandon the Lotus Sutra, accept the teachings of the Meditation Sutra, and look forward to rebirth in the Pure Land, though I might be told that my father and mother will have their heads cut off if I do not recite the Nembutsu - whatever obstacles I might encounter, so long as persons of wisdom do not prove my teachings to be false, I will never yield! 

All other troubles are no more to me than dust in the wind.

Although I and my disciples may encounter various difficulties, if we do not harbor doubt in our hearts, we will, as a matter of course attain Buddhahood. Do not have doubts simply because heaven does not lend you protection. Do not be discouraged because you do not enjoy an easy and secure existence in this life. This is what I have taught to my disciples morning and evening, and yet they begin to harbor doubts and abandon their faith. 
Foolish men are likely to forget the promises they have made when the crucial moment comes."

From The Opening of the Eyes by Nichiren Daishonin. 

I wish I could write more, but I have to run off this morning. In the meantime I am thinking of the vision of all my troubles being dust in the wind...and having the confidence that I am a worthy Bodhisattva of the Earth and my happiness is important. Just like yours! 

Monday, January 12, 2015

PowerPrayer for the Dynamic Year of the Development of YOU!



This morning I woke up still not feeling well and I called my wonderful leader for guidance on how to chant to overcome this illness. 
She said I need to focus on myself, and not just my karma, but also my own happiness. She reminded me how important my own happiness is. She said my sons are the reflection of me, and I need to focus on my happiness so that they can be happy. 
She reminded me that this is the year of dynamic development. She told me she had her own determination to make this the year of Dynamic Development for herself and I thought that made excellent sense. So I just finished chanting an hour of daimoku and feel a million times better. As I was chanting I was thinking these powerful thoughts for writing a PowerPrayer for you. Here it is:

PowerPrayer for the Dynamic Year of the Development of ___________________your name here! 

My life has Immeasurable Power!
I now tap into the immeasurable power of my own life! 
I now focus on changing my thoughts, words and deeds so that I can be HAPPY!
I embrace my karma as my mission!
I welcome this opportunity to create my own happiness. 
Fundamental darkness - you have no place here!
Fundamental darkness you have the wrong address!
I rid my life of all self slander. 
I celebrate my life. 
I bask in appreciation for my own immeasurably powerful life~ !