Sunday, April 19, 2015

6 Actions to Take When it's Hard to Chant

Let's face it, we all go through times 
when it is extremely difficult to chant.

Lately many of you have been writing to me with this challenge. 
Sometimes seeing our inner lives in the mirror of the Gohonzon, while chanting is so hard. 

It can be hard to see what we need to change. But that's why we chant - so we can see what we need to change, and chant to change it. That's another reason this practice is not for wimps.

It is for courageous ones who are dedicated to their own happiness, and the happiness of other. In other words - Buddhas.

I believe that when it's hard to chant, we are poised for a breakthrough. And when we can finally sit down and chant with all our hearts we grow, we change, we evolve. 

I go through these moments myself. We all do. Sometimes the noise in our heads is so loud it's hard to drown out with our daimoku. And that's precisely WHEN we cut through our karma...and we win! 

According to my dear friend Kate Randolph, not being able to chant at times is just natural and part of our practice. She says don't get mad at yourself, just do gongyo twice a day as always and even if you can only chant a few minutes, concentrate as much as you can. 

She also said it can be difficult to chant when facing core issues in your life... important karma changing issues...crucial moments. Ahhh and that's where the breakthrough comes! And that's also why we have each other to chant with. What an excellent time to call a Gakkai friend or leader. 

At these times we need to have respect for ourselves and KNOW that we are going to show victory. 
Akema Bailey-Haynie says that sometimes we are in the middle of the ocean, but we will get to the other shore. 

We all experience this don't we? We just have to keep swimming and not give up midway! 

None of us are perfect. I am not perfect. 

We are all Buddhas 
at our Buddha coming out party! 

6 Actions to Take When It's Hard to Chant

1. Stay connected, go to SGI meetings
2. Do gongyo twice a day every day as always 
3. Read experiences 
4. Study  
5. Encourage as many people as we can...and know that it will all click back in, and we'll get back into that groove when we're chanting a lot, and the more we chant, the more we want to chant, and ZOOM we break through.
6. Call a friend to chant with us.

We need to have patience with ourselves, take care not to get out of the orbit of faith, and remember that this is a life-long practice and keep going! 

Today I am officiating at my sister's wedding. They have said it will rain and I've been chanting for sun....and so's sunny! 

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Creating "That Time" as the Buddhas We Are, By Daisaku Ikeda

"Our single-minded determination for kosen-rufu, 
and that alone, 
creates  the "time'" That time" 
is when we set our lives in motion, 
when we stand up of our own volition 
and by our own will and strength. 
"That time" 
is when we summon forth strong faith 
and take our place on the grand stage of kosen-rufu.

Goethe writes, 
"The moment alone is decisive; 
Fixes the life of man, 
and his future destiny settles."
"That time" is the moment you resolve 
from the depths of your heart, 
"Now I will stand up and fight." 
From that instant, 
your destiny changes. 
Your life develops. 
History begins. 
This is the spirit of the mystic principle of true cause. 
That is the principle 
of three thousand realms in a single moment of life. 
The moment 
you autonomously determine to accomplish something - 
not when you do it because you are told to - 
is "that time," the time of mission. "

Daisaku Ikeda, from The Heart of the Lotus Sutra, page 28

Friday, April 17, 2015

PowerPrayer for Taking Action at the Crucial Moment!

(Look! There's a translate button to the right! Translate to any language...
And you can sign up in the box to the right to receive these posts directly to your email.)

Nichiren, SGI Buddhism is Buddhism of ACTION! It is not practiced high on a mountaintop while avoiding everyday struggles. We are not monks. We have no monks or priests in this practice. We practice amidst the struggles and strains of life and show actual proof that chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo works! We chant for what we want. 

And from time to time, life presents us with what we call "The Crucial Moment" where we know that the only way out is the way in. We need to dig deeper into the source of our power than ever before. We need to reach a deeper level of revealing our own Buddhahood and our own power.  Right now I am facing one of my own.

Yesterday I had a morning of taking massive action. 

Here are 5 Keys for taking Massive action:

1. Get mad - get riled up. Realize you deserve something better than you are getting. And take a stand for better! Get a fierce determination in your heart. 

2. Plan your morning of victory. Set aside everything so you can chant and take action. 

3. Go to bed early the night before. 

4. Take care of your body. I drink water, eat well, avoid alcohol, move my body and take vitamins on a regular basis. 

5. Wake up refreshed and early. Get your tea/coffee/water and something to write with. 

6. Sit down in front of the Gohonzon to chant and roar like the lion you are! Decide how long you are going to chant. Put away your cell phone and chant! 

You may want to use some of this PowerPrayer in mind:

PowerPrayer for Taking Massive Action at the Crucial Moment
by Jamie lee Silver of


Now is the time for action. 
Right now, with this daimoku
I am digging deeper than ever into my life
I am accessing the root of this suffering and rooting it out of my life forever 
This problem will be solved by drawing forth the power that is mine...the power of the universe through my own life. 
Some kind of way! This Has to happen:

Today I will take the exact actions 
that will help me solve this problem. 
I will reach the right people at the right time. 
They will lead me to the right solution. 
Today my powers of communication are outstanding!
I express myself 
my truth
my love 
my soul 
in the most productive, 
effective way for the right outcome. 
Show me how to end 
the fundamental suffering in my life. 
Show me how to chant, what to do, how to think, 
act, speak to release me from this suffering. 
Raise my life condition to Buddhahood right now!
Let me spread love and light 
and hope 
and cheerfulness 
and laughter everywhere 
no matter what my circumstances. 
Let me know the correct action to take -- 
and I will take it!

Then stop chanting and start taking action. 
Keep notes of your progress. Record names and numbers of whom you've contacted. Stay clear and focused on your next actions. And don't give up!  

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

"At That Time" Our Determination Changes Everything!

Deciding to "Stand Up and Fight" Changes Everything!

The beginning of the "Expedient Means" chapter of the Lotus Sutra, which we recite during morning and evening Gongyo begins with the phrase "At that time the World Honored One calmly arose from his samadhi and addressed Shariputra"

In "The Heart of the Lotus Sutra" Daisaku Ikeda states: 

"In terms of our practice, therefore, I would like to stress that "that time" exists only when we pray to the Gohonzon and manifest determination and awareness of our mission for kosen-rufu. (World peace through our own human revolution - using our problems to FUEL our happiness and light the way of inspiration for all by showing the impossible is possible through our lives, notes mine, js) 

We have to make a determination, 
pray and take action. 
Unless we do so, 
our environment will not change in the least, 
though five or ten years may pass, 
that time" will never arrive.

Our single minded determination for kosen rufu, 
(a world of respect for all beings ~ JS) 
and that alone, 
creates the "time." 
"That time" is 
when we set our lives in motion, 
when we stand up 
of our own volition and by our own will and strength. "That time
is when we summon forth strong faith 
and take our place on the grand stage of kosen-rufu.

Goethe writes, 
"The moment alone is decisive; 
Fixes the life of man, 
and his further destiny settles." 
"That time" is the moment you resolve 
from the depths of your heart: 
"Now I will stand up and fight!" 
From that moment, 
your destiny changes. 
Your life develops. 
History begins. "

(note from Jamie: When I sit in front of my Gohonzon, and look into the mirror of my life... I chant in appreciation for my problems and VOW to show actual proof to others that the impossible is possible, and that each one of my problems leads us closer to a world of happiness for all...because one more woman stood up and said "NO WAY!" "I will WIN!" I picture the outcome already secure and chant in happiness.) 

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Do You Have A Dream? Great Quote by Daisaku Ikeda

….Sensei Says - Do You Have A Dream….

“Many of us have some problems 
that we avoid chanting about, 
because we are afraid to look at them directly 
and prefer not to think about them. 
Others may have dreams locked up in their hearts 
that they are afraid to admit even to themselves let alone chant for, because they feel they do not deserve to be happy, 
or because they are afraid of being disappointed 
should they not succeed in attaining their goal.
Nichiren Daishonin teaches us 
that the power of the Gohonzon has no limit. 
It is we who impose limits on it with our doubts and fears. 
How tragic it would be if, 
having encountered the Mystic Law, 
we could not fully enjoy its benefit 
because we lacked the courage to pray with all our hearts 
for what we truly wanted.
Surely nothing would be more bitter 
than to have to look back over one's life and feel, 
'I never accomplished what I really wanted to.'
Nichiren Daishonin, out of his compassion, 
teaches us how to live so that we will have no regrets. 
Since we have been fortunate enough to meet the Gohonzon, 
why don't we place our full trust in it, 
pray courageously for what we desire 
and fulfill all our dreams in this lifetime.”
Daisaku Ikeda

I love that phrase: 
Pray with all our hearts! Pray with ALL our hearts! I still get emails almost every day from people who don't know if they can pray for what they really want. Please do! You will either get what you are praying for - or something even better. Our desires lead us to our Human Revolution and to Kosen Rufu - a world of respect for all life through our own transformation. Let's pray for what we want. Praying for what we want strengthens our prayers. Let's not doubt our own hearts. 

Monday, April 13, 2015

4 Great Quotes by to Fuel Your Day by Daisaku Ikeda

We practice Nichiren Daishonin's Buddhism...chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo (meaning: I fuse my life with the mystic law of cause and effect through sound vibration) every morning and evening and growing our lives, our happiness, our fulfillment by tapping into our greatest powerful selves! Here are some quotes from Daisaku Ikeda, the third president of the Soka Gakkai: 

1. EVERYTHING is contained in the single word, faith. 
It encompasses 
and good fortune. 
It includes compassion and humanity 
as well as peace, culture and happiness. 
Faith is eternal hope; 
it is the secret to limitless self-development. 
Faith is the most basic principle for growth.
2. THIS is the age of self-indulgence. 

Therefore, those who lack a clear direction in life inadvertently drift towards merrymaking 
and pleasure-seeking. 
The organization of kosen-rufu and SGI activities 
direct one towards self-improvement 
and towards realizing true fulfillment in life. 
No action taken based on faith is wasted. 
In every respect, 
such actions will come to take on the greatest significance.
3. OPTIMISTS are raised by good mothers. 

It is important for mothers to be optimistic 
and not brood over their troubles. 
Such cheerfulness, 
while not only being beneficial for the mother herself, 
will also become a source of strength for the children throughout their lives. 
If a mother is full of vitality, 
then her children will be also. 
Thus, she will enable the whole family 
and those around them to feel at ease 
to go about their activities full of hope.
4. THERE are innumerable types of suffering. 

What we should realize 
is that the times when we suffer severely 
are also when we challenge and change our karma, 
and unlock the door to great good fortune. 
True happiness means 
to establish a condition in which we can gladly face 
even the greatest suffering and overcome it.

This last quote speaks volumes to many of us. I am here in Ohio, and Ben's interview was moved to today. Yesterday my life-condition dipped and I felt angry and emotional. That's how we know our life condition is low - when everything makes us mad! I chanted last night and today I awakened very early, moved my body, and now I sit down to chant. There is no such thing as no hope! 
I am chanting for all of you, and that each one of you reads something here in these many blogposts that strengthens and fortifies your mind of faith so you can USE that muscle of faith and make whatever you want happen! 

Friday, April 10, 2015

12 Ways Nichiren (SGI) Buddhism is Different ~ Please share

Why do we chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, and what makes this practice different than any other form of Buddhism? 

Click on the SGI Portal to the right to find out more about our organization. 

You have happened upon a practice that is very unique indeed. Some of the ways this practice is different include these points:

1. You do not have to convert to Buddhism to chant. Anyone can chant. It's like meditation or's a practice. 

2. The goal of this practice is RESULTS, also called actual proof, or benefits. In other words - you get what you chant for- or something better - as long as you do not give up. 

3. In this practice, each person is a Buddha and possesses the entire power of the universe within their own lives. This is the awakening that the original Buddha experienced under the Bodhi tree. 
We all possess the potential for bringing forth our own Buddhahood (happiness and strength) through chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, right now, in this lifetime  ~ without having to focus on making other changes in our lives. 

4. We have a Living Mentor ~ 
Daisaku Ikeda is the President of the Soka Gakkai International. I write about him often. Several of the posts last week were on the mentor and disciple relationship. Daisaku Ikeda is an extraordinary human being that we connect  with through his writings, his speeches, his actions and through our own hearts. 

5.There are no lifestyle, diets, rules of behavior or “paths” to memorize or carefully trod. There is the keen awareness that life operates under the strict law of cause and effect, and at each moment WE are creating our lives, but most of us knew that already! 

6. Desire is not the enemy. Your desires lead you to chant...when you chant you change your karma. Each person chants for their desires from their heart. Alleviation of desire is not the goal of this practice. Neither is mindlessness. We focus when we chant.  

7. There are no clergy, no robes and no temples. YOU have direct access to the power of the universe, your own Buddha power within. No intermediaries are needed. We SGI members practice together because we grow and learn together. There are SGI (Soka Gakkai - Value Creating Organization) community centers, and many smaller meetings are held in people’s homes. We are all normal people in the world living extraordinarily happy lives.  

8. We are changing our karma every time we chant. We can change our karma. Karma is not immutable. Suffering is not "Noble", but it is part of life. The goal of chanting is HAPPINESS, not to learn to be better sufferers. 

9. We do not chant “to” anything outside of us. There is no Higher Power in this practice. When we are chanting we access our own wisdom and power as a the Buddha, or awakened one. We are chanting to our own lives. 

10. The main practice is reciting the words Nam-myoho-renge-kyo over and over and over. Everyone on earth recites the same phrase. It means: "I fuse my life with the mystic (unfathomable) law of cause and effect through sound vibration"

11. The SGI does not discriminate for any reason. All people...ALL people have the right to access the Mystic Law within their own lives. 

12. There is no guilt, there is only the awareness of the law of cause and effect. 

And it's easy to start chanting. You can start with only 5 minutes in the morning and 5 in the evening, and see results. If you click on the SGI Portal link to the right you can find members in your area.