Tuesday, July 7, 2015

PowerPrayer for Turning Grief into Determination

Ben and Aaron

You know, the main thing is always the same: 
do not be discouraged and do not give up. 

I have been thinking of you constantly and chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo (I fuse my life with the mystic law of cause and effect through sound vibration - this one phrase is the basis of Nichiren Buddhist practice) that not one of you gets discouraged because our beloved Ben died. Believe me, I am cycling with every emotion...from appreciation to sadness to anger to wonderment. 

But not for a moment am I discouraged. No. I am more 
en-couraged than ever. I feel the power in my Daimoku so strongly. I am chanting to encourage all of you through my words and actions. 

The past few days I have been busy designing two ceremonies...one Buddhist ceremony and another Life Celebration. I would love for you to share your ceremony ideas with me at chantforhappiness.com. 

Ben's Life Celebration that will be incredible. His Life IS an inspiration.
I think the entire town of Downers Grove, Illinois will turn out. We will be standing room only. 

For the past few days I have had a steady stream of visitors through my doors...all telling stories of Ben's incredible drive and inspiration. He was the kind of runner who pushed other runners to be their best and was respected by all. Part of his Life Celebration will be giving people the time to take the mic and tell their stories about Ben. I am really looking forward to that with all my heart. 

Tonight as I was chanting I was writing a PowerPrayer for You. PowerPrayers are meant to be read before chanting, and their determinations can enforce the power of our connection while we are chanting.

Here it is:

PowerPrayer for Turning Grief Into Determination
By Jamie Lee Silver of ChantforHappiness.com

Now is the crucial moment of my faith
Now I must muster up more faith than ever before!
I MUST see the value in this death somehow. 
Through my beloved one's death I am determined to understand the eternity of life and death with my life...not just my intellect. 

I know within the depths of my heart that this, 
even THIS, 
is the answer to my prayers. 
And part of my true mission in life. 

I am determined to create value at every moment...for me...for my family...for my friends...and for every person who has ever lost a loved one. 

I am STILL the fierce lioness for my loved one
I am Still fighting for the happiness of his/her eternal life. 

With every Daimoku I am changing his karma and renewing my vow for kosen rufu (world peace through individual transformation). 

From this moment on I am transforming his karma, and mine! 

In my love one's next life time he/she will be free to soar! 
He/she will be able to FULLY EXPRESS every talent.

My loved one will come back into this world, 
or the world of their choosing, 
hearing Nam-myoho-renge-kyo!
My loved one will have a house filled with Daimoku, laughter, and happy Buddhas. 

My loved one will have a clear, healthy mind, a strong healthy body, and a steady, strong determined spirit. 
All my loved one's greatest strengths will remain!
While the prior struggles are erased by my Daimoku.

My loved on will live a life with no regrets...in the sun...in the warmth...in a happy environment. 

My loved one will know peace, absolute happiness and fulfillment.  

My loved one's life, and death makes a difference. 
May my loved one's struggles and triumphs inspire the world! 

If you wish to contact me please email me at Chantforhappiness.com or write to Jamie Lee Silver at 17w702 Butterfield #104, Oakbrook Terrace, Illinois, USA, 60181

Sunday, July 5, 2015

To My Dear Friends ~ About My Ben

Benjamin Lee Silver

My dear, dear friends~ 
Ben is on the next journey of his eternal life. 

My appreciation to you all is boundless...unending...without words. 

Your daimoku has helped to free him from his torment, and even though he is not here in physical form anymore he will live on. 

My dear friend Kate told me the Gosho says we can't change another person's karma while they are alive, but once they have transitioned we can~ 
Our daimoku for him right now will change his karma...will free him from his constraints in this life, and launch him into his next one with renewed vigor, energy, creativity and happiness. 
I'm chanting for Ben to revitalize, to be reborn into a home with a Gohonzon, and to pick up right where he left off with his poetry, his songwriting, his artistry, his strength of character, his amazing athleticism, and his perfect comic timing. And in his next life he won't be thwarted by the fundamental darkness he confronted in this one. He will be free from mental illness, and able to take his life in any direction he chooses.  

I know in my heart that he feels better, freer, no longer in such deep, deep pain.
And I will continue, with every breath of my life, to use my life as an inspiration to everyone that this practice works, and that we call can turn any poison into medicine. 

I know that we all wanted this story to end differently. We wanted Ben to get better. But after almost three years of struggle and pain...Ben made his own choice. 

Please, please do not be discouraged. His life may be over on earth right now, but his story goes on and his legacy is growing and growing. There is more, much more to come. 

It is my determination, my deep determination, for Ben's life to encourage and inspire...and I will turn poison into medicine. 

Right now I am surrounding myself with love. The doors of my apartment are open and there has been a steady stream of wonderful and dear friends and family in my living room and on my patio. We've laughed, we've cried and we've hugged. 

We are planning his life celebration for Sunday, July 12th at the American Legion Hall in Downers Grove, Illinois. USA.We will do morning Gongyo at 10 and have an inspiring meeting. At 1:00 we will have a life celebration with people sharing stories about our boy. All of you are welcome to come to Chicago and be with us. 

My heart is so full of love for you. 
If you wish to communicate with me please email chantforhappiness.com or through mail to Jamie Lee Silver at 17w702 Butterfield #104, Oakbrook Terrace, IL 60181

Thursday, July 2, 2015

A Great Question for Today~

Meg, Aaron and Me right after my speech on Tuesday

The speech on Tuesday (Called Goddesses are Ageless) 
was absolutely a blast! There is almost nothing I like better in the world than standing in front of a group of people, connecting with them heart-to-heart while telling them new research and ideas that can help them change their lives. I paved the way for this by chanting for every single person to leave this speech permanently inspired and uplifted.

And it was extra special because my son Aaron and his wonderful girlfriend Meg came. They just finished their third year of medical school (Loyola, Stritch School of Medicine) Meg's family owns the Groom Wineries. At the end of every speech, I give away a bottle of Colby Red wine. Colby Red is named after Meg's brother Colby who had several heart surgeries at a young age. Every penny from the sale of this great red wine goes to heart research. They've raised almost a million dollars through the sales of Colby Red ($9.99-12.99) at every Walgreens in the states. Isn't that cool? 

Here's more great information from my speech: 

Did you know "aging" is greatly related to non-movement? The latest research says we should move for 10 minutes for every hour we sit. Can you imagine if we actually did that? I'm so fortunate that I spend a lot of my day moving from place to place and meeting new people. And now, whenever I do sit for a task I move my body every hour for ten minutes. Christiane Northrup M.D also introduced me to HIT, High Intensity Training - it's so cool. For 20 seconds, you dance all out and move with joy. Rest for ten seconds, dance for 20...I do this as long as I want. Some people set goals of multiple repetition, but I just stop when I am done. It's fun! I feel better! Give it a shot. 

You know, I used to hear the phrase all the time "Everything is Buddhism," ~ meaining life at every moment is an expression of our Buddha nature. How can we love ourselves more each day? How can we be better to ourselves? How can we advance in energy, vitality, and happiness each day?

There's a new term I also learned and introduced called "Functional Fitness." It's defined as "Being able to do anything you want each day - plus one emergency." And I experienced this the other day when we went to the Ravinia concert. We had to walk up-hill carrying tons of things (chairs, cooler, tables, blankets) for several blocks each way - unexpectedly. The main parking lot was closed. I was so appreciative to my body for being able to do this without injury or complaint! I know I chant better when my body is hydrated and healthy!

How can we just become happier and healthier every day? Little changes! Moving along! 

Question for today:

How can you be kinder to yourself today than you were yesterday? 

Let's watch our own thoughts and be nicer to ourselves every single day!


Wednesday, July 1, 2015

"Hope Is Life's Magic Wand" by Daisaku Ikeda

When we possess the treasure of hope, 
it gives rise to other treasures, too. 
Hope draws forth our inner potential and strength. 
Hope is a magic weapon 
that enables us to make our dreams come true.

“Hope,” Beethoven cried, 
“you forge the heart into steel.” 
Hope is confidence. 
Hope is determination. 
Hope is courage. 
And faith is the ultimate expression of hope. 
Belief fortifies the heart.

Hope transforms pessimism into optimism. 
Hope is invincible. 
Hope changes everything. 
It changes winter into summer, 
darkness into dawn, 
descent into ascent, 
barrenness into creativity, 
agony into joy.
Hope is the sun. 
It is light. 
It is passion. 
It is the fundamental force for life’s blossoming.

No matter what kind of difficult situation 
one may find oneself in, 
some opening, some opportunity to fight one’s way out, 
can always be found. 
What’s most important is to hold fast to hope, 
to face the future with courage.
No matter how hopeless or bleak things appear, 
the moment always comes 
when suddenly our spirit revives, and hope is reborn. 
That is why we must never give up.

By Daisaku Ikeda, from Ikedaquotes.org. 

Today I write this for you and for me. 
Yesterday my speech was fantastic. Everyone was uplifted. I will write more of the content for you soon. 
And I visited my son in the hospital. 
I can't give up hope no matter what. I, like you, and a precious votary of the Lotus Sutra! None of us can give up home! 

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

We are ALL Changing the Face of Aging!

Today I'm giving my speech "Goddesses Never Age" based on Christiane Northrup MD's book of the same name, and my own research. 

It is all about how our thoughts WORDS and deeds determine how we "move through time" (Not AGE!) 

She says what we consider "aging" is actually the effect of the lack of resistance to gravity. In other words, we can NOT decline as we advance through time  -  if we continue to move our bodies, expand our minds, redefine our language, and keep our social structures strong by having positive tribes of friends around us. 

This applies to men as well as women! 

We need to redefine aging...and stop thinking we are declining. Doesn't this accord perfectly with the wisdom of Buddhism. Hon-nim-myo! From this moment forth life begins! We must reprogram ourselves to thrive and advance joyfully through time! 

We need to look forward to our lives and have the same outlook centenarians (who are growing at the rate of 70,000 a year in the states) have - they are future oriented, they are rebels, and they stand up for themselves! They savor life. Theres a new department of "savoring" at Loyola University in Chicago. I'm going to look into that! 

Science is backing up the idea that finding pleasure and joy in life can actually override our genes. (And they've already found that how we age is only 25% genes and 75% lifestyle.) And we can even override that 25% based on the findings of the new study of Epigenetics. There is so much to learn and report! 

Check this out! 
There's a woman named Barbara Beskind, who, at the age of 93, wrote an introductory letter to the Silicon Valley company IDEO (which designs products for older adults.) She told them "I have never stopped learning. I have been an inventor my whole life, and now I have more wisdom than ever, and I AM your target market. You should hire me." 
And they DID. At 93! She has low vision and takes the train and a bus from her retirement community. She loves her job and her colleagues love her!

We must always have something to look forward to. Life is getting better - not declining. It's up to us! 

Christiane suggests we should not tell our age. And, if asked, we can either say "My biological age is 35 and getting younger, and my wisdom age is about 300!" or say "I'm in my ageless years." Aren't both of those responses wonderful! 

And as always, I prepare for this speech as I do for every Buddhist meeting I have ever held or attended...I chant for every single person to be forever changed in a positive way...for EACH person to leave permanently refreshed, exuberant and enlivened...with new tools to enhance their outlooks! Yes! 

I could go on and on,  but I have a speech to give! More later! Have a great day! 

Monday, June 29, 2015

12 Quotes on Strength by Daisaku Ikeda

The struggle of life is, and always will be, a struggle against your own weaknesses. Will you become cowardly and think, "I can't do this. I'm certain to fail"? Or will you challenge the difficulties that lie ahead with the conviction, "I am strong. And I can become stronger still"? Your destiny in life will vary greatly depending on the spirit that you maintain.

Resolving to take action is proof that you are progressing. Even if you have the tendency to make a determination but only stick to it for two or three days, just keep renewing that determination. Then you will become the kind of person who can persevere and reach their goals.

One cannot become a starring player in life if one is easily swayed by one’s emotions over every little thing. Strength of character lies in performing the drama of life with courage and confidence, practicing self-reflection and self-control under any circumstances.

When we decide to live each instant fully, with all our might, to live true to ourselves and make the present moment shine, we discover and bring forth immense and unimagined strength.

In life when we feel we have reached a limit, that is when the true battle begins. Just when you despair and think it is impossible to go any further, will you become apathetic, or will you say it’s not over and stand up with an unyielding spirit? The battle is decided by this single determination.

Whether we regard difficulties in life as misfortunes or whether we view them as good fortune depends entirely on how much we have forged our inner determination. It all depends on our attitude or inner state of life. With a dauntless spirit, we can lead a cheerful and thoroughly enjoyable life. We can develop a “self” of such fortitude that we are able to look forward to life’s trials and tribulations with a sense of joy.

Just being good-natured is not enough. If you are good-natured but fail to stand up to injustice, you cannot protect anyone. Instead, you will tend to be taken lightly, enabling those who perpetrate injustice to only grow stronger.

Every hardship is an opportunity to strengthen ourselves, to temper our life and make it shine with greater luster.

Even if things don’t unfold the way you expected, don’t be disheartened or give up. One who continues to advance will win in the end.

Truly strong people are not arrogant. Cowardice on the other hand causes arrogance. Cowards hide behind their own power and authority.