When dealing with the extreme challenges of life...those problems that we KNOW are going to make us better people, strengthen our faith and develop our lives, how do we keep going when things get rough?
How do we keep putting one foot in front of the other when it can appear our efforts aren't doing any good?
As you know, I am in the throes of the biggest challenge of my life - finding victory for my son who has an illness that confounds even the most seasoned professionals.
I am the Buddha on the team devoted to healing him and keeping him safe. I chant for his doctors, his counselors and the others who are surrounding him. I bring them information and resources that may help Ben, and they trust and work with me. We respect each other. And my family is all working in harmony as well...fueled by my daimoku and all of our determination.
And sometimes, even though I am a Buddha, even though I chant Daimoku, I feel a moment of defeat. I am human.
Yesterday I felt defeated...like all I'd done was never going to be enough and the situation was hopeless.
So what did I do? I called two of my Buddhist mentors. One encouraged me that giving up was not an option (I knew this in my heart). And the other praised me for doing my best at every moment and helping to reveal what needed to be revealed in the situation. She helped me see the benefit in all I have been doing. She helped me to appreciate the benefit in the moment.
I felt so great after talking to her! THIS is why it is so important to find a mentor in faith whom we can talk to...who can share our struggles and encourage us when the going gets rough.
The Soka Gakkai is FILLED with glorious mentors and warm hearts. We all need to reach out and develop these relationships. Finding and developing mentors is up to US! I have mentors because I have chanted to find people who inspire me. I have chanted to connect with my leaders. You can too.
If you are hiding your heart, please consider that there may be another way. You can chant to connect with mentors who will inspire you...so that you can be a mentor to others and inspire them. That's what it means to be a Buddha. Reach out! Ask for guidance from your local leaders. Chant to really find someone who can share your heart. It is so important.
In the November 21st World Tribune, Nick Wilkinson quoted from the Gosho
A Ship to Cross the Sea of Suffering.
"The currents of hardship
pour into the sea of the Lotus Sutra
and rush against its votary.
The river is not rejected by the ocean;
nor does the votary reject suffering.
Were it not for the flowing rivers,
there would be no sea.
Likewise, without tribulation
there would be no votary of the Lotus Sutra."
(The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, vol. 1, p.3
Here is my offering to you today:
PowerPrayer for Absolute Victory Over Our Biggest Challenge!
by Jamie Lee Silver of Chantforhappiness.com
Even through my tears I will win over this HUGE obstacle!
Even when I feel defeated I know I will rise!
I won't give up
I can't give up!
My daimoku at this very second
infuses my life with wisdom.
I infuse this moment with correct action.
I KNOW what to do!
This is my time!
Defeating this obstacle will clear the path for me!
I am the Buddha
I am the Buddha!
Thank you, LIFE, for this immense challenge!
Thank you for this opportunity to grow!
Thank you for having this challenge in my life:
___________________________________________________and I am appreciating these things as I fight this great battle. I am protected in these areas: