Kate Randolph introduced me to chanting 32 years ago, and has been my dear friend ever since. Many of you know her from the experiences I've posted, and the guidance from her I've passed along.
Well, last weekend we were at FNCC together and she was having some symptoms that were troubling. When she returned to LA she found out she has a mass in her brain, and is having surgery tomorrow at 4:00 pm Pacific Standard time to remove it. She's at Kaiser in Los Angeles.
Kate has always felt a connection to you throughout the years. Occasionally she has helped me answer your emails. She is incredibly sincere. Next year is her 40th anniversary of chanting.
Please join me in chanting for Kate tomorrow and throughout the week. I'm chanting for her total and complete protection...for all the protective forces of the universe to surround her...for the surgeon to be having a really great day and for complete success in removing the mass.
Read on for 12 quotes on overcoming illness:
From President Ikeda's Lecture series "The Hope-filled Teachings of Nichiren Daishonin: On Prolonging One's Life Span - Faith for Leading a Long and healthy Life" in the July-August 08 Living Buddhism. (Thank you to my friend Melissa Bradford for compiling these great quotes!)
1. “Suffering from illness is a means by which you can eradicate your negative karma.”
President Toda, as quoted by President Ikeda. - pg 70
2. “To see illness as an opportunity to transform our karma – this strong spirit and resolve can break through all obstacles and devilish functions and open wide the path to happiness. Like a rocket blasting out of the earth’s atmosphere, the passionate conviction of faith that comes from viewing illness as an opportunity to transform our karma can become a powerful engine propelling us forward not only in this existence but throughout eternity, enabling us to freely savor everlasting happiness.” Pg 74
3. “Becoming ill in itself is certainly not a sign of defeat. Even the Buddha, who is said to have ‘few ills and few worries’ (LS, 214), struggles with sickness from time to time. Accordingly, there will be times when we are confronted with illness. The important point above all is not to be defeated mentally or emotionally by the prospect of being ill. Faith is the source of the fighting spirit to stand up to illness. Therefore, as we noted earlier, Nichiren Daishonin first of all talks about the ‘treasure of faith’. Pg 77
4. “As Nichiren says, ‘Illness gives rise to the resolve to attain the way’ (The Good Medicine for All Ills, WND-1, 937). If a practitioner who upholds faith in the Mystic Law becomes ill, it definitely has some profound meaning. It could be said that confronting illness is one route to awakening to the eternity of life. President Toda often said, ‘A person who has overcome a major illness knows how to deeply savor life.’” Pg78
5. From Matilda Buck’s guidance, World Tribune 4/27/01 pg 10 “When We Face Disappointment” – regarding SGI leaders who overcame cancer and chanted this way:
Through this experience, I will become someone who does not doubt the Gohonzon (my life), no matter what happens.
As a Bodhisattva of the Earth, I have the mission to experience this, and as a Bodhisattva of the Earth, I have the mission to create a victory.
I will share the power of Buddhism with others, even as I grapple with this experience.
I won’t let my spirits stay down. I won’t make a place in my life for negativity to settle.
6.From The Wisdom of the Lotus Sutra Volume 6: “Praying with doubt is like trying to keep water in a bathtub with the plug pulled. Our good fortune and benefit will drain away. A passage from the ‘Perceiver of the World’s Sounds’ chapter reads, ‘from thought to thought never entertaining doubt!’ A confident prayer will reverberate powerfully throughout the entire universe.” Pg 88
From Buddhism Day by Day:
7. “Buddhism views illness as an opportunity to attain a higher, nobler state of life. It teaches that, instead of agonizing over a serious disease, or despairing of ever overcoming it, we should use illness as a means to build a strong, compassionate self, which in turn will make it possible for us to be truly victorious.” pg 300
8. “The expansive world lies not in some distant place; it exists right where you are. That is why you need to win where you are right now. Today’s victory is linked to your eternal victory.” Page 314
9, “No matter what the circumstances, you should never concede defeat. Never conclude that you’ve reached a dead end, that everything is finished. You possess a glorious future. And precisely because of that, you must persevere and study. Life is eternal. We need to focus on the two existences of the present and the future and not get caught up in the past. We must always have the spirit to begin anew ‘from this moment,’ to initiate a new struggle each day.” Pg 315
10. “The air around us 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 Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo aligns the rhythm of our own lives with the world of Buddhahood in the universe. It ‘tunes’ our lives, so to speak, so that we can manifest the power of Buddhahood in our very beings.” Pg 314
11. From "For Today and Tomorrow" Daily Encouragement by Daisaku Ikeda: Sept 20 pg. 288:
When your determination changes, everything else will begin to move in the direction you desire. The moment you resolve to be victorious, every nerve and fiber in your being will immediately orient itself toward your success. On the other hand, if you think “This is never going to work out,” then at that instant every cell in your being will be deflated and give up the fight, and then everything really will move in the direction of failure.
12. From "For Today and Tomorrow" Aug 15 pg. 249:
The first thing is to pray. From the moment we begin to pray, things start moving. The darker the night, the closer the dawn. From the moment we chant daimoku with a deep and powerful resolve, the sun begins to rise in our hearts. Hope – prayer is the sun of hope. To chant daimoku each time we face a problem, overcoming it and elevating our life-condition as a result – this is the path of “changing earthly desires into enlightenment,” taught in Nichiren Daishonin’s Buddhism.