Saturday, July 19, 2014

"I Summoned This Storm!" PowerPrayer to move from Victim to Victor! The most important realization you will ever have.



According to Daisaku Ikeda, we summon the exact set of obstacles we need to springboard our lives to the next level of practice and happiness. 
We will be better off for them!  
We summoned these storms. 
Realizing THIS takes our lives from Victim to Victory! This simple change in perspective brings incredible power to our Daimoku. When we are chanting we can address our lives and roar like the lions (Buddhas!) we are. What follows is a powerprayer I offer you to reclaim your life and move from Victim to Victor. As always, I offer you my writings from my heart, not as an official SGI representative, although I love the organization and encourage everyone to participate - if you are not yet a member please use this link to connect: sgi-usa.org 

PowerPrayer 
For Reclaiming My Own Life 
and Moving 
From Victim to VICTOR 
Read this before you chant 
and hold its spirit in your heart and mind - that's what a PowerPrayer - A Fresh Determination is...
by Jamie Lee Silver from Chantforhappiness.com. Excerpt from the soon to be published book PowerPrayers for Chanting Your Way to Absolute Happiness and Success:

LIFE !! 
I get it! 
I SUMMONED THIS STORM and I can VANQUISH IT! 
I summoned this storm and I will WIN over it !
Shoten Zenjin (protective forces of the universe within all life) 
I now command you to fulfill these prayers!__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
I am a precious Votary of the Lotus Sutra 
and I vow to PROVE the POWER of the MYSTIC LAW 
through my own victories - 
so I can encourage everyone that 
the IMPOSSIBLE IS POSSIBLE!
I will NOW raise my life condition to a level I have never before experienced. 

I see through the eyes of the Buddha, 
I feel with the heart of the Buddha
I AM the Buddha! 
The universe exists within ME! 
I am CLAIMING power over my own life. 
No more complaining for me! 
No More "Woe is me!" 
NO! 
Starting today ~ with this Daimoku ~ 
I bring forth all the wisdom I need
                             to know what I need to do - 
All the courage I need ~ 
                             to take the right action 
All the perfect timing I need ~ 
                             to accomplish what I want
And the People and Resources I need ~ 
                             ALL appear right now! 
I am a powerful being waging a powerful war against the fundamental darkness inherent in all of life and I will WIN. 
Starting today 
I will win in:______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

This PowerPrayer has been inspired by the Gosho Study that permanently changed my life from the August of 2013 Living Buddhism "The Three Obstacles and Four Devils" written in November 1277 to the youngest Ikegami brother, Munenega, after his brother had been disowned by his father for his faith in Nichiren Buddhism. 

President Ikeda's lecture from the August Living Buddhism on this Gosho includes these words: 

"Though we speak of the "three obstacles and four devils" appearing, no one wishes to have to face adversity. 
That is surely a natural human reaction. 
But Nichiren says that 
the appearance of the three obstacles and four devils 
is a source of JOY. 
How could that be? 
It doesn't seem possible. 
But it is, in fact, 
by overcoming the steep hills and inclines of obstacles 
we can forge our lives 
and ascend the summit of Buddhahood, 
where we can savor the sublime vista of 
eternity, happiness, true self and purity."

He goes on to say:

"We need to "own" them (our obstacles) as something we ourselves have summoned up...we are in charge, we are the protagonists...the struggle against the three obstacles and four devils is indeed a great joy."

President Ikeda goes on to say:
"As Nichiren Daishonin writes: "When a tiger roars, gales blow; when a dragon intones, clouds gather" (The Workings of Brahma and Shakra," WND-1, 799) When we adopt this attitude ~ "I summoned this storm!~ our hearts will be filled with the bright sense of hope and purpose." (All quotes from the 2013 August Living Buddhism, pages 21, 22) 

Write me your victories at Chantforhappiness@gmail.com! 

Thursday, July 17, 2014

18 Types of Fortune and 3 Ways we BUILD Fortune in Our Lives


I get many emails asking how to get money  ~ and asking "Is it ok to chant for money? 
As you know, I am an enthusiastic SGI member, and this blog is not an official SGI blog. Here I share my heart of faith with you. 
First I would would like to say to chant for exactly what you want. If you need money chant for money~! You deserve to have what you need. There are many, many examples of people chanting for money and getting it. I chanted for 5K and got it immediately. 

But underlying the need for money there is a deeper and more exciting benefit that we can access within our lives. We can access and build TRUE FORTUNE into our lives. 

What is FORTUNE? How do we build it for ourselves?

First of all, fortune is self made. No matter what our levels of fortune may be before we begin practicing Buddhism, once we begin intoning the name of the Law of Cause and Effect, the Mystic Law itself, Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, our lives begin to move in the direction of fortune. 

With our Daimoku (chanting) we begin "changing from the inside out", the ONLY way to affect true and lasting change. 

And with each passing day of chanting, studying, encouraging others and introducing people to this practice our fortune grows and grows.

Fortune :

Daisaku Ikeda states: "Governments come and go, economies rise and fall, and society changes constantly. Only the good fortune we accumulate during our lives lasts forever. True victors are those who cultivate the tree of Buddhahood in the vast earth of their lives while achieving success both in society and in their personal lives through true faith and a true way of living. (Faith in Action page 110)

Fortune is being in rhythm so that we KNOW what to do, and have the spirit, conviction and courage to make the best possible causes at all times! 

Fortune is being in the right place at the right time. 

Fortune is Happiness and the ability to overcome any suffering and turn poison into medicine.

Fortune is strength and resiliency. 

Fortune is getting a call from an associate about a job opportunity that happens to be perfect for you. 

Fortune is having the courage and wisdom to say what must be said and do what must be done at the crucial moment. 
I had one of these crucial moments yesterday and I trusted myself to take the correct action and I'm really satisfied that I did the right thing... the absolute right action. buddhist wisdom in action. That's fortune. 

Fortune is always having what you need when you need it. 

Fortune is having the time to chant to our heart's content and encourage others, too. 

Fortune is being able to join harmoniously with our fellow SGI members creating a new kind of family for us all. 

Fortune is being born at the same time as Daisaku Ikeda and learning how to engrave the mentor disciple relationship into our lives so that it is a living, powerful source of energy and wisdom in our lives.  

Fortune is the finding solace and peace even when we have lost a loved one. 

Fortune is experiencing the true depth of friendship... knowing how to be a friend, attracting, keeping and appreciating quality people in our lives.  

Fortune is experiencing how to love and be loved in return. 

Fortune is the freedom to live our lives as we want...traveling freely and happily. 

Fortune is health. 

Fortune is the ability to laugh.  

Fortune is the ability to sit in front or our Gohonzons and cary out a meaningful dialogue within our own lives that makes the impossible possible,and brings happiness to ourselves and our families, friends and world.

Fortune is seeing that advertisement for exactly what we need when we need it. A few years ago I kick started my 70 pound weight loss by turning on the TV and seeing a weight loss program being advertised that I ordered and really worked for me. Another time I googled "Agents looking for authors" and found out about a Writer's Digest Conference in New York. A week later I was on a plane to a conference that really forwarded my writing career. 

How do we build fortune for ourselves?

1. First we must build a strong practice 
The more "work" we put into building our practice...the less "work" we have to put into our lives...the less struggling we have to do. We can use all the resources at our disposal to CREATE the discipline to be able to chant twice a day every day and participate in activities. Being a part of the SGI is crucial. Click on the link to the right or send me an email if you need help finding your local organization. Having the wisdom to ask for assistance is crucial. Having a seeking mind to understand how and why the Mystic law can have such a profound effect on our lives is important. Studying our SGI publications is important. We call this having a seeking spirit. Chanting at least an hour a day is the fuel most people need to get the motor of their lives started. Some people prefer two hours or more. (If you don't have this time right now you can chant to have more time to chant!)

Fortune Comes from Having the spirit and the prayer: 

"I will WIN because my life is important. I will use my life as a shining example that this practice works!! My winning will be a real "win/win" because I will inspire others to the greatness of their own lives! I will win for kosen-rufu. I will win over my own negativity. I will absolutely do this!" 

2. Determine and believe we DESERVE what we want fuels our fortune. Every action we take all day long is a cause for our happiness. What do we want? Why do we want it? What can we do to fuel that desire? When I was 70 pounds heavier I wrote all the reasons I wanted to be thin. And I read that list all the time. I still have it. I found pictures of how I wanted to look, and I looked at them frequently. I visualized walking into a store and being able to buy any clothes I wanted! I fueled my determination. I fueled the conviction that losing weight was possible for me because I chant, and all my past failures just didn't count. 
Hon Nim Myo - "from this moment forth". Every time we chant we begin life anew. From this moment forth I will win. From this moment forth is EVERY MOMENT. We have the power to change. NOW. We chant the MYSTIC LAW underlying all of life. Wow. We are filled with fortune!

3. Chant for what we want, and Chant for STRENGTH of practice and strength of mind and heart! If we want money, we chant for money. If we want to NEVER WORRY ABOUT MONEY AGAIN - we chant with this in mind. If we want a job we chant for it. The world is OURS. We chant for exactly what we want!

What does fortune mean for you? Write me at chantforhappiness@gmail.com with your experiences and comments! 

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

3 Ways to Bring More Joy Into Our Lives



Yes! We can all Have SUCH JOY!

"Everything becomes a source of value, 
everything is brought to life, 
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. "

From Faith Into Action p.118 by Daisaku Ikeda

To build a life of happiness, strength and vigor we start with consistent practice...faith, practice and study.

I know, I know. I am constantly telling you that chanting twice a day - every day, studying, going to SGI meetings, encouraging others, and introducing people to chanting are the keystones of a powerful practice. I tell you these things because they are true. Please don't take my word for it. Please see for yourself. It cannot be described. It has to be experienced! And along with a solid practice, here are some other proven ways to build your happiness:

Three Ways 
to Bring More Joy Into Our Lives

1. Smile! 
Spreading joy will bring more joy into your life. 
WE create our joy...our environment doesn't do it for us. We can find joy anywhere...in noticing the beauty of the sky, in a flower, in a smile. The scientific research I am reporting in my speeches prove that EMOTIONS are contagious. We can spread our smiles and make a cause for everyone's happiness. Our smiles literally light up the happiness emotion in another person's brain - whether they smile back at us or not! 

2. Improve Your Word Choices
Our words both express and determine how we feel. Why feel overwhelmed when you can choose to feel "In demand" instead. Why be "stressed" when you could be "blessed"? Our words are so much more powerful than we think!  

3. Exercise and Listen to Music
In my research I've also learned that science has proven that exercise releases "feel good" hormones in our bodies. And so does listening to music we love. It lowers our blood pressure and calms stress. Stress is what leads to inflammation and inflammation leads to all kinds of diseases.  Now, I'm not a doctor, but I can tell you exercise will make you happier. But only if you do it!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Great Victory for My Sons


Aaron and Meg

Aaron and Meg (his wonderful girl friend) just completed their second year of Medical School here in Chicago at the Stritch Loyola School of Medicine and just took the most important test of their lives - their medical boards. 

This test determined their options for residency - the higher the score - the more options open to them in terms of types of medical practice they can do. 

Several years ago I shared Aaron's experience of getting into medical school...how he chanted every day for months and months to get into the right medical school for his life. 

All I can say is Stritch is a very special place, and he has had one wonderful experience after another ~ including meeting the incredible Meg, who came from California (where Aaron was born) to go to school here.

This year Aaron challenged the Boards test with all his might. He upped his level of Daimoku and made sure to chant every day. Several times we chanted an hour together. And he and Meg NAILED this test! ANY realm of medicine is open to them. Even the more competitive areas. They will spend the next year exploring what it's actually like to practice as they practice and work with various types of doctors. 

And my son Ben is doing well too! He is enjoying his life. The other day I called him and he was at Great America Amusement Park and had just gone on the Big Drop three times and was full of excitement and enthusiasm. Nothing could make me happier. Thank you to all of you who chanted for Ben during this difficult year. Thank you with all my heart! 

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Inspiration Comes in While Chanting

Why do I chant an hour a day?  
Why would anyone do this? 

I like life to be easy...free...and to flow. 

I like going into the new week with a feeling of assurance and an absence of fear. I call it "walking on a pillow of Daimoku" and I have a certain level I need to chant to feel that way. Maybe everyone is different. I can't speak for other people...I can only report my own observations and results. 

This week is packed with speaking engagements, and I really want to make a difference in the lives I will be touching. As you may know, I work in the field of senior living. I believe that here in America we need to change the way we think about aging, and the words that we use to express this experience. Even the word "aging" is becoming unpopular...so what do we call it? I am doing my own personal survey. Do you have some ideas for me? I am fascinated by the way the baby boomers are changing the experience of growing older. I am continually inspired by stories of people achieving great things late in life, and seeing them glow with a youthful burning spirit. 

One community here in the Chicago area has redefined retirement as rePRIORment. I love this. I know many who will not retire, but will reprioritize their lives and continue moving forward. How will each of us change as we enter our later years. What new words will WE use to describe our experiences? 

When I look at our own mentor I am so inspired. In the June 2014 World Tribune President Ikeda writes that he has made it to the year 1978 in the writing of his memoir...his chronicle of kosen-rufu in action, and the growth of our movement. He is writing every day and not stopping for a minute in his work for kosen rufu. He's in his mid eighties.
And he'll never re"tire"!

Right after I wrote the above passage I chanted the about an hour and a half and new ideas for my speech came pouring into my head. I love this practice! 

Have a great day! 


Friday, July 11, 2014

What Does Nam-myoho-renge-kyo Mean and Why do We Chant it?



What does Nam-myoho-renge-kyo mean, 
and why do we chant it? 

The literal translation is 
"I fuse my life 
with the mystic law of cause and effect 
through sound vibration." 

It is the title of the Lotus Sutra, the Buddha's highest teaching that declares that ALL people possess the Buddha Nature...all people ARE Buddhas...and we can access this nature by calling it forth in our lives using this phrase. 

I like to think of it as "I am one with the rhythm of all life." It is the rhythm that exists within all of life...the reason for the turning of the tides...the reason for the seasons...the atoms that exist within every single cell...from an elephant to a spec of dust. Everything possesses this connectedness...this rhythm.  It is all encompassing and contains the wisdom and energy of all of life itself...the whole universe. 

And when we chant we tap into that energy and access it for our lives...directed towards our desires. In this practice it's okay to have desires. We don't have to alleviate them. Desires make us who we are and cause us to chant. 

When we chant we harness the energy that is our birthright. And we chant twice a day, every single day, to get and keep our lives in rhythm. 

When we are in rhythm we are in the right place at the right time... to find out about the job...or to meet the man of our dreams...or to protect our child from danger. When we are in rhythm life isn't so much of a struggle as it is a joy...we see the beauty in everything and we feel our lives overflowing with appreciation. We chant for something and get it or something better. We get access to emotions and a level of internal happiness and strength that cannot be blown away by any event or obstacles. In fact we view obstacles themselves as benefits, as strange as that may sound....because obstacles make us chant more, and when we chant more we draw even higher life conditions and deeper satisfaction into our lives. 

What can we chant FOR? Anything. That's right, anything. We can chant for whatever our desire may be...even if it might not be the "right" desire for us. In the act of chanting we will change our karma and our desires themselves will naturally begin to shift. We will open our lives to the deeper wisdom within...the deeper yearning, the REAL desires that we have forgotten or given up on. We will grow. We will prosper and we will blossom. 

The challenge is...we have to DO it. We have to chant to bring all this rhythm and harmony about. And that's why we practice together as an organization, the SGI, The Soka Gakkai, our fellowship of friends who support each other, chant for each other, and create a new Soka family for each practitioner. We are so fortunate. 

I hear from people all over the world, and some have strong SGI groups in their towns and others are completely alone. I love that we can connect through the power of the internet. From the moment I began chanting almost 30 years ago I have had the deep desire to share this practice, this practice that WORKS, with everyone who is looking for the real, practical means of creating happiness and results in their lives. 

We are in this life together...sharing our challenges and our successes. If you are not yet connected to the SGI please go to sgi-usa.com and find your local members. You will be so glad you did. 

Some Powerful Quotes from Daisaku Ikeda:

THIS moment, this instant, is important, not some unknown time in the
future. Today, this very day is what matters. You must put your whole
being into the time that exists now. For future victory rests in the
present moment.


BUDDHISM holds that everything is in a constant state of flux. Thus,
the question is whether we are to accept change passively and be swept
away by it, or whether we are to take the lead and create positive
changes on our own initiative. While conservatism and self-protection
might be likened to winter, night and death, the spirit of pioneering
and attempting to realise the ideals evokes the images of spring,
morning and birth.


DO gongyo and chant daimoku with a fresh spirit. And, filled with
renewed vitality, build a history of accumulating fresh benefit.


Write me at chantforhappiness@gmail.com. I am currently collecting stories from chantforhappiness.com readers who have been inspired by this blog to connect or reconnect to the SGI, or who have achieved victories and/or been inspired by these writings. You are all my awesome friends! We are all connected to each other. 

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Perseverance = Strength = Happiness


This morning I sat down and said: 

"I am not leaving this spot until I have chanted more than an hour of Daimoku no matter what!" 

And I did it. I kept getting insights into what I wanted to share with you. I almost reached for my computer so many times, but I just forced myself to sit still, almost absolutely still, and keep chanting no matter what thoughts came into my mind of what else I could be doing. 

In a way, whenever we chant, we are just like the Buddha under the Bodhi tree, assailed by thoughts of why we must stop this right now and get on with our lives.
And our victory while chanting  - our perseverance - turns into our victory in life.

I just got back from a trip to the lovely town of Ojai in California and am getting back into my life here. 

You know how it is...unpacking...refocusing on "real life", and also, in my case, getting acclimated to the idea that I am going to have to have this surgery to repair a hole in my abdominal muscle by putting a patch on it - and as much as I am trying to muster the courageous spirit - yesterday, after meeting with the surgeon and setting the date, I was a little emotional. I hate pain. I am afraid of surgery, but they say it could get worse and I really have to do it. 

So last night I was feeling all these dark thoughts and I knew what was really wrong...since getting back, and in the last few days of my trip, I got thrown off my chanting rhythm. I didn't chant my full hour of Daimoku every morning, and the chanting I did do wasn't very deep. My life condition started to sag. 

How do I know when my life condition is sagging? I start to feel a little sad, lonely, scared...it's no where near as bad as it used to be...but I can feel it creeping up on me. And that's why I am so happy that I have this practice to reel it all back in. So this morning that's what I did. I used my practice to focus my life energy, boost my spirits, and make me feel more of myself...stronger.  

I'm sitting here now, after winning in my life this morning. For an hour and 15 minutes (I had to stop so I could write this blog) I poured my life into my prayer. As I was chanting I was wondering what to chant about...and I realized that, as Daisaku Ikeda says, chanting naturally in dialogue with your life is most important. 

I just spoke to my life, and listened to my life, and sat here in dialogue. I chanted to raise my life condition so that all my thoughts come in at a higher frequency. I chanted for wisdom and perspective...courage and strength...and to feel President Ikeda's heart and life force as my own.  And I chanted for you. I chanted to somehow be able to be an inspiration even when facing my own challenges. I chanted to take my focus off myself and my own life, and put my prayers in other directions. 

I chanted for the total success of tonight's opening ceremonies for the International Youth Media Summit at Soka University in Los Angeles. This is Kate Randolph's huge endeavor and youth are coming from all over the world. It is not, as of yet, an official SGI event, but Kate deeply feels it is fulfilling our mentor's vision of bringing youth together from all over the world to create peace. It is such a noble cause. I've written about it here a couple of times. As of last weekend Kate was still needing $50,000 for it. If any of you want to contribute, here is the link: 



So today, I leave you with this quote from For Today and Tomorrow by Daisaku Ikeda for July 9 (p. 209)

"Even in times of hardship, 
the important thing 
is for each of us to determine 
that we are the star, 
protagonist 
and hero of our lives 
and keep moving forward. 
Putting ourselves down 
and shrinking back 
from the obstacles looming before us 
spell certain defeat. 
Through making ourselves strong 
and developing our state of life, 
we can definitely find a way through. 
As long as we uphold the Mystic Law 
throughout our lives, 
we can break through any impasse 
and surmount any obstacle. 
We will also be able 
to lead all those who are suffering to happiness."
Daisaku Ikeda

I've gotten a little behind in my correspondence over the past few days. Some of you have written me such heartfelt letters about your lives, and I will be able to take the time to answer each one soon. If you have not heard from me by next week,  please send me a gentle reminder, it is possible that an email can slip through the cracks. 

Have a great day!