Monday, June 10, 2019

Turn EVERY Poison into Benefit!

Hello Friends! 
I'm in the Chicago Area to produce Ben's Memorial Mile and it's going to be better than ever. It's June 15th on the Outdoor Track of Downers Grove North High School in Downers Grove Illinois from 5:00-9:00pm. Join us! 

As many of you know, after almost three years of struggling with schizophrenia, my 22-year-old son Ben took his life in July of 2015. And I gave myself the task of turning poison into medicine. 

And if I can turn this poison into medicine - just THINK about how you can turn poison into medicine in your own life! Every pain, every suffering, every obstacle has a benefit when you chant in determination to turn poison into medicine. Also, along the way you come to appreciate your troubles. Every. Single. One. This is the way of the Buddha! The way to your happiness!

Every day since then I chant to have our pain turn into medicine to help all who are suffering, and to have Ben's short life make a difference! When he was alive he made a difference through his amazing talents - for running, songwriting, and being an all-around awesome (and genuinely funny) guy. 

Now attracts 500 people (and growing) for an evening of games, cheering our running friends on the outdoor track, eating great food, a bags tournament, games of tag, a choir from Ben's High School,  a dance lesson on the field, and so much more. We've raised over $50,000 for suicide prevention and Schizophrenia research. We want to make an even bigger impact this year. 

With the guidance of my sponsor in faith, Kate Randolph (whose Life Celebration I'll be attending and speaking at the San Fernando SGI Center on June 22nd), I kept "Digging Deeper" in my prayer. 

What does "Digging Deeper" mean? I chanted to discover this for myself. What could Kate mean? I chanted for an understanding. And as I chanted the real meaning of our eternal practice for absolute happiness for ourselves and others flowed into me. We are all eternal. Ben's eternal, so am I. My mission here on earth doesn't end when I die...
We are all eternal. So, I chanted to deepen my understanding of life itself. 

At the bottom of this prayer (and I'm still exploring it) is the deep prayer for kosen-rufu, a world of respect for all life. AND so is my personal happiness. We practice to be happy. Daisaku Ikeda says many times: The purpose of life is Happiness. 

So as I go about my week, with three evening fundraisers for Ben's Memorial Mile, a Proclamation by the Mayor, the cover story in the local newspaper...and Ben's Memorial Mile on Saturday, I am determined to cherish every moment with every person I'm with. I am advancing in Joy, in Happiness, with the Gohonzon and in faith. When we have the determination to turn poison into medicine and deepen our faith, all is possible! 
(I'm also giving two Grief Relief Workshops this week in the Chicago Area. So exciting!)

Sunday, June 2, 2019

Chanting with the Buddhas!

From Daisaku Ikeda: 

"Though we may seem 
to be chanting alone, 
we are not. 
As we chant, 
untold billions of heavenly deities 
are facing the Gohonzon with us. 
In this way, 
the protective forces of the universe assemble en masse (altogether)
and work to safeguard each one of you, 
manifesting in your environment 
and the actions of the people near you, 
the actions of your friends and fellow members." 

Daisaku Ikeda

This quote is really inspiring me these days. As I work to broaden my impact as a Certified and Accredited Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) Practitioner, it helps to know that I am not alone. 

Every morning when I face the Gohonzon and chant, my first prayer is for the untold billions of deities within my life, body and spirit to wake up and greet the untold billion deities on the Gohonzon.

And I chant for all who are seeking peace from debilitating grief, or the agony of emotional eating with no end in sight, to FIND ME, (through my website and realize I have something profound to teach them. All for Kosen Rufu! I chant to have victory in my business, and have my life inspire people that they can end their suffering and experience true joy. 

Just like any true professional in the SGI, I strive to make President Ikeda proud of me as his successor, by my professionalism, passion and experience.  

I have already helped so many while I was going through the certification process and with the clients I'm already attracting. (And working with through ZOOM or Skype all over the world) It's all a matter of faith, right? 

And knowing that untold billions of heavenly deities are with me as I chant my two hours every day. Well, it just boosts my spirit, my daimoku, my hope, and determination. I am the Buddha. And so are you! 

No matter what you are facing, Daimoku will get you through. Please remember that I love you all, but I can't give individual guidance because I am not your personal senior in faith. Please go to your senior for guidance. That is the beauty of the Soka Gakkai. 

May Contribution!

And today is the last day for May contribution in the states. Yesterday, as I made my last contribution payment I wept in gratitude for all this practice has meant to me for the last 35 years. I am humbled and in awe of the power of Nam-myoho-renge-kyo. As my sponsor Kate Randolph was so fond of saying "We Buddhists breathe rarified air. 

Ben's Memorial Mile!

Those of you who know me, know that overcoming grief is something near and dear to my heart. When my beloved son Benjamin Lee Silver came down with schizophrenia and lost his battle to suicide almost four years ago, Ben's Memorial Mile Family Festival and Running Gala was born out of my determination to turn poison into medicine (and with the support of several dedicated committee members who really took the lead). So far we have raised over $50,000 for suicide prevention and schizophrenia research. 

Ben's Memorial Mile is right around the corner! It's June 15th in Downers Grove, Illinois on the Outdoor Track at Ben's High School, Downers Grove North in Downers Grove. Check out to see some videos, read about our progress, or sign up and come out. Spectators don't need to register. There are tons of fun things to do...a bags tournament, dance lesson, relay games, great music, and a chance to run and walk, or just watch and be a part of the wonderful and warm environment Ben, and his family and friends have created.  

With my son Aaron (the doctor in Phoenix!) and Ben, before he got sick. This picture was taken after we attended a meeting at the Chicago SGI Buddhist Center. Both of my sons adopted this practice as their own. 

Sending love to you all! 

Friday, March 29, 2019

New Beginnings!

Hello, my friends. Thank you for writing to me and for keeping me in touch with what you are doing. 

I have some exciting news. For the past four months, I have been dedicating myself to learning from two excellent  Mentors of EFT, Emotional Freedom Techniques, Alina Frank and Craig Weiner, founders of EFT Tapping Training. I'll be a Certified EFT Practitioner by next week. I'm already helping people with Stress-Relief, Grief-Relief and Weight Loss.  

Every day I've been chanting for an hour to master EFT so I can help people gain freedom from the emotions and core beliefs that are running in the background of our lives like APPS. 

You know how it is. You KNOW not to do something. And even though you try your hardest, you do it anyway. Or there's that person who is not so great for you, but you can't seem to move on. Well EFT gently helps you release the emotions that have been in control...and when you release these emotions you have WISDOM and freedom to make new choices. You see things differently. Using EFT has profoundly changed my life. And the best thing about it - it's a self-help technique that I teach my clients to do. I'm a teacher! 

Over the past year, using EFT and chanting, I've released 35 pounds and am on my way to a new profession. 

But, it doesn't replace chanting. I still base my life around chanting. The Gohonzon is at the core of all the power in my life. I love the Gohonzon, this practice and the SGI with all my heart. becoming an EFT Practitioner is similar to becoming any type of professional. It is a career choice. 

Every day I greet the Buddhist gods on the Gohonzon 
with appreciation and have the Buddhas in every cell in my body spring into action for kosen rufu...for my own happiness and the happiness of the world. That's my starting prayer...feeling every cell wake up and say "YES!"

I've introduced my closest friend in St. Pete to this practice and she amazes me with her insights and wisdom. She is a licensed counselor and EFT Practitioner with a strong Buddhist practice. How awesome. 

So, I thought you might want to have an update. We've been through a lot together, haven't we? When I first started this blog I was heartbroken and depressed. My sweet Mom died that fall. And a few years later my sweet Boy Ben got sick. Many of you were chanting for Ben. When he became eternal I thought of all of you first, and was determined to turn poison into medicine to show you that death doesn't have to mean defeat. 

Those prayers resulted in my first book "Our Forever Ben, One Mom's Letters to Her Son-in-Spirit and his poetic replies." (Available on Amazon.) I'm enjoying doing grief relief work for individuals and groups. Such fulfilling work!  

And here I am. In July it will have been four years. We're deep into the planning of the Fourth Annual Bens Memorial Mile Family Festival and Running Gala on June 15th in Downers Grove, Illinois outside of Chicago. We have raised more than 50K for Schizophrenia research and suicide prevention. You'll find a lot of cool things at including his music and the film made for him by Aaron. Join us in any way you wish!

My amazing son Aaron is in his last year of residency in Phoenix. He's been a doctor for three years now and he's flourishing with a strong Buddhist practice as a Vice District Leader. I'm so proud. 

And I'm still living on St. Pete Beach, enjoying every moment. I'm in the process of building a new website, and launching a new blog called 

You are always free to write to me at 
Please remember that I do not give guidance of any kind. I will direct you to your local senior leaders. It's just best that way. They are there for you and fostering relationships with them is better for you. 

(If you are interested in knowing more about their classes in EFT you can click on their link at the bottom to find out about EFT trainings near you:

Thursday, January 3, 2019

Fresh Determinations for a Power-Full New Year!

Happy New Year!

I'm still here! I'm chanting and refreshing my vow and determinations every day in front of my Gohonzon. 

I have many determinations for the new year. And yes, some of them are determinations that I continue to make every year. But as my mentor, Amos Snell always asked "How many times do you have to remake a determination? 365 times a year!" I might also add, every second of every day!

So I have new determinations and I'm celebrating the successes of 2018. (I lost 30 pounds - very happy about that! I made many friends, and much more) 

My shakubuku is doing great. She just passed her year Gohonzon Birthday and she continues to amaze me with the depths of her wisdom and her seeking mind to study. From the beginning, she felt the Buddhas and Boddhisatvas in the Gohonzon and in her life through her prayers while chanting.  And she has refreshed my spirit to commune with them in prayer every morning and evening. 

I chant to feel all the Buddhas on the Gohonzon, and in the Universe and in my Being expressing themselves through each of my cells - so that I can fulfill my vow for kosen-rufu -(world peace through the full expression of my life force). 

Danny Nagashima was recently here, and he impressed on me the value of chanting with my vow each and every day. 

As I feel these powerful Buddhas rejoicing during my daimoku, I am connected to all that is good and right and feels so good. I chant in appreciation - and to expand my appreciation every day. I chant to quiet my critical mind, and bring forth my appreciative spirit! 

For New Year's Gongyo my shakubuku and I did Toban at the Tampa Bay Center from 9:00 am until 12:00 noon. It was a great way to start the new year. 
And I re-heard a prayer I've re-incorporated into my chanting: 

"Chant for the wisdom that functions in accordance with changing circumstances." 
I believe this is a quote from Daisaku Ikeda but I did not catch the reference to site for you. 

How deep, how profound. 

In each moment, how do we know what to do, how to act, how to feel, think etc? 
Somehow we must trust our own lives, the purpose-full source and flow of our beings, and direct that flow while allowing for unexpected and delightful surprises. Channeling it all through our vow and prayers each morning and evening makes for the riches of lives! 

Last night I flowed into a most inspiring and unexpected concert right here on the beach. True musicianship expressed through friendship. It was deeply uplifting. Tonight I'm bringing my friends to see these same musicians at another venue. They are only in town for the weekend. Enjoying our lives is one of the other things Danny Nagashima always mentions! 

For this year, I am determined to earn my Certification as an EFT Tapping Professional. As some of you know, I've been Tapping since 2012, and used this form of energy clearing - acupuncture without needles, for clearing stuck emotion (energy) and creation of cognitive change ~ throughout my son's illness and my healing from his death. 

Tapping and Chanting have been the cornerstones of my life. Chanting first. And using Tapping every day as well. 

I'm thrilled to have found mentors and a program to bring me to official certification through the Association for the Advancement of Meridian Energy Techniques. 

I will not be licensed, and I will work with people on the emotions behind whatever is causing their suffering - (grief, pain, fear), in conjunction with licensed health professionals. 

My goal is to complete my 50 practice Tapping sessions and the other requirements within six months or sooner, and to find a job that will support me as I do this. 

I hope you are starting the year strong and well. I have many health determinations as well. 

Let's win together along with our mentor in faith Daisaku Ikeda! 

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Lighting the Lamp of Hope from Florida !

This egret is walking along St. Pete Beach on a beautiful day recently. I think he was posing for me. 

On Sunday I went to my local SGI Center and chanted for 4 hours for the Lions of Justice Festival, 50K youth gathering across America on September 23rd. 
I chanted for the youth of the world to realize their power to make the world a better place...and to be happy...
I chanted...
...for all the youth who are going to the festival to have a breakthrough in their lives...
...for all who registered to overcome obstacles and be able to attend...
...for safety, great weather, and operations to go smoothly...
...for all who are supporting and chanting for this festival to have breakthroughs...
...for every member everywhere to feel an incredible connection to the power within their own lives when chanting to the Gohonzon...
...and to have conviction in my own Buddha Nature... 

It's been a while since I chanted that much daimoku at one time. I sat right up front and supported the people who were leading the chanting. I love doing that...listening to their rhythm, and expanding it.

And, of course, yesterday, Monday, I was energetic and focused. I launched a project at work involving teamwork and leadership...and it flowed naturally. Later this week, on my birthday, I'm going to my High School reunion feeling healthy and happy with that Florida Glow. 

When we chant for others we are also chanting for ourselves. We are all interconnected. We are all one being. When we chant for those who are giving us problems in life, we are opening our channels of compassion and expanding our capacity to feel joy, love, and happiness. Who can you chant for? How can we each expand our capacity to love and be loved? 

No matter where you are in life, or what's happening, you can always launch a new rocket of hope into your life. Chanting nam-myoho-renge-kyo infused your life with the life of the universe...and chanting is YOURS. For FREE. 

Join with your fellow SGI members, make a fresh determination. Refuse to give in to ANYTHING that is getting you down. Your life IS the Buddha. Chant to feel this with your life at every moment. Let's all be radiantly happy and victorious together! 

"Nam-myoho-renge-kyo is like the roar of a lion. What sickness can therefore be an obstacle?" 

Nichiren Daishonin. From the Gosho Reply to Kyo'o

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Great Insights from Kate Randolph

My Dear friend Kate

Hello, my friends! Thanks for all the emails prodding me back into writing. You have always been on my mind! 

I'm sitting here in paradise on St. Pete Beach with a few moments on my hands because I'm off work today. I have a great full-time job helping families go through the difficult maze of figuring out the best place for their loved one to live when they can no longer take care of themselves. I enjoy giving people hope, changing the lives of seniors, and infusing love into my community.

There's so much to share! Ben's Memorial Mile ( took place in June with hundreds of attendees running, walking, playing and having fun in my son Ben's name. We are about to reach our goal of contributing $50,000 for research to cure schizophrenia, and taking concrete action to prevent suicide through "Hope for the Day." We're already planning an amazing event in Downers Grove, Illinois, USA next June. I'll keep you posted. 

And, many of you know that Kate Randolph is battling the same kind of cancer that just killed John McCain, a glioblastoma brain tumor. Kate was diagnosed right after we went to the Florida Nature Culture Center together in November of 2017. She's challenging three hours of daimoku (chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo) a day, and is fighting a fierce battle. 

The other day I reached her in LA and she had important words for all for us when I told her about a goal I'm determined to reach. Kate said: 

"There's only one thing you need to do. 
There's only one prayer you need to have. Along with chanting for the youth of the world and the 50K Lions of Justice Festivals in America and around the world, 

Chant for 
absolute and total conviction
 in your Buddha Nature

and everything you want will fall in line. 
Don't keep searching for what you desire - 
use this prayer, use the power of your daimoku. 
Pray that THIS TIME you are changing your karma forever...for you, for your parents, 
for your descendants. 
Pray that THIS PRAYER changes your karma forever."

Let that sink in! 

I'll tell you it's a challenge. When I'm chanting I latch onto that prayer, and I'm quickly pulled off of it by some distraction (fundamental darkness) in my mind. But it's real. And powerful. It takes strong determination to stay on this prayer...and let other prayers bubble up...for my family, my coworkers, the youth of the world. It's a daily challenge to keep praying while chanting - not just letting my mind wander and wondering about stuff. But that's where the magic is...the sustained launching of our prayer on the wings of Daimoku.  

I hope this post finds you well...and that you keep strong determination. As Nichiren Daishonin states in the Gosho Letter to Nikke, 
"Chanting nam-myoho-renge-kyo is like the roar of a lion. What sickness can, therefore, be an obstacle?"

Whatever you are facing don't give up. Don't give up! We are here for a reason. We chose this life. We even chose our problems. In the August 17th World Tribune on page 7, Daisaku Ikeda, my mentor in life, quotes the words of the Argentine poet Almafuerte: 

"Sometimes a great destiny sleeps to be awakened by anguish."
He goes on to say: 
"Buddhism teaches that suffering is the springboard to enlightenment. No one is free from problems and worries - nor is any family or region. 
"Life is a struggle against problems. What's important is how we solve the problems that weigh down on us. We need to call forth all our wisdom and make repeated efforts to overcome those problems and reach the victory that lies beyond them. 
"Dreaming about what life might be like if only you didn't have any problems is just an escape from reality into a fantasy realm. It only leads to defeat in life. People who are always making positive efforts, thinking about how to overcome each problem and transform it into a source of value and victory are the winners in life. 
"Your resolve determines your life. I hope you will all be great actors in your own dramas of victory, brilliantly proving this truth, and be people who encourage and impart self-confidence to everyone around you."

Yes! Write that drama brilliantly! Smile and carry on! Chant and study and encourage your fellow members! Sending love to you!

You can always reach me at  I love to hear about your victories, and I publish some experiences here on the blog. Please don't write to me for guidance. Your local leaders are there for you, know you, and are chanting for you. They are the best people to help you challeng your sproblems. If you aren't connected to the SGI please go to and it will lead you to links. 

Monday, April 30, 2018

Change Your Attitude ~ Change Your Life!

Greetings from St. Pete Beach Florida with another beautiful sunset.
Thank you so much for your patience! I know it's been ages since I wrote something new for you from the heart. 

And, you're probably asking, what IS the key to changing our lives, Jamie? We know to chant, we know to do shakubuku, we know to study and encourage others, but what if a problem is just staying stuck, and we can't find a way out through our determined prayer? 

I faced such a moment about a month ago, regarding a situation I was in, where I REALLY THOUGHT it was the other people's fault. I knew THEY were the ones causing my suffering. (Even though, as a Buddhist, I know I create my own life, and it's a reflection of me - it really felt as if THIS problem was coming from the outside) Exactly. 

Well, thank goodness for the Buddhist concept of getting guidance. I made a call to one of my local leaders and requested guidance. She, in all her wisdom, connected me to a region leader whom I'd not met yet, and we got together at the center. It was a good meeting and we established a friendship, and she said I could call anytime. 

Establishing friendships with our senior leaders right where we are is crucial. That's why, when you write to me for guidance, I ask you to consult with your local leaders. They are there for you! Please reach out to them. They can help you challenge your problems. 

We are responsible for building these relationships through daimoku and action. We can chant to connect with a leader who inspires us. 

So, when push came to shove and my suffering over this situation was growing, I reached out to this region leader and she gently reminded me that whatever I was feeling, any suffering and frustration, was already in my life due to causes I made in the past, and the ONLY way to change the situation was to chant to change my attitude. My attitude. Yikes. I've been chanting for 33 years, and I still need these reminders from time to time, right? 

So the next morning, I woke up and chanted as if to draw fire from wet stone. I chanted that this daimoku today was changing my attitude, and I pondered what the word attitude really means. I chanted to change my energy, and to turn all my anger into love and appreciation. I scanned my body in my mind and chanted to change every cell in my body...every attitude about this problem from within. I chanted to open myself to a new possibility, and for my daimoku to have immediate results as the people around me felt my new heart, my new attitude and I proved the power of this incredible law once again! 

And, from that moment forth (hon nim myo) everything changed. Daimoku is that powerful! They DID feel my heart. Everything improved. And I started winning again, not whining! 

So now, with every problem or challenge I face, I am chanting to change my attitude...and I feel the richness and the depth of the power of Chanting nam-myoho-renge-kyo deepening more and more! 

I'm chanting, as we all are, for the youth of the world, and here in America I'm seeing the results. 

And May 3rd is only a few days away. Let's each challenge a breakthrough! Let me hear from you at Share your breakthroughs!