Saturday, February 13, 2016

"Launch Yourself On Every Wave!"

"Henry David Thoreau, 
a renowned Renaissance thinker, 
wrote in his journal: 

"Nothing must be postponed. 
Take time by the forelock. 
Now or never! 
You must live in the present, 
launch yourself on every wave, 
find your eternity in each moment." 

We shouldn't put anything off but seize the moment, 
living with all our being in the present. 
If we do that, he says, 
each moment will become eternity."

Daisaku Ikeda
Buddhism Day by Day, page 59. 

3 Steps to Communicating with Your Eternal Loved Ones

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This blog is about is about the power each one of us has to be happy, and to make the world a happy place, full of respect for all of life. This form of Buddhism is absolutely unique. It's based on the Lotus Sutra by Shakyamuni Buddha, and the letters of Nichiren Daishonin.  When we chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo we aim our lives in the direction of our own happiness. Do not take my word for it. Try it. Chant every day, morning and evening for at least 100 days. Go to SGI meetings (see the link to the right), study the Gosho. And KNOW that when you chant, you are chanting TO your life itself...not to a God...TO your life! 

This blog post is written in response to a previous post. It is not about Buddhism per se. However, according to Buddhism, life is eternal. So what I write here makes sense. 

A few weeks ago I shared that when I write to my son Ben - who is no longer here in his physical body, but is here as his eternal soul - when I write to him I keep the pen on the paper and he writes back to me. 
You asked me to explain how I write to Ben 
and have him write back to me - here is how it's done! 

3 Steps to Communicating with Your Eternal Loved Ones ~ 
By Jamie Lee Silver Please reference this blog while sharing

Writing to your loved one and having them write back though your own hand is natural.

It doesn't take psychic ability. 
It takes the belief that it is possible, 
and the willingness to give it a try. 

I believe life is eternal. Our loved ones are not "gone," even if physically, yes, they are no longer with us. And we can form a new relationship with them right now. 

Step One:

Choose a free flowing pen, and smooth paper. You want to let your hand flow. 

Step Two:

Write a heart felt letter to your loved one. Use your favorite nicknames for them. Pour your heart out. Write your beautiful words. Let your pen flow. 

Right after Ben passed, I wrote several poems to him before asking him to write me back. 

Step Three:

When you are feeling ready, write a note to your loved one and add a request for him/her to write back to you.  

At the end of my letter to Ben I write a request like this: 
And what words do you have for your loving mom today my sweet, sweet boy?

And keep your pen on the paper as you listen...
The first time I did this I wrote circles with my pen for a few moments...then I heard words and started writing. 

Now, even as I am writing to Ben I start hearing his voice flowing into my head from somewhere behind my left ear. 

It's as if these words are flowing into my brain and straight down into my arm... and my pen is writing and writing - I just let it flow and enjoy the process.  

Sometimes he writes for a long time...sometimes he doesn't. I don't worry either way. He is always there when I write. He will always write back to me...even if I'm really tired. Then he wishes me sweet dreams and says let's talk more tomorrow. 

I can even hear his tone of voice. When it's really peppy, I write "peppy voice" so I remember his tone. 

And how do I know it's his voice? Can I prove it. Yes. To myself. I know. And when I read his words over later. I know for sure. When you try it you'll see what I mean. 

If you are interested - give it a try. You can write to anyone this way...and get a response. Questions? Write me at 

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

The Life-Giving Power of Each Character of Gongyo!

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In the Gosho "Letter to Horen," the Daishonin describes the characters of the Lotus Sutra as individual Buddhas emitting beams of to find all those, living and dead, with whom we are connected. 
What a great thing to learn about while we are all striving to perfect our Gongyo and deepen our faith. 

Daisaku Ikeda states in Living Buddhism, 
June 2015, page 32:

"...Through chanting the daimoku of the Lotus Sutra, Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, we can transmit benefit even to deceased family members, relatives, friends or acquaintances who may have opposed our Buddhist practice - benefit that will warmly embrace them and lead them to a state of profound peace and comfort.

Similarly, through the power of the Mystic Law, our family members and friends who have passed away in the course of the journey for kosen-rufu - whether from illness or as a result of unexpected accidents or natural disasters - will also be able to enter the path of Buddhahood. 

The best offering we can make for the eternal happiness of the departed is to live fully and strive vibrantly for kosen-rufu in their stead..."

"The Daishonin says that 
each of the 510 characters 
of the verse section 
of the "Life Span" chapter 
of the Lotus Sutra, 
from "ji ga toku burrai" 
(Since I attained Buddhahood) (LSOC, 270) 
to "soku joju busshin" 
(quickly acquire the body of the Buddha) (LSOC, 273), changes into a sun 
and then into a Buddha. 
It emits great beams of light 
that pervade every corner of the universe, 
finding Kyoshin's father wherever he might be 
and illuminating him 
(see WND-I, 517-18).
In other words, 
each chapter 
of the verse section of the "LifeSpan" chapter 
recited by Kyoshin 
becomes the Buddha, 
shining with the brilliant light of compassion 
that reaches his deceased father
in whatever state of being he may reside, 
relieving him of his suffering 
and guiding him to enlightenment."

What a wonderful life-giving practice we have!

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Forging Onward Full of Life! Meeting Neha, my new friend and reader.

Me and Neha, my new friend from India

Today's daily guidance from 
For Today and Tomorrow by Daisaku Ikeda:

"Unless we live fully right now, 
not sometime in the future, 
true fulfillment in life will forever elude us. 
Rather than putting things off till the future, 
we should find meaning in life, 
thinking and doing what is most important right now, 
- right where we are - 
setting our hearts aflame and igniting our lives. 
Otherwise, we cannot lead an inspired existence." 

Yes! It is every single moment that counts! I just finished chanting to realize this every moment with my life. 
This past week has opened up many opportunities for me...forging onward in every way.  

I just love days that are full of surprises. 
Yesterday morning Crystal came over to learn more about the practice.  We read "Gongyo is a Grand and Noble Rite" out loud. I'm so proud of Crystal....she has such a great seeking spirit. She calls me regularly, I am chanting for her every day, and she is practicing! In the short time she's been chanting - just a month, she enrolled in the next level of education to expand her ability to make a difference in the world of criminal justice, she chanted successfully for her daughter to find the perfect job, and her other daughter just enrolled in a new school too. How fantastic!

After chanting, I embarked on a project to change some of the pictures on my bulletin board. I'm keeping some treasures of Ben up, and adding more Aaron and the people I love and chant for, both near and far, living and eternal! Just then, I checked my email and saw one from Neha Sharma, a blog reader and YWD from Delhi who was in town on business - 
and 2 blocks away!

How exciting 

Neha and I spent the rest of the day getting to know each other, chanting, having dinner and inspiring one another. You know I made a determination at the beginning of the year to be present with every person? Well, this determination opens us up to inspiration and depth of learning from others.  Each person we meet expands our life as we expand theirs. Making each person count...really listening...brings us immense treasures of the heart!

Neha is great! She's an air hostess for Air India so she is seeing much of the world. She and her mother began chanting this summer when her mother experienced a health challenge, and she has  gained peace of mind through chanting. Peace of Mind! What a Buddha! At 30 years of age she is poised, self-assured, and on her way to a victorious future with the Mystic Law in her life. I'm sure I'll be writing more about my new friend. 

Today I am about to head to several superbowl parties and hopefully have a guest at Kosen Rufu Gongyo at 1:00

Have a great day!  

Here's a question for you: 
I'm considering taking Aaron to the Great hall of the Vow of Kosen rufu on the first Wednesday in June. Would any of you like to join us? Email me at

Friday, February 5, 2016

The Universal Prayer - Powerful!

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As Nichiren Buddhists, we are the Buddha  ~  
as we chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo summoning our fathomless wisdom while steering our life in the direction of our innermost desires...both for ourselves and for others. 

We chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo over and over and over again. We call this "chanting Daimoku"(Die-MOH-Koo). Daimoku means title. The title of the Lotus Sutra (Shakyamuni Buddha’s self-proclaimed highest teaching) is  Myoho-Renge-Kyo.  

Nichiren Daishonin added "Nam" (devotion - focusing) before Myoho-renge-kyo to make the phrase mean “I devote my life to the mystic law of cause and effect through sound vibration,” or, “I am one with the very rhythm of life.”

Myoho-renge-kyo is the name of the ultimate mystic truth, and Nam-myoho-renge-kyo  is the name of the life state of Buddhas who embody and reveal this truth.” 
p.28 Lectures on “On Attaining Buddhahood in this Lifetime”, Daisaku Ikeda

I learned about this prayer from Linda Johnson. I've written my own version of the universal prayer. When I have this in my heart I picture all of you, and all practitioners chanting to their Gohonzons all over the world...and connecting to their prayer like never before.  

What follows is a Universal PowerPrayer to tap into our desire for happiness for all beings...the real vow we all make as Buddhas! 

Universal PowerPrayer 
for the Happiness for ALL
By Jamie Lee Silver of

Every Daimoku I chant 
remakes my VOW as a Buddha 
for Victory in my own life 
so that all others can achieve VICTORY in theirs! 
Every Daimoku I chant
Reaches every other person who is chanting. 
I see everyone chanting...
tapping into the deepest prayer they have ever felt ~

At this moment 
I deepen the power of my prayer by 10,000 times
Just like my mentor describes ~
so that all who are chanting can also deepen their faith, 
and bring forth the results they desire 
as we 
spread the word of this great teaching 
to those still suffering
we all become absolutely happy
and create a happy and peaceful world!

I chant that every single person who is chanting 
feels the full power 
sees the full power
experiences the full power
of this faith in their lives. 

I chant for all members to have faith
receive incredible 
and to know, and feel 
within every cell in their body
the power welling forth 
with each Nam-myoho-renge-kyo!!

Together we create kosen-rufu
the total energy shift of our planet! 

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Turning Karma Into Mission ~ Every Single Day


"Chanting Daimoku 
is the foundation of the Daishonin's Buddhism. 
When we chant sonorous daimoku (Nam-myoho-renge-kyo)
the sun rises in our hearts. 
We are filled with power. 
Compassion wells forth. 
Our lives are lit with joy. 
Our wisdom shines. 
All Buddhas and Buddhist deities throughout the universe 
go to work on our behalf. 
Life becomes exhilarating. 

Daisaku Ikeda, For Today and Tomorrow, p. 182


When faced with a life challenge we would NEVER have chosen for ourselves - what do we do? 

How can Practicing Buddhism help? 
What is the REAL power of chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo? How can it help in practical terms? 

As you know, my beloved son Ben died this summer from Schizophrenia which caused him to take his own life. 

Every day I am using Buddhism to fuel my life as I transform my personal tragedy into a personal triumph. Or, as we Buddhists say, "Turning Karma into Mission."

Now, I don't know why my karma included this experience of having my son die, but I don't have to know the reason. All I need is the determination to change it into mission. 

Along the way, I have joined a club I never wanted to be a member of - the club no one wants to be a member of, the Suicide Survivor's club. And, as anyone would expect, I am meeting people who are at various stages of the grieving journey. Guilt, sadness, peace...

Because of my practice, I am not tormented like I was right after it happened. At that time, I was wracked with thoughts of what I could have done differently. Even though I knew I'd done my best, I felt like I had failed at my most important mission in life...being a Mom. And I chanted about these thoughts...and I realized they were my own fundamental darkness. I'm a Buddhist! I know I can fight fundamental darkness with my prayer by facing it and saying NO! 

I chanted to alleviate this feeling of guilt and to turn my pain into something I could use to help others. And through chanting, I am free from these tormenting feelings. 

I continue to write to Ben and he writes back to me through my own hand. Life is eternal. This is natural. Have any of you tried this? I can teach you how. Let me know if you are interested. 

Ben has explained everything. He says there is nothing I could have done. And I believe him.

I'm grateful for all I've been through, and all I'm going through right now. I feel a deep connection to Ben...and to all who are suffering. Ben answers my questions. He reassures me in all the things I am doing. And he encourages me daily. 

Because of my daily Buddhist practice, I'm protected. I'm safe, secure, learning about myself, and in an excellent support group of other suicide survivors. It's professionally facilitated and includes a mother whose son died ten years ago, and another whose son died 3 years ago. They share their coping skills with the rest of us. It's a healing process

Thank YOU for your notes. Dear friends, we share the noblest of missions! WhatEVER you are facing - you can turn YOUR karma into mission! We are the votaries of the Lotus Sutra. By chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, reading the words of our mentor Daisaku Ikeda, joining together with our SGI friends, and introducing others to this victorious way of life...we can overcome any challenges! 

Sunday, January 31, 2016

On Establishing the Correct Teaching for the Peace of the Land

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I was up at 5 am today to chant for an hour before picking up three fellow practitioners to go to the Chicago Culture Center today. It was perfect, I left the house before 8, and we were at the Center by 9:00 in time to get a parking spot in the parking lot. Woohoo!

It was a lecture on 
"On Establishing the Correct Teaching 
for the Peace of the Land" 
Engaging in dialogues of hope 
to bring happiness and peace to all people.

There was a good discussion about slander of our own life and of others. It left me more determined than ever to grow as a human being and to be more aware of self-slander and slander of others. In Buddhism, as you know, we are all interconnected. (We are all worthy Buddhas. Slandering ourselves - doubting our capabilities, calling ourselves denigrating names) - or speaking behind people's backs - can take away all our good fortune. 

We need to have the courage and wisdom to speak TO people, not ABOUT be kind, of course, and to not harbor grudges against ANYONE. That's a tall order for all of us - and one worth chanting about. 

One of the leaders told a story about a district he was in where they were doing everything right...but slandering each other...and everyone's benefit was eroded. Important lessons. 

And we discussed having the courage to do shakubuku (introduce people to this practice) - which starts with Daimoku. That's how my new shakubuku Crystal came into my life...I chanted and she showed up with her great seeking spirit! I chanted to meet someone who is ready. and here she is! 
Today was her first time at the Chicago Culture Center. I chanted an hour yesterday for her, and another hour this morning just for her...she is just an inspiration to me. She worked until late last night and still came out this morning.

GO Buddha Go! 

I hope you are practicing with the SGI. If not, click on the link to the right to find a district in your area!