Wednesday, March 30, 2011

How Long Do You Chant Nam Myoho Renge Kyo every day?

Thank you for your great questions!
(They can be viewed under the previous posting "You don't have to chant for a long time")

You asked how much time you have to chant. The answer is easy. As much as you want to. If you establish a rhythm with daily chanting - every morning and evening, I promise you it will change your life.
The amount of time is not as important as your sincere prayer to be happy.

You deserve to be happy and you CAN be happy.

I suggest you go to the SGI-USA website to find out about the other people in your area who chant. Your benefits will grow exponentially when you study and learn together with other members.

Until you get your own Gohonzon, I'd suggest focusing on something simple, like a moon in a picture. And pray sincerely into your own life. You are not asking anything or any one or any God for favors when you chant in this Buddhism. You are commanding your own life. you are accessing the depth of the BUDDHA that you already ARE...and you are entitled to be happy...both for yourself and for the sake of all whom you love.

you are connected to everything in the universe. When you chant consistently...every morning and evening....you will see the beautiful unfolding of the beautiful life you ARE.

Make a list of everything you want. Dream big! Do this right away!
Nam Myoho Renge Kyo!
Please write me again!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

My New Stingray Friend

Chantelle gave me a very sweet kiss!

Cruise success!

What an unbelievable time I had!

Every single moment of this cruise was like living in the land of tranquil light.

Every morning before I started my day I chanted strongly and was absolutely connected to the power in my life. I chanted to enjoy every moment and connect with the right people and savor EVERYTHING!

Every evening, before I headed out to the evening activities I connected again in the same powerful way.

And there was not a moment of loneliness, not a moment of frustration or despair! There was some drama when the tour I signed up for was cancelled...and there was confusion for an hour and a half. I really wanted to swim with the stingrays at the Cayman Islands! Finally, a wonderful couple and I figured a new strategy and had the most beautiful day holding and kissing (really!) the stingrays in the cove. Did you know there is a career called "Stingray wrangler"? Don't you just love that! Did you know that the stingrays are the puppies of the sea? They told me that if they don't go out to the sand bar to visit the rays for a few days because of inclement weather the rays are SOOOO excited to see them when they finally return! It's not for the food...they are affectionate creatures!

I'll try to post a picture.

I started my new job yesterday and chanted a mind blowing two hours before going in today. More about that later. Keep chanting. Keep living a life of ultimate victory. All of my dreams are coming true....all of YOURS can too!!!!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Off on my Cruise

I'm not sure if I'll be able to post from my cruise~ But I'll be chanting!
I'm back on the 25th.
Have a great, victorious week!
Nam Myoho Renge Kyo!

Friday, March 18, 2011

You Never Have to chant for a long time

Regarding my last post, of chanting for 8 hours for Japan ~ I want you to understand.

You are never, and never will be required to chant for that long.

This is not a practice of things that you "have" to do.

I chose to take the opportunity to pour daimoku into the planet ~ along with other members on Wednesday...because I wanted to...I urgently felt the need to use my own energy to heal the suffering on the planet, and to pour protection into the reactors...and I knew the chanting would help my life too...because it always does.

But I don't want you to think this kind of chanting is EVER expected of a member. It isn't! People chant as long as they wish, and if they are smart, they chant twice a day, morning and evening because it establishes a rhythm, but no one is ever expected to chant 8 hours in a row!



Thursday, March 17, 2011

Chanted 8 hours Today...for Japan...for Earth

There are tozos being held all over the world for Japan right now.
A tozo is when a group of people come together to chant Nam Myoho Renge Kyo over and over for many hours.

Usually there is a specific goal in mind. Last summer, I chanted 12 hours for the success of the Rock The Era Youth Festivals. Three of us chanted the entire 12 hours, and a lot of people came and went. And right after that, four incredible young people emerged as glowing Boddhisatvas to help lead our District.

Today while I was chanting I pictured the universe...and called for all the protective forces of the Universe to come Flying straight to earth...like super heros...specifically to Japan...and to all the people suffering, or looking for lost loved ones...and I chanted for all the souls who lost their lives. Of course, I believe that life is eternal, and that the people who died will be reborn, but that doesn't make it any easier for the ones left behind. I know this.

I chanted for "Hondoku Iyaku" that the people of Japan, and all of the world could turn this great poison of suffering suffering into medicine. I can't say HOW exactly, but I chanted for it none the less. I chanted for each of the nuclear reactors to be surrounded by shoten zenjin (Protective Forces) and for the entire Nuclear Worldwide organization to come in and help the few Japanese people who are putting their lives at risk. I chanted for Anderson Cooper and all who are still in Japan.

I chanted for Daisaku Ikeda, and for me to have the deep, deep prayer that he does towards this crisis....and for he and his wife, and ALL the people in Japan and the surrounding areas to experience the power of the protective forces.

I pictured a rainbow of beautiful light running through the country from the atmosphere to deep below the surface, and for healing to take place.

I chanted hard...I sat in front...I led the chanting for some time...I'm not really sure how long...a little less than an hour I think. There were some moments that the harmonies were just transporting me...it was wonderful when some young men came in and we all made the most beautiful music with our prayers.

Aaahhhh

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Chanting for the Shoten Zenjin to come out in full force

Chanting for the Shoten Zenjin ~ Protective Functions in the Universe ~ to Surround the nuclear reactors and all of japan and all of this planet!

Look! We were Published in the local epaper today!!!

This article was entitled:

Chant for happiness


The words “nam-myoho-renge-kyo” pass their lips more often perhaps than any other words during the course of a day.

Jamie Silver and Kathy Fisher, both of Downers Grove, are part of the faithful followers of Nichiren Buddhism. In addition to their own chanting, which they both do individually for hours every day, they lead a local group or district, the members of which meet weekly at Silver’s house.

Chanting the words “nam-myoho-renge-kyo"—which translates to the title of the Lotus Sutra—“taps your highest life’s potential," Silver said. "That’s the key to this practice. Everyone has this potential. There’s not anyone who doesn’t.”

Both self-proclaimed seekers, Silver and Fisher discovered Nichiren Buddhism during the 1970s. Silver said she always “knew that there had to be something out there. That if I put my energy into something, it would come back channeled in the direction I wanted it to.”

She researched different types of Buddhism. “But they all said essentially that you had to let go of your attachment to your desires. Most forms of Buddhism say that," Silver said. "I thought to myself, ‘maybe next lifetime I’d like to give up my desires, but this lifetime, I want to keep them.”

Eventually, she found Nichiren Buddhism. “It says that your desires are enlightenment and will lead you to happiness. It will lead you to chant which changes your karma and makes you happy,” she said.

Chanting is “vibrational,” Silver said. “It’s as if you knew the name of the rhythm of life itself. Some people call that God. We call it nam-myoho-renge-kyo. We say it over and over again. It’s like hooking your life up to an electric current. And the interesting thing is that it doesn’t matter if you believe that it’s going to work or not. It’s the law of cause and effect. Chanting is making the cause and you will get the affect. It’s an extremely powerful cause that you make for your life.”

When chanting, Silver sits in front of the altar that she’s erected off of the living room in her home. “Every Buddhist has an altar in their home," she said. "It’s the place where we go every day to bring out our truest and best self. There’s a box with a scroll inside of it. The scroll is the depiction of the highest possible life condition. We keep candles, fruit and incense there.”

There are no rules to dictate how long people chant. Silver said that she typically does so twice daily for an hour or so at a time. “Some chant fifteen minutes a day, some chant hours. When I first started it was for five minutes and I saw huge changes in my life. I had been very depressed, and the minute I started, I started feeling more like myself,” she said.

Fisher said that people chant for changes, direction and wisdom. “The most incredible things happen when you chant. Everyone has things that they want to change. That becomes the focal point for you.

"I don’t know a single person who doesn’t have something that they’d like to change,” she said. “Chanting about a problem or situation that you want to change helps you to know which direction to go. In chanting, you’re fusing with the universe and you develop the wisdom to know what action to take. Prayer and action. It’s important that they go hand in hand.”

“I chant for wisdom to know how to tackle my situations. And I also chant for other peoples’ happiness," Fisher said. "This is a practice for oneself and for other people. I want to see everyone the happiest that they can become in their lives."

About three years ago, Fisher started the district that meets at Silver’s home. “We had a district in Naperville and it became so large that we split. That’s what happens, “she said. Weekly district meetings include sharing stories and support, and group chanting. Each meeting draws approximately a dozen people, of all ages, faiths and ethnicities.

“We have people from all over the world too—from India, China, Japan, Indonesia, and then people who are from around here. It’s a very multicultural group,” said Silver.

Chanting together in a group multiplies the amount of energy, she said. “The rhythm is so strong and you’re so focused.” Congregating gives them the “opportunity to chant for each other," Silver said. "We celebrate each others’ successes and chant for each other in times of need. And we’re an open family. We love more than anything to welcome new members.”

Monday, March 14, 2011

Dear Vidhu and all Readers! Great Breakthrough!!!!

I got the Job!!!
And now I'm celebrating!

First of all, I got exactly the job I wanted...I was able to raise their offer by almost 5 thousand dollars and today they informed me that I would be getting the three weeks of vacation that I requested!

I start on the 28th of March!
Yaaaayyy!! Daimoku Works! It really Does!!!

AND to really celebrate, I'm doing the thing I love the absolute best in the world...I'm going on a cruise!!!

Woohoo!!!!

And, get this, I'm going ALONE!!! No more sighing because I have no one to go with! Of course none of my friends could go on this short notice.

I feel very brave, I'll tell you! Brave, bold, strong and VICTORIOUS!!!

That's what this practice is all about .... WINNING!

I VOWED that I would win...and I did.

I chanted fiercely that I would achieve this victory through my prayer because I AM A VOTARY OF THE LOTUS SUTRA and I MUST PROVE THE POWER OF THIS PRACTICE!!

Now I'm taking myself on a victory cruise!

I leave from Miami on Saturday, for very little money, and get back on Thursday. I will have sun, music, and more sun!!!

I wish all of you could come with me! Wouldn't that be fun? I'm going to ask the cruise director if I can teach classes in chanting. I ought to meet some interesting people that way! I'm not sure what they will say, but it never hurts to ask!

Thank you for chanting for me!!!
Thank you for reading my blog!!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Good News and Bad News

Good News! I got the Job

Bad News: 8.9 Earthquake, and Tsunami warnings all over.

I'm going to chant right now
for all of the people affected,
and who may be affected in the future!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Six Years Ago Today....

Beautiful Marla
Beautiful heart
Laughing spirit
Intelligent soul....

all you had to offer...
to your gorgeous children
your patients
Your friends
What a healer you were...

How strong and determined...
rising from the poorest Bronx projects...
where you told us everyone was like family...
Meeting Gary when you were still a child...
and keeping him in your heart
until he was ready to become fully yours.

And you traveled to California
and made a beautiful family...
including me, your loving sister in law.
All the great times we shared...
laughing with our adorable babies...
through camping trips in the snow...
to camping in the mud...
...and laughing...always laughing...
Beautiful Marla.
I think of you every day...
twice a day during gongyo's silent prayers
and I raise a grateful prayer
for having known you
and become your sister
and loved you
and
love
you
so.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

What does Nam Myoho Renge Kyo Mean?

So glad you asked!

Nam Myoho Renge Kyo means:
"I fuse my life with the mystic law of cause and effect through sound vibration".
I like to think of it as "I am one with the flow of life" because that's what it does...it puts you right in rhythm with your own life and everything around you.

It's a law. It works whether you believe in it or not.

People all over the world chant this phrase with the Sokka Gakkai International. The Website link is sgi-usa.org. I've posted it next to the copy of this blog. I encourage you to go there. Call the center nearest you and get the name of someone who practices near you. It doesn't cost anything...you don't have to "do" anything to chant. Just try!

It's truly a practice for anyone...no rules...no dues...no eating restrictions...just chant!
And practice. Chant every morning and evening...then you'll be writing me to tell me your results! Remember...dream big...go for the impossible!

I'll be chanting a lot today! Join Me!

Hello!

Here I am waiting to hear about the job.

It's a sunny day here in Chicago.
I'm going to spend a lot of time chanting today.
I'm determined to get the best job for Kosen Rufu!
And I'm determined to move my brilliant, sparkling life forward!

Join me!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Benefits Abound!

When going through something like this...applying for a job and hoping to get it, it's important to remember all the benefits you have every day.

My benefits include: My health! After my surgery last year I am walking effortlessly wit a spring in my step and no pain!

...my wonderful Aaron...exceeding expectations as a Junior at the University of illinois...fulfilling his duties of being the President of the running club...he's running faster than ever (which really makes him happy!) and getting a 4.0 in his studies to boot. He's chanting and having a great social life too. He's taking advantage of ALL that college life has to offer!

...my wonderful Ben~! I just mentioned his name here at the Panera and a complete stranger said "You're Ben's mother? I know all about Ben!" and he started telling me how Ben is fast like lightning. THis happens all the time...mention his name around town and everyone knows who he is. In the meantime Ben's deciding on a prom date and planning his original songs for ther open mic later this week.

...so grateful to have discovered chanting and to be a disciple of President Ikeda's! I searched for this practice until I found it at the age of 25. What if I hadn't found it? I am so grateful to be able to chant and to be a part of this incredible organization.

...grateful for all the friends and love I have around me every day!

...grateful for my readers! I love it when you send me comments. I love that I have the honor of encouraging you and giving you hope.

Thank you!!!!

Before the NEXT interview! Chanting for Connection!

The excitement continues!

Today I am giving a mock presentation...the kind of presentation I would be giving on a daily basis to business leaders in the community about the college where I am interviewing.

I am chanting to connect deeply with the other Directors who will be my audience. I am chanting to be poised, articulate, warm and intelligent. I am chanting for them to REALLY want me to come to work for them. I am chanting for the best opportunity to do Kosen Rufu and move my life along. It is a job in education...a worthy endeavor helping people better their lives.

I produced the coolest looking presentation at the Apple store on my MacBook Air. I've been practicing and will practice more.

Now to chant again, then get ready to go!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

From Daisaku Ikeda to you and me

"Seen from the perspective of faith and Buddhism,
everything has profound meaning.
There is no need whatsoever
for us to vacillate between elation and despair
at each turn of events.
There is no such thing
as a storm
that will continue blowing and wreaking havoc without end.
In the same way,

there is no hardship that will continue forever.

There are clear days and there are rainy days.
If we are swayed by our environment,
rejoicing one moment and despairing the next
amid ever-changing circumstances,
then we will not be able to accomplish
a true revolution
in our state of life.
The important thing is to always believe in the Mystic Law and to enter the powerful orbit of faith, practice and study. Entering this orbit--the orbit of human revolution and of changing our karma --is the way to construct a life of good fortune and happiness that will endure throughout eternity. No matter what happens, we will enjoy the unerring protection of the Gohonzon. Instead of drawing conclusions about the world of faith from a superficial viewpoint, we need to calmly discern the true reality and significance of things and keep pressing forward.
With the passage of time, it will definitely become clear that everything has unfolded in the best possible manner."

From The Hope Filled Teachings of Nichiren Daishonin, page 277, from his essay on the Gosho "A Warning Against Begrudging One's Fief."

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Thriving, not just Surviving...!

Magical Moments:

Ben came home from his meet and we chanted really strongly together...chanting with Ben is like running with him...strong, fast, determined...you literally get warm...

After we chanted he suggested we listen to our favorite album of our dear friend Peppinos D'Agostino's music and started listening to that. The music from that particular album is magical. It is not our imagination...it is truly incredible in feeling, tone...passion...It captured a time in Peppino's life, and in our lives, when we were hanging out together all the time...Ben was two years old...Peppino was crazy about Ben and nicknamed him Benjamino (and we still call him that). We all saw each other every day. We lived blocks away from each other on one of the tallest hills in San Francisco...and the music on this album...well it was the soundtrack to our lives.

Music this beautiful just doesn't come along that often...and Ben and I played every song, and savored every note, and shared so much love and appreciation for the rich life we have shared together. Thriving, not surviving...

I know that these are my last few months with Ben before great changes occur...he goes to college...I move out...

Ben's creating some beautiful music himself...he's composed three complete songs with witty lyrics, and has 2 more almost done. He's performing at an open mic on Thursday...

I am about to go back to my Gohonzon right now and chant in complete appreciation...just as I was doing this morning when I did morning Gongyo and chanted in appreciation then... in praise of my own...precious...life.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Chanting for the the Best Job for Kosen Rufu!

What does it mean to chant for the best job for Kosen Rufu?
I am chanting for the job that brings out the best of my life...that allows me to reach as many people as possible and to inspire them with my life. I want to be able to inform people of the power of the mystic law (called "doing shakubuku") in appropriate situations freely. In other words I want to Let My Light Shine!

Daisaku Ikeda states:

"An expert archer can accurately hit a target with a single arrow. I hope that all of you become masters of faith and masters of life who will realize complete fulfillment of all your desires. I also pray that you will be leaders of unshakable conviction who proudly open up a new stage of hope for Kosen Rufu and the world."


On Monday Morning I'll be giving a demonstration presentation as part of the process of attaining this new job.
When I was first informed that they wanted me to present I immediately thought, "Oh, no! I don't know enough about just what they are offering..."

Then I chanted about this presentation for some time, and realized that my nifty new Macbook Air has a program called keynote (similar to Powerpoint) and I set up a one-on-one training to learn how to use it yesterday.

Before I went to the Apple Store I spent some time designing the presentation on Keynote, and had a template picked out, and a lot of the wording. I didn't know how to get pictures into it or how to "animate" it.

I met with a young man in the Apple store and we had an absolute blast creating the most exciting presentation. I added a feature called "sparkle" so each of the lines comes across the page like a moving sparkler. I put in pictures I'd taken of health fairs and nurses...and I chose my colors and design. At the end I'm going to have someone give a mock testimonial about how much they love working with the organization I am representing. It's brilliant. I'm so excited about it. And I slept very well last night, thank you.

Yesterday was also a banner day because Peppino D'Agostino was in town and we all went to see him. How wonderful it is to have a dear friend who produces such wonderful music! And Ben is going to play at an open mic on Thursday. He has three original songs and another two he's almost done creating. They are all funny and heartwarming...just like him!

I'm about to start chanting in appreciation today...and to continue to do my human revolution and elevate my life condition. I am also chanting for the state of the world, for the protective forces to arise more strongly then ever, for the protection o f my family and for my own health and security. I also chant for everyone on my picture board by my altar, and for everyone who reads this blog. Even if I don't know you, I'm sending you Daimoku!