Friday, October 18, 2013

DIS-Couraged or EN-Couraged ~ Some Quotes to Inspire

In all of our lives we sometimes experience frustration, right? We all have things we've chanted about for a long time and we think maybe they will never happen...and we face the choice of being discouraged, or encouraged. 
Let's think about those words for a moment: 

Lost courage. 
No more courage. 
Negative courage. 

We do feel this from time to time, I know. It is at exactly this point that we can put our faith to its best use. We have a unique tool. 
We have faith we can use to re-EN-COURAGE us. 

Filled with courage
Inner courage
In the state of courage

Much better, right? 

Daisaku Ikeda's writings always encourage me. 
In Faith in Action he writes in the section Perseverance:

"It is important to take a long range view. 
No great achievement is accomplished overnight 
or without difficulty. 
Should benefit be obtained easily, 
and without making serious efforts in our Buddhist practice, we'd probably easily abandon our faith 
and end up miserable." 
p. 145 

And he continues on the next page: 

"It is important to become strong 
and to not be defeated. 
Don't become the kind of people 
who are always depending or leaning on others 
or who weakly and timidly 
leave hard work and responsibility to others. 
Whatever obstacles you may encounter, 
please use them as a launching pad for your growth 
and keep advancing, 
bravely enduring all hardships, 
telling yourselves, 
"I'll show them what I'm made of!" 
p. 146


"No matter what the circumstances, 
you should never concede defeat. 
Never conclude that you've reached a dead end. 
You possess a glorious future. 
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 worry about the past. 
We must always have the spirit to begin anew 
"from this moment," 
to initiate a new struggle each day." 
p. 146

I was also thinking about the wise words of my own personal mentor and good friend in faith Kate Randolph. She explained the concept of setting deadlines, and what it means to our Buddhist practice and our lives in this wise way:

"We set deadlines to motivate OURSELVES into action. 
A deadline is not for the universe to respond to us. 
We chant. 
We take action. 
The deadline comes. 
We either win or we don't. 
If we don't get the result by the deadline 
we pick ourselves right up again and redetermine. 
The goal is to never be defeated. 
Sensei always says "To win in life is to never be defeated." That does not mean that we will never fail. 
It's our spirit that matters. 
The battle we fight is not with the universe. 
It's with our inner demons...
the ones that say things like 
"obviously chanting doesn't work 
because I did not get my dream by my deadline...or...maybe I should have a different goal...
maybe I wasn't MEANT to have that thing!....
or what am I doing wrong? 
Maybe I wasn't chanting the RIGHT way!" 
It is at that juncture that we must recognize 
the opportunity to deepen our faith and our understanding of the profundity of Buddhism. 
is the negative function
Any inner voice that causes us doubt and hopelessness 
IS the negative function. 
Once we decide we will win no matter what ~ 
we need only to continue. 
We've already won. 
The battle is with the negative function within. 
Ultimately, deadlines are irrelevant. 
Set them if you need them to motivate yourself. 
But decide from the onset that you will win no matter what. And hold YOURSELF accountable. Not the universe
If it is a crucial moment and you are in a dire predicament, financially, or health-wise, it is time to DEMAND the protection of the Shoten Zenjin. 

No prayer of a votary of the Lotus Sutra will go unanswered. If your prayer is going unanswered find out what it means to be a votary of the Lotus Sutra. STUDY. And as you are chanting DEMAND the result that you want through your prayer. Awaken to your mission and realize that all your suffering is your opportunity to encourage other people. That is what is meant by turning Karma into Mission."

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