Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Inspiring Youth Experience of Overcoming Bullying and becoming Happy ~

Zara's story is so inspiring. We met in the summer of 2011. One day she was so upset over harassment from a young man (who originally liked her) that she took off walking from her house and found herself in front of my apartment. She saw people leaving my patio, and asked one of them, Bhavya, where she could get a glass of water. We had all just chanted a rousing hour of daimoku. So, of course, Bhavya directed her to me, and a few moments later this young 16 year old girl, Zara,  knocked on my patio door asking for water. 

Zara explained that she was a runaway, and I invited her in, gave her some water, listened to her story, and invited her to chant. We sat down and chanted together. She did not want to stop! After about 45 minutes I asked her how she felt and she looked at me and said she had never felt this good before and we kept chanting another half hour so. Then I drove her home. 

She had walked a long way - about two miles. She had never left home alone before, and her parents were so worried they had called the police to help find her. When we arrived her Mother got in my car and said "You're my angel." I told her "The worst night of your life has now changed into the best night of your life, because your daughter has brought home a practice that will bring all of you great happiness and change your lives in ways you are going to love!" The next Saturday morning Zara and her mother came to my place and chanted for an hour. They began practicing, studying and coming to meetings every Wednesday night. 

That New Year's Day the family received their Gohonzon. I chanted hours and hours each day the week before New Year's Day.  I knew this was a difficult thing for an Indian Moslem family from Trinidad to embrace. I will never forget the happiness of that day, and the happiness of watching each of them defeat each of their problems is such an ongoing joy! 

Zara's journey is full of victory. Being young is a difficult time. People can be so mean. Every time she told me of classmate who was treating her badly and saying bad things about her my answer was the same: "Chant for that person's happiness." And within a very short time all the people who were bothering her moved away! Chanting for other's happiness always works. 

Zara had been depressed and feeling hopeless for some time before she began chanting. Her mother says she can barely recognize this smiling, glowing and happy young girl! Chanting works. 

Zara also had several surgeries last year, and managed to get through them, stay current with her studies and graduate with her class. She made it to almost every SGI meeting and from the beginning has always volunteered to sing or emcee.  These experiences helped to solidify her dream of becoming a nurse. 

Now Zara is preparing to go to nursing school and taking classes at the nearby community college to get some credits out of the way. She is determined to be a nurse and she will be a great one! 

Raising youth is such a joy! 

As always, please send questions, comments and experiences to chantforhappiness@gmail.com. I also offer personal Buddhist Life Coaching. Email me for more info. 

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