Monday, February 3, 2014

Sometimes Chanting Brings up Emotions and/or Tears

Here it is in deepest winter here in Chicago. My son says January's snowfall was the most in over 100 years. Most of the time I see less than 10 degrees when I look at my phone. It is easy to feel down. 

What to do?
I am very affected by the weather. Sunshine is good for my spirit.
Yesterday I kept my determination to chant three hours every Sunday, and by the end of it I was literally overflowing with emotion. All of these thoughts were flooding my brain. Thank goodness it was just in time for me to run out to Kosen Rufu Gongyo at the Culture Center in Chicago and I got to hear Sensei's speech by video. 

I believe it's okay to cry and feel emotional while chanting. I believe every tear cried in front of the Gohonzon is a diamond in our lives. And if we take action, study, go to SGI meetings, get encouraged and encourage others we will transform our lives. (Remember I speak for myself on this blog. This is not an "official" SGI blog. It's me sharing my heart with you.) 

During my early years of chanting I had to keep tissues by the Gohonzon. I was tapping into something deep within my life...releasing it and moving on. Sometimes it still happens, especially when I chant for a long time and reach a deeper level. 

At kosen-rufu Gongyo we watched a film of Daisaku Ikeda. He spoke about a Gosho where Nichiren Daishonin is writing to Shijo Kingo, the "everyman" of the time. He was a Samurai warrior...almost like us...working for our "lords" experiencing living in the world and all the emotions of the time. Nichiren Daishonin wrote to Shijo Kingo (not a direct quote) "Don't betray your grief and consider everything a benefit. Things that look like they should not have happened will turn to benefits in the end if you persever in your practice"

I guess that's a message we need to hear over and over and over. I KNOW I chose these battles, I KNOW I summoned these obstacles because they are the perfect obstacles for my growth as a Buddha. But sometimes it doesn't feel that way, and I need to be reminded. 

I spoke with Kate in LA later in the day and she reminded to keep my level of appreciation high, and of course that's the right thing to do. 

So my message of the day is it's natural to experience emotions while chanting. Every tear cried in front of the Gohonzon is a Diamond in your life. 
As Nichiren Daishonin says 
"Suffer what there is to suffer and enjoy what there is to enjoy. Regard both suffering and joy as facts of life and continue chanting Nam-myoyo-renge-kyo no matter what happens. Then you will experience boundless joy from the law. Strengthen your faith more than ever." From the Gosho Happiness in this World. 

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