Friday, April 25, 2014

A Surprising Post about Changing "Financial" Karma

This is a reprint from the Facebook page The Power of Nam myoho renge kyo. I think Greg Martin is so matter of fact and down to earth. 

Excerpt from a lecture given by SGI-USA Vice General Director Greg Martin at the Seattle Culture Centre on June 9, 1995

A man came to see me recently and told me that he needed help with his "financial karma." He went on to explain how deep and profound his "financial karma" was. He hadn't been able to fix it in his ten years of practice. My first question to him was, "What kind of work do you do?" He said he was out of work. I asked him why. He said he quit his job six months before. I asked him why. He said he got into a disagreement with his boss and felt that he had to quit.

I asked about the job he had before that. He said that he got fired because he got angry with his boss. He told me he quit the job before that one. This person, in his ten years of practice, had eight jobs and lost them. I asked him how he expected to have financial fortune if he didn't have a job. There is no magic in Buddhism; it is unreasonable to think that one can acquire financial fortune without having a job.

He then said that his real question to me was, "Why do I have the karma to have authoritarian bosses?"

Most of us think that the bad things that happen to us are our karma. We think that our karma exists outside of us, but this is not correct. We are not the only ones that bad things are happening to. Bad things happen to everyone. Then what is karma?

Karma is our inability to deal with the "stuff." We don't know how to handle the stuff when it hits us, and we end up doing the wrong thing. We end up creating more "stuff" for ourselves.

In any case, I pointed out to this person his tendency to get angry with his bosses. There was a clear pattern. It was very difficult for this person to realise that his problem was anger. Buddhism says that if you have anger, you have the poison of arrogance. I told this person that until he was able to control his arrogant mind and his anger, he wouldn't be able to keep a job. He was actually a very talented person at his job, but this lead to him thinking he could do as he wished at his workplace and treat others badly.

I told him that since he needed a way to stop losing jobs, he needed to deal with his karma. I told him to not let his anger defeat him and to sincerely pray for the wisdom to respond to situations in a way other than with anger. To date, he has been employed for three years and has just bought a house.

What is the greater benefit: another job (which he would probably lose), or wisdom to see the root cause of his problem and never have to repeat it? People would pay millions of dollars for wisdom about the true nature of their suffering.

Of course, as we change, our environment reflects this change, and we experience benefit. However, if we try to seek out only the benefit without going through the inner process, eventually nothing will happen. The Gohonzon has almost no power to transform your environment. The Gohonzon does have power to transform you. When you use the Gohonzon to transform you, then you transform your environment. There's a big difference. We should determine in front of the Gohonzon that we will solve our problem or that we will overcome our suffering.

When you pray to the Gohonzon with that prayer, you will be amazed to find out what you see about yourself and what you need to fix in your life. Buddhism is about the inner reformation, not about the external reformation. Of course, benefits in the outside environment do come, but really that's not the point at all. It's really about inner change.


  1. Thanks for sharing but then how do we pray for others' happiness by chanting. I am totally confused.
    I am praying for my husband's happiness at work place...but how would my inner transformation help him.
    Kindly guide me.

    1. Your husband is in your environment and you share his karma (which can feel kind of heavy, but it gives you a deep connection). You could try chanting like this "I am determined to change my family karma so my husband works at a job that makes him happy" . Try to really see how the two of you are interconnected and then chant to change whatever is in your life that keeps your husband/family from finding a happy, fulfilling job. Take the responsibility to change this problem as if it were your own job situation, like you are both the other side of the same coin. NMHRK!
      Kelly in Colorado
      Kelly Littleton, CO