Sunday, August 31, 2014

3 Point Vow for World Peace - Kosen Rufu ~ and Happiness!





Aren't these wise words? Aren't all of Daisaku Ikeda's words full of wisdom, practical wisdom for our lives? I feel such gratitude to be able to chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo along with my mentor, Daisaku Ikeda, and along with all of you, my friends all over the world. I have been hearing from so many of you...all my courageous friends. 

We all live noble lives as Votaries of the Lotus Sutra. Our great vow in life is to usher in the new age of light, of happiness, of respect and love. We call it kosen rufu, and I believe every person longs for this new world. Everyone longs for a world of peace, a world of no violence, a world of love. How do we do this? We do it through our own Human Revolution. 


We do our Human Revolution by making our great vow for kosen-rufu. What does this mean for each of us? Here is my interpretation 

As you know, last November 18th the Soka Gakkai opened the Hall of the Great Vow for Kosen Rufu. We can now travel to the hall to renew our vow for Kosen Rufu. (There are specifications for entry. Please check with your local SGI center) 

Please do not cut and paste the following. 

My 3 Point Vow for Kosen Rufu is very simple
By Jamie Lee Silver, from the blog Chantforhappiness.com: 

1. I vow to use my life for Kosen Rufu. I vow to use every thought, every action, every word and every prayer to transform my life, to discard the transient and reveal the true, and to change the world through tapping into the power my life inherently possesses through chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, studying Buddhism, doing shakubuku and deepening my connection with my mentor-in-life Daisaku Ikeda.  This vow gives rise to the wisdom to take the right actions in all areas of my life! 

2. I vow to live my life as an example that happiness, absolute happiness, is possible. I vow to use my life as an inspiration for people to learn about chanting, and tap into their own limitless potential. 

3. I vow to win in all areas of my life, health, love, happiness, friendships, family, (both my real family and my Gakkai family) work, writings and fortune for the sake of Kosen Rufu. 

This year is 2014. The 4 is very significant. To me it symbolizes stability. Security. Foundation....like the four legs of a solid table.  
This year I am fulfilling my determination to learn money management, build a solid foundation for myself and lead a life where I can travel freely to visit my friends all over the world. You!

I have always been protected financially throughout my practice of chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo twice a day every day for the last 28 years. I have never longed for anything or gone into any kind of debt. Even last year, when I decided to take the time to write my book I was never without anything I needed or wanted. I was always protected. I'm in the final stages of finishing the book. It is the hardest thing I have ever one, but I will finish it! 

This year has been one of great obstacle and great reward. September is my birthday month and I am in the process of rewriting my list of what I am chanting for. It's a great time to refocus on dreams, reality and plans. 

I feel so much stronger than I was this time last year when my son first became sick. I have chanted so much Daimoku for him that I have gotten stronger. I feel deep appreciation for having a son who makes me chant so much! 

As we near the end of the summer I hope you are feeling strong, and continuing to strengthen your practice. It starts with the vow in your heart! Strength is the source of happiness! I am chanting for strength, and to experience life as the Buddha I am. 

I am always chanting my vow of kosen-rufu. "Life! let me accomplish THIS ________so I can inspire others!" Your prayer is the same. Chant for what you want...exactly what you want. We all deserve to have our dreams come true. 



Thursday, August 28, 2014

Chant Just as We Are

On Chanting:
"Chanting is a process of polishing and forging our lives, 
which is why our faith is so important. 
Consequently, the benefit of chanting Nam Myoho Renge 
Kyo is absolutely not dependent on the amount we chant. 
What matters is that we chant to our own heart's content, 
the amount that feels right and satisfying for us. 
Nowhere in his writings does the Daishonin say we should
chant a specific quantity. 
The efficacy of our prayers is influenced by the
strength and depth of our faith, 
and by our determination and attitude. 
At the same time, 
sincerely resolving to chant a specific amount is also an
expression of faith. 
We can chant the amount we've decided on each day,
while continually renewing and deepening our resolve. 
It's also important that we chant honestly and openly, just as we are. 
All of us face times of worry, anguish and sadness in our lives. 
When we do, we can feel free to go
straight to the Gohonzon with our suffering and chant about it
wholeheartedly, just like a child seeking its mother's warm embrace."
Daisaku Ikeda, Living Buddhism, Sep./Oct. 2011
pg. 74 & 75

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Be the Sun! Encouragement from Daisaku Ikeda, Nichiren and Josei Toda





The Gosho for January 2014 was called "The Bow and Arrow." In it, Nichiren Daishonin encourages the Lay Nun Toki Jonin with all his heart. My favorite passage says:

"There is nothing to lament 
when we consider that we will surely become Buddhas. 
Even if one were to become an emperor's consort, 
of what use would it be? 
Even if one were to be reborn in heaven, 
what end would it serve? 
Instead you will follow the way 
of the Dragon King's daughter 
and rank with the nun Mahaprajapati. 
How Wonderful! 
How Wonderful! 
Please chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, 
Nam-myoho-renge-kyo."

With my deep respect, 
Nichiren
(WND-1, 657)

In the commentary, Daisaku Ikeda writes that Nichiren Daishonin is assuring Toki:

"We cannot fail to attain Buddhahood. No matter how painful things are now, we are certain to triumph in the end. We will enjoy ourselves freely in the realm of life that is eternal throughout the three existences of past, present and future. When you are sure of that, what reason do you have to lament?"
He goes on to say:
"Nichiren's encouragement in this passage is a deeply moving expression of his compassionate wish to dispel the anxiety plaguing the lay nun Toki's heart and free her from her sorrow. 
"And the words. "How wonderful! How wonderful! (WND-1657) articulate the joy one experiences when one emerges from the clouds of sorrow to savor a state of being where all clouds have disappeared and one's heart is serene like a clear blue sky. It is a state of hope, optimism and delight.
There may be many difficult and painful events in the course of one's life. But those who remain steadfast in their practice of the Mystic Law need never sink into the more of suffering. Instead of feeling depressed and sad, their spirits are buoyant and their hearts light as they look to the future. 
"The key is to chant resonantly with joy and courage. The lives of those who chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo embody the principle of "earthly desires leading to enlightenment." They are already victorious. They have triumphed, rising above all suffering." 
And, as people who achieved this state of life, we naturally encourage others. 
"Mr. Toda said that the essence of guidance is encouragement. He personally continued to make energetic efforts to encourage those who came to see him for guidance, until they had roused courage to stand up and face life's challenges again."

Daisaku Ikeda wraps up this essay with this bold, encouraging declatation:

"If you are without hope now, create hope! 
If you are unhappy now, create your own happiness.  
You be the sun, imparting sunshine to all around you!

"The heavenly dieties and all Buddhas and bodhisattvas throughout the ten directions and three existences will safeguard and protect the members of the SGI, who are striving for kosen-rufu as practitioners of the Lotus Sutra, just as Nichiren teaches. The entire universe is our ally. We have nothing to fear.

"Our lives are wellsprings of infinite value creation. We are entities of everlasting hope, dispelling the darkness of despair." 
(All quotes are from the January 2014 issue of Living Buddhism, pages 30-32) 

And I will add we are all so much more important than we may know. We are unusual. People are watching us. Our practice is the key to tapping into the vast life-source of the universe. We live bold and noble lives. Whatever we are struggling with - we can create value, and encourage others.  

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

5 Things I tell Every Shakubuku and a PowerPrayer for Shakubuku


Our lives blossom when we introduce others to this practice. (Shakubuku) When we introduce others we are doing the work of the Buddha. 
We are the Buddha after all. 

As my friend Kate says: 

The Gohonzon cannot get down off the wall 
and tell people about chanting. 
Only we can do it. 
And THIS is one of the main reasons 
we are worthy votaries of the Lotus Sutra. 
When we help others learn to practice 
our lives expand and we change our karma. 

And an observation of my own is:
whatever is stopping us from doing shakubuku 
may also be stopping us in life. 
When we break through in shakubuku 
we break through in life!

Think about it. If we are too scared to do shakubuku (tell others about the benefits of chanting) chances are there are a lot of other things we are also too scared to do, right? When we overcome this fear...we become stronger and more courageous in all things. Don't take my word for it, try it yourself. And, like all other things...it starts with determined Daimoku. We can break through any obstacle in life with daimoku, study and ACTION. We can break through whatever is stopping us. 

Shakubuku is easy, not hard. There are so many people who are seeking the solution to their problems. There are so many who are suffering with no solution, but look at us... We know we can transform any poison into medicine. We are changing our karma right here, right now. I do shakubuku out of compassion for those who are still searching.

Five Things I Tell People About Chanting:

1. You can chant for whatever you want. And if you don't get exactly what you want, you will get something better. You get to KEEP your Desires! In this practice desires are NOT the cause of your suffering. They are the fuel for your happiness. How refreshing!  (Life is long. Patience is important. Not giving up is KEY.) 

2. You don't have to convert. It's like meditation. Anyone can do it. 

3. You don't have to believe it will work. Nam-myoho-renge-kyo is the law of cause and effect. We don't have to understand it. When we turn on the light do we UNDERSTAND why electricity works? I don't. But it works. Nam-myoho-renge-kyo is a law. The law of the universe. You can these words and you will see an effect in your life. It will work. 

4. Nam-myoho-renge-kyo means "I fuse my life with the mystic law of cause and effect through sound vibration.It is the name of the rhythm of life itself. If you intone the name of the rhythm of life itself while focusing on your desires you tap into the energy of the universe...your highest potential...to make your dreams come true. Internal change is where it starts. Chanting works because chanting creates an effect on the INSIDE of your life. And because we are connected to our environment our environment HAS to change. It HAS to. And it will. 

5. Chanting has No rules. No paths to memorize. No uncomfortable positions or clothing. All people regardless of race or sexual orientation are welcome. 

If people have time to talk I also discuss the SGI, President Ikeda and the benefits of being part of this incredible organization. 

As many of you know, I looked for this practice for the first half of my life. I knew it HAD to exist. I kept finding practices that said my desires were the cause of my suffering.... Somehow I KNEW that my desires weren't bad...that they were a part of me, a lovely, beautiful part of me. So I kept searching until I found this practice. I know others are out there...just like I was...searching. That's why I write this blog! And I have been so grateful for the last 30 years to be able to chant and sing the story ~ CREATE the story of my life.

So everywhere I go I bring cards. I made them myself but you can usually buy them at the SGI Centers. I have the words Nam-myoho-renge-kyo and the phonetic pronunciation. They also say: Chant these words and become happier than you ever imagined, and my blog and the contact info for the Chicago Center are on them.

I hand people a card, even if I've just met them for a moment at a store, or in line somewhere. 

I say "I just have to let you know about this- Have you ever heard of chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo? This is truly amazing. When you chant these words and think about what you want you become happier than you ever imagined."

Everyone says Thank You!
Almost NEVER does anyone respond negatively. 
And with each person I am planting a seed. It might not sprout now, but it might sprout when the NEXT person tells them, or when a family member starts chanting.  At any rate it it a great cause for YOUR life too!

It all starts with Daimoku.
I chant this PowerPrayer to meet the people who are seeking this practice.
I firmly believe that there are Bodhisattvas out there who made the vow to return at this time to prove the power of this law, but they haven't found it yet. YOU can be the one who helps them live out their vow.

PowerPrayer for Shakubuku 
(to introduce others to this practice) 
When you are experiencing benefits and your life is glowing like the sun, you will naturally want to share your secret with other people. 
Simply put, Shakubuku means sharing Nichiren Buddhism with others. From the Japanese, it means “to clear away illusions that prevent one from recognizing the ultimate truth or reality.” This truth is that we are all Buddhas. Every time you share Nichiren Buddhism with others you are doing the work of the Buddha, in helping others to attain happiness by realizing that they are Buddhas, too. Each time, you bring people one important step closer to knowing who they are and their absolute happiness. Please do not cut and paster this PowerPrayer. If you want to share please use the buttons at the bottom of this post. 

Life!

Let me meet the people who want to practice right now!
Give me the courage to tell them about it
and the heart and wisdom to touch their lives.
Increase my level to really CARE about others, and to be articulate in sharing this practice. 
Give me the confidence and 
let my life SHINE with BENEFITS and ACTUAL PROOF 
so that people want to know my secret! 
Let my life SHINE! 

Do you have any shakubuku tips for the readers of this blog? Email me at chantforhappiness@gmail.com. Also send your experiences with a picture and a bio so you can share your inspiring practice on the blog! 

Friday, August 15, 2014

What a Week - 7 Tips to Rising Above Trying Times in the World



Sometimes the world just has a really rough week...I feel like collectively we have all been through the mill this week from the incredible Robins Williams taking his own life to the Furguson Mo nightmare and all the challenges and wars all over the world. 
I don't know about you, but sometimes it is hard not to let some of that sink in through my pores. 

Having Robin Williams die of depression was so sad and jarring to all of us, and I think may have also hit me, and others who have loved ones who suffer from depression and various other mental challenges particularly hard. I was just on edge all week...struggling to catch my breath. 

What can we, as Buddhists do when we get agitated, and when everything in the world seems to day "cower in fear"? 

I started a survival plan of my own. Here are some of the things I've done.

1. I moved myself even closer to my Butsudan and sat up as straight as I possibly could. I shined a brighter light on the Gohonzon. And I had my phone in the other room for each hour as I chanted. I am sticking with my determination from earlier this year to not let anything interrupt my Gongyo from start to finish. And if I do get interrupted I begin again and do another complete Gongyo. I can see how this is having an effect on my life every day. 

2. I spent time with my family. 

3. I read the Gosho every day, even the confusing parts. I chanted to understand with my life - and to feel Nichiren's spirit with every word I read. 

4. I turned my focus on taking care of my physical body. 
I drank more water...at least 4  24 oz bottles a day. 
I walked vigorously as often as I could. 
I ate more fruits and vegetables and drank less caffeine. 

5. I did some mirror work. You know, Louise Hay, one of my favorite mentors, talks about looking yourself in the eye in the mirror and giving yourself the words that you would give to your best friend. So this week I was my own cheerleader and biggest supporter. It feels really good to look myself in the eye and tell myself that I can achieve anything, look what I've done so far. 

6. I chanted specifically for strength and to realize I am the Buddha at every moment. I am determined to live a life without fear. I chanted to raise my life condition and once again embrace my mission and my choice to be born at this time, in this country with this faith. 

7. I talked to my friends all over the country - reconnected with some people I haven't talked to in awhile. 

And tonight I am going out with a new group of people to see a Philharmonic concert...
This week I also worked hard at work and on my book. I will have some questions to ask you soon about the title. 

All my best to you! 


Thursday, August 14, 2014

PowerPrayer for Rising Above Our Problems and Having Joy ~ No Matter What!


I read some guidance that said 
"When you chant you should 
take a vacation from your troubles." 
Great idea


And today while I was chanting that's exactly what I did. I chanted to lift my life condition so I could see over and above my troubles...and to experience this day in a state of elevation through Daimoku. 
I chanted to release all feelings of having to be in control at every single moment, because, as we all know, control at every moment is impossible anyway! 

I think sometimes we think "I'm a Buddha so I should be able to command every single moment of every single day. I'm a Buddha, right?" But I don't think that's exactly how it works, 

The only things we can really be in control of are our reactions to what's going on. That's not to say that we can't change our lives through chanting. WE CAN. But the process of doing so doesn't always go as quickly as we'd want it to. We are not like Samantha on the TV show Bewitched. We can't just wiggle our noses and make everything change. 

PowerPrayer 
for Rising Above Our Troubles 
and Having Joy - No Matter What!
by Jamie Lee Silver of Chantforhappiness.com

Life! 
Gohonzon! 
Today while chanting 
I am seeing my life and my spirits 
rising above my worries. 
As I am chanting I am seeing my life rise above. 
I am focusing on joining the ceremony in the air. 
I am joining with all the Buddhas on the Gohonzon, 
and knowing that 
YES! 
This is the life I chose for Kosen-rufu, 
and I will keep my life condition HIGH no matter what. 
I see through the eyes of the Buddha. 
I shine for all those around me as a beacon of hope. 
I am the Buddha at every moment today...
fully aware and focusing on all that is right in my world! 
I am going to float above my worries and chant in the world of gratitude and appreciation. 
I am so grateful for:__________________________
And I release this day to my prayers! 

(I wrote this in the Spring, but based on some of the emails I've been getting I think this is a good time to run it again. All my best, Jamie)

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

3 Buddhist Victories in Finding Lost or Stolen Items - A Job for Daimoku!




Chanting to find lost items - or stolen items can work. 
Here are a few success stories. 

Years ago in San Francisco my backpack was stolen out of my car. I didn't care about the backpack but I DID care about my walkman (that shows how long ago it was!) I chanted to get that Walkman back. It was my constant musical companion and had a really cool equalizer on it. I'd listen while I was walking the 2 miles to work every day. I just yelled at those shoten zenjin in my prayer! "Bring my walkman back to me!" I just chanted on faith alone. That's all. 
The next day when I went into work the walkman was sitting in the breakroom just waiting for me. It didn't make any sense at all, none at all, but I chanted in deep appreciation. 

A few years ago one of my district members was introducing a friend to this Buddhism and the friend's wallet was lost. We all chanted for the wallet to be found, intact, and after a few days it was returned completely to him. Her certainty made us all certain. She KNEW Daimoku could return his wallet to him. 

Right after that, my son Aaron lost his entire backpack. He had put it in a locked locker at the Armory (gym) at the University of Illinois and when he returned for it, it was gone. He was so upset. That day he had carried EVERYTHING - his laptop, wallet, phone...you name it, all his valuable items. He felt it was stolen and that recovery was impossible. 

I told him about the walkman incident and the recent wallet incident and we all just chanted "Some kind of way! He will get his backpack back!" We kept chanting and he left his name with he attendants, and took every action he could think of to find it. Nothing happened for a few days and then I got a call from the Armory.(He had given them my number because his phone was lost). They found the backpack in another locker...totally complete...nothing missing. It made no sense but we didn't care! We didn't have to figure it out- we just chanted in appreciation. 

My friend Morag in the UK just emailed me that her family's van with all of their sporting equipment AND her children's passports has been stolen. I encouraged her to tell those shoten zenjin that this is unacceptable and she HAS to get that van back. Please join me in chanting to get Morag's van back! 

Do you have similar stories to share? 

Email me at chantforhappiness@gmail.com

Monday, August 11, 2014

A Special Blog for my Loyal Readers


Today is a special day for me. 

It has been a year since my son Ben first got sick. Some of you have followed his progress closely both through this blog and through emailing me directly to voice your concern. Many of you have been chanting for Ben. 

My appreciation for YOU knows no bounds. Surely we have all been friends lifetime after lifetime after lifetime. You are my cherished friends. 

This is a photo I took this weekend of Aaron (left) and Ben (right) joking together. It makes me so happy to see this. 
This year has changed me. I have chanted more daimoku than I've ever chanted in one year. I have summoned appreciation for having an obstacle SO BIG that made me chant so much~! And Ben is doing great. 

Nam-myoho-renge-kyo WORKS! It absolutely works. 

Whatever you are dealing with just do not give up. Do not give up! 


Friday, August 8, 2014

7 Steps to Changing Your Karma ~ please share


Welcome to Chantforhappiness.com. Check out some of the previous posts while you're here!

I've heard from many of you lately who are very sad and suffering, disappointed and losing hope. You are not alone. And you can rise above this and change your karma - right here and right now. 

As Daisaku Ikeda writes:
The course of our lives is determined by how we react  - what we decide and what we do - at the darkest of times. The nature of that response determines a person's true worth and greatness. 

I was in an extreme place of sadness when I started this blog, and there is one important thing I realized that I really want you to understand too. 
It is true, that my suffering was triggered by an event in my life. This can't be denied. But somewhere in the depths of my life I knew that the tears I was shedding were WITHIN my life, and had always been within my life. These were not new feelings of despair. Yes, they were intensified by my recent event, but I realized that I had carried these feelings INTO this life, and that my Mom, my sweet Mommy, had also experienced a lot of these feelings. 

I realized that this sadness was my karma. But in Nichiren Daishonin's Buddhism that doesn't mean what it means in other forms of Buddhism. 
Karma in some sects means something you have to ENDURE, in others, it's something you have to LEARN FROM. and In Nichiren Buddhism, also known as SGI Buddhism, also known as Practical Buddhism ~  where we chant the name of the Mystic Law - Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, Karma is something that we can change, in fact, it is our MISSION to change our karma. 

7 Steps to Changing Our Karma

by Jamie Lee Silver of Chantforhappiness.com. 
Please do not cut and paste. Please do share the post using the links at the bottom.  

1. Recognize it for what it is. 
In my case, I had to stop blaming the man I was sad about, and, as I said, realize the pain was always within my life. A leader told me many years ago that someone could not make you feel anything that did not already exist in your life. Okay. I got it. And I stopped complaining and feeling sorry for myself. I shifted my attitude and took this on as a challenge. YES  - I CAN change my karma! That is the beauty of this practice. 

2. Make a fierce determination to change your karma, and take the actions to change it. 
Chant to root the cause of your suffering FOREVER OUT OF YOUR LIFE. 
CHANT TO EXPERIENCE LIFE AS THE BUDDHA YOU ARE! CHANT TO USE YOUR VICTORY TO INSPIRE OTHERS! 
Many of you have written that you just can't chant, you can't go to meetings, you're too depressed and too busy. Somehow, you just have to overcome this through sheer determination. That's why we have our wonderful organization, the Soka Gakkai. It is entirely up to you! Your friends in faith are waiting to hear from you, chant with you, win with you. Connect to the SGI (use the link sgi-usa.org). And call your SGI friends. I have always chanted to make strong friends in faith who inspire me. You can do this too, and go to them for guidance. 

3. Take action. 
In my case, five years ago, I formed a connection with a strong and inspiring member and we determined to chant two hours a day "together" to change our karma. Sometimes we chanted in the same room, sometimes by phone or text. We didn't always chant at the exact same time, but somehow, knowing we had the shared commitment was very important. Also, take concrete action. Chant for wisdom, and take the actions that arise from your prayers. 

4. Be consistent. Practice correctly. 
I know, I know, I say this all the time because it is really important. Go to meetings, study the writings of Nichiren Daishonin and Daisaku Ikeda, and introduce others to the practice. 

5. Realize that obstacles will arise. 
Don't let them stop you. 
Chant through your tears. Chant through your tears. A leader once told me that Every tear cried in front of the Gohonzon is a diamond in your life. Keep Chanting through your tears. Don't stop! Embrace it. Get out the tissues and get that karma out of your life, not just for you, but for the generations ahead of you! 

6. Don't give up. 
Whatever you do, don't give up. 
Do whatever you have to do to keep going. Karma changing doesn't usually happen overnight. Call on your friends. Start a journal. Realize that what you are doing is REALLY important.

7. WIN and share your Victory with others! 
Document your experience. Write down the challenges your faced and how you overcame them through chanting. Write down the quotes and guidance that inspired you. 

We would all love to hear your victories. You can share them on Chantforhappiness.com. Just send a picture, a little about yourself - where you live, how long you've been practicing, and your experience to chantforhappiness@gmail.com. 

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

When We Are Having Trouble Focusing Our Prayer....



Has this ever happened to you? 

Today I sat down at the Gohonzon all ready to have a great dialogue with my life in daimoku and my mind just jumped around so much I couldn't focus at all. Thoughts roamed through my head, but none of them were "prayers" really, they were just thoughts about the day before, the upcoming day, tomorrow, but they were not in the realm of prayer, the realm that I call "telling my life what I want." 

I took a look at the recent publications from the SGI and they are just awesome. They improve with every issue. I really look forward to studying them in depth and sharing what I've learned. But now I want to chant...to dig in...to dialogue...not to just think random thoughts. 

What do we do when it's so hard to focus while chanting? 

Well I could just give up and say "I can't connect today..." But I can't let myself do that. I just can't. I have time to chant right now and I must use it! I have emails from you and I really want to be in a high life-condition to answer them. I am moving out of "having surgery mode" and back into life at full throttle - the life I love, exciting, fun, interesting, full of writing, learning and laughing. 

So, I decided to spend the rest of this toso focusing on shakubuku. Goodness knows this world is in turmoil. We live in the age of Mapo and it seems like all the news is bad. So I am turning my prayer to reaching and meeting the people who are searching for this practice. My goal is to meet them, (or have them be someone I already know) and have the wisdom to say what they need to hear, invite them to a meeting and have one person receive Gohonzon this month.

My goal is also to have people find this blog, connect with the SGI (link is at the right!) and start chanting that way. 

The next person I introduce to this practice may be someone I've spoken to for years, months, days. It may be someone I've just met who may have a best friend or family member who has been chanting for them for years, and my invitation is just what they need to reinforce a desire to practice.  

I know one thing for sure....nothing makes me happier than introducing someone to this practice and watching their life change as they embrace it. One more person challenging life...one more person gaining the understanding that happiness comes from WITHIN...one more person fighting for kosen rufu makes a huge difference. 

Chanting for shakubuku is a joy! 
Doing shakubuku 
is the fastest way for us to change our karma. 
Every person practicing brings more joy into their life and into the lives of others! 

If you have started practicing because of this blog I'd love to hear from you at chantforhappiness@gmail.com

Monday, August 4, 2014

Daily Guidance by Daisaku Ikeda

Thank you to Nalini Prakash who sends me daily guidance every day! 


IN the world of faith, 
having a sincere and faithful mind 
enable you 
to keep yourself in tune with the rhythm of the Mystic Law; then you will quickly receive benefit and your good fortune will increase.


IT is only natural 
that the energy you acquire 
through the practice of gongyo for yourself 
will be channeled back into your activities for others, 
for kosen-rufu. 
The fact is that the practice of gongyo 
and your actions in service of kosen-rufu 
will become one, 
and together they will unlock 
the infinite power of the Mystic Law for your life.


AN earnest struggle, 
just like a river crashing loudly over rocks, 
will inevitably encounter obstacles and devilish functions. 
If you keep pressing forward, 
not allowing yourself to be defeated in your struggle, 
you will surge forward with increased impetus 
and achieve great results – 
just as a river flows with increasing momentum 
each time it crashes against rocks, 
racing on with great vigor.


THE determination to accomplish kosen-rufu 
gives momentum to the determination 
to accomplish one’s human revolution. 
Human revolution is like a planet’s rotation on its axis, while kosen-rufu 
is like the planet’s revolution around the sun. 
Rotation and revolution are the foundation 
of all motion in the universe. 
It would run counter to the laws of the universe 
if a planet did not revolve around the sun.


PLEASE read the Gosho each day, 
even if only a single paragraph or sentence. 
Mr Josei Toda used to say, 
“When you are tired, 
that is when you should study the Gosho.” 
The Gosho blazes 
with the brilliant life of Nichiren Daishonin. 
When we expose ourselves to the Gosho, 
our life changes 
and wisdom, courage and confidence well forth.

Hi everyone, I'm a bit behind on answering emails - I will do my best to catch up soon! 
 

Friday, August 1, 2014

Happy 5th Anniversary ChantforHappiness.com!

Happy 
5th Anniversary 
Chantforhappiness.com! 

Here I am - my hernia surgery was a week ago, August is here, and this week is the 5th year anniversary of Chantforhappiness.com! 
I feel like popping open a bottle of champagne and toasting to all of you! 
At first I had no readers, I only had the memory of myself combing the bookstores and libraries to find this practice...looking for it for YEARS and finally finding it when I met Kate Randolph in San Francisco in 1985 when I was already 25 years old. Right away I wanted to share my new tool for happiness - the chanting of Nam-myoho-renge-kyo within the SGI with everyone! 

In the past five years the readership of Chantforhappiness.com has grown to 36,000 people a month ~ all over the world. This humble site has received more than 600,000 hits. Many of you are from the US, Australia, India, Singapore, Canada, Europe, Africa, South America, and many other places too. 

Where do YOU live? Write me at Chantforhappiness@gmail.com and you may be in my next book. I'm collecting the emails I receive about how this blog has been a lifeline in places where there is no SGI, or how it has helped at times to give you that extra burst of energy to continue advancing fearlessly...(or to continue advancing with fear, but with strong determination too!)
My goal has been to help you connect with the Soka Gakkai International (which is full of people helping others become happy), and to the heart of our living mentor Daisaku Ikeda. I am so grateful to have raised my life from one of extreme depression, friendlessness, and sadness to one of strength and happiness that flows through me at every moment. I ride the wave of every challenge I face, and turn it into a benefit. And if I can do it so can YOU!

It's very mystic that I had surgery for a Hernia. When I consulted Louise Hay's book "You Can Heal Your Life" (one of my favorites ~ I always keep this book close to me) about the real meaning of a hernia, it said "Ruptured Relationships, Strain..." and I had to laugh. Hmmm WHICH ruptured relationship? All of them? A particular one? My entire "ruptured relationship karma"? 
And I thought back to 5 years ago when I began this blog. It was born from the ashes of a ruptured relationship. I was missing someone so badly I could literally FEEL the pain in the exact area where my hernia operation took place. Heartache actually hurts. I know. I've felt it. I know how all of you who write me about heartache feel. 
I also knew at the time that the pain I felt was INSIDE my life. Yes, it was triggered by the relationship, but it was within me, and therefore, I could forever root the cause of the karma of this pain and depression out of my life through this practice. So I began chanting two hours a day to get rid of this pain FOREVER...to Root it out of my family karma. And I began writing this blog so that I could show actual proof through my life and take the whole world along. And of course, it worked. I followed the Soka Gakkai's prescription for happiness. Now I have permanently turned a corner...raised my life condition...changed forever this state of suffering. Forever. Changed. No more depression. Ever. 

And here we are! 

During the life of this blog so many things have happened...including: 

My sweet Mommy died...
I had major hip replacement surgery... 
My son got into Medical School and just passed his boards with flying colors...
I wrote the book PowerPrayers for Chanting Your Way to Absolute Happiness and Success (soon to be released)... 
I went through the biggest challenge of my life when my son became sick this year and he is now much better... 
and now I am mystically recovering from surgery in the exact part of my body that triggered the blog in the first place. And you, my friends have accompanied me on every leg of this journey as I've proven the power of the Mystic Law with my life...and as YOU'VE proven the power with your own lives! 

I have answered hundreds and hundreds of emails. I have shared laughter with you, and I've shared your tears. In some cases I've been able to answer a few seconds after you wrote; others of you have had to wait longer, or have had to write me again when times were busy. Many mornings I have woken up to 5, 6, 7 emails from you...and sometimes...just when I needed it most...your emails were full of appreciation that brought tears to my eyes...just at the right time! 

Many of you have connected with the SGI through this blog. Others have reconnected. Many of you have broken through...some are still fighting, but are not alone! 
And yes, some of you found out about this practice for the first time through Chantforhappiness.com. I want to hear all your stories, and share them if you'll let me. Don't worry though, I never share anything unless you give me permission, so whatever you write is in confidence. You know the email: chantforhappiness@gmail.com

I can tell you with more confidence than ever that chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo IS the answer to every single one of your questions and the exact prescription for all of the success and happiness you were born to experience. I write this blog to show through my own life experience, my own ups and downs, that anything is possible. And it IS! If I can overcome my heartache and lifelong depression so can you. So can anyone. If I can lose the weight that my mother carried...that all the women in my life have carried...then ANYTHING is possible, because THAT was clearly impossible...
I write this blog to show you the impossible is possible and to share our glorious mission in life together! 

I salute YOU my dear friends! I salute YOU!