Thursday, December 31, 2015

3 Perfect Ways to Set Goals - not Scary at ALL!

 
Written words have power. Many books have been written about the power of writing goals. I write my goals and determinations every day...and chant to change my life from the inside...to root out the karma I don't like, and replace it with better karma. And with each Nam-myoho-renge-kyo I chant, I vow to become even wiser, and make better causes each and every day towards my own happiness, and a happier world for all. Kosen-rufu! 

Here are some cool ideas for setting goals - try these:

Goal Setting Technique Number 1

Set "FEELING" Goals. 

You don't have to spell everything out. You don't have to be able to predict the future...all you have to do is make a determination to create a new feeling. Now, I don't mean that if something is bad, you should just "poof" feel better about it. No, that's not what I mean. But you can have a goal like this: 
"By March I will feel better about my finances, I will feel I am on more solid footing and I will feel more secure." Then chant about it. You can do this about anything you want to change. The person who introduced this to me is Nick Ortner who wrote the book The Tapping Solution. 

Goal setting technique Number 2

Write a narrative about how things will be when your goal comes true. 

I love setting goals this way. You can choose whatever you wish. Here are some examples for you:

 "Life! Gohonzon! I now live in a sunny climate with a job I love and a wonderful boyfriend. Every day I wake up glad to be alive and energized by the sun and my surroundings. I have friends to chant with, play with, shop with and take long walks. I laugh so easily and feel totally in the flow with my life. Every day is full of appreciation and love right now." 

or maybe:

"Life, Gohonzon, I am so happy! I have a job I love and I do something that makes a difference in people's lives. I make ______ and have these benefits______. This year I travel to ______ and ______for my vacations"......and on and on...you fill in the blanks. 

or: 

"My living situation is more harmonious than ever. Suddenly there is no more fighting and we all seem to have undergone a transformation. I feel more love in my life than ever. Thank you Gohonzon (my life!)
Goal Setting Technique #3

Write letters to whomever you want to bring into your life.

Many of you write me about finding the love of your life. Or about loving someone who does not seem ready to love you back. You can use this technique to write to a specific person, or to write to the love of your life - even if you haven't yet met. 

Here's how: 

Write letters to the person you envision being in your life. And if you really feel creative, write letters FROM them Back to YOU. 

Like this: 

Dear Love of my Life, 
I can't wait to meet you! Hurry into my life! 
I feel you close to me, I know we will meet shortly. You and I will enjoy so much together. I love your happy spirit, and sense of responsibility. You love my eyes and warm hugs. You are really made for  each other. We love and adore each other and love to make each other happy!  
Do you have any words for me? 

And then you write a letter from them to you: 

Yes!  
I can't wait until we meet. I have been waiting to meet you my whole life. Do not give up hope. I am nearer than ever before. Let's keep chanting and hoping and wishing on that star! Let's keep writing about our life together. It's getting closer and closer! 

And you can use this for a specific person as well. 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Happy New Year dear friends. 
I hope you have a great New Year's Eve and a Powerful New Year's Day!



Sunday, December 27, 2015

8 Questions to Start the New Year Positively



I always begin a new year by evaluating the last year...
I ask myself the following questions: 

1. What am I proud of - 
what are my main accomplishments from 2014? 
2. What COULD I be proud of? 
3. What did I read?
4. What did I learn? 
5. What new idea/modality/practice did I experience? 
6. What will I write down in my journal for the end of 2015? 
7. What am I determined to record at the end of next year's journal? 
7. Whose lives did I impact? 

And I write out a list of positive accomplishments in all areas of my life, mind-body-spirit. 

And I also take a look at the not-so-positive aspects of last year. 

1. What can I do better? 
2. What behavior will I commit to changing? 
3. What behavior will I commit to doing consistently? 

I also like to write out a vision of what I want my life to be. I do that every year. I write it in the present tense and put in all the elements I want. Then I read it often. 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Looking back on last year is a harder than ever this year. Of course. 
But if I can face my life right now...if I can not give up and make a new determination to create a life of brilliant victory. Well then, so can you!

So the new year is a great time say: 

"Hon Nim Myo! From this moment forth!" 

Now is the time to bring forth more power from within my life than ever before. Now, because of what I have suffered, I can help so many more people. I can be a better source for good. I can create more happiness for myself and others. 

We can live in the present. It is all we can do. 
It is what we must do. 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
In the December 2015 Living Buddhism, Daisaku Ikeda writes: 

"In a Buddhist scripture, Shakyamuni states: 

"The past should not be followed after, 
the future not desired. 
What is past is got rid of 
and the future has not come. 
But whoever has vision now here, 
now there, of a present thing, 
Knowing that it is immovable, unshakable, 
for him to cultivate it. 
Swelter at the task this very day" 

Daisaku Ikeda continues:

"It is foolish to endlessly suffer and agonize over the past, 
or to needlessly fret and worry about the unknown future. 
Instead, we should concentrate on taking care 
of the things that we have to do today. 
What is important is that we live each day 
earnestly and conscientiously.
This is the Buddha's message. 

Those who live long lives are for the most part optimists. 
I hope that you will live each day joyfully and with genuine optimism."
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 



Friday, December 25, 2015

Merry Christmas ~ Here Comes the New year!

Merry Christmas ~ 
Here comes the New Year! 

This is one of my favorite times of the year...as we wrap up Christmas and begin to make our goals for the New Year.

We are Buddhists...PRACTICAL BUDDHISTS and, as my friend and mentor Amos says: 

"You're a Buddhist - DREAM BIG! ~ 

"How many times do you have to remake a determination? Infinity! Just keep remaking that determination over and over again, and one day it will STICK! Don't give up." 

It doesn't matter how many times you've made the same determination and not succeeded. Go ahead and make it again. Nam-myoho-renge-kyo. You can do it! 

As I make my New Year's list of determinations, I often think back to 1993 when I was practicing in San Francisco with Danny Nagashima. We were chanting to bring Daisaku Ikeda to San Francisco and we succeeded. 

Danny encouraged us to make huge long New Years lists...200 things or more...as many things as we could possibly think of for our list of goals. 

And I took what he said to heart. I made a huge list. And 1993 still stands out in my life as the year I met Sensei and had a fabulous year! I found there was power in writing it all down...power in making the goals...power in starting the year with so much focus. 

A few weeks ago I wrote some new goals. One of them said 

"Gohonzon! Life! 
Bring me one person who wants this practice 
who will receive Gohonzon January 1st, 
and practice their whole life!" 

And a few days later I received a call from someone who found my blog, started chanting, and wants to practice. 
We've been chanting, studying, and she's learning gongyo. She is amazing...she's been looking for this practice for a long time. Awesome! That's why I write the blog!

Let's all make our lists! 

Happy 2016!

I respond to emails at chantforhappiness@gmail.com
I'm on Facebook as Jamie Lee Silver and Chant for Happiness. (I prefer not to instant message, but, as I mentioned, I do respond to email)  





Tuesday, December 22, 2015

We are Lions - We ROAR! Changing Poison into Medicine Now!

Nam-myoho-renge-kyo! 
Translation: I fuse my life with the Mystic Law of Cause and effect 
through sound vibration! 


(You can now subscribe to this blog by putting your name in the box to the right)


It is almost the new year...what a great time to make fresh determinations and break through to the next level of our own happiness...while taking the rest of the world along with us! My son Aaron (who is 25 this year, and about to graduate from Stritch Medical School next spring) and I just finished chanting two hours of daimoku (Nam-myoho-renge-kyo) together. It is, of course, an interesting holiday time...one of making new cherished memories, and honoring our 22 years with our Ben (my son, Aaron's younger brother) who is no longer here physically, yet we still fee his presence in so many ways. Ben's story is not yet over, is not yet told. Please add your story to Ben's. If the last few years of blogs about Ben have influenced you in any way, please be a part of his story by sending me a paragraph, picture, poem...whatever you wish at chantforhappiness@gmail.com. 
Ben's story is not yet over and many of you are a part of it! 
We are turning poison into medicine. This is my solemn vow. 
Let's strengthen our faith more than ever! 

Sometimes we have to get mad when we chant! 
Lions ROAR! Lions ROAR! 

When we chant 
we are chanting 
Nam-myoho-renge-kyo 
to our own life
and sometimes we chant with this thought:

 "Life! Enough is enough! I am changing this karma NOW."

Some of you have written me that you are feeling hopeless and controlled by others. Chant and take action!

RISE UP to your life while chanting and DEMAND results now. We chant for the wisdom to take the correct action...and the courage to take it! 

We are all noble Boddhisatvas of the earth. 

In The Heart of the Lotus Sutra, Daisaku Ikeda writes:

"When we do gongyo "we are in effect vowing to advance kosen-rufu (a world of respect for all life) in accord with the spirit of the original Buddha. Every day we pledge to the Daishonin, "Without fail, I will believe in and spread the teachings of Nichiren Daishonin and help lead all people to enlightenment." 
page 150

And to fulfill this vow, we have to win in our lives. 
  
Each of us has some negative tendency that happens over and over, don't we? For me, I struggled for years with a feeling that would just overcome me, and wash over me like a wave. Out of nowhere I would feel unloved, unlovable and hopeless. I'd call my friend in faith Kate, and she'd remind me that this feeling was a function of the fundamental darkness within my life and within all of life, and this was AGAIN my time to summon up the power of my faith. 

That's why I say 
BE FUELED BY YOUR OBSTACLES, 
not FOOLED BY THEM! 

"Get MAD at the shoten zenjin!" Kate would say. 
(Shoten Zenjin are the protective forces that counterbalance fundamental darkness. We use our practice to increase the shoten zenjin and banish fundamental darkness.) 
And I would generate some angry energy, roar like a lion and use this PowerPrayer inspired by Kate - it totally changed my life:

PowerPrayer to say, 
"No More! Enough is enough!”
I change this negative function NOW! 
By Jamie Lee Silver from ChantforHappiness.com

I am chanting with 
absolute conviction in the power of my life to declare and demand:

No more of this karma 
of feeling insecure and doubting myself.

I root this karma out of my life with every Nam-myoho-renge-kyo I chant! 

No more of this karma 
of being abused or disrespected by anyone or any thing!

No more doubting my own Buddha Nature!

No more living in fear!

No more feeling unloved or hopeless.

No more ________________ (you fill in the blank.)

I now create _________________________________in my life starting now.

I don't CARE how many times I have to chant about this. I don't CARE how many times you try to bring me down. 

I will win! 

I MUST Win because I am a votary of the Lotus Sutra. I am living my life to prove that chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo works and to help others become happy. 

I will win!!!

I am the Buddha.
I am roaring with power in my life!
I now determine with all the power vested in me that I will___________________________.

The wisdom to take the actions to create this breakthrough comes to me now!

Here are the actions I will take today:______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________


Saturday, December 19, 2015

The Silent Prayers ~ Insights from Daisaku Ikeda



From the December 11th World Tribune, page 7:

Offering Silent Prayers

Silent prayers are offered in the heart.

Accordingly, even though we may read their words, 
it is what we actually think - 
the thoughts occurring to us - 
that become our prayers. 

Second Soka Gakkai President Josei Toda said:

"Since we are human, 
it is only natural that various thoughts occur to us 
while we are chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo. 
But if we chant earnestly, 
then gradually we can focus entirely on the Gohonzon. 
If we chant with an earnest frame of mind, 
various worries about our daily lives will be resolved. 
At that time, for example, 
the complaints of a spouse 
can sound as soothing as a lullaby.
But let's be careful when offering silent prayers. 
The thoughts in our heart 
are clearly expressed to the Gohonzon." 

If, during silent prayers we think, "That guy's a real jerk," then even though we may be reading the silent prayers' words, it is the thought in our heart, "He's a real jerk," 
that becomes our prayer to the Gohonzon. 

Offering the silent prayers 
properly is a decisive struggle. 
The prayers that someone offers 
reflect his or her life state. 

Prayers have to be concrete, 
and they must be made with determination. 

Whether chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo 
or offering silent prayers, 
the most important thing 
is to pray with a resolute mind.  
Prayers should not be abstract. 
The Buddhas and Buddhist deities 
respond to earnest, strong prayers 
arising from the very depths of one's life. 

From The Heart of the Lotus Sutra, by Daisaku Ikeda

Friday, December 18, 2015

Power-FULL Daimoku = Power-FULL Day!


How do we have Power-FULL Daimoku? 

Every day is a new challenge. 
Every day we wake into our glorious lives, that sometimes don't feel so glorious. 
Every day we have the chance to begin anew. 
Every morning, 
every moment 
is "Hon-nim-myo" ~ 
from this moment forth. 


I have a lot of things on my plate - just like you!

So I decided to make a determination before chanting ~ that after my hour of chanting I would feel absolutely refreshed, confident and ready for anything! I turned my phone off, made my tea, and chanted with some of these thoughts in mind. 
I write this Fresh Determination from my heart for you. You can read it before you chant and see if it inspires your fresh determination. 
This blog is for you. I do not express the official voice of the SGI, only the official voice of this one practitioner, myself, who longs for the happiness of all people! 

Fresh Determination
for a Power-FULL Happy Day!
By Jamie Lee Silver from Chantforhappiness.com

Life!
Today I embrace you at every moment
The wisdom I am creating, right now, 
through every Nam-myoho-renge-kyo I chant
pours through me every moment this day. 
Every moment is in rhythm
Every moment I am in exactly the right place 
at the right time
Seeing through the eyes of the Buddha I AM! 
I make a difference in every life I touch

The right words come at the right time. 
My warm heart shines
My confidence shines
I feel the love of those around me
I feel my love for myself, for my warm and wonderful self! 
I create an environment that appreciates me 
as I appreciate it! 
My brilliant future is assured
without me having to worry about it or strategize. 
I fuse my life force with Nam-myoho-renge-kyo and the spirit of my mentor Daisaku Ikeda. 
Together I renew my vow to change myself first, so that this will become a peaceful, respectful world! 

I am creating my future as I lovingly love my present! 
Here are some goals I am visualizing: 
_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Gohonzon!
Life!
Some kind of way 
I am showing proof of this marvelous practice 
at every moment! 
Some kind of way 
the people I am chanting for 
will be happy and healthy!
I chant for ___________________
_____________________________
_____________________________
_____________________________
their health and happiness and stability! 
their ability to tap into their practice and get results!
their strong life force!
their mission for kosen-rufu! 
For ______________________________
__________________________________
__________________________________
__________________________________
to be inspired and come to the meeting! 
This is a great day!

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

12 Ways You Can Love Yourself Now


12 Ways You Can 


Love Yourself Now

By Louise Hay

I have found that there is 

only one thing that heals every problem, 
and that is: to love yourself. 
When people start to love themselves more each day, 
it’s amazing how their lives get better. 
They feel better. 
They get the jobs they want. 
They have the money they need. 
Their relationships eitheimprove, 
or the negative ones dissolve and new ones begin.

Loving yourself is a wonderful adventure; 
it’s like learning to fly. 
Imagine if we all had the power to fly at will? 
How exciting it would be! 

Let’s begin to love ourselves now.

1. Stop All Criticism.

Criticism never changes a thing. 
Refuse to criticize yourself. 
Accept yourself exactly as you are. 
Everybody changes. 
When you criticize yourself, 
your changes are negative. 
When you approve of yourself, your changes are positive.


2. Forgive Yourself.

Let the past go. 
You did the best you could at the time 
with the understanding, awareness, 

and knowledge that you had. 
Now you are growing and changing, 

and you will live life differently.


3. Don’t Scare Yourself.

Stop terrorizing yourself with your thoughts. 
It's a dreadful way to live. 
Find a mental image that gives you pleasure, and 
immediately switch your scary thought to a pleasure thought.

4. Be Gentle and Kind and Patient.

Be gentle with yourself. 
Be kind to yourself. 
Be patient with yourself 
as you learn the new ways of thinking. 
Treat yourself as you would someone you really loved.

5. Be Kind to Your Mind.

Self-hatred is only hating your own thoughts. 
Don't hate yourself for having the thoughts. 
Gently change your thoughts.

6. Praise Yourself.

Criticism breaks down the inner spirit. 
Praise builds it up. 
Praise yourself as much as you can. 
Tell yourself how well you are doing with every little thing.

7. Support Yourself.

Find ways to support yourself. 
Reach out to friends and allow them to help you. 
It is being strong to ask for help when you need it.

8. Be Loving to Your Negatives.

Acknowledge that you created them to fulfill a need. 
Now you are finding new, positive ways 
to fulfill those needs. 
So lovingly release the old negative patterns.

9. Take Care of Your Body.

Learn about nutrition. 
What kind of fuel does your body need 
in order to have optimum energy and vitality? 
Learn about exercise. 
What kind of exercise do you enjoy? 
Cherish and revere the temple you live in.

10. Do Mirror Work.

Look into your eyes often.
Express this growing sense of love you have for yourself
Forgive yourself while looking into the mirror. 
Talk to your parents while looking into the mirror. 
Forgive them, too. 
At least once a day, say, I love you, I really love you!


11. Love Yourself . . . Do It Now.

Don't wait until you get well, 
or lose the weight, 
or get the new job, 
or find the new relationship. 
Begin now—and do the best you can.

12. Have Fun.

Remember the things that gave you joy as a child.
 Incorporate them into your life now. 
Find a way to have fun with everything you do. 
Let yourself express the joy of living. 
Smile. 
Laugh. 
Rejoice, and the Universe rejoices with you!



Note from Jamie ~ 

I hope you are enjoying these holidays! 

I'm a bit behind on answering emails but I will get to them. 

My email is chantforhappiness@gmail.com