Monday, February 29, 2016

4 Reasons Nichiren SGI Buddhists are so Happy !


Key West Sunset last night


Why are Nichiren (Practical) Buddhist so Happy? 
What is so special 
about this twice-daily practice 
of chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo?

What is a Nichiren Buddhist? Why are we also called "Practical Buddhists?" The two titles are interchangeable. 
Practical Buddhists chant every morning and evening and EVERY MORNING and evening. We study the works of Nichiren Daishonin, and the writings of Daisaku Ikeda, to learn the workings of the practice, and how and why chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo  (meaning: I fuse my life with the Mystic Law of Cause and Effect Through Sound Vibration) draws forth the power innate in every life to find fulfillment and become happy. The more we study, the more we deepen our ability to tap this power. We encourage each other and attend Soka Gakkai meetings.  (To find a meeting near you click on the link to the right) We introduce others to the practice because we are delighted with the results we see in our own lives from chanting. 

4 Surprising Reasons 
Nichiren Buddhists are so HAPPY ~

1. Our Happiness is not based on our happiness alone. It is based on the profound results we see in our own lives - and in the lives of others as we chant. We base our practice on RESULTS! We GET what we chant for, or something better, as long as we don't give up! 

Our happiness has a higher purpose. Don't get me wrong...happiness for any reason is great. Happiness is the purpose of our practice, and we join our own happiness with the happiness of ALL. We call this kosen-rufu...a world of respect for all of life. We chant to be happy so that we can prove through our own lives the validity of chanting the name of the Mystic Law - and to prove everyone can generate happiness if they chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo. 

With every problem we face we chant: 

"I will defeat THIS problem for the sake of Kosen-rufu 
(the happiness of ALL) 
And one by one I will knock all my problems down. 
I achieve all my goals. 
I will succeed is all areas of my life to prove the power of the law! 
I vow to win in all areas of my life!"

2. We KNOW we have the POWER, and the TOOL to overcome our own negativity ~ and raise our "Life Condition" and become happy! To us, Happiness means winning over ourselves. 

It's true. When we chant the name of the rhythm of life itself ~ Nam-myoho-renge-kyo ~ we see results. And what will we WIN over? Ourselves. We are fighting and winning the biggest and most worthy battle of all...the battle over our own negativity. And the thing is, no one can do that but US. We are the only ones. And our negativity never entirely goes away, but our daily practice keeps it away, and is the source of our happiness. We talk about the "evil twin - or critical mind" we hear in our minds telling us we can't do it, that we aren't strong enough and asking us "who do you think you are?" When we chant consistently that voice recedes, and our true and powerful Buddha nature emerges.  And we DO succeed!

3. We KNOW we can change our karma and make the impossible possible. And we do it together with our fellow SGI Members. 

Whether we have studied eastern religions or not, we are all familiar with karma no matter what name we call it. Cause and Effect ~ Karma. Karma is passed down from one generation to another. Karma is reoccurring problems...you know, the way in which people marry one person, move on to the next and have the exact same problems crop up. 
Nichiren Buddhists know Karma is nothing to be afraid of. Karma is the sum total of every cause we have ever made through every existence we have ever had. And since, according to Nichiren Daishonin, those existences number more than grains of sand in the ocean, what need is there to fret about karma? And we do not need to spend countless lifetimes trying to undo every negative thing we have ever done. How could we? We don't even know what these things were. What we can do, is make the absolute most positive causes NOW. When we chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo we are making the most positive cause for our lives. When we introduce others, these causes are magnified across many existences because we have introduced them to the power to change their own and their family's karma. 
And chanting with and for our fellow members is a huge part of our practice. We join our "family" for meetings and individually to surmount challenges. If you have not yet found your SGI family you can use the SGI-USA.org link to the right or search on Soka Gakkai International. 

4. We are aware of the interconnectivity of life and know that when we change our inner life, our outer life changes as well. We are Power-FULL not Power-LESS and we can chant for others as well! 

There's a Buddhist term called "Esho Funi". It means that we see and experience ourselves as separate from our environment (our environment is everything outside of our skin - the air we breathe, the couch we are sitting on, the music we hear, and each person, thing, animal in our environment and throughout the entire universe). But we are intricately connected to everything. That is why we can chant and change our lives. We change our inner lives, and because of the interconnectivity of life (also called "dependent origination") we are able to influence our environment. This is the fulcrum of true happiness and true power in our lives. 

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Life is a Grand Adventure! Any Readers in Florida?



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

You are reading Chantforhappiness.com - a blog written by a 30 year Nichiren Buddhist and Soka Gakkai, SGI, member...a blog to inspire all who read it that ANYTHING is possible, and that, NO MATTER WHAT the circumstances, we can turn poison into medicine, and do more than overcome our challenges...we can turn them into BENEFITS by chanting the name of the rhythm of life itself...Nam-myoho-renge-kyo!

I am here in Key West Florida, on an adventure of my new life. This morning I reread the post from July 5th, the day that my old life ended, and this new one began...the day that my sweet boy, my Benjamin Lee Silver, my son of 22 years, began his new journey of eternal life. And I am here, living my life with him eternally, loving, enjoying, spreading my light, and his light far and wide, and bringing love everywhere I go. Now I am in the sunshine of Key West Florida, making new friends, dancing and basking in the sun. 
Here is the post from July 5th if you'd like to read it. The messages at the end, the comments from readers...how they touch my heart! 

http://chantforhappiness.blogspot.com/2015/07/to-my-dear-friends-about-my-ben.html?showComment=1456585226831#c8366076978197050657

I am determined to show proof of this practice through my life, through my writings back and forth with my eternal Ben, through all that is possible by chanting! 

Yesterday, in Key West, I met new friends dancing and listening to a talented singer. We were in an outdoor restaurant, and I noticed a woman watching from the sidewalk. I invited her to join us, and she said "No, I can't, I'm the singer's mother and I will embarrass him." I said "My son died this summer! You must come join us right now!" And she did! We all danced together, took pictures, toasted to mother and son, and enjoyed the rest of his show! 

We are all Buddhas! We can bring forth our true Buddha Nature by chanting these profound words, this profound vibration. 
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
From "Lectures On Attaining Buddhahood in This Lifetime, by Daisaku Ikeda, page 62:

"It is the heart that is important. (WND-1, pg 1000) 
writes Nichiren Daishonin. 
Our heart, our mind, is truly wondrous and unfathomable. We can expand and deepen the inner realms of our spirit infinitely and boundlessly. (infinitely and boundlessly!! jls)

Like the elation of soaring freely 
through the vast blue heavens, 
the heart can feel immense and untrammeled joy. 
Like the clear, bright sunshine illuminating all things, 
the heart can embrace those who are suffering 
with warmth and compassion. 
And like a lion of justice, 
the heart can also at times 
tremble with righteous anger and defeat evil. 
Indeed, our heart or mind is constantly changing, 
like scenes in a drama or like and unfolding panorama. 
And nothing is more wondrous 
than its ability to manifest the world of Buddhahood. 
Even people weighed down by delusion and suffering 
can bring forth in the depths of their lives 
the state of Buddhahood that is one with the universe. 
This momentous drama of transformation 
is the greatest of all wonders." 
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I am in Florida! Write me at chantforhappiness@gmail.com if you are anywhere in Florida and want to chant together! 

Friday, February 26, 2016

11 Quotes by Daisaku Ikeda on Breaking Through That Wall!


All quotes from Ikedaquotes.org by Daisaku Ikeda:

Rather than becoming discouraged, know that encountering a wall is proof of the progress that you have made so far.

Anyone can hit a wall. The anguish felt then is proof of one’s desire to move forward. But all is for naught if you falter at that moment. Action—that is the key to breaking through an impasse.

There is a saying that the earth upon which we fall is the same ground which enables us to push ourselves up again. There’s another which maintains that barley grows better after it has been trampled on. It is up to us to decide to live a life free from self-doubt and despair in spite of our failures. Indeed, it is during our most humbling moments that we should show greatest poise and grace.

When facing adversity, we may think we’ve reached our limit, but actually the more trying the circumstances, the closer we are to making a breakthrough. The darker the night, the nearer the dawn. Victory in life is decided by that last concentrated burst of energy filled with the resolve to win.

We are not defeated by adversity but by the loss of the will to strive. However devastated you may feel, so long as you have the will to fight on, you can surely triumph.

Just as physical training can bring forth the unseen capacities of our bodies and intellectual training develops our minds, our hearts can be trained and strengthened. Through the process of overcoming grief, for example, it is possible for us to see beyond our own suffering to develop a more expansive and robust sense of self. This experience can inspire us to care for others who feel the same pain.

Just as the pure white lotus flower blooms unsoiled in muddy water, our lives, which are supremely noble, can continue to shine even amid life’s harshest realities.

Reality is harsh. It can be cruel and ugly. Yet no matter how much we grieve over our environment and circumstances nothing will change. What is important is not to be defeated, to forge ahead bravely. If we do this, a path will open before us.

Suffering only gets worse when we try to run from it rather than facing it.

A person’s true nature is revealed at times of the greatest adversity.

It’s important to have the courage to ask yourself what it is that you should be doing now, at this very moment.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~All quotes are by Daisaku Ikeda from Ikedaquotes.org 

And from Jamie: 
Let's not give up! No matter what! My life is filled with challenges, just like yours. But every time we bravely face our own lives...every time we open that Butsudan (box that houses our Gohonzon), every time we look at the Gohonzon and Chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo we are making a step forward. We are making a profound cause. We are facing our own troubles and finding our way around those walls! 
And when we do this twice a day our lives get "on a roll!" 
Join me as we strengthen our muscles of faith!

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

When A Problem Persists ~ Compassion for Ourselves!


Welcome to Chantforhappiness.com, 
a blog about drawing forth our own power, 
our own entire universe of Buddhahood 
from within our lives by 
chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo 
Meaning: 
I fuse my life 
with the mystic law of cause and effect 
through sound vibration) 
You can now receive these blogs by email 
by putting your email address in the box to the right. 


This blog is written by a 31-year practitioner of Nichiren Daishonin's Buddhism. This practice enables us to turn EVERY problem into medicine ~ while encouraging others through our own lives - and uplifting us all.  

It is a noble and fulfilling practice. I began this blog almost 7 years ago when I was suffering from severe depression after a breakup. I determined to chant two hours a day to permanently alleviate the depression that had been in my life's karma since before I was born---it's been part of my karma, my mother's karma, and my family karma for countless generations. By chanting these two hours a day I took a stand to permanently root this karma of depression out of my life. During the first hour of chanting I realized I could do this and take the world along with me by writing this blog. I was successful. I no longer have any depression. I do not wake up with a veil of sadness that follows me through the day. It is gone.

We, as Nichiren Buddhists, know that problems and challenges are part of life...that they actually are part of the fulfillment of a vow we made before we were born to prove the validity of this mystic law. Our challenges are, in fact, the answer to our prayers and our means to strengthen our faith (and when we say faith we do not mean just belief - we mean belief put into action to get results). 

And sometimes our problems are daunting and persist. How do we deal with those? 
What do we do with a problem we keep trying to change, but somehow - we haven't changed it yet? 

The first thing we can do is to NOT get down on ourselves. It's easy to think "If I had more faith, I'd have solved this problem by now." But that type of thinking does not get us anywhere, does it? It is a form of self-slander, and no good can come of that!

So please don't get mad at yourself if a problem persists. Together we must boldly advance every day doing what we know we need to do...chanting, studying the words of Daisaku Ikeda, our wise, wise encourager and mentor, and reading the Gosho of Nichiren Daishonin, the man who realized that chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo was the most powerful teaching for our time and endured persecution after persecution. He didn't say "Oh, this persecution is a sign that my faith is weak." He didn't get down on himself when he was exiled to Sado Island. He did not slander his own life by asking "Why me?"

No. He saw these challenges as proof of this faith, and we have to do the same. Being part of the SGI, going to local meetings, and chanting every morning and evening is our great, great fortune and a gift we give ourselves. 

And every day - every SINGLE day, we can make a new determination to bring the solution from within our lives...and keep moving forward!

Whatever you are challenging in your life, I invite you today to appreciate yourself anew. Do something nice for yourself. Be your own best friend. Think about ten things you appreciate about yourself. Write a note to yourself. Get a massage. Do something nice for yourself. Honor your strength, courage, beauty and wisdom. 

Winter always turns to Spring! Do not give up! Let's keep persevering together! 

Saturday, February 20, 2016

There is Light at the End of EVERY Tunnel! YOU are that light!

"You can now subscribe to this blog by putting your email in the box to the right."

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

"There is no way of life more desolate or more pitiful 
then one of ignorance of the fundamental joy
that issues from the struggle 
to generate and regenerate one's own life from within. 
To be human is much more 
than the biological facts of standing erect 
and exercising reasoning and intelligence. 
The full and genuine meaning of our humanity 
is found in tapping the creative fonts of life itself."

Daisaku Ikeda, Buddhism Day by Day, Wisdom for Modern Life, page 67
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Whatever you do - just don't give up! 

I just updated this blog title because reader Brian Mann reminded me that WE are the lights in the tunnel. Of course! Thank you Brian!

These last couple of months have been so challenging for me. I've been sad about my son, restless about my life, and, above all, longing for the sunshine. There have been days where I've thought "What can I tell my precious blog readers? I am having a hard time seeing the hope in my life - how can I help them?" 

And then, because I kept up my practice, kept studying, introducing others, and deepening my prayer, I cracked opened the power within my life, I am witnessing a new sun starting to shine within my life and in my environment. 

It is just as Daisaku Ikeda says over and over. A new day will dawn. Just don't give up!

As I was going through this darkness I bolstered myself by thinking "Jamie, you are going to have so much more compassion for people who are suffering, because of this. There will be a light at the end of the tunnel even though you can't see it. Now you've experienced loneliness, you've experienced grieving, you've written poem after poem and opened your heart in a new way...one day you will appreciate this, even this, dark time." 

And I kept in mind something a leader said recently: "YOU wrote the story of your life, and for sure, you write it every day. You've got to know you wrote a happy ending!" 

And it's the truth. And, as my friend Mark Lutnes just reminded me, "It's not just the ending that's happy!" 

Today the sun is shining. Yesterday it came out for a while, but so did 70 mile per hour winds. Woosh! 

I have, as always a full schedule. I'm working hard on Ben's Memorial Mile which will be held her in Downers Grove, Illinois, at Downers Grove North High School, about 25 miles west of Chicago on June 11th, 2016. It will bring the community together to honor Ben's life, raise money to end schizophrenia, and provide runs, walks and a really fun time for all ages. You are invited! Come one, come all!

And I'm heading down to the Florida Keys for a few days next weekend. I've always wanted to visit the keys. I love the peninsulas of this world (although the keys are actually islands, connected to Florida by long bridges) ....San Francisco, Provincetown...they attract artists and music and people who do not conform to the rest of the world, but make the world their own. I'd wanted to go, and suddenly some doors opened and I just stepped right through them. 

Whatever you are going through - JUST KEEP GOING and you will get to the other side! 



Thursday, February 18, 2016

PowerPrayer for Happiness to FLOW!



"Life contains the capacity, like flames that reach toward heaven, to transform suffering and pain into the energy needed for value creation, into light that illuminates  darkness. Like the wind traversing the vast spaces unhindered, life has the power to uproot and overturn all obstacles and difficulties. Like clear flowing water, it can wash away all stains and impurities. And, finally, life, like the great earth that sustains vegetation, impartially protects all people with its compassionate, nurturing force." 

Daisaku Ikeda, Buddhism Day by Day, page 64

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

Ok, I am just determined to end this suffering! Winter does me in...the endlessly low grey skies of Chicago....OOF!

So, I was able, through this new chiropractic work I'm getting, to start walking on my treadmill again. And I'm eating more healthy. This affects me immediately. It was my Valentine's Day gift to myself. 

Last night I booked a much needed trip to the sun - because the doors opened in a really cool way! 

AND, my prayer right now, from the depths of my heart, is openness...essentially non-attachment. A kind of surrender. As I chant my hour in the morning, with my phone in the other room, I have this PowerPrayer in my heart - not all my challenges - not all the things I have to solve:

PowerPrayer for Happiness to FLOW ! 
By Jamie Lee Silver Chantforhappiness.com

"Right now I draw all the wisdom of life through me. Gohonzon, my life, 
we already know my deepest desires! 
Right now I draw forth the wisdom I already possess. 
I draw forth that wisdom for my own happiness...
because I know MY happiness 
makes a difference in the world. 
This Daimoku IS the cause, 
And leads me to make the right causes
And bring forth the wisdom
and ACT on that wisdom 
so my life can flow with kosen rufu power for all!
All the right doors open now, 
and I joyfully step through them! "

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Taking it One Step at a Time

(You can now subscribe by putting your email in the box to the right)

Have you ever felt that there's just too much on your plate? 

Too many decisions to make, too much to do...and you just feel stuck, and barely even remember how to chant? Well, I can relate! I know some of you feel this way because you write me and ask "Where do I start? How can I accomplish X?" 

So this morning, as I was talking to my life in the wonderful ceremony we do every morning...our "trueing ceremony" of gongyo, our recitation of the Lotus Sutra, I battled again with too much in my mind...and then a total blank...not really knowing where to start...and I just kept chanting. 

Even though I was thinking "this isn't very organized thought" (which is self-slander!) I kept chanting, and I felt this ease come over me. I changed focus from trying to solve ALL my problems at once, and figure EVERYTHING out TODAY, and I just started chanting to be present, to make good decisions, to have wisdom in every moment today, and to take it one step at a time... 

So, after this morning's gongyo, I feel refreshed. Calm. Taking it a step at a time. 

And for all of you who write me and say "I don't know how to get started chanting again." or "I'm finding it almost impossible to chant." I can tell you to just keep going. Don't slander yourself or get down on yourself. Sit in front of the Gohonzon, your precious life, and say "I am breaking through. I will complete the time I promised myself I would chant. I will just keep going." And, as Daisaku Ikeda says: Don't Give Up! 

Sunday, February 14, 2016

5 Keys to Make Your Gongyo and Your Life Sparkle!




Note  - you can now get daily updates from this blog by putting your email in the box to the right:



Perfecting our daily recitation of Gongyo and Daimoku is our spiritual work-out for the interior of our lives, this work-out makes our environments 
(our world at every moment, 
and all the people and things and EVERYTHING in it) 
flow smoothly...and we can accomplish our goals and live fulfilling lives.  

When Shakyamuni was meditating under the Bodhi Tree, he was assailed by many thoughts to make him stop or to throw off his meditation. 
He kept focused. He won. 
Our practice of Gongyo every day is just like this. 
We are the Buddha! 
Every day - twice a day!  
We must win! 

Gongyo is important!

Our concentration will pay off. Doing gongyo with the following guidelines has brought me great benefit. 
(As always ~ these writings are mine, and come from my heart to yours.)

5 Keys to Make Your Gongyo 

and Your Life Sparkle!

Don't just "do" Gongyo. Feel it. Experience it.
by Jamie Lee Silver at chantforhappiness.com 

1. Put your phone in another room. 
                 Claim this time as YOUR OWN! 

2. Pray each silent prayer with all your heart. 

Elevate the moment from reading to praying

Read each silent prayer over and over until you can actually feel the appreciation. Read the silent prayers until they sink in...so you are truly praying in appreciation. If you don't know why Nichiren Daishonin and the three presidents deserve your praise, please ask a fellow member and study the history of Nichiren Buddhism and the Soka Gakkai. (Clink the link to the right to find your local SGI group) It took tremendous conviction and courage to bring this practice to us today! 
During these prayers, I bring forth the gratitude I feel for having this practice in my life.   

3. Begin and end Gongyo 
                     with no interruptions. 

You can chant as long as you'd like between gongyo and the silent prayers. 
Sometimes I recite the silent prayers at the end of Gongyo soon after the recitation...not after finishing all my daimoku for the morning. This makes it easier to do a complete gongyo before I get up to do something else, or refresh my drink or whatever. 
I start and complete gongyo. Boom. 
Then I can do as much daimoku as I want, with gongyo done. Complete. With no interruptions. If I get interrupted in the middle of gongyo I begin again! I see this helping me complete things in my life on a much more regular basis. 

4. Chant every morning and evening. 

I know, I know, you've heard this before. The reason I keep repeating this message is that it WORKS! When we do gongyo twice a day our lives get on a roll. You have to experience it to see it! I can't tell you how it feels. I can tell you that one of my YWD (young woman) finally began chanting twice a day (after refusing to do this for two years) she was able to realize a hidden goal, bring it to the surface, chant about it, and now she's living her dream in Colorado. Chanting twice a day WORKS! 

5. Perfect Your Rhythm 
              and Pronunciation of Gongyo

In the early days of my practice, I was fortunate to have a leader who believed that perfecting gongyo was important. Every day I showed up at her house to fine-tune my rhythm and pronunciation. You can do the same, and it will energize your practice and life. 
I suggest finding a mentor in your SGI circle who can work with you. To learn, we can bring a pencil and circle the parts we find difficult, and highlight our mistakes. The next time through we can be aware of the challenging parts because we circled them. We can learn it like a song. 
It is easier to learn it right the first time, but not impossible to fix, if learned wrong. 

Having perfect gongyo gives us confidence. 

I'd like to hear your stories of how perfecting your gongyo changes your life. Everything we do to enhance our practice is reflected in our lives. 

Gongyo and Daimoku are our laboratory 
where we create the lives of our dreams! 

I'm interested in hearing how you are perfecting your gongyo! 
Doing Gongyo is like lifting spiritual weights. how strong can we make our lives? 
That's what we're talking about! 


Email me at chantforhappiness@gmail.com

Saturday, February 13, 2016

"Launch Yourself On Every Wave!"



"Henry David Thoreau, 
a renowned Renaissance thinker, 
wrote in his journal: 

"Nothing must be postponed. 
Take time by the forelock. 
Now or never! 
You must live in the present, 
launch yourself on every wave, 
find your eternity in each moment." 

We shouldn't put anything off but seize the moment, 
living with all our being in the present. 
If we do that, he says, 
each moment will become eternity."

Daisaku Ikeda
Buddhism Day by Day, page 59. 

3 Steps to Communicating with Your Eternal Loved Ones

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

This blog is about Buddhism...it is about the power each one of us has to be happy, and to make the world a happy place, full of respect for all of life. This form of Buddhism is absolutely unique. It's based on the Lotus Sutra by Shakyamuni Buddha, and the letters of Nichiren Daishonin.  When we chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo we aim our lives in the direction of our own happiness. Do not take my word for it. Try it. Chant every day, morning and evening for at least 100 days. Go to SGI meetings (see the link to the right), study the Gosho. And KNOW that when you chant, you are chanting TO your life itself...not to a God...TO your life! 

This blog post is written in response to a previous post. It is not about Buddhism per se. However, according to Buddhism, life is eternal. So what I write here makes sense. 

A few weeks ago I shared that when I write to my son Ben - who is no longer here in his physical body, but is here as his eternal soul - when I write to him I keep the pen on the paper and he writes back to me. 
You asked me to explain how I write to Ben 
and have him write back to me - here is how it's done! 

3 Steps to Communicating with Your Eternal Loved Ones ~ 
By Jamie Lee Silver chantforhappiness.com. Please reference this blog while sharing


Writing to your loved one and having them write back though your own hand is natural.

It doesn't take psychic ability. 
It takes the belief that it is possible, 
and the willingness to give it a try. 

I believe life is eternal. Our loved ones are not "gone," even if physically, yes, they are no longer with us. And we can form a new relationship with them right now. 


Step One:


Choose a free flowing pen, and smooth paper. You want to let your hand flow. 


Step Two:


Write a heart felt letter to your loved one. Use your favorite nicknames for them. Pour your heart out. Write your beautiful words. Let your pen flow. 

Right after Ben passed, I wrote several poems to him before asking him to write me back. 

Step Three:

When you are feeling ready, write a note to your loved one and add a request for him/her to write back to you.  

At the end of my letter to Ben I write a request like this: 
And what words do you have for your loving mom today my sweet, sweet boy?

And keep your pen on the paper as you listen...
The first time I did this I wrote circles with my pen for a few moments...then I heard words and started writing. 

Now, even as I am writing to Ben I start hearing his voice flowing into my head from somewhere behind my left ear. 


It's as if these words are flowing into my brain and straight down into my arm... and my pen is writing and writing - I just let it flow and enjoy the process.  

Sometimes he writes for a long time...sometimes he doesn't. I don't worry either way. He is always there when I write. He will always write back to me...even if I'm really tired. Then he wishes me sweet dreams and says let's talk more tomorrow. 

I can even hear his tone of voice. When it's really peppy, I write "peppy voice" so I remember his tone. 


And how do I know it's his voice? Can I prove it. Yes. To myself. I know. And when I read his words over later. I know for sure. When you try it you'll see what I mean. 

If you are interested - give it a try. You can write to anyone this way...and get a response. Questions? Write me at Chantforhappiness@gmail.com 

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

The Life-Giving Power of Each Character of Gongyo!

(You can now subscribe to this blog by putting your email address into the box to the right)

In the Gosho "Letter to Horen," the Daishonin describes the characters of the Lotus Sutra as individual Buddhas emitting beams of light...able to find all those, living and dead, with whom we are connected. 
Wow.
What a great thing to learn about while we are all striving to perfect our Gongyo and deepen our faith. 

Daisaku Ikeda states in Living Buddhism, 
June 2015, page 32:

"...Through chanting the daimoku of the Lotus Sutra, Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, we can transmit benefit even to deceased family members, relatives, friends or acquaintances who may have opposed our Buddhist practice - benefit that will warmly embrace them and lead them to a state of profound peace and comfort.

Similarly, through the power of the Mystic Law, our family members and friends who have passed away in the course of the journey for kosen-rufu - whether from illness or as a result of unexpected accidents or natural disasters - will also be able to enter the path of Buddhahood. 

The best offering we can make for the eternal happiness of the departed is to live fully and strive vibrantly for kosen-rufu in their stead..."

"The Daishonin says that 
each of the 510 characters 
of the verse section 
of the "Life Span" chapter 
of the Lotus Sutra, 
from "ji ga toku burrai" 
(Since I attained Buddhahood) (LSOC, 270) 
to "soku joju busshin" 
(quickly acquire the body of the Buddha) (LSOC, 273), changes into a sun 
and then into a Buddha. 
It emits great beams of light 
that pervade every corner of the universe, 
finding Kyoshin's father wherever he might be 
and illuminating him 
(see WND-I, 517-18).
In other words, 
each chapter 
of the verse section of the "LifeSpan" chapter 
recited by Kyoshin 
becomes the Buddha, 
shining with the brilliant light of compassion 
that reaches his deceased father
in whatever state of being he may reside, 
relieving him of his suffering 
and guiding him to enlightenment."

What a wonderful life-giving practice we have!

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Forging Onward Full of Life! Meeting Neha, my new friend and reader.

Me and Neha, my new friend from India

Today's daily guidance from 
For Today and Tomorrow by Daisaku Ikeda:

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"Unless we live fully right now, 
not sometime in the future, 
true fulfillment in life will forever elude us. 
Rather than putting things off till the future, 
we should find meaning in life, 
thinking and doing what is most important right now, 
- right where we are - 
setting our hearts aflame and igniting our lives. 
Otherwise, we cannot lead an inspired existence." 
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Yes! It is every single moment that counts! I just finished chanting to realize this every moment with my life. 
This past week has opened up many opportunities for me...forging onward in every way.  

I just love days that are full of surprises. 
Yesterday morning Crystal came over to learn more about the practice.  We read "Gongyo is a Grand and Noble Rite" out loud. I'm so proud of Crystal....she has such a great seeking spirit. She calls me regularly, I am chanting for her every day, and she is practicing! In the short time she's been chanting - just a month, she enrolled in the next level of education to expand her ability to make a difference in the world of criminal justice, she chanted successfully for her daughter to find the perfect job, and her other daughter just enrolled in a new school too. How fantastic!

After chanting, I embarked on a project to change some of the pictures on my bulletin board. I'm keeping some treasures of Ben up, and adding more Aaron and the people I love and chant for, both near and far, living and eternal! Just then, I checked my email and saw one from Neha Sharma, a blog reader and YWD from Delhi who was in town on business - 
and 2 blocks away!

How exciting 

Neha and I spent the rest of the day getting to know each other, chanting, having dinner and inspiring one another. You know I made a determination at the beginning of the year to be present with every person? Well, this determination opens us up to inspiration and depth of learning from others.  Each person we meet expands our life as we expand theirs. Making each person count...really listening...brings us immense treasures of the heart!

Neha is great! She's an air hostess for Air India so she is seeing much of the world. She and her mother began chanting this summer when her mother experienced a health challenge, and she has  gained peace of mind through chanting. Peace of Mind! What a Buddha! At 30 years of age she is poised, self-assured, and on her way to a victorious future with the Mystic Law in her life. I'm sure I'll be writing more about my new friend. 

Today I am about to head to several superbowl parties and hopefully have a guest at Kosen Rufu Gongyo at 1:00

Have a great day!  

Here's a question for you: 
I'm considering taking Aaron to the Great hall of the Vow of Kosen rufu on the first Wednesday in June. Would any of you like to join us? Email me at chantforhappiness@gmail.com


Friday, February 5, 2016

The Universal Prayer - Powerful!




You can now subscribe to this blog by entering your email in the box to the right. 

As Nichiren Buddhists, we are the Buddha  ~  
as we chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo summoning our fathomless wisdom while steering our life in the direction of our innermost desires...both for ourselves and for others. 

We chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo over and over and over again. We call this "chanting Daimoku"(Die-MOH-Koo). Daimoku means title. The title of the Lotus Sutra (Shakyamuni Buddha’s self-proclaimed highest teaching) is  Myoho-Renge-Kyo.  

Nichiren Daishonin added "Nam" (devotion - focusing) before Myoho-renge-kyo to make the phrase mean “I devote my life to the mystic law of cause and effect through sound vibration,” or, “I am one with the very rhythm of life.”

Myoho-renge-kyo is the name of the ultimate mystic truth, and Nam-myoho-renge-kyo  is the name of the life state of Buddhas who embody and reveal this truth.” 
p.28 Lectures on “On Attaining Buddhahood in this Lifetime”, Daisaku Ikeda

I learned about this prayer from Linda Johnson. I've written my own version of the universal prayer. When I have this in my heart I picture all of you, and all practitioners chanting to their Gohonzons all over the world...and connecting to their prayer like never before.  

What follows is a Universal PowerPrayer to tap into our desire for happiness for all beings...the real vow we all make as Buddhas! 

Universal PowerPrayer 
for the Happiness for ALL
By Jamie Lee Silver of Chantforhappiness.com

Every Daimoku I chant 
remakes my VOW as a Buddha 
for Victory in my own life 
so that all others can achieve VICTORY in theirs! 
Every Daimoku I chant
Reaches every other person who is chanting. 
I see everyone chanting...
tapping into the deepest prayer they have ever felt ~

At this moment 
I deepen the power of my prayer by 10,000 times
Just like my mentor describes ~
so that all who are chanting can also deepen their faith, 
and bring forth the results they desire 
as we 
spread the word of this great teaching 
to those still suffering
we all become absolutely happy
and create a happy and peaceful world!

I chant that every single person who is chanting 
feels the full power 
sees the full power
experiences the full power
of this faith in their lives. 

I chant for all members to have faith
receive incredible 
benefits
and to know, and feel 
within every cell in their body
the power welling forth 
with each Nam-myoho-renge-kyo!!

Together we create kosen-rufu
the total energy shift of our planet!