Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Lighting the Lamp of Hope - From Florida!

The view from my new apartment ~ Yes! 

"Live in a way that is full of life ~ 
for yourself, 
for your loved ones, 
for your friends. 
People who do so 
will find the courage 
to transform sufferings into hopes. 
Not only that, 
but they will be able to light the lamp of hope 
in the hearts of many others as well."

Daisaku Ikeda, Buddhism Day by Day, page 304.


I did it! Great victory! After having the worst possible fate befall a Mom, I have turned poison into medicine through my determination to pave the way of hope for others, and the courage generated from this incredible Buddhist practice. 

As many of you know, last year, on July 2nd, my beloved son Ben became eternal at the age of 22. Yes, he took his own life, but schizophrenia, a disease of the brain with no cure, (along with a flawed mental health system), is the real cause. I feel it's important to tell the truth about this. I know I am not the only one who has been through this kind of suffering. 

Through my tears and sorrow, I determined that, as a 31 year practicing Buddhist, I had the opportunity to create the greatest benefit from the greatest poison. And right now I have some solid results to show from this determination. 

On July 2nd of this year, the anniversary of Ben's becoming eternal, I was chanting in my new apartment right on the beach in St. Pete Beach Florida. 
And Ben's Memorial Mile, the fun and inspiring event we staged in Downers Grove Illinois on June 11th raised $22,000 for schizophrenia research (less expenses). 
There is victory all around in my life! 
But I can't bask in it forever, I must move forth and create more and more value every moment through this experience and through my life itself. 

I produced a Ben's Memorial Mile edition of the book Ben and I are currently writing together through my own pen and the eternity of his life. "Our Forever Ben."
At Ben's Memorial Mile we raised $1,100 through the sale of less than 20 of these editions. As soon as I can, I will make this available to you. (Affordably)

But first, how did I accomplish this? I chanted to create value and show actual proof THROUGH this sad experience, not in spite of it. Those of you who've been reading this blog for a while know this. And you know I'm not some super human. I am very human...and devoted to showing proof of this practice through my life.  Sure, I cried a lot during this year. Sure, my heart actually broke with missing my sweet poetic, sincere, loving son. And every morning and evening I devoted my life to chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, the essence of life itself...the vibration of perfect healing for all involved. 

This prayer is powerful. So powerful. It has the capacity to change our own lives from the inside out. And when WE change, our environments change. So I chanted with determination to show brilliant actual proof by the year anniversary. 

All my life I have lived in colder climates...Chicago, Des Moines, San Francisco (BRRRR). Never have I lived in a climate that suits my sun-seeking, heat-seeking self. So in February I traveled to Florida where my wonderful nephew had moved. 
The week I got back I spent three hours a day chanting for every door to open to move to his area of Florida - St. Petersburg. I chanted for every door to open. And I held my breath as I gave a 60 day notice on my apartment which had served me so well for 5 years. 

Mystically, my step-mother told me her cousin lived somewhere in the area. She connected us and I discovered her cousin lived exactly in the most historic building on the beach. And her cousin, such a lovely woman, connected me to a family with an extra empty apartment who usually does not rent it except while they are the winter. This couple made a special trip by train - over 30 hours - to open this apartment and get it ready for me...right here on the beach. They have been so welcoming and sweet. Yesterday they bought a new TV for the apartment so I can watch my DVDs.

And, as I've written previously, my friend Tracy said "I'm Your Girl!" and helped me to find new homes for almost all my belongings, except the ones that could fit in, or on, my car. She drove here with me and just left yesterday after having a great time exploring my beach home with me. 

AND, on the day I actually moved, my friend Neha delivered my package to President Ikeda at the Hall of the Great Vow. It contains "Our Forever Ben," a letter, and the articles and results from Ben's Memorial Mile. 

What will life hold now? We shall see together! Thank you for sharing this journey with me! 


  1. Thank you Jamie for sharing this with us all.

  2. Well done Jamie. I hope and pray you will be safe and happy in your new home for as long as you want. Stay well. Deepest respect and prayers. Frankie

  3. Well done Jamie. I hope and pray you will be safe and happy in your new home for as long as you want. Stay well. Deepest respect and prayers. Frankie

  4. Congratulations, Jamie.Your journey continues, and your Faith in the Mystic Law is what will take you into the eternal, infinite future.

  5. Bravo Jamie ! I can feel your heart.

  6. thank you for sharing. congratulations!

  7. How inspiring ! Enjoy florida:-)

  8. You inspire me a lot. Thank you.

  9. Amazing, truly inspiring! Thank you for sharing, Jamie!

  10. Superb! ty Jamie for all the encouragements! !happiness always!

  11. I needed to read your experience today. It encouraged me to persevere to create value through overcoming a huge obstacle I am in the midst of right now. I will share my own victory with you as soon as I manifest it!

  12. More courage to you! Keep moving forward and Never Doubt! Congratulations!

  13. Thank you for sharing.

  14. I often read your blog as and when i receive your mail. Its been as such now that i wait of your next blog to be up. The most beautiful and inspiring lines of this one is "And you know I'm not some super human. I am very human...and devoted to showing proof of this practice through my life." Keep writing and sharing with us about this life changing philosophy.