Sunday, August 14, 2016

Wise Words from Josei Toda

Hello from Florida

I wake up every day filled with appreciation for living in this stunning paradise. I enjoy every cloud, every sunset and sunrise and fill my days with networking, exploring and making new friends. This week has been exciting and I've also missed Ben a whole heck of a lot. Even though I know he is always with me, even though I know he is free from his suffering, I still wish we could hug. I still wish I could turn and see the sparkle in his eye. 

This week I decided to read The Human Revolution, the original volume that documents the days after Josei Toda was released from prison into war-torn Japan. This is the first time I am reading it from start to finish, and I can really feel Josei Toda's spirit. 

He states, on page 75, in the Standing Alone chapter, when he is addressing those whose Gohonzons were burned in the air raids in WWII:

"It's true, the Gohonzon has the power 
to change poison into medicine. 
You don't need to worry about a thing, 
so long as you practice. 
There are no flaws whatsoever 
in the Daishonin's teachings. 
When he himself was facing his worst hardships 
he wrote, 
'Although I and my disciples 
may encounter various difficulties, 
if we do not harbor doubts in our hearts, 
we will as a matter of course attain Buddhahood' 
(WND, 283).
"Do not doubt the Gohonzon, no matter what.
As long as you keep practicing, 
you'll definitely reach enlightenment 
and enjoy absolute happiness. 
That's the Daishonin's teaching. 
I know how hard it is for you right now, 
but don't doubt. 
Hang onto your faith. 
That's what will decide victory in your lives. 
Win or lose, it's all up to your practice. 
How about it? 
Can you carry on?" 

Daisaku Ikeda, The Human Revolution, page 75, quoting Josei Toda. 

Wouldn't it be great if all of us noble Bodhisattvas of the earth did not ever worry again? For my part, I strive to replace worry with Daimoku; I am chanting for a total doubt free faith, and I will never give up! We call this a a "practice" because we are always striving to make it better...doubt free...consistent...learned and wise. 

I'm signing off right now to go and meet a new friend at the Clearwater/Tampa SGI center. I met her at a networking meeting on Thursday. She's been chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo ceaselessly in her mind and out loud since a therapist told her to do so many years ago, and she traveled to many Buddhist and eastern-thought places looking for the source of this chant. No one in any of these places could help her. Now she is finally meeting the Gohonzon! How exciting is that? 
Have a great day!

This is a poem Josei Toda wrote while in prison: 
From the Human Revolution, page 81:

"My mentor left this world,
offering his life in sacrifice.
How can I who remain
serve the Buddha's will?

All that is gleft to me --
the pure flower of life itself --
I will break from its stalk in offering
to repay my country and my friends.

The storm must be howling now,
darkening the Eastern sky.
Men grieve, beset by demons.
How can I not save my brothers?
I clutch in my hand the wish-granting jewel.
My heart cries out, "With this, I will save everyone"
My mentor smiles in peace." 


  1. My Trust and Faith has been upheld by The Gohonzon.

  2. This is beautiful, Jamie. It makes me think of how President Toda was opening the depth of his life to know how to share this with everyone.