Thursday, July 27, 2017

Poison Into Medicine! Karma Into Mission!


"Chanting Daimoku 
is the foundation of the Daishonin's Buddhism. 
When we chant sonorous daimoku (Nam-myoho-renge-kyo)
the sun rises in our hearts. 
We are filled with power. 
Compassion wells forth. 
Our lives are lit with joy. 
Our wisdom shines. 
All Buddhas and Buddhist deities throughout the universe 
go to work on our behalf. 
Life becomes exhilarating. 

Daisaku Ikeda, For Today and Tomorrow, p. 182


When faced with a life challenge we would NEVER have chosen for ourselves - what do we do? 

How can Practicing Buddhism help? 
What is the REAL power of chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo? How can it help in practical terms? 

We can turn POISON into Medicine and truly live meaningful lives. 

As you know, my beloved son Ben died July 2nd, 2015 from Schizophrenia which caused him to take his own life. 

Every day I am using Buddhism to fuel my life as I transform my personal tragedy into a personal triumph. Or, as we Buddhists say, "Turning Karma into Mission."

Now, I don't know why my karma included this experience of having my son die, but I don't have to know the reason. All I need is the determination to change it into mission. 

Along the way, I have joined a club I never wanted to be a member of - the club no one wants to be a member of, the Suicide Survivor's club. And, as anyone would expect, I am meeting people who are at various stages of the grieving journey. Guilt, sadness, peace...

Because of my practice, I am not tormented like I was right after it happened. At that time, I was wracked with thoughts of what I could have done differently. Even though I knew I'd done my best, I felt like I had failed at my most important mission in life...being a Mom. And I chanted about these thoughts...and I realized they were my own fundamental darkness. I'm a Buddhist! I know I can fight fundamental darkness with my prayer by facing it and saying NO! 

I chanted to alleviate this feeling of guilt and to turn my pain into something I could use to help others. And through chanting, I am free from these tormenting feelings. 

I continue to write to Ben and he writes back to me through my own hand. Life is eternal. This is natural. Have any of you tried this? I can teach you how. Let me know if you are interested. I'm now leading Grief Relief Workshops and doing individual sessions. 

I'm grateful for all I've been through, and all I'm going through right now. I feel a deep connection to Ben...and to all who are suffering. My son Ben answers my questions. He reassures me in all the things I am doing. And he encourages me daily. 

Because of my daily Buddhist practice, I'm protected. I'm safe, secure, learning about myself.

Today I'm heading to the Compassionate Friends Convention in Orlando (driving distance!) It's an organization to support people who've lost children. It ought to be very interesting. I'm going to explore ways I can further expand my mission to help people who are grieving.  

Thank YOU for your notes. Dear friends, we share the noblest of missions! WhatEVER you are facing - you can turn YOUR karma into mission! We are the votaries of the Lotus Sutra. By chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, reading the words of our mentor Daisaku Ikeda, joining together with our SGI friends, and introducing others to this victorious way of life...we can overcome any challenges! 

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