Sunday, October 15, 2017

Meeting Every Challenge With Joy

Life is about challenges 
and joy is something we build for ourselves 
through chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, 
choosing our words carefully, 
and taking correct action for our lives 
with the recognition 
that everything we do 
is a CAUSE for our own happiness, 
and the happiness of others. 

We are Bodhisattvas of the earth with deep missions and deep vows. If you read this and think "I never quite understood about the vow part," let me give you my brief insight on this. 

Remember, I am a practicing Buddhist, just like you. Next Friday, October 20th,  I will celebrate my 33rd anniversary of receiving the Gohonzon. 

Right now, Kate Randolph, my beautiful and wise mentor (sho introduced me to this practice) is challenging a brain tumor of the worst kind. It was diagnosed last Thanksgiving ~ right after she got back from our visit to FNCC. 

I will always remember, when we were doing Gongyo together at my apartment, she turned to me and said. "I just have to tell you Jamie, I really, really love you." And of course I got tears in my eyes filled with love for my dear, dear, friend. She went back to LA and got this horrible diagnosis. 

Please join me in chanting for my dear friend, and wise woman, Kate Randolph. 

When we talk about our vow for kosen rufu, it's something that is present in my daimoku (chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo) every day. My vow is my determination that through my accessing the incredible power of the universe within me ~ by chanting nam-myoho-renge-kyo, that I will make the world a better place. I chant to access the most powerful power I have, so that I can be an inspiration to others as they watch me overcoming challenge after challenge. 

And I have had challenges, just like you. Mine are mine alone, just as yours are yours alone. But the thread that connects us is the ability and determination to turn poison into medicine time and time again. Not just for ourselves, but to make the world a better place. I chant "BECAUSE of this HUGE challenge, I can change my karma! Thank you to my life."

Boy, do we ever have a lot to chant about right now, right? My friends in Northern California did not lose their houses, but they lost their "land" when all the houses around them burned. They lost their neighborhoods and landmarks. They lost their past, present and future, just like our friends in Puerto Rico, Houston, the wildfires in the northwest, and on and on...not just in the US but all over the world. 
We can chant for all these places, people...and our whole world. Now, more than ever, we are at our crucial point, and can use our vow of happiness to strengthen our lives and bring peace and harmony to the world, not just through our prayers, but through our actions. 

My determination is to SEE my life, and make the changes I need to make, deep inside my character, so that my life can purify all I touch and see, and all I can't see. Science has proven that we all exist in the web of life together. Our changes, our human revolution, changes the world. It HAS to. My daily causes are important. So are yours. 

So, everyday, I bring my smile to all around me, every day. I'm working as sales director in a senior living community and it is great joy to interact with our precious seniors and their families. I bring my "A game" of compassion, wisdom and the healing power of LISTENING, and empathizing to every personal encounter. 

WE are the gift to the world. WE are the ones who can surmount our sufferings and help others learn this wonderful chant. We are the ones who can help and inspire the youth of our time. This is our vow!

Nam-myoho-renge-kyo for the youth! Nam myoho renge kyo for the unity of the SGI organization. Nam-myoho-renge-kyo for YOUR happiness and the happiness of all around you! 

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