Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Great Insights from Kate Randolph

My Dear friend Kate

Hello, my friends! Thanks for all the emails prodding me back into writing. You have always been on my mind! 

I'm sitting here in paradise on St. Pete Beach with a few moments on my hands because I'm off work today. I have a great full-time job helping families go through the difficult maze of figuring out the best place for their loved one to live when they can no longer take care of themselves. I enjoy giving people hope, changing the lives of seniors, and infusing love into my community.

There's so much to share! Ben's Memorial Mile (Bensmemorialmile.com) took place in June with hundreds of attendees running, walking, playing and having fun in my son Ben's name. We are about to reach our goal of contributing $50,000 for research to cure schizophrenia, and taking concrete action to prevent suicide through "Hope for the Day." We're already planning an amazing event in Downers Grove, Illinois, USA next June. I'll keep you posted. 

And, many of you know that Kate Randolph is battling the same kind of cancer that just killed John McCain, a glioblastoma brain tumor. Kate was diagnosed right after we went to the Florida Nature Culture Center together in November of 2017. She's challenging three hours of daimoku (chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo) a day, and is fighting a fierce battle. 

The other day I reached her in LA and she had important words for all for us when I told her about a goal I'm determined to reach. Kate said: 


"There's only one thing you need to do. 
There's only one prayer you need to have. Along with chanting for the youth of the world and the 50K Lions of Justice Festivals in America and around the world, 

Chant for 
absolute and total conviction
 in your Buddha Nature

and everything you want will fall in line. 
Don't keep searching for what you desire - 
use this prayer, use the power of your daimoku. 
Pray that THIS TIME you are changing your karma forever...for you, for your parents, 
for your descendants. 
Pray that THIS PRAYER changes your karma forever."

Let that sink in! 

I'll tell you it's a challenge. When I'm chanting I latch onto that prayer, and I'm quickly pulled off of it by some distraction (fundamental darkness) in my mind. But it's real. And powerful. It takes strong determination to stay on this prayer...and let other prayers bubble up...for my family, my coworkers, the youth of the world. It's a daily challenge to keep praying while chanting - not just letting my mind wander and wondering about stuff. But that's where the magic is...the sustained launching of our prayer on the wings of Daimoku.  

I hope this post finds you well...and that you keep strong determination. As Nichiren Daishonin states in the Gosho Letter to Nikke, 
"Chanting nam-myoho-renge-kyo is like the roar of a lion. What sickness can, therefore, be an obstacle?"

Whatever you are facing don't give up. Don't give up! We are here for a reason. We chose this life. We even chose our problems. In the August 17th World Tribune on page 7, Daisaku Ikeda, my mentor in life, quotes the words of the Argentine poet Almafuerte: 

"Sometimes a great destiny sleeps to be awakened by anguish."
He goes on to say: 
"Buddhism teaches that suffering is the springboard to enlightenment. No one is free from problems and worries - nor is any family or region. 
"Life is a struggle against problems. What's important is how we solve the problems that weigh down on us. We need to call forth all our wisdom and make repeated efforts to overcome those problems and reach the victory that lies beyond them. 
"Dreaming about what life might be like if only you didn't have any problems is just an escape from reality into a fantasy realm. It only leads to defeat in life. People who are always making positive efforts, thinking about how to overcome each problem and transform it into a source of value and victory are the winners in life. 
"Your resolve determines your life. I hope you will all be great actors in your own dramas of victory, brilliantly proving this truth, and be people who encourage and impart self-confidence to everyone around you."

Yes! Write that drama brilliantly! Smile and carry on! Chant and study and encourage your fellow members! Sending love to you!

You can always reach me at chantforhappiness@gmail.com.  I love to hear about your victories, and I publish some experiences here on the blog. Please don't write to me for guidance. Your local leaders are there for you, know you, and are chanting for you. They are the best people to help you challeng your sproblems. If you aren't connected to the SGI please go to SGI-usa.org and it will lead you to links.