Monday, June 10, 2019

Turn EVERY Poison into Benefit!




Hello Friends! 
I'm in the Chicago Area to produce Ben's Memorial Mile and it's going to be better than ever. It's June 15th on the Outdoor Track of Downers Grove North High School in Downers Grove Illinois from 5:00-9:00pm. Join us! 

As many of you know, after almost three years of struggling with schizophrenia, my 22-year-old son Ben took his life in July of 2015. And I gave myself the task of turning poison into medicine. 

And if I can turn this poison into medicine - just THINK about how you can turn poison into medicine in your own life! Every pain, every suffering, every obstacle has a benefit when you chant in determination to turn poison into medicine. Also, along the way you come to appreciate your troubles. Every. Single. One. This is the way of the Buddha! The way to your happiness!

Every day since then I chant to have our pain turn into medicine to help all who are suffering, and to have Ben's short life make a difference! When he was alive he made a difference through his amazing talents - for running, songwriting, and being an all-around awesome (and genuinely funny) guy. 

Now Bensmemorialmile.com attracts 500 people (and growing) for an evening of games, cheering our running friends on the outdoor track, eating great food, a bags tournament, games of tag, a choir from Ben's High School,  a dance lesson on the field, and so much more. We've raised over $50,000 for suicide prevention and Schizophrenia research. We want to make an even bigger impact this year. 

With the guidance of my sponsor in faith, Kate Randolph (whose Life Celebration I'll be attending and speaking at the San Fernando SGI Center on June 22nd), I kept "Digging Deeper" in my prayer. 

What does "Digging Deeper" mean? I chanted to discover this for myself. What could Kate mean? I chanted for an understanding. And as I chanted the real meaning of our eternal practice for absolute happiness for ourselves and others flowed into me. We are all eternal. Ben's eternal, so am I. My mission here on earth doesn't end when I die...
We are all eternal. So, I chanted to deepen my understanding of life itself. 

At the bottom of this prayer (and I'm still exploring it) is the deep prayer for kosen-rufu, a world of respect for all life. AND so is my personal happiness. We practice to be happy. Daisaku Ikeda says many times: The purpose of life is Happiness. 

So as I go about my week, with three evening fundraisers for Ben's Memorial Mile, a Proclamation by the Mayor, the cover story in the local newspaper...and Ben's Memorial Mile on Saturday, I am determined to cherish every moment with every person I'm with. I am advancing in Joy, in Happiness, with the Gohonzon and in faith. When we have the determination to turn poison into medicine and deepen our faith, all is possible! 
(I'm also giving two Grief Relief Workshops this week in the Chicago Area. So exciting!)

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