Monday, December 9, 2019

11 Keys for Chanting JOYFULLY For Longer Times


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First a special thank you: 
Thank you to all my readers through all these years. 

Thank you for sharing this wonderful journey of changing your karma and becoming absolutely happy in this wonderful SGI organization. 

Thank you for letting me know when my posts have touched your hearts and inspired you to keep on chanting every day...and to push on for that last 5 minutes one more time! 

Thank you for understanding that I am a normal person, a Buddha just like you. I'm imperfect. I'm human. And I'm a Buddha, who long ago, in 2009 to be exact, decided that I was going to change my life-long karma of sadness and depression by chanting two hours a day. And in the first hour of that determination I decided to take the rest of the world along with me, so everyone can be happy, and started this blog - because of my deep love of chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo and wanting to introduce this practice to others. 

And over and over I have mentioned that I do not represent our beloved SGI organization, and that I speak for myself alone. My goal is to show actual proof through my own life that anything is possible.

Thank you my friends!

Thank you for sharing the extreme poison I turned into medicine when my son got sick...and three years later, when he died at the age of 22, you sent me cards and letters and emails, and I felt your daimoku. You have been my companions on this journey...and I treasure you. 

There have been over 2,500,000 views since the blog began, and over 2,000 posts. 

Two of the most popular posts have been "My Dear Readers, About My Ben" from July 5th of 2015, my message to you when I was concerned that you would become discouraged when my sweet Ben died. 
And the next most popular post was My experience of August 24th, 2016, when I shared Ben and my writings and the book I published called "Our Forever Ben, One Mom's letters to her son in spirit and his poetic replies." 

Chantforhappiness.com readers are all over the world...in the US, in India, in the UK, Singapore, Canada, New Zealand, the Netherlands, Australia, the Ukraine and Africa...and more. My goal is to continue sharing my determinations, hearing about yours, and forging the path for Kosen Rufu in this world. 

THANK YOU for telling me this blog introduced you to chanting and got you connected to the SGI. Thank you for telling me this blog got you RECONNECTED to the SGI. Thank you for your support and love all these years. My love and support goes right back at you! You know you can always reach me at chantforhappiness@gmail.com, but if I don't respond immediately please email me again. 

I thought I'd share a sweet note I got from a reader, posted today, on a blog post she was reading from three years ago: 

"Dear Jamie, at this point, your post is over three years old. As I sit here on my sofa, crying over my broken heart, I want you to know that your message is still being heard by people that need it. Thank you for helping me feel that I'm not alone."  
Comment for the post "Healing a Broken Heart"

Today is my second day of chanting two hours a day until the new DECADE!  
Chanting two hours a day is not for wimps. 
 Here is a reprint of one of my most popular posts. Please feel free to share it, but put my Chantforhappiness.com and Jamie Lee Silver on anything you share, okay? Thanks! 

11 Tips for Chanting Joyfully 
for Longer Times:

From Chantforhappiness.com by Jamie Lee Silver - 

When I first began chanting in 1985, a leader told me our lives and karma can be compared to a glass with dirt at the bottom. The dirt represents the karma that exists inside our lives. She said when you start to chant you stir up that dirt and see it swirling around...and if you want to really dig deep and clear it out, you might want to chant a Daimoku Toso (chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo for an hour or longer). 

Note: No one ever HAS to chant a long toso. Please don't think you are not a "good" Buddhist if you don't want to, or can't chant for long periods of time. There is no prescription for chanting. We just do our best! I do tosos when I have huge challenges, or to join the SGI when we are having big movements. The longest toso I ever chanted was 12 hours before the 2010 Rock the Era events for the youth division. Four youth division joined my district in the following month!

As always, these are my insights. I'm an enthusiastic SGI member, but I don't represent the SGI in an official capacity in this blog. 


1. Give Yourself Some Credit! Go YOU! 
Realize that what you are about to do...chanting longer than usual ~ doing a Daimoku Toso has profound significance for your life. Give yourself credit for this worthy goal. 

2. Write your goal or goals. 
(Some of these goals may occur to you naturally as you're chanting) You may want to write yourself a fresh determination, also called PowerPrayer and connect your desire to the greater good...to the real difference you want to make in the world. 

Remember that you are a precious votary of the Lotus Sutra and when you break through, the energy is forever changed. You are paving the way for others to break through ~ Your Happiness is IMPORTANT! 

Example of a goal/determination/PowerPrayer:

"I am determined to have the most beautiful, loving relationship so that I can totally inspire other people that great relationships are possible ...I can show actual proof with my life, and be able to introduce others to this practice!

President Ikeda's guidance says you can chant to have 10,000 times more power in your prayer. So I usually dedicate some time to chanting to increase the power of my daimoku by 10,000 times! 

3. Have your favorite drinks close by.
...tea...water...soft drinks...whatever you like. 

4. Remember YOU are the Buddha! 
Do not beg favors from a 'higher power." You are the higher power. Remember, the Gohonzon cannot get down off the wall and do the Buddha's work in the world. YOU are the Gohonzon; it is inside your life. The Gohonzon is a reflection of the highest life condition that exists within your own life. So when you are chanting CLAIM what is yours! Tell your life what you want. And know that all real change comes from within. 
Chant to do your own Human Revolution.
When we change, our environment changes. 
Take responsibility for your life...not blame. Realize whatever you are going through, whatever is causing you to chant...it's your karma..not your FAULT. Chant to reach the root of that karma and pull it out of your life. THEN your life circumstances and environment will change to reflect it. You don't have to figure out the deeper cause, don't worry about getting it right. Just chant to change it! 

5. Put Your Phone AWAY or turn it off. Yes OFF! 

6. Keep Your Favorite Buddhist Study Material Close by
...whatever touches your heart when you read it. And if you find yourself losing focus open it up to any page you want. I have "For Today and Tomorrow" by Daisaku Ikeda next to me right now. I just opened it for you right now...I read "When we chant sonorous Daimoku, 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." Read your passage and get right back to chanting!!!

7. Invite others to chant with you! 

8. Have pen and paper handy. 
You'll want to write down those brilliant ideas that come into your mind while you're chanting. You'll also want to write down some of those pesky thoughts and reminders that keep coming back...things like "remember to buy dog food." Just write it down and eject it from your brain so you can focus on what really matters.

9. Take care of your body 
You may want to get up and stretch at the end of every hour. Keep fruit or a snack at hand for an hourly break. Put your electronics away. You are dedicating this time. It takes energy not to dilute it, and it is so important to stay focused! 

10. After you chant, write in your journal.

11. Welcome Obstacles!
Bear in mind, some obstacles might arise after your toso. And just say 
"Hello obstacles! I was expecting you!" 
When you take on the mission to change your karma for yourself and others you can compare it to turning your speedboat to HIGH. The faster you go, the more resistance you feel. 

Above all - Don't give up! You CAN change your problems into benefits. You ARE the Buddha! 

I am chanting for you to accomplish your goals and shine with happiness. But your prayers are the most important! 

I'd love to hear from those of you who have connected to the SGI through my blog! And send me your experiences. Every once in awhile I will share an experience on the blog


I can be reached at chantforhappiness@gmail.com 

Friday, December 6, 2019

12 Great Quotes on Overcoming Illness by Daisaku Ikeda


12 Buddhists Quotes for Overcoming Illness
(I've been coughing for over a week - 
I hope you all are well!)

From President Ikeda's Lecture series "The Hope-filled Teachings of Nichiren Daishonin: On Prolonging One's Life Span - Faith for Leading a Long and Healthy Life" in the July-August 08 Living Buddhism. 

1. “Suffering from illness is a means by which you can eradicate your negative karma.”  
President Toda, as quoted by President Ikeda. - pg 70 

2. “To see illness as an opportunity to transform our karma – this strong spirit and resolve can break through all obstacles and devilish functions and open wide the path to happiness.  Like a rocket blasting out of the earth’s atmosphere, the passionate conviction of faith that comes from viewing illness as an opportunity to transform our karma can become a powerful engine propelling us forward not only in this existence but throughout eternity, enabling us to freely savor everlasting happiness.”  Pg 74


3. “Becoming ill in itself is certainly not a sign of defeat.  Even the Buddha, who is said to have ‘few ills and few worries’ (LS, 214), struggles with sickness from time to time.  Accordingly, there will be times when we are confronted with illness.  The important point above all is not to be defeated mentally or emotionally by the prospect of being ill.  Faith is the source of the fighting spirit to stand up to illness.  Therefore, as we noted earlier, Nichiren Daishonin first of all talks about the ‘treasure of faith’.  Pg 77


4. “As Nichiren says, ‘Illness gives rise to the resolve to attain the way’ (The Good Medicine for All Ills, WND-1, 937).  If a practitioner who upholds faith in the Mystic Law becomes ill, it definitely has some profound meaning.  It could be said that confronting illness is one route to awakening to the eternity of life.  President Toda often said, ‘A person who has overcome a major illness knows how to deeply savor life.’” Pg78


5. From Matilda Buck’s guidance, World Tribune 4/27/01 pg 10 “When We Face Disappointment” – regarding SGI leaders who overcame cancer and chanted this way:  


Through this experience, I will become someone who does not doubt the Gohonzon (my life), no matter what happens.

As a Bodhisattva of the Earth, I have the mission to experience this, and as a Bodhisattva of the Earth, I have the mission to create a victory.
I will share the power of Buddhism with others, even as I grapple with this experience.
I won’t let my spirits stay down.  I won’t make a place in my life for negativity to settle.

6.From The Wisdom of the Lotus Sutra Volume 6:  “Praying with doubt is like trying to keep water in a bathtub with the plug pulled.  Our good fortune and benefit will drain away.  A passage from the ‘Perceiver of the World’s Sounds’ chapter reads, ‘from thought to thought never entertaining doubt!’  A confident prayer will reverberate powerfully throughout the entire universe.”  Pg 88


From Buddhism Day by Day:


7. “Buddhism views illness as an opportunity to attain a higher, nobler state of life.  It teaches that, instead of agonizing over a serious disease, or despairing of ever overcoming it, we should use illness as a means to build a strong, compassionate self, which in turn will make it possible for us to be truly victorious.”  pg 300


8. “The expansive world lies not in some distant place; it exists right where you are.  That is why you need to win where you are right now.  Today’s victory is linked to your eternal victory.”  Page 314


9, “No matter what the circumstances, you should never concede defeat.  Never conclude that you’ve reached a dead end, that everything is finished.  You possess a glorious future.  And precisely because of that, you must persevere and study.  Life is eternal.  We need to focus on the two existences of the present and the future and not get caught up in the past.  We must always have the spirit to begin anew ‘from this moment,’ to initiate a new struggle each day.” Pg 315


10. “The air around us is filled with radio waves of various frequencies.  While these are invisible, a television set can collect them and turn them into visible images.  The practice of chanting Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo aligns the rhythm of our own lives with the world of Buddhahood in the universe.  It ‘tunes’ our lives, so to speak, so that we can manifest the power of Buddhahood in our very beings.”  Pg 314




11. From "For Today and Tomorrow" Daily Encouragement by Daisaku Ikeda: Sept 20 pg. 288:  
When your determination changes, everything else will begin to move in the direction you desire.  The moment you resolve to be victorious, every nerve and fiber in your being will immediately orient itself toward your success.  On the other hand, if you think “This is never going to work out,” then at that instant every cell in your being will be deflated and give up the fight, and then everything really will move in the direction of failure.



12. From "For Today and Tomorrow" Aug 15 pg. 249:  

The first thing is to pray.  From the moment we begin to pray, things start moving.  The darker the night, the closer the dawn.  From the moment we chant daimoku with a deep and powerful resolve, the sun begins to rise in our hearts.  Hope – prayer is the sun of hope.  To chant daimoku each time we face a problem, overcoming it and elevating our life-condition as a result – this is the path of “changing earthly desires into enlightenment,” taught in Nichiren Daishonin’s Buddhism.