Friday, April 30, 2010

Daimoku makes you SHINE!

Today I gave a talk on Networking to Veterans in Transition. (Unemployed) I could not sleep a wink all night thinking about this talk. How could I reach their hearts and give them hope and inspire them not to give up on finding work they can do and love...?
I was writing in the wee hours of the morning and woke up and chanted an hour and a half for each of them to have a breakthrough from being at my talk.
I had been invited in by the Department of Employment Security and I wore my new bright yellow suit for the first time and felt GREAT!
They treated me so well, introducing me to the manager of the office. I was so impressed with her heart. These employees of the government sincerely want to help people find jobs. This is not just a job to is a calling.
As you can imagine, the talk went really well.
I began by thanking them for their years of service to this great country, and saying they are what keep it great. Then I offered my best tips on networking. It went great!
You never know where one pro bono talk can lead. And even if it leads no was a very good thing to do!
I came home after that and made networking calls for myself and my strategic job search/creation.
Tomorrow is a talk by Linda Johnson the SGI women's leader!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Quote from Daisaku Ikeda

“People who love

with the most all-consuming fervor

are those

who live life

to the fullest,


of how long

the physical existence lasts.

To invest

one’s heart and soul

in caring for others,

to burn with passionate love for humanity,

is what Buddhists call

the Boddhisatva Way.”

I believe

this kind of perfect life

constitutes the way

to optimal health

and true longevity.”

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Sincere Gratitude and Deep Prayers!

Today there was a big meeting at the culture center in Chicago and a showing of the film "Traveler for Peace". It is about Daisaku Ikeda's first trip to America and Brazil in 1960.

I got to the culture center a few hours early so I could pour some more daimoku into my life...chanting Nam Myoho Renge Kyo. Lately I have been chanting in appreciation for my wonderful life...I mean, look at me...having the chance to reinvent my whole life. As challenging as that sounds it is also a profound gift and opportunity! Thank you life! Thank you Buddhahood! I am celebrating!

And I also have friends who are struggling. One close friend is mourning a death, hobbling on a sprained ankle and just had another disease strike him that is very troubling. I am really chanting for him, and hoping he really chants for himself too!

When I went in to the round Gohonzon room the leader of the chanting came up to me and said "Why don't you lead for awhile"? This person didn't know it, but leading the chanting is one of my favorite things to do! I sat right in front of the Gohonzon and chanted in so much appreciation! I chanted for Daisaku Ikeda to come to Chicago and for every member in the room to have a huge breakthrough during the half hour we were chanting together. And I chanted so hard for my friend with the sprained ankle that I was actually sweating in front of the Gohonzon...the energy was running so strongly through me...I was totally one with my prayer! It feels like flying and like digging deep at the same time. Indescribable.

I also chanted for my new friend in Botswana, Kennedy, who started reading this blog and sent me an email. And my new friend Ric I just met today who is an ER physician and so inspiring. I wish all doctors had his vision fro healing!

I chanted for all my members, and for my family and community.

Oh it feels so good to pour my life and my desires into my prayers. This is exactly what I always wanted for my life and the answer to what I searched for for so long: a practice that I could use to focus my incredible energy and have my prayers answered. Thank you so much Daisaku Ikeda and Nichiren Daishonin, and President Makiguchi and Josei Toda! And all the members who taught me how to chant. I am forever indebted!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Changing Weight Karma!

I have absolutely changed a deep part of my karma.

Remember, in this practical form of Buddhism, karma is the result of every cause you've ever made through every existence you have ever lived. That is not the same as saying it is your FAULT. No, it is not your fault. You are not guilty and there is no original sin in this practice. There is karma. How do you know it's karma? You know because you try everything you can think of to change watch what other people do...and still your life does not budge...that is why we need to chant Nam Myoho Renge Kyo! Check this out:

I was born into a heavy family. My mother took pills for her weight the whole time I was growing up...and my birthright, my karma, was insatiable hunger. There was a little voice in my head constantly telling me to eat more and more and more. Starting from the first grade I felt different from the other girls. Soon after that the boys began making fun of me for my weight and my fate was sealed. I had to shop in the special section and finding clothes was so hard.
When I was in third grade I got asthma. Scary asthma. And they didn't take you to the hospital in those days. And they didn't have inhalers. One day when I was running and I just stopped breathing...barely made it back to my house. From then on I could never run or walk up stairs or play tennis or do ANYTHING or I'd suffer for hours gasping for breath. That, of course, didn't help with the weight problem.
Throughout my life I dieted every way you can think of...weight watchers...Atkins... optifast (I was on that for 6 months and am so lucky to still have my gallbladder...everyone else I know who was on it lost theirs!) And each time I would lose the weight I would gain it all back...either through pregnancy or through eating cheese popcorn.
Honestly...that is not a joke. I felt as long as there was a bag of cheese popcorn in the car I would survive. I was soothing something within me that was just crying out for more and more.
I was deeply in the world of hunger.
Over the past few years I have changed this karma. I think it is no coincidence that I have lost this last 35 pounds while chanting 2 hours a day. I am filling my life with daimoku. I would like to show you a picture I just found. It is of me and my Mom and my aunt. You can clearly see the family karma. I am at least 70 pounds lighter and I look at least ten years younger.
My body no longer cries out for food all the time, and I no longer have asthma. I have chanted for this for years...visualized it. I put together a book of pictures of how I wanted to look. And chanted with a vow and determination...knowing I could change this through my prayer. And it has worked!
I have changed this karma that caused me so much suffering!
If I can do this I can do anything, because, I'll tell you - for many years this was impossible! But that's what this practice is all about...making the impossible possible!!!!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Weeping and Gratitude

This was a week of weeping for me. I think it was more of the sadness that I am working to transform just seeping out of me. I could barely even identify its source. A friend of mine lost someone they loved dearly...and I think I was feeling his pain...and I think I was just releasing pain as well.
All week long I've been chanting 3 - 4 hours a day. I am determined to have my life reveal the incredible benefit that will absolutely come from my life. I am chanting to change in any way necessary to be able to fill the emptiness love have confidence and to find a way of making a great income. I have had tremendous earning power in my life...bring it on world! What is the next adventure for me. I have some ideas....I will let you know.
Meanwhile I have my friend chanting three whole hours for me, and for my son Ben, who is a runner who can't run at the moment. I am chanting for him too. My other son is running free! He won the 1500 meter today in Dubuque Iowa for the University of Illinois Club Team - of which he is the President. He won last week too and we got to see him.
The world is so fresh and green and colorful. Tomorrow I will chant at least two hours in gratitude for this wonderful life!~*

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Good News

Some good news amidst the chanting and crying I've been I actually found some great clothes that I'll be able to interview in. I think only women can relate to what I'm saying. You see, I've lost a total of about 70 pounds and have almost no clothes! I know, I's a good thing...yet still a challenge...especially now that I'm out there networking for a job. It still shocks me when I try on a jacket that is a size 8 and it fits. Such a joy!
So after many weeks of trying things on at different stores I finally hit pay dirt.
Some of you are nodding your heads going "yes, yes!"
Seems like the right job will be right around the corner....!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

A Dark Time

Yes, it is a dark time.

Seems like chanting 2 and 3 and 4 hours a day is barely scratching the surface. Mannnn, during the last three days I've chanted ten hours...and I swear, 7 of those were impossible...impossible to connect. I sit in front of my Gohonzon and I try to focus and impact my situation. I'm chanting to change myself so that my environment can change...I'm chanting from the bottom of my soul to feel love for not need it from the outside. I'm chanting for Brave and Vigorous YOUTH to arise...and chanting for my children...
And really, even with all my friends I feel so lonely and sad. Chanting and crying...chanting and just don't know till you've been there.

Kate tells me I'm in a long tunnel of human revolution. It is so dark that I can't see the light behind me, and I am so far into it that I can't see the light in front of me. But if I just keep moving forward I will have a great breakthrough, and I will experience the deepest of happiness from within. She says I need to release my attachment that love in my life has to come from another person...and to let myself just release that thought...that illusion. And that will be the key. I understand what she's saying on an intellectual level...but still I yearn...

All I know at this point is that I was born to help other people learn to chant, that I know I will break through this sadness, and that somehow I will fulfill this mission. I know I was born to experience the deepest of loves...and I am determined that the deepest, most fulfilling love will be mine. But it seems a long way from where I am to where I want to be. And I'm missing my Mom so much.
My real hope in going through this is to be able to encourage people when they are faced with these kinds of challenges.
I am so ready for a breakthrough...and so hungry all the time...and so determined not to gain back the weight I lost. I'm solving the problem of my sore leg...I will NEVER be driven to the top of my favorite hiking mountain again! I'm doing my exercises and I am already in a lot less pain.
I feel like I felt 25 years ago at the beginning of my prayer then was "I've been happy before - I can be happy again - get me out of this!" Nam Myoho Renge Kyo, Nam Myoho Renge Kyo, Nam Myoho Renge Kyo!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Meteor in the sky!

Last night there was a huge meteor (we think) that light up the sky in the son saw it in Champaign, but no one around him saw it. When I told him it actually happened he was really relieved! He thought maybe he'd imagined it!

That reminds me of Nichiren of the times he was being persecuted he was being taken to the beach at Tatsunokuchi. He asked to be able to pray to a statue of Hachiman on the way. He YELLED his prayer to the god...he said (and I paraphrase freely here) "You VOWED to protec the votary of the Lotus Sutra! If you do not protect me and I die, the FIRST thing I will do is report you for not protecting me!"
Then they went to the beach to behead him and lo and behold a huge fireball came out of the sky and lit up all their faces and the soldiers couldn't behead him, and in fact some became his followers at that time! Now THATS the way to chant...Such fierce determination in that prayer to Hachiman...we can all learn from it!

Monday, April 12, 2010

A great Year to be part of the SGI!

Well, all I can say is I am just glowing.
I am constantly chanting for brave and vigorous youth to arise!

This is such a great year to be a Soka Gakkai Youth Division member! Youth are up to the age 35 in our organization.

This is the year for ROCK THE ERA! On July 10th 2010, the University of Illinois Pavilion in Chicago will be filled with 8000 youth from 20 states...performing in many ways...dancing...singing...playing instruments!

It is a time to get involved and support from behind the scenes or stand up front and center and let your light shine! Everywhere I turn I see brilliant youth! Everywhere I go people want to hear about this marvelous practice!

And I am building a website to help people to achieve the same kinds of benefits that I have achieved...I will be helping people to create their own Delightful Lives! More about that later.

In the meantime Join ME!

If you're not already chanting Nam Myoho Renge Kyo I invite you to give it a try. It's the type of thing that can not be is purely experiential.
YOU ALONE have the power to tap the infinite life force you hold inside. Are you courageous enough to give it a try?

Thursday, April 8, 2010


Hello! Today was so cold in Chicago! I'm really getting used to the warm weather and glad it will be back this weekend.
I completed my 2 hours of chanting all at one time this morning before I went off on my day. I almost stopped at one hour...not feeling really connected to my prayer...feeling a little sluggish. But then I told myself to fight fight now...and my prayer got stronger and I was chanting my vow to achieve victory in all area of my life. Chanting is always a struggle against the negative forces within my life at every moment! This morning I won!
Today was all about my son Ben.
He stayed home today to catch up on work from his vacation - AND his knee had begun hurting yesterday. That is very bad for Ben! Running is so important to him and he's in the middle of his Junior year track season in High School. And he is FAST...mannnn he is fast. He treats running like I treat chanting...he doesn't skimp...he often runs more than anyone else...he is fully self motivated. So the goal of the day was to get him in to see his fitness guru who keeps his muscles in gear. Only the Dr. was booked all day! So Ben did gongyo (not his favorite thing) and chanted strong daimoku with me this morning. We both chanted so hard for his knee...he also chanted to have the power to get through all the school work he was faced with.
He called the Dr's office and said it was an emergency...and so did his father. When I got out of my appointment at 2:00 he had not been called in to the Dr. yet. I called and nicely reminded them how important this was...and found out that the little note to the Dr had fallen off the wall. The receptionist put it back up and Ben was called within 15 minutes!
The Dr visit went well...Ben's knee is fine...he just has to use his muscle roller on one particular muscle and he can keep right on was the perfect news. The knee is no big deal - carry on!
It was a great lesson for Ben in many different ways...chanting starts it out...but determined action keeps it going. Go Ben GO!!!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

On top of Mt. Tam with Amy!

Here we are on top of my favorite mountain!
Yes! That is San Francisco you see in the background...right by my head. And you can see Sausalito, Tiburon, Angel Island. What beautiful days! What beautiful friends!

With my Buddhist Mentor Amos!

Amos taught me so much. He was the speaker at the first Buddhist meeting I attended. I thought the chanting sounded buzzing bees. Amos said to me
"You are never going to be able to practice this is way too hard!"
So of course I worked harder than ever to learn gongyo (the recitation from the Lotus Sutra we do twice a day).
Amos also encouraged me to chant for my true desires...saying
"You a Buddhist DREAM BIG!"

Blue Skies in Soquel!

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Surfing by the rocks

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Look at that spray! In Santa Cruz

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Yesterday I chanted for 5 hours - today I chanted 2!

Here I am! Back at Life Itself!!!
After being sick last week, and finally unpacking my things from my trip and organizing my files from my office I'm Baaaaack!

Yesterday, April 6th I chanted for 5 hours in appreciation of my wonderful life and my own hopeful spirit. I am chanting each day to appreciate each moment, and for all the wonderful members in my district to deepen their faith and get tremendous benefit. What good is happiness if you can't share it? I want to help so many people be Buddhas and have incredible happiness. I mean, look at me...Mom just died...divorcing...laid many would be bemoaning such a fate...but not me because I have a Gohonzon and I chant Nam Myoho Renge Kyo to it! Remember, the Gohonzon is actually a scroll depicting the highest life condition (the world of Buddhahood) that I have inside. So when I say I chant to it, I want you to understand that the scroll is inside my life...and I am drawing my power of the universe forth from WITHIN. And you can too! Anyone can! That is the source of my happiness!
So today I woke up with a headache and sad. It is only natural after putting forth a great cause (like chanting 5 hours) that the darkness inside my own life would come creeping out...but I know that is a benefit. I draw it forth so I can change that karma forever!
And all morning I battled negativity in my mind...and kept overcoming it...telling myself I am doing everything I should be doing at this time...and today I had a job interview and saw a job I really don't want. That's okay. I know I will find the right one...the one that is perfect for ME! I've had such great fortune in jobs. It hasn't ended because I got laid off...oh no no no. Something better is right around the corner for me. Nam Myoho Renge Kyo!

Monday, April 5, 2010


I'm baaack! Here I am ready to go. I must say I did bottom out there over the last week or so. I got sick and wasn't really able to chant and just felt my life force seeping away. Then, of course, I ran smack dab into the Easter Holiday and greeted it with a lack of sleep, and a sick body...what a recipe for missing my Mom on a holiday! I was just picturing her in her sweet violet chiffon outfit, with treats for the boys and her loving, loving soul. Sweet Mommy, I am thinking of you!

Today I awakened feeling better and ready to put the petal to the metal and create a brand new life. I chanted for an hour and a half so far, and I'm knocking things off my to-do list one by one.
Chanting this morning was so much fun. When I was away I handed out about 100 Nam Myoho Renge Kyo cards, and each person thanked me and said they would look into it. Today I chanted for each of them to become happy...picturing as many as I can remember! I also chanted for brave and vigorous youth to rise up to lead the Soka Gakkai.

When I was in San Francisco I went to see the youth produced "Rock the Era" presentation. It was fabulous. And I connected with the people who inspire me so much! Today I am cleaning out my car and unpacking fully and setting my sights on my brand new life. Nam Myoho Renge Kyo!