Thursday, December 30, 2010

New Years is here

Now is the time for is the time to rejuvenate our faith. New year's Day is such an opportunity to make a new demonstrate Hon Nim Myo in our lives. Hon Nin Myo means "from this moment forth".

It is the perfect expression of the fact that the past is past...there is nothing we can do about it, and from this moment forth is all that truly matters. It's all that matters. Every moment of life is Hon Nim Myo!

Last night ten energetic members gathered at my house to chant a rousing hour of daimoku (Nam Myoho Renge Kyo over and over). We chanted for a fresh start to the new year...we chanted for each other and our fresh determinations...we chanted for our families and our hopes and dreams! Truly this is an exciting way of life!

On Saturday a new member of our district will be getting her Gohonzon. All of us are gathering to support her and celebrate her new birthday. It's a fantastic way to start the new year!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!

Chanted three hours today! I am so determined to have a breakthrough by the first of the year.

Such a magical time! Tonight Aaron and Ben and I went to see Tangled at the Tivoli theater. The Tivoli is a cool old time theater that plays movies at a discount and hands you free peppermints as you're leaving. The first time I went to this theater I left with tears of gratitude in my eyes for this home town treasure.

And today we saw 3D, Disney's impressive 50th animated movie. It was FANTASTIC. Even better than UP...on a par with Mulan which is one of my all time faves. If you've never seen Mulan you're missing out! It is incredible girl power!

Tangled brought me to grateful tears over and was beautiful and inspiring and humorous...and not as dark as some of those Disney movies can be.

Then, here we are, on Christmas evening, leaving the theater and it's a winter wonderland outside and the song "Let it Snow, Let it Snow" is playing on the outside speakers and Aaron and Ben and I just stopped and took in the splendor of a perfect, snowing, Christmas night in our chosen home town.
I said "let's never forget this night and this moment."
And we spent the next hour driving all around town taking in the beautiful homes and Christmas Lights. Oh how I wish I could freeze this moment forever. By writing about it I have. I will never forget this Christmas~It's the year I turned 50, Aaron will be 21 in the Spring and Ben just turned 18. We've spent the last week laughing together and chanting together. I have incredible fortune of the heart. Nam Myoho Renge Kyo! Now we're all hanging out in my butsudan room and they are playing on the same team in the Age of creative and fun. They are best friends my Buddha Boys....incredible!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

We each have a noble mission to WIN!!!!

I would like all of you to realize how NOBLE and PRECIOUS you are....and how important you are to the flow of life itself. Whenever you achieve a victory in your life, you achieve that victory for the entire web of all of life...leading us in Kosen Rufu (world peace). Remember that your karma is also your mission...and when you can elevate your problems and see them as your chosen mission to change...then you can raise yourself out of your suffering. I am doing battle with my own inner darkness and fulfill my desires every single day...and when I win everyday...we all win...everyone wins. Seeing my challenges in this way reminds me that I made a VOW to win over this darkness. I made a VOW to make my dreams come true! And I sit in front of my Gohonzon and VOW once again to win over my suffering...and to SEE my desires is nobel...I am worthy. We are all noble and worthy Buddhas! AND WE WILL ALL WIN - provided we don't give up! Let's keep winning together! Chant enough daimoku to make your life condition really high ...and you have already won!!!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Ben Silver is in the house!

Today we went to Dick Pond's Running Store on the way to getting our tree. Jokingly I said "I called ahead to notify them that the Silver boys were coming." We walked in to the store and a man turned to us and said loudly "OMG Ben Silver's here...everyone...this is Ben Silver...and his entourage are here! He's a really big deal...tenth in state!"
And we laughed and laughed!

See what I mean!

Aaron is home!

That's right! Last night my Buddha Boy came home and he'll be here for a whole month. I love the University of Illinois for that!
He's a pre-med student taking unbelievably hard classes...and uses chanting to get the extra edge to accomplish his goals.
This semester he got a 4.0, and will be receiving $100 from his fraternity for his grades. He says he chants every day...and he doesn't feel like he's given life it's he's done everything he can...until he has chanted.
He sent an email to his neuro professor thanking him for his teaching style, and for really helping him to understand the material. His neuro professor replied thanking him sincerely for his feedback and telling him that he's gotten an A+ in class. How wonderful! How wonderful to be a person filled with appreciation and insight and a man of action. I am so proud of both my Buddha Boys!
Ben continues to weigh offers from colleges. The coach at San Diego State just called and told him he'd send Ben's info to admissions...and they had pre-approved him! Since it's REALLY hard for anyone to get in from out of state, Ben was really excited. These coaches want him...and after his hard hard work, he deserves this kind of attention. Where will it all lead? I'll let you know!
Last night the members of Downers District got together for a holiday party and it was a blast. I just love the fact that we have all ages laughing and having fun together. We're taking a break from our regular Wednesday night's a Soka Gakkai tradition starting this year...having a break from meetings during the month of December so we can do fun things like go to parties and do home visits. Everyone really misses the meetings on Wednesdays we decided to get together this Wednesday...and probably next one too.
I hope you're enjoying your holidays.
Today we get and decorate our live tree!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Deep Prayers

What a lovely time for me...starting each day with two hours of chanting. I'm chanting to reveal my true identity...chanting to have my book based on this blog published...chanting for the happiness of my family.
Here we are getting ready for Christmas...listening to Christmas music all the time. On Saturday the four of us will go to our favorite Christmas tree lot and choose our tree. Our friend...we call him the mountain man, from way north in Wisconsin even knows our names....we'll put up our tree, listen to Christmas music and watch White Christmas together. I'll put mulled cider on the stove and it will make the house smell so good. I love the holidays. I love my life. I am so happy I am constantly glowing from within.
My prayer is also to have appreciation at every moment for my delightful life. It's working.
Yesterday I gave my first class in Chanting for Happiness at the Chicagoland Wellness Center. I am excited about that. I'll be teaching every two weeks for a few months. Nam Myoho Renge Kyo!!!!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Wonderful Home Visits!

Today has been the absolute best! I feel so fortunate to have all this time to chant right now. So far today I have had three people over at different times to chant. I've been teaching gongyo and giving (and getting) encouragement.

I am watching each person use the power of their own lives come through strongly by chanting these words. How marvelous is it to have a practice that works ~ that I can teach others~ and that I can use myself.

Nam Myoho Renge Kyo is like the roar of a Lion ~ what sickness can therefor be an obstacle? from the gosho by Nichiren Daishonin

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

New Practitioners

Isn't it truly an amazing thing to have something so deep, so profound and so USEFUL to share with people.

Today I talked to my friends in California who just started chanting. It is amazing how deeply they understand that this practice of Chanting Nam Myoho Renge Kyo is, in fact, the TRUE lineage of Shakyamuni Buddha for the age we are living in RIGHT NOW.
It is mystifying because it is so EASY, and yet so HARD:

There are no rules of any kind
-no dietary rules
-no "path" rules
-no lifestyle rules
-EVERYONE is a Buddha
-we are all equal
-there are no "life lessons" to learn and relearn
-we are not here to master suffering, we practice to WIN in life!
-karma is changeable, chanting changes it
-there is no clergy of decision/rule makers
-we are all lay believers (not clergy)
-this is a Buddhism OF the people! for all, no one is left out
-It produces results - when you chant, your life connects with the mystic law of cause and effect, and you GET the effect...maybe not right away, but you will get it...

All you do is chant Nam Myoho Renge Kyo, connect with the fellowship of believers at, study the writings of Nichiren Daishonin and help others find out about chanting....and have the COURAGE to FACE YOUR LIFE. That's the hard part. That's why we practice together. We all help each other. Join us! And make your list of what you want to see happen. You ROCK!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Awakening the Poetic Soul ~

THE POETIC SPIRIT by Daisaku Ikeda

“The cloud-seas of the heavens are riled by waves.

The moon a ship rowed into hiding behind a forest of stars.”

This waka-style poem was written some 1,300 years ago. It is included in the “Manyoshu” (“A Collection of 10,000 Leaves”), the oldest extant collection of Japanese poems. Today we have sent human beings beyond the reaches of Earth’s atmosphere; we have stood on the surface of the moon. Yet, reading this poem one has to wonder if people in ancient times didn’t sense the presence of the moon and stars more intimately than we do today. Is it possible they lived richer, more expansive lives than we, who for all our material comfort, rarely remember to look up to the sky?

The eyes of a poet discover in each person a unique and irreplaceable humanity. While arrogant intellect seeks to control and manipulate the world, the poetic spirit bows with reverence before its mysteries.

Human beings are each a microcosm. Living here on Earth, we breathe the rhythms of a universe that extends infinitely above us. When resonant harmonies arise between this vast outer cosmos and the inner human cosmos, poetry is born. At one time, perhaps, all people were poets, in intimate dialogue with Nature. In Japan, the Manyoshu collection comprised poems written by people of all classes. And almost half of the poems are marked “Poet unknown.”

These poems were not written to leave behind a name. Poems and songs penned as an unstoppable outpouring of the heart take on a life of their own. They transcend the limits of nationality and time as they pass from person to person, from one heart to another.

The poetic spirit has the power to “retune” and reconnect a discordant, divided world. True poets stand firm, confronting life’s conflicts and complexities. Harm done to anyone, anywhere, causes agony in the poet’s heart.

A poet is one who offers people words of courage and hope, seeking the perspective—one step deeper, one step higher –that makes tangible the enduring spiritual realities of our lives.

Now more than ever, we need the thunderous, rousing voice of poetry. We need the poet’s impassioned songs of peace, of the shared and mutually supportive existence of all things. We need to reawaken the poetic spirit within us, the youthful, vital energy and wisdom that enable us to live to the fullest. We must all be poets.

An ancient Japanese Poet wrote; “Poets arise as 10,000 leaves of language from the seeds of people’s hearts.”

Our planet is scarred and damaged, its life-systems threatened with collapse. WE must shade and protect Earth with “leaves of language” arising from the depths of life. Modern civilization will be healthy only when the poetic spirit regains its rightful place.

This article is reprinted from THE JAPAN TIMES, October12, 2006

Daisaku Ikeda is President of Soka Gakkai International, and Founder of Soka University and the Toda Institute for Global Peace and Policy Research. He is also a Poet Laureate.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

A wood burning fireplace

Here I am in the living room, watching the embers of a dying fire. It was roaring not that long ago...I'm still trying to figure the real-wood fire out! Those fake logs...I've got them down pat!

So this morning, who comes sauntering into my bedroom saying meow? You guessed it! My escapee~Myoho. Don't know where he'd been, but he had a bunch of new mats in his fur. People all day have been asking me "Where was he?" and I keep responding "He won't tell!"

But he's home! Most of the mats are gone by now. I brushed him this afternoon. So all is back to normal.

I learned a lot during the ride to Champaign last night. I learned that Ben's time on the Footlocker race last week was in the all time top 100 times...and on the way down a coach called to recruit him. Isn't it wonderful that Ben is in this position? Especially since he was injured for 5 weeks in the middle of his season. I just keep chanting for him, even when he doesn't have the time. It's a challenge to be a senior and get all the applications in to colleges and take 5 advanced placement classes AND be an all-state runner at the same time. Right now I hear him playing his guitar and I'm so happy he can take the time to write a song tonight!

I determined a while ago, through watching my friends who are Buddhist parents that the kids chant when they can...but my prayers are so powerful that they don't have to. A year ago my friend chanted for 6 hours one day so her daughter could break through and get a lead in the play...and she got it. I chant like that for my kids. Yes, it's nice when they can chant...but I can chant for them when they can't!