Thursday, August 25, 2011

Why Chant?

Good Question. 
If you're new to the whole chanting idea...or even if you're not...why do it? What does chanting do for you? 

Let's look at a few basics behind the very idea of chanting. 

First of all, one of the main concepts of Buddhism is that YOU ARE A BUDDHA. WE ARE ALL BUDDHAS. What is a BUDDHA? One who is awakened to the fact that he or she is a microcosm of the universe, and therefore has all the power of the universe inside his or her life.  All Buddhas are equal. We do not pray TO the Buddha! We ARE the Buddha. We chant to access the power within us...and channel it in the direction we want it to go. 

It's there. All the power...all the glory...all the beauty. Right in our own lives. And it's accessible by chanting the simple words Nam Myoho Renge Kyo. These words mean: I fuse my life with the mystic law of cause and effect through sound vibration. Chanting these words is like calling out to the law of the universe BY NAME, and bringing forth whatever you may desire. 

That's another beautiful thing about chanting. Your DESIRES ARE ENLIGHTENMENT. The more desires you have, the better! Your desires are all good. Even the bad ones. When you chant for what you want you will change your life in a positive direction. When you chant, you are plugging your life into the miraculous power of the entire universe. YOU DON"T HAVE TO UNDERSTAND IT. YOU DON"T HAVE TO BELIEVE IT! IT'S A LAW! I know a man who started chanting to prove to his wife that chanting did not work. More than 40 years later he is still chanting because he realized how profoundly it DID work....even when he didn't believe in it. He has inspired countless people with his story and with his life. (Hi Amos!)

Chanting works because WE ARE INTEGRALLY CONNECTED TO OUR ENVIRONMENT. Our lives are interwoven and are able, with our own power, to affect the entire environment in which we live. I'm sure you've noticed this many times in your life. There are days in which you hit every green light, and days in which you hit every red one. I know this is simplified, but I think you understand what I am saying. And because of this, when we chant to change our own lives...when we chant to raise our life conditions, when we chant to realize the magnificence of our own Buddhahood, the environment around us changes as well. It has to. Try it and see. 

I offer you this: Do an experiment. For the next 100 days chant at least 5 minutes every morning and evening. Go the website and find people in your area who chant. Go to meetings. Make a Buddhist friend. Write your list of desires. And watch your life change in a positive direction! You will feel your own happiness growing and growing. Get some books at the SGI Center by you, or order them through the publications number on the website. Anything written by Daisaku Ikeda is the key to your growth. He has dedicated his life to achieving world peace through each person's human revolution for 64 years. One of my favorite books of his is a small book called "On Attaining Buddhahood". 

You can be happier than you ever imagined....and your desires CAN come true. I am living proof of that. YOU CAN BE TOO! 

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Thriving, not Surviving

OK, I have successfully made it through one of life's greatest transitions...launching my precious boys into the world. As of last weekend, Aaron is at the University of Illinois, and Ben is at Miami of Ohio more than four hours away.
You know....someone once said to me, that once you have a child it is like your heart is permanently walking around outside your body ~ and I know this to be true. 
Right now my heart is launched in two different campuses. And I can't hover and control everything. 
No, at this point I have to trust that the years of raising them to chant for their own lives, and the continual Daimoku that I am chanting,  is just what they need to continue winning in life.
I love what Preseident Ikeda says about winning. It is not that winning is NEVER LOSING. WINNING MEANS NEVER BEING DEFEATED NO MATTER WHAT. 
We are human after all, aren't we?
Look at Ben, he's figuring everything out. He has a running scholarship he earned with his own hard work...and most people just wouldn't even believe what he puts himself through on a daily basis. When he's in good running shape (i.e. not injured) he pushes himself running in ways I can't even imagine. When he's injured (which is, mysteriously, and annoyingly...frequent) he pushes himself even harder...working in the gym for three hours or more to keep his cardio up for when he CAN run again.
Right now there is a question as to whether he'll be able to run this semester or not...we shall see. 
During his first week at college he met with many department heads on campus to help decide what major he wants to pursue.
On the day I moved him into his dorm,  I presented him with a tiny altar for his Omamori Gohonzon, anew book and beads set, Discussions on Youth by Daisaku Ikeda, and a gorgeous new bell. He'd received his Omamori Gohonzon earlier this summer. I know he is equipped now for success. I know he knows where he can turn when faced with challenges.  I can only hope that he has endless days of sunshine and glory...but life isn't always like that. But knowing that he is ready....well, as his Mom...I can breathe...I am happy.
And Aaron...he is handling what they call "Secondaries" for Medical school....I think that's what they call this phase of the application process. Who knows where he will be this time next year/ In the meantime, he's got an apartment he just fixed up and made wonderful...and all his friends around him everywhere. He's all set to lead his cross country club to victory at U of I, and succeed in his own life. I still am amazed at the thought of him last year...chanting in his conservative yet cool (they don't do hazing) fraternity.
And me, well, miraculously, my life is going on, even opening up. New and exciting people are coming into my life and showing me worlds of interesting, exciting, fun adventures. I am experiencing my own life as the rich, deep, passionate self I am. My true friends are more of a treasure than ever. I am appreciating every moment at a time I could be falling apart. For the past 20 years I have been responsible for raising these two bright sparks into their own power and happiness...and now they are launching into the world....not quite on their own...but needing me in a different way. So my life MUST expand and welcome new energy. Aaaaahhhh. It is wonderful :) Nam Myoho Renge Kyo friends.

If I can be this happy at this moment, anything is possible for you. I am living the life of my dreams You can too. Every single Nam Myoho Renge Kyo I have chanted is blossoming into my life right now. Whatever you're facing, Nam Myoho Renge Kyo is MUCH more powerful than any problem or challenge you have.   Don't take MY word for it though! Prove the power of the universe in your life! You are one of the lucky ones. You KNOW about Nam Myoho Renge Kyo and can use it! Chant to acheive your desires beyond your wildest dreams! Fortunate YOU!!!!!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

An Experience from my New friend in Australia! So inspiring!

This is from my new friend Nathan. Read it and be inspired by HOW FAST chanting Daimoku can impact your life. And remember, sometimes we go through the lows so that they can bring us to a much more incredible HIGH!!!

I discovered Daishonin Buddhsim through my councillor, I had a problem problems with my life, anger, addiction, hurting the ones I love most emotionally, mentally. About four weeks ago, my beautiful, loving, caring, wonderful wife left me because of these problems I had, all she wanted is for me to respect her, treat her with the love and care she has always showed me. But I just blew it off all the time, saying that I can fix myself, I don't need a councillor or any help, OMG was I wrong!!! What I didn't realize was that I did need help, and bad, so about three days ago I went to see my councillor, my wife came along to support me, to make a long story short, the things she said to the councillor about the way she feels and that she was happier in the past few weeks then when she was with me shocked my system drastically, I had been extremely depressed over the past few weeks from my wife leaving me but those few things she pointed out to the councillor hurt me more then any pain I ever felt, it was like a knife to the heart. My wife left the session early, and I stayed behind, let me add I'm South African and my wife is Australian, so I was here on a sponsorship from my wife, when she left mr, she withdrew her sponsorship and that gave me twenty eight days to stay in the country. So because of thy my councillor suggested I try Nichiren Daishonin Buddhism out, I thought to myself heck what so I have to lose, I've lost everything already. So we started to practice chanting, (Nam- myoho-renge-kyo) after the first five minutes I started to get the hang of it, after ten minutes I felt this amazing warmth insid of me, I felt relaxed, like the sadness had left my mind, I felt energized, peaceful. That afternoon I was walking through Melbourne city, and the thought popped in my head. So I stopped at the best florist in the city, and bought my gorgeous wife here favorite flowers (Lillie's) I went passed her parents place and I ran the bell, no answer, I rang again, no answer, so I rang a friend that lives in the complex, to my surprise he was home, and trust me he's never home. He opened and I sat on the stairs in front of her place, about 30 min she came down the stairs as two lovely ladies were entering the stairwell, she was surprised as heck, I gave her the flowers and a card, she offered me a lift on the way to one of her dancing classes she teaches at, we got to talking and when I left her on my way to the train station she hugged me, kissed me and told me she loves me. Gosh I felt amazing!! For the first time in weeks. I felt something other then pain and heart ache. 
So that night I got home, had dinner and went to my room, I started chanting loud and proud with all my heart thinking how much I would love my wife to give me another chance so that I could show her that I can change and I can be that man she fell in love with, I won't make another empty promise to her again, I did this for the next day aswell morning and evening, then this morning 13/08/2011 I went to work and I waited outside my office for 2 hours waiting for my boss to arrive, while I was waiting I started chanting in the work van, again loud and proud, for about thirty minutes. By then I realized my boss wasn't coming so I thought let me go take a walk in the city, I got near my parents inlaw's place, I decided To ask my wonderful mother inlaw if she'd like to go for coffee with me, she came down and told me that they were cleaning the carpets, so we sat down and had a long talk ( about an hour and a half) then my wife arrived from teaching, I asked her if she wanted to grab a coffee or something, she said YES!! so we went into the city and had a coffee, we ended up spending the entire day together, holding hands, kissing, hugging, you know.... What I'm trying to say is that even after three days of chanting Nam-Myoho-Renge-kyo my life started to change, I've started to feel hope again happiness, compassion, I feel fantastic!!! All I can say is that I believe and I'm no where near gonna give up, Nichiren Daishonin Buddhism is in me and is here to stay. I wanna thank you for your blog it has inspired me to never give up on my happiness, on my wife, on my life. Thank you with my heart of hearts thank you to you and my new mentor Nichiren Daishonin for giving me this wonderful and joyful gift of faith and enlightenment. THANK YOU

Thursday, August 4, 2011

What do you chant about...when you are really happy?

This can be a real kidding. How do you chant when you are blissfully happy. 
Well, I'll tell you this is one good place to be in.

 Congratulations on being blissfully happy!!!!

And the answer is amazingly simple and obvious...of course....CHANT IN APPRECIATION!!! Say thank you UNIVERSE! Thank you life itself! Thank you MY LIFE! Thank you soooo much. Thank you Daisaku Ikeda...and sincerely, really, thank yourself. Your benefits and happiness have come about because of all the good causes you have made in chanting, in shakubuku and in life. 

Praise your life! Honor your Life! Enjoy every single Nam Myoho Renge Kyo you chant. Your happiness will bring even more happiness! Chant to experience a deeper, richer, higher level of happiness than you ever have before! What a worthy prayer ~ you Buddha YOU!!!! Enjoy! 

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Paul McCartney last night ~ absolutely AGELESS!!!

I went to see Paul McCartney last night. He gave an amazing performance.  

You know 69 is not old any longer! Remember when the song "When I'm 64" came out? Oh my that time 64 sounded absolutely ancient. And now...we have Paul McCartney having the time of his life performing three hour shows in stadiums...and looking and sounding great at 69!

I'm relaxing tonight after a string of exciting and fun days and nights, and I put on the movie "You can Heal Your Life" by Louise Hay. Louise says "I just entered my 8th decade and I've decided that this will be my best decade EVER! Whatever decade you are in - declare it to be your best EVER!" OK Louise, you amazing and smart and wonderful woman. I declare this decade to be my best ever!!!! I KNOW I look younger than I did ten years ago! Nam Myoho Renge Kyo works!!!!