Sunday, January 1, 2012

Oh My Dear Friends! Happy New Year!

We are here! New Year's Day! The day most practicing SGI members look forward to with great anticipation...the day we all meet at the Chicago Buddhist Center (and Centers all over the world) in huge numbers to welcome in the new year, make fresh determinations, and greet the New Year with the spirit of Hon Nim Myo ~ from this moment forth!

Today is an extra special day for me because the entire Ali family, will be getting their Gohonzon today!

Shazara Ali is only 16 years old. Only 16 years old. She has accomplished so much in the last six months through chanting...through tapping into the life force within herself by chanting Nam Myoho Renge Kyo! She has discovered and accessed the key to real and true happiness. She first found Buddhism on a dark night of the soul. She was in despair about a relationship and left her home walking alone. The Ali's are of Indian descent who immigrated here from the beautiful island of Trinidad. Shazara was not in the habit of leaving her home alone, and her family was worried. 

I live in a beautiful apartment community and have a patio facing the pond on the ground floor. It's a peaceful and idyllic setting. It was a warm, beautiful night. All the members of my district had just chanted a rousing hour of daimoku...and had JUST left...the rhythm and energy of daimoku was still in the air, and I hadn't even put away the chairs! Shazara knocked on my door from the patio and asked for a glass of water. "I kind of ran away." she said. I thought "Wow, she's a runaway with great fortune to have wound up at MY door where I can tell her the secret of creating her own happiness! From now on she will know the key to happiness for herself and others!" I was impressed by how beautiful and well dressed she was...for a runaway! I invited her in, gave her water and a Nam Myoho Renge Kyo card. She told me a little bit about her circumstances and she said sure she'd love to try chanting. We sat down and began chanting and she didn't want to stop! She could feel the power of the prayer. I stopped for a second and she said "let's chant some more I already feel so much better!" And after that I drove her home to her family. 

When we got to her house the police were there and family and friends were there waiting to hear word of her whereabouts. She left my car in high spirits, and her Mom got in my car with tears in her eyes and said "You are my angel" to me. I told her "The worst day of your life has now turned into the best day of your life...your daughter has discovered chanting Nam Myoho Renge Kyo and she will never be unhappy like this again. From now on she has the key to her own happiness." 

Two days later Shazara and her Mom came back to my house to chant. Later that week all three of them, Mom, Dad and Shazara came back to my weekly Buddhist meeting and have been chanting together and learning gongyo ever since. They love their new Buddhist family! Shazara HAS solved her problems! She is no longer bullied...which is MAJOR!!!! I wish EVERY teenager and child could chant and change this in their lives! She auditioned for a singing scholarship and got it. She chants for grades and tests...she uses this practice for everything. And the family says that from the minute they started chanting they felt hope and happiness and the sunshine of the mystic law enter their lives. Today they are making the cause of receiving their Gohonzon. What a profound cause for their happiness!!! 

Receiving a Gohonzon is profound. It is the scroll, inscribed by Nichiren Daishonin depicting the highest life condition. It is a reflection of the brilliant and powerful life inside each person waiting to be tapped by chanting Nam Myoho Renge Kyo- the name of the rhythm of life itself. When you have a Gohonzon set up in an altar in your have a "HOME" inside your home. You have a place where you can draw forth your truest self day after day after day. 

To receive the Gohonzon you do not have to make a vow or sign a paper that you are converting to Buddhism. You DO make a vow to protect the Gohonzon, and if you're smart, you have an inner resolve to chant every day twice a day to bring forth your own Buddha nature, realize all your goals and make your family, and the world the happiest place on earth! How wonderful! What a great way to begin the New Year! 

I hope you have a fabulous day thinking about what you want to create in your life this year. Make fresh determinations. Resolutions and determinations are different. A resolution defines a particular action. A DETERMINATION is a deep resolve to change an aspect of your karma through chanting Nam Myoho Renge Kyo! 
I will write more about this in a later post!

Sending you so much love! Jamie


  1. What a beautiful story. Almost sounds too easy. Happy New Year. May this year bring you good health, continued happiness and new friends such as the sweet girl in this story. I'm glad you were able to help. I remember you helping Holly and I when we ran away. You have always had a big open heart. I remember being 5 yrs old hearing you chant. Now it sounds like its as easy as saying your name. ; )
    -One love

  2. jamie I just love u