Tuesday, April 24, 2012

How to explain this practice to others


I received a request from a reader on how to talk about this practice for others. I think we each have our unique way, and I'll tell you how I do it. 

It starts with Daimoku! I am always chanting to meet the people who are seeking this practice and will want to chant. I know I was seeking this practice and so many are seeking too! I chant to be a living, breathing example of hope for people...that just by meeting me they can feel a breeze of "Ahhhhh...look what is possible!" Even if they are just meeting me for the first time. I chant to overflow with happiness and draw people to me who are ready to chant!

I am always chanting to let others know about this "tool for happiness"! 

There are three categories for shakubuku:

Strangers I meet in random places... 

People I meet in business....

and Friends...

Let's start with strangers. Most of the time I assume that if someone meets me, that they are seeking this practice. Otherwise why would they meet the Buddha? And how else could they find out about this wonderful practice? So I find a way to just drop the fact that I'm a Buddhist into the conversation, and I always carry Nam Myoho Renge Kyo cards with me! Always!  I give them away saying "This is the secret to happiness! Chant these words and you make the changes inside your life to bring about the changes you want to see!" Or I say "These words are the name of the rhythm of life itself. Chanting these words puts you in rhythm with the universe." Then I tell them I used to be 70 pounds heavier, or I say "I have the most amazing life!" and tell them a bit about me...but only if they are interested. I can tell right away if they don't want to talk about it. I can feel it. I just drop the subject then and move on. I have planted a seed....and that is enough!

If they are interested I tell them it's a tool, like meditation and that they do not have to stop doing what they are doing or CONVERT to chant. They don't. They can still use chanting as a tool. I tell them it's a tool for drawing forth the power of the universe from within. And I tell them we chant twice a day every day to establish that rhythm in our lives. I tell them they don't have to believe in it. It's a law of the universe and works no matter what. Then I tell them stories from my life...invite them to read my blog and attend meetings at my house. I also direct them to the SGI-USA.org website. 

I think I told you about my new friend who helped me at the Apple Store. My phone was having problems and she was helping me with it. I told her it was important for it to work so that I could stay in contact with my Buddhist District and my blog readers. 
She immediately told me she was seeking Buddhism and had been reading books and visiting temples to find a practice. We had a spirited conversation where I talked about using the TOOL of chanting Nam Myoho Renge Kyo to achieve goals and I told her some stories about actual proof in my life and in others. She was immediately hooked and has been chanting ever since. In the store we exchanged numbers, I began chanting for her and she and I have stayed in contact. Although she doesn't live close to me, she works close to me and comes to my meetings. She introduced a friend to this practice already!!

And then there is the woman I shakubukued at my sister's swimming pool. She and I had about a 5 minute conversation at the pool. She could feel something about my life. And she came to a meeting...she has now been chanting a year and a half and is glowing actual proof for all of us...she is so much happier!! 

In business I usually I wait until I get a clear sign from the other person. When they say "what is it about you Jamie? Why are you always so happy and smiling?" Then I tell them! I bring them reading materials and see if they want to have lunch with me. Then I let them lead. I wait until they bring it up. I never bug people. If they aren't interested I drop it right away and wait until they bring it up again...

And shakubukuing friends...and family...for me they sometimes take more time. They KNOW me. They are watching me for results. I chant, chant, chant for them! And chant to show them actual proof. I offer to chant with them when they are struggling, and I chant for them all the time! I let them take their time. I have many friends who have joined after watching my life for twenty years. And once they began chanting...oh my...they have achieved sooooo much!

I LOVE doing shakubuku! Do you have any more questions? 

Introducing others is the fastest way to change your karma, and when you see people using the practice and becoming happy...well, there is nothing more satisfying!!! 


  1. Another great post! I was wondering if you could share with us is it a good idea to do "things" during chanting? Like journaling? Because when I chant I get lightbulb moments and ideas and want to write it down. Brief bursts of inspiration, but I keep going. Is it okay to pause to do these things during chanting?

  2. "Most of the time I assume that if someone meets me, that they are seeking this practice. Otherwise why would they meet the Buddha? "

    Wow. That hit me right between the eyes. Major paradigm change. In all the years I've been chanting, I never thought about it that way before.

    Chanting to deepen this belief will make it so much easier and more natural feeling to talk to people.

    THANK YOU! :)