Monday, May 28, 2012

Back to Business...and blogging! And the Marvelous May Campaign!

I'm so sorry I could not write very much while I was in California. Now it's Memorial Day in America. I just put on a memorial day party on my first day back. My apartment is almost cleaned and I can take a few moments to write. 

This vacation was such a special time. It was the first time my boys and I have gone on a long vacation together. Ever. And it was so perfect. Every single morning we joined our voices in harmony by chanting and doing gongyo. It is impossible to describe the splendor of chanting with your children...through all of their lives. I remember their tiny little voices when they were little "OK Mommy" they'd say when I invited them to chant. Now, at the ages of 22 and 19 they are men, and their sonorous voices send chills down my spine when we chant together. And when you chant together like this...well, you just KNOW the day will hold wonderful tidings!

And our prayers gave us the most rhythmical and beautiful vacation ever. We never argued...we always agreed on what we wanted to do...and we went from one precious moment to the next. Since we have so many dear friends in California we spent almost every night in one of their homes. We stayed in San Anselmo, Benicia, Agoura Hills and Los Angeles. And we were on our own through Santa Cruz, Big Sur and Pismo Beach. 

And on Saturday night we were at a huge Buddhist leader's meeting in Santa Monica at the Ikeda Auditorium. The passion of the Taiko drummers was amazing. And I gained an even deeper understanding about the May Contribution Campaign. 
It really exists for us to challenge us ALL to change our karma regarding money and what we call "fortune". Most people do not come to this practice already rich. Most are struggling in some way. That is precisely why many begin the difficult practice of chanting. When we challenge ourselves to contribute a specific amount during the May contribution campaign we can use it as a cause to change something deep within our lives. We can choose what to change. We can change our financial karma forever. As Soka Gakkai Buddhists we MUST change our financial karma. We have the opportunity to inspire so many who are still suffering. 

And if we study and truly understand this practice we KNOW that the only way to change any of our circumstances starts with changing our lives on the INSIDE...doing our own Human Revolution...changing the core of our lives so that our circumstances can change to reflect our diamond-like selves. 

That is where the financial contribution campaign comes in. Every May we make determinations and goals. 

I heard many experiences about finances. Kate was chanting to be able to donate a certain amount and she didn't know exactly where it was going to come from. She got a call about a substitute teaching assignment. And they told her they had no money to give her for "prep" time. Ever teacher has to prep. If they don't pay you for prep, you still do it, and essentially work those extra prep hours for free. Kate said "No, I won't take it without prep time" and she said there was silence on the other end...then the person who wanted to hire her agreed to her price. 

Kate stressed that it's not just about the money. It is about how we value ourselves as people. It is about what we feel we deserve and standing up for ourselves. YES. I believe we all need to learn this more deeply...and put it into practice! 

We ALL need to really value our lives...our worth...ourselves as noble Boddhisatvas of the earth! 

I am still collecting your experiences! Let me hear from you!

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