Saturday, June 16, 2012

Question and Answer

This is a question I received today based on the "How to Chant for the First Time" post:

I have been chanting for 4 months now but this post helps. I went thru a real challenging time and my chanting has went from 15 min twice a day (sometimes much longer) to 5 min once a day, some days I skipped but never skip more than a day in between. I feel like I am slipping...I do my meetings but it doesnt feel the same...I also feel bad about the less time spent chanting but if i force it then ill really stop. Is it normal to start and stop until it becomes a habit? When does it become a habit? 


Congratulations! You are experiencing sansho shima, the energy that arises in our lives to stop us when we want to move forward! You have encountered an obstacle of the truest kind, an obstacle that exists in your own mind and says "well, if I really push myself I know I'll stop". If you can recognize this as a force working to HOLD YOU BACK and say NOT THIS TIME!! I AM MOVING FORWARD AND YOU CANT STOP ME! Then you will definitely WIN!!

As I've mentioned before, I chanted 5 minutes a day in the morning and the evening when I first started. It was a different rhythm in the SGI then, and I went to a meeting every single day and spent most of the day on Sunday at youth division activities. I also had my sponsor and many of my mentors chanting for me every day. The more I saw results in my life the MORE I wanted to chant. Once I grasped that this practice was actually working (and it did take some time for me to see that my results were because of my chanting) I wanted to take on more of my challenges and chant more. 
The support of the other Soka Gakkai members was crucial to me. I don't know what I would have been able to do without them. 
The problem with only chanting 5 minutes once a day is that you never really get the engine of your car revved up and running. So each time you sit down to chant you have to turn the key, pump the gas, hope it will start....but if you chant twice a day you get into an easy rhythm with the motor running and actually want to chant more! AND YOU HAE THE POWER TO PUSH THE SANSHO SHIMA AWAY! 
Much depends on your own ichinen (your will and desire put into action) regarding your problems. How much are you suffering? And how much do you want to stop that suffering? What is your desire, and how deeply do you want to make it happen? 
You know I started this blog by chanting two hours a day, and there's a reason I was chanting two hours a day...I HAD to! I was heartbroken and could not get the thoughts and sadness out of my brain. I became determined to call an end to the sadness and I began chanting two hours a day and started this blog to share my my results and encourage others. I have found that the more determined I am to change something in my life, the more I WANT to chant! Many days two hours FELT like two 5 minute sessions because I was so connected to my desire. THe deeper you connect, the more the time flies! 
It sounds like you really want to chant more. See if you can focus on what you really want, what you REALLY desire, and go from there. 
I find that the more effort I put into chanting the more smoothly the rest of my life went. Chanting is not always easy, but it makes everything else easier!
Also, almost everyone realizes at a certain point that they need to chant more Daimoku. Usually that feeling comes after you start feeling a little flat, and nothing seems to be happening. Call an SGI friend. Attend a Tozo (chanting session), rewrite your goals and remember what you want to accomplish in your life and above all HAVE HOPE! YOU CAN ACCOMPLISH ANYTHING WITH THIS PRACTICE! THERE IS NO PROBLEM BIGGER THAN CHANTING NAM MYOHO RENGE KYO!!!!
That's why having problems is a benefit. They make you chant, and when you chant you change your karma. It's a beautiful world! 

Roar like the lion you are! Nam Myoho Renge Kyo!!!

1 comment:

  1. Thank you so much for this! You said it so well! And offered me a new perspective. Perhaps if I zone in on more of my goals and what I want it will help me stay focused on chanting. This is reminding me to go back INSIDE and see the life I want to create and chant my way through it! I have a tozo today at a member house. I will use it as a fresh start to get on track again.