Friday, June 28, 2013

PowerPrayer to Realize You DESERVE your Desires

This PowerPrayer comes from my writing partner Julia Landis. I love it!

to realize I deserve what I most want

I Deserve a life of Beauty, Gain, and Good.*
I am now ready to live a life of beauty, gain and good.
I realize that I am completely worthy
of the best and most beautiful riches
and resources this world has to offer,
including money,
especially money.
Any hinderances I have every experienced to realizing my worthiness
have burned up in the fire of my Daimoku!

I am beautiful, I inspire others to realize that they are beautiful, too.
My beauty uplifts people.
The beauty, elegance, and simplicity of my
creates a cause in the lives of others to surround themselves with beauty and to bring forth great beauty from the depths of their lives.
From the inexhaustable well of Buddhahood within
I bring forth a positive spiral
of ever increasingly high life condition,
(material wealth), that sparkles with inherent generosity.

I am a cause for many great and needed projects
that raise the world's life condition through my wealth.
Gain is inherently good and wealth reflects a healthy self esteem, motivated productivity and generosity.
My wealth flows from my deep innate goodness that I reveal with each Daimoku I chant.
I am beauty, gain and good incarnate now
and I am simultaneously the cause of beauty, gain and good
in the lives of an uncountable number of others.

* What is value creation? Tsunesaburo Makiguchi, visionary founder of the SGI, saw the ability to create value as a distinctively human possibility. He defined value as the triad of beauty, gain and good. "Beauty" might be defined as aesthetic enhancement; "gain" as everything that enriches a person's life in the broadest sense; and "good" as that which benefits society as a whole.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Become a Light of Hope and you will be Victorious!!!

YES! Congratulations Soka university Class of 2013!  

This post is derived largely from the 
June 14th World Tribune celebrating the graduation. 

Soka University, Los Angeles was founded by Daisaku Ikeda and opened in 2001. In 2013 Soka was named as one of the top 50 finest liberal arts colleges in the country by U.S. News and World Report. They also ranked Soka #1 in Faculty Resources, #2 in Foreign Support Factor ( with 42% of students coming from outside the U.S.), #2 in Ethnic Diversity and #8 in Best Value School. 

The June 14th World Tribune has wisdom for us all:

In his address to the class of 2013, Soku University of America President Dr. Habuki noted that the song "The Light of Hope," which Dr. Ikeda wrote and dedicated to SUA, speaks of his hopes and expectations for the school's graduates to become the "light of hope" wherever they go. How do they do this? 
The key, Dr. Habuki said, is to become a person who works for the sake of others. 

"When you center everything and base things only on yourself, it becomes much easier to give up, because you will only disappoint yourself." he said. "When your efforts are for the sake of other people and society, you become far more determined to succeed. Like those of you who are the first college graduate in your family, I am sure you worked harder because of your families. 
"After today, you will soon leave the campus where you lived for four years, and I know there will be many challenges ahead," he continued. "There will be occasions when you will feel defeated or stuck. During those times, always remember those who have supported and believed in you, and those waiting for you in society - your parents, your friends and the people of the world. Let this become the basis of your strength."

Dr. Habuki, President of Soka University. 

We can all take this message to heart. When we are chanting we can focus on fulfilling our dreams not just for ourselves, but also to be a beacon of hope for others. 

When I started this blog in 2009 I was determined to overcome my deep-seated and life-long sadness, not just for myself, but for my members, for my friends and for anyone who might be reading this blog. Every day I chanted to root the cause of this sadness and despair out of my life FOREVER. And now, I am just amazed at my life every single day. I am victorious. 
I have defeated my biggest internal demon  - I no longer suffer from depression and sadness! 

Having a strong determination for the sake of other people is one of the golden keys to happiness. Thank you for saying it so succinctly Dr. Habuki and good luck to all the Soka U graduates!!!!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Powerful Guest Post about Belief from Morag in the UK

From 'The Nature of Success'  
Discover the Power of Belief

For more than a hundred years, runners tried to break the 4 minute mile.  It was considered the 'holy grail' of track and field. In fact, doctors in medical journals wrote how it was impossible and explained how the human body was physically incapable of accomplishing this feat.

Then in May 1954 a british medical student named Roger Bannister ran the mile in 3 minutes 59 and a half seconds.  This made headlines around the world!

Then, even more amazing, the record was broken again the following month and again and again.  It has since been broken over 700 times sometimes by several people in the same race.

What happened, what was different?  They believed they could do it!  The barriers of the mind had broken down.  successful people have one thing in common: they believe with all their heart they can do it.

You see, whether you think you can or whether you think you can''re right!

In the world of faith this principle works with even greater results.  The Daishonin believed with his entire being that his exile to Sado was only temporary.  He wrote to Shijo Kingo "When I come back to Kamakura we will meet."  
(And the majority of people did NOT return form an exile on Sado Island)

We empower our prayers when we believe they will be answered.  The Gosho says several times and in different ways that 'no prayer of the votary of the Lotus Sutra goes unanswered.'  It is down to us to deepen our faith, strengthen our practice and live our lives in such belief without doubting.

Sent from Morag Waghome, in the UK. 

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Chanting for Others Has a Profound Effect and an Ultimate Power Prayer for Change

Yes, we are all connected.

Suppose we have someone at work we don't get along with...or a family member that is giving us problems. What is the best way to handle this situation as a Buddhist? 

Many of us have proven, time and again, that chanting for that person's happiness changes everything. Chanting for their happiness might not sound like something you want to do, or even feel capable of, but it works every single time, I promise. 

Here are two examples: 

The first time I tried this I hadn't been chanting all that long and I was selling advertising for the Bay Guardian Newspaper. This was before so much of the technology we have now. Ads were placed on the boards by hand, and it was all meticulously done. I sold a lot of advertising. And the person who handled my ads in production (I'll call her Katia) was always upset with me for some reason or other. It got to the point that she was really driving me crazy. So I sought guidance from one of my seniors in faith. She said I should chant for Katia's happiness, because my prayer would affect her state of life, and the energy between us would change. 

I'll be honest, I thought it would be really difficult, if not impossible, to truly chant and desire this person's happiness. But the senior in faith told me to "fake it till you make it." In other words, start chanting for Katia even if I couldn't really put my heart into it. She told me to picture Katia with a big smile on her face, and sooner or later my prayer for her happiness would become sincere. 

This is exactly what happened. Within a very short period of time I found myself earnestly desiring happiness for Katia, and knowing in my heart that my chanting was going to have an effect. 

About a month later, Katia announced that she was getting engaged and moving to Los Angeles. She was happy and so was I!

I realized that through this practice I was actually exercising my muscle of compassion. After that, chanting for anyone I was having problems with came much easier. 

Another example was when I went to work for a larger company here in the Midwest. I could tell, that for no apparent reason, one of the employees really didn't like me, (I'll call her Sharon). She never said anything negative, and I didn't work with her very closely, but I could feel her hair standing on end when she saw me. So I decided to chant for her happiness every day for months. 

Instead of leaving the company like Katia did, Sharon just totally changed her feelings for me and came to love and respect me. She served on several of my committees and spoke very highly of me. She and I put together a Holiday party for the senior staff based on kind words and love. We worked together happily for many years. 

Throughout the years of my practice I have proven over and over that chanting for another person's happiness has a profound effect, and that I can GENERATE compassion by exercising my muscle of faith. 

Is there anyone you have been resenting who you could chant for? 

Ultimate PowerPrayer to receive insight from and for my life

Gohonzon, I am willing to change in any way possible to achieve _____________________in my life. 
Show me what I need to change 
in my thoughts, words, and actions 
and help me realize that
because I possess the world of Buddhahood  
I already have the strength,  
and courage to hear, 
to understand, 
and to change. 
Open my heart and mind to hear the messages
that will move me forward.
I release my resistance to change. 

I can now learn from my environment 
and everyone in it 
because I realize that I am one with my environment, 
and my environment is coming towards me to help me. 
It comes towards me through people, books. etc.
in everything there is a loving message for me 
and I'm wise enough to figure out what it is 
and generous enough with myself to take it in 
and benefit from it.  
My environment is a clear mirror of my life 
and I joyfully realize 
that I need to change for “it” to change. 
Life, I am ready!

Monday, June 24, 2013

The first thing is to pray:

The first thing is to pray. 
From the moment we begin to pray, 
things start moving. 
The darker the night, 
the closer the dawn. 
From the moment we chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo 
with a deep and powerful resolve, 
the sun begins to rise in our hearts. 
Hope --- prayer is the sun of hope. 
To chant each time we face a problem, 
overcoming it and elevating our life-condition as a result --- this is the path 
of "changing earthly desires into enlightenment," 
taught in Nichiren Buddhism.

Daisaku Ikeda

Ultimate PowerPrayer for Human Revolution, the KEY to Absolute Happiness

Doing your own Human Revolution is the most important thing you can do. 


Human Revolution is YOU, growing and changing from within, strengthening your life, and raising your life condition to the life condition of the Buddha. 
By doing your Human Revolution you can change ANY poison into a medicine. 
Why is this? 
When we change on the inside of our lives, due to the principle of Esho Funi, our environment and everything in it HAS to respond because we are one with it. We are interconnected with everything. There are times we feel and see this connection, and there are times that we don't. But whether we see it or not it is there. SO if you want to make real changes you must change from within. 

Today, on the day my son just got back from three weeks of medical work in Bolivia, I am sharing with you two PowerPrayers from the book Julia and I are writing for you. These PowerPrayers, along with your strong practice of chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo every day, twice a day, going to SGI meetings and studying and encouraging others can be extremely powerful in your life. 
I am interested in your feedback. 

for Human Revolution

I am determined to make any changes necessary 
in my thoughts, 
in my actions, 
even in the way that I chant 
in order to make continual positive causes 
in every moment of every day. 
These positive causes 
result in rooting the negative karma OUT OF MY LIFE! 
I am determined to make the changes inside myself, 
to change any weakness within me into strengths...
to do my own human revolution 
and raise my life condition! 
I am determined to change in any way necessary 
to accomplish_____________. 
I am bringing the determination, 
wisdom and fire 
I need to create the life of my dreams. 
I do this not only for me, but for everyone who is suffering. 
I am determined to glow within my own life. 
I am a shining light for all who are suffering. 
I am a beacon of hope 
that ANYONE can solve their problems 
by chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo. 
I am ready to meet people 
who are ready to hear about this practice!  
I chant to have the most inspiring life. 
Gohonzon (my life) I demand to see these results now!"

Friday, June 21, 2013

Happy Summer Solstice!

When you chant enough daimoku 
your life is shining like the sun. 

Are you feeling a little down? 

Are things not going your way as often as you would like? 

If you start chanting more daimoku more consistently your life will rise with the power of daimoku, you'll feel a glow and contentment, you'll be happier, people you want to have in your life will be drawn to you...

Try challenging yourself to chant more daimoku in the morning and the evening. You can make it fun by chanting with others. And you may experience the place I am in right now...the more I chant the more I WANT to chant. The time flies. It is effortless. I have so many things to chant for! I feel so connected. I chant with so much joy! 

Daimoku is FREE and a "happiness making machine." 

I've been chanting at least two hours a day for awhile. I'm focusing on writing the PowerPrayer book, and on YOU who read this blog. 

My deepest desire is to write words that inspire you, give you hope and make you want to get back in front of your Gohonzon and rededicate yourself to creating the life you really want. When you chant you TELL your life what you want.

My deepest desire is to encourage you to take Nichiren Daishonin and Daisaku Ikeda's words to heart and engrave them in your lives. 

My deepest desire is for you to be so happy that people naturally want to learn what you're doing and you can teach them to chant. 

My deepest desire is to always connect with Sensei (Daisaku Ikeda) and take the actions, chant the prayers, and write and say the words that he would say. 

Sensei's Daily Guidance for June 21 from For Today and Tomorrow reads:

"When you devote your life to achieving your goal,  
you will not be bothered by shallow criticism. 
In fact nothing can be accomplished 
if you allow yourself to be swayed by some trifling matter, 
always looking over your shoulder and wondering what others are saying or thinking. 
The key to achievement is to move forward resolutely along your chosen path."

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Experience of Protection in the Recent Colorado Wildfires

Heather's Colorado Springs' Fire Story 
of actual proof and protection  
through chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo. 

This is a photo of me, Heather, Kathy and Shirley. 

We are Heather's "Buddha Moms" and this was taken on Mother's Day at the Chicago SGI Center just before Heather moved to Colorado Springs. 

Heather has been a dear friend and YWD (Young Women's Division member) in my district for over two years. She was brought up as a traditional Buddhist to believe that personal desires are bad, and desires are the cause of all suffering. 

So, all the times that I urged her to chant for what she wanted, she just could not. She also did not want to commit to chanting every morning and evening, saying, "I don't do anything twice a day!" and seeing a consistent practice as a sign of giving in to something. Those of us who chant every morning and evening know there is a real difference between chanting twice a day and chanting occasionally. Life flows more easily, insights come more quickly and it is easier to defeat our own negativity and make things happen with a twice a day practice. Your inner power emerges. 

Last November, after a trying year of facing several painful events, Heather decided to give every morning and every evening chanting a try, and immediately told me she could feel the difference. She said she would never have believed it if she hadn't seen for herself. So she continued to do it. 

One day soon after, in front of my Gohonzon chanting with me, she chanted for her first desire, and tears fell down her cheeks. I told her "every tear cried in front of the Gohonzon is a diamond in your life." And she began sincerely chanting for her desires. 

Her first real desire was to move to Colorado. She accomplished this right after Mother's Day. I told her the members there must be chanting for her to come! On Mother's Day, Danny Nagashima told us that a new SGI Center had been opened in Colorado Springs just the day before. She was totally in rhythm.  

She moved in with a friend in a great house in Black Forest by Colorado Springs and was loving every minute.  She has a beautiful sunny bedroom and a great situation for her and her faithful dog Bowser. She loves her roommates and talks to them about her "prayer box" (Butsudan) and practice. 

She's found friendships in the Colorado Springs SGI already. When she walked into the SGI center she told them she had just moved from Chicago they said "We've been chanting for you!" and welcomed her with open arms. 

Two weeks ago Heather came back to Chicago for a wedding. Before she left Colorado she locked her room with her Gohonzon and Butsudan in it. She moved her Gohonzon to a fire-proof safe, and hid a key in the front yard "just in case." 

As many of you may know, Colorado Springs just had the biggest wildfire in Colorado's history. The flames reached over 300 feet.  Heather was already here when it broke out. 

The fire began mid-day and when her roommate headed home she was stopped at a barricade and told she couldn't go back to the house to get her dog or belongings. Heather's roommate was determined to save her dog and Heather's "Prayer Box" and she went around the barricade and raced to the house. When she got there she found Heather's bedroom door locked and called Heather who told her where she'd hidden the key. Her roommate safely rescued the dogs, the Butsudan and the Gohonzon!

For many days, no one knew if the house was still standing, and we were all chanting. 

On Tuesday, Heather learned that her entire block and all around it was guessed it...her house. Her roommate said it looked like there was a "bubble around the house" because everything else was burned. 

Heather says now she is going to return and everyone in her house is going to start chanting because of her amazing actual proof! 

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Turning Karma and Problems Into Mission and Making the Impossible Possible!

"If you always have a shallow perspective 
and pay attention only to trivial things, 
you are sure to get bogged down 
in all kinds of petty worries and concerns, 
and not be able to move forward. 
Even relatively minor hurdles or problems 
will seem insurmountable. 
But if you look at life from a broad viewpoint, 
you naturally spot the way to solve 
any problem you may confront. 
This is true when we consider our own personal problems 
as well as those of society 
and even the future of
the entire world." - 

Daisaku Ikeda

How do we cultivate a broad range view? 

I know for me it is in keeping my eye on my mission for mission to use my life as an example for others to have hope, and generate faith and become happier than they ever dreamed possible.

As I move through these summer days I am constantly writing the PowerPrayer book in my head, and thinking of all of you. I know there are many of you I haven't met, and some of you I correspond with frequently. 

I'm constantly aware that the depression that plagued my life is absolutely GONE, and the endless suffering and longing and HUNGER for food and everything else has also lifted. 

These are things I thought were impossible. They came with the package of my life, I thought. They were part of me, like breathing, and sleeping.

But, due to my fierce determination to help others and use my life as an example, I have ended the cycle of constant longing for what I cannot have. Impossible for me. 
Yes, but I did it. 
If you have the same spirit in your life you can raise every single problem and turn it into a mission for your life. 

You can use your determination in front of the Gohonzon to change the world. 

Life! I am determined to change ____________
and I know that by changing this I can inspire _____________to chant and to realize that anything is possible! 

Once you solve your own problems you help other's solve their own. And you can even inspire them along the way. You can invite them to an SGI meeting so they can see the source of your strong determination, or you can invite them to join you to chant in your own home. These are powerful causes for you to make in your own life and for them. 

You are an inspiration with your strong ichinen (will) alone. 

When you can look at your life from this broad viewpoint the smaller problems get solved right away, wisdom flows forth from your life, and well, everything just gets easier! 

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

What's the Purpose of this blog?

Welcome to 

Have you ever felt that there was a solution to the revolving door of your problems...if only you could find it? 
Have you ever thought there might be a solution that did not involve somehow divorcing yourself from your true desires? Well, this blog contains that solution. 
This blog is about living a life with renewed enthusiasm, determination and hope. 
It teaches the daily practice of chanting the words Nam-myoho-renge-kyo to bring about our own happiness and human revolution by tapping into the boundless energy of the universe that has always existed within our lives, and in everything else that exists. 

Nam-myoho-renge-kyo is the name of the current, and the rhythm, that runs through all things. Nam-myoho-renge-kyo literally means "I devote my life to the mystic law of cause and effect through sound vibration (or sutra)." The most important result from chanting is to see actual proof of our prayers.  In other words, we get what we chant for...maybe not immediately, but we see results. We chant we tell our own lives what we want, and we don't chant to any type of god or anything outside of ourselves.  

One of the things I resonated with when I began is that we don't have to believe chanting works. Nam-myoho-renge-kyo is the name of the mystic law, the law of cause and effect and chanting is the ultimate good cause.

When we chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo we feel the vital essence of the universe flowing through us, and are able to direct that energy in the direction of our own happiness. 

We are a community of practitioners. We practice together, support each other and grow and learn together. Membership is open to all and costs nothing. The SGI-USA link on the right is where you can find links to your closest SGI Culture Center and District. 
I am a District Leader of the SGI-USA, but this blog is not officially tied to the organization, and the writings and opinions are my own. I wholeheartedly encourage each person to join the SGI, read the Gosho and study President Ikeda's guidance. I am deeply appreciative of all my SGI friends and mentors! 

For our practice we chant every morning and evening. no, it's not always easy to do this, but those who persist gain incredible benefit, both material and heart-centered. We tap into our own inner resources to make the impossible possible, and achieve goals we thought were unreachable. 

In my own case, I've been chanting since 1985. I searched for this practice everywhere. I KNEW something had to exist where I could channel my own energy in the direction I wanted it to go. 

In my searching I found many other forms of Buddhism that said my attachment to desires was the reason for my suffering and I had to alleviate my desires to be happy. "No thank you!" I thought. "I'll keep my desires because they make me who I am. I desire light, and love, and happiness for all humanity." And in 1985 I found the practice of Nichiren Buddhism through a friend I met who inspired me. She introduced me to the Soka Gakkai International (SGI).

These warm-hearted Buddhists encouraged me to chant for my just what I wanted. And in the process of chanting for desires, a richer, deeper happiness and strength emerged. I discovered that I could transform my basic life tendencies....the ones that I'd previously thought were just part of my personality. I discovered a great source for making change in the moment. 

In the process I've had countless benefits. I've lost 50 pounds. I've raised two incredible children who are now young men who make me proud. I've had business success and converted a life of unhappiness to a life radiant with purpose and beaming with celebration. 

My passion since the day I found this practice has been to help other people who are also searching. I began this blog 4 years ago with this intent. As of today, the readership of is 20,000 and it climbs consistently every month. Before I write each post, I chant for a solid hour to connect with each reader's life, to help each one connect with the SGI, and to inspire all to persist in their daily practice so they can be incredibly happy. 

I, along with my fellow practitioners, envision, and chant, for a world of respect for all living beings which we call kosen rufu. There are dedicated people all over the world chanting for new members to come to meetings and discover this incredible source of happiness. You can call them today using the SGI-USA Portal on the right. 

For instructions on how to chant, check out the blog post How To Chant For the First Time in the archives. 

PowerPrayer for Health

You can chant this for yourself or in someone else's name:

PowerPrayer for Health

I,                 , am bringing into my life 
everything I need 
for radiant energy and complete health. 
As I am chanting, 
everything I need, 
including the perfect mindset 
is speeding its way towards me. 
All of the best medicines, 
herbal treatments, 
are abundantly available in my life. 
I am healing at every moment.
I am growing more and more healthy every day! 

I love myself enough to realize 
that I deserve all of the best kinds of support. 
I no longer live in fear, disappointment and doubt. 
I am absolutely certain 
that I have the power to create my health. 

I have heard and internalized the voice of my my mentor who has stated repeatedly, 
"Nam-myoho-renge-kyo is the roar of the lion, what sickness can therefore be an obstacle?'

I know that true health 
lies in creating a life condition of challenge and victory. 

Every little setback I experience 
galvanizes in me more resolve 
to chant ever more resounding Daimoku 
and strengthen my practice. 

I transform each obstacle as it arises 
into more actual proof and encouragement 
with which I inspire others. 

My illness has become a source of victory 
and great intimacy and friendship 
with a multitude of people whose suffering 
I have shared, 
and for whom I have the deepest respect and empathy. 

I am a shining beacon of hope 
to anyone who has suffered because of failing health. 
Because I have embraced my illness for what it is, 
the opportunity to show actual proof through my life, 
I have already won!

Monday, June 17, 2013

PowerPrayer for a Power~full Mind

PowerPrayers are the words we focus on when we chant. Focus on this one to sharpen your powers of focus, memory and concentration: 

PowerPrayer for a Power~full Mind
As I am chanting, I expand the power of my mind, including my memory, my powers of concentration and focus. I now possess the stick-to-itiveness and fortitude and depth of understanding to learn and acquire great wisdom from study and from my very life. I retain what I study and integrate it into what I already know in ways that astonish even me! I find that I have the gift of gab. Beautiful words flow from me, the right words and the right moments. Through the power of my Daimoku I am becoming a an inspirational and knowledgeable communicator and I love to work collaboratively with others who inspire and respect me. What could be better?! How good am I willing for it to be?! Everyone who chants regularly and powerfully naturally unlocks a great capacity for self expression and I am no exception. I choose to love my words.  

Some IkedaQuotes to Begin Your Week

This is going to be a highly creative week for me. We are writing new PowerPayers every day. We just prepared a new list of PowerPrayers we want to write. You can submit your suggestions to me at What PowerPrayer would you like to see? 

These quotes are all by Daisaku Ikeda, from under Creativity. Enjoy!

To strive even higher, to do even better—the creative process is a desperate struggle to go beyond what we were yesterday. It is a battle against resting on our laurels, against the fear of losing what we have. It is an adventure into unknown territory.

How aware are we of our own inner life, our spirituality—something so intangible yet so priceless? How much effort do we make to perceive that which is not obvious, which can neither be seen nor heard? I believe the exploration and enrichment of the human spirit is what determines our very humanity.

This thing called life—with the exertion and concentrated thought of a novelist writing a novel, with the sweat and perseverance of a painter plying his brush, seated before the blank paper of the instant and the future, one creates a new portrait of oneself. Life is a vigorous task to be engaged in the exploration and enrichment of the human spirit is what determines our very humanity.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Every Buddha Faces Challenges ~ That's How It's Supposed to Be!

Yes, every Buddha does face challenges. But the good thing is - if we keep chanting our way through our challenges  ~ and we don't give up ~ we create such wonderful benefit every single time. And the more we set our sights on our true PowerPrayers for ourselves and others, the more our life blossoms into true happiness. Right now, every day, as I am writing this blog, and writing my PowerPrayer book for you, I am experience a peace of mind and sense of full~fill~ment I've only dreamed of in the past. Every day I wake up happy to chant, happy to write, and happy to see each person I encounter. 

This week has been a challenging and fulfilling week for me. My son Ben got his wisdom teeth out and has been staying with me. He's also been facing some disappointment, so I have been chanting up a storm for him. When our children aren't happy it's hard for us to be entirely happy, isn't that true? Well, let's just say this has been a tough year for Ben who just finished his second year of college in these challenging times. 

One of the things he has discovered about himself is he gets  great joy that comes from playing with children, so he is planning on becoming a teacher. He's been volunteering at The Sudbury School, a democratic free school where children are trusted, age levels are mixed, and the children decide what they will learn and when. If you're interested in knowing more you can look at the Sudbury Valley School on Facebook or the web. Sudbury Valley is the original school and the success of the students is well-documented in the book Free to Learn by Peter Gray. 

Today, on this quiet Saturday, I arose to write something very exciting. This fall I will be leading a workshop in Bali, Indonesia called:
Explore, Enhance and Expand Your Inner Buddha... 
As soon as I have all the details for reserving your place, I will post them here. I can tell you now that it's set for November 16th-22nd in Bali, Indonesia and the cost will be $1599 including accommodations, activities and most meals. I'll be doing this through Love Your Spirit Tours. 

Here is the first write-up for the event. You get first peek at this exciting event! 

Jamie Lee Silver
Write up for Bali, 

From earliest memory, Jamie Lee Silver was searching for a practical solution to her problems. She knew that she could not have been born into a lifetime of debilitating depression, the constant urge to eat anything not nailed down, constant longing for love amidst self-loathing, and the curse of living life in America as a fat person without a higher reason. and greater purpose to help people. She had an intense yearning to revolutionize her life from within and to use her victory to help others who were suffering.  

She did her best to appreciate her life, using the songs of John Denver as her spiritual support, and exploring every avenue of relief including religion, literature, metaphysics, mysticism, psychology, yoga, est, poetry, alcohol and various mind-enhancing drugs and meditations. In each of these, she found nuggets that were helpful, but her depression persisted and she kept searching for the real, karma changing solution. 

In 1985 she was living in San Francisco and hit an all-time low after being laid off when she met Kate Randolph, a Nichiren Buddhist, who would become her mentor for life. Kate introduced her to a form of Buddhism that said that by chanting the words Nam-myoho-renge-kyo (the title of the Lotus Sutra and the name of the rhythm of life itself) and simultaneously focusing on your desires (not clearing your mind of desires), you can change ANYTHING in life from poison to medicine, create lasting karmic change for yourself and countless others, and actually make your dreams come true. Kate told her the power of this chant was its ability to grant the practitioner access to the entire power of the universe within each life. 

Yes. According to this practice, everyone is a Buddha and this chant makes the Buddha burst forth generating the highest life state of fulfillment and happiness.

Immediately, Jamie began a twice-a-day practice of Practical Buddhism and embarked on a new life of Buddhist study. She immediately proved the power of this prayer by raising herself from the depths, finding a job and crawling out of her emotional hole. She knew she’d begun a life-long process of converting her own suffering, and helping anyone who was suffering find out about this practice.

 Over the next 28 years she proved the power of this chant over and over in her life by vowing to use her struggles to encourage others. In her first few years of practice she took District leadership in the Soka Gakkai, otherwise known as the SGI, or “value creating society”, the lay organization that promotes peace, culture and education through individual and collective happiness. She has hosted meetings in her own home every week ever since then. One of her first benefits from chanting was writing a Power Prayer and manifesting her “House for World Peace” on a high hill overlooking San Francisco. 

Since then, Jamie has chosen to move back to her roots in the Western Suburbs of Illinois to raise her two children, and has continued to devote her life to inspiring others by using her sparkling life as an example. 

She has absolutely and completely conquered depression, lost 70 pounds and kept it off for years. Jamie has had a wonderful and multi-faceted career in the world of sales and marketing, winning countless awards and honors. She has raised two “Buddha Boys” who started chanting to vanquish bad dreams at the age of two, and have used this practice in various powerful ways throughout their lives. Jamie has gone from being friendless and unhappy to a woman of high self-worth with countless friends and students. As the writer of the blog she inspires over 20,000 people a month to keep chanting, never give up, and realize their dreams.

As of this writing, Jamie is finishing up her first book The Buddha Zone, PowerPrayers for Chanting Your Way to Absolute Happiness and cannot wait to hold it in her hands and give it to the world! 

In Explore, Enhance and Expand Your Inner Buddha you will learn everything you need to know to experience plugging into your own power source through chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo. 

We’ll be chanting every morning and evening together, learning the intellectual meaning of the chant itself and revealing its power in our lives.   

We’ll begin with Jamie’s process that enables you to tap into your current desires, and the hopes and dream you may have forgotten, or given up on along the way. We’ll do an inspired writing process to bring these dreams to the surface and feel anew the power of the flame of desire itself. In this practice “Desires Are Enlightenment, and give us the fuel to set fire to our chanting. 

In our workshops we”ll learn the origins of this “new” form of Buddhism whose roots go back to the Buddha’s original intent and purpose. And we’ll explore and learn powerful Buddhist concepts and apply them to everyday life. You’ll feel the energy of the chant, and be in the perfect place to delve into its meaning in your life, and how you can use it to over overcome any challenges you might be facing, and to build on it to springboard your life into previously untouched realms of self-fulfillment and happiness. 

Each day we’ll chant together and study crucial concepts that help you understand why and how chanting is in complete accord with science and common sense. You’ll learn and experience “The oneness of self and environment, many in body, one in mind, the power of the mentor disciple relationship, and more. You’ll learn the essential components of a PowerPrayer, and how to write your own personal PowerPrayers that will clarify your determination and propel you in the direction of your dreams. 

The lush and indescribably beautiful setting of Bali will make your new study of Buddhism that much more resonant and meaningful during our precious time together. We’ll explore the sights, sounds and tastes of this magnificent land as we bring forth our own most delicious, savory hopes, dreams and desires and begin the process of turning them from the impossible to the possible. 

Friday, June 14, 2013

Your Spirit is as Expansive as the Cosmos

The human spirit is as expansive as the cosmos. 
This is why it is so tragic to belittle yourself 
or to question your worth. 

No matter what happens, 
continue to push back the boundaries of your inner life. 

The confidence to prevail over any problem, 
the strength to overcome adversity and unbounded hope
—all reside within you.

Daisaku Ikeda

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Begin withThe Revitalization of Individual Human Beings ~ Quote from Sensei

Wherever we are, 
it is necessary to begin 
with the revitalization 
of individual human beings.

That will lead to the reformation of society 
and the world 
through human revolution. 
That is the teaching of the Lotus Sutra. 
And actions directed toward that end, 
I would like to stress, 
represent the wisdom of the Lotus Sutra.

Daisaku Ikeda

A Member's Experience: From Victim to Victor

Preface from Jamie:

Some of us are naturally more suspicious of people's motives and actions based on previous negative experiences. But if we cling to these past hurts and wrongs we run the risk of playing the role of the victim throughout our lives. Nichiren Buddhism gives us the keys to rise out of this victim mentality and emerge as a strong and powerful VICTOR in life. From Victim to Victor! What a powerful journey. 

The following experience was originally posted on a busy day in April. I post it again just in case you missed it. This friend-in-faith has managed to quiet her negative mind and  focus on the positive. How wonderful! 

Experience of Going From Victim to Victor:

"I have always questioned people’s actions and behavior thus being very careful of my behavior and attitude since it can cause so much happiness as well as pain to others. More so if one is from a religious and spiritual background, our life should reflect our values and beliefs. I have always tried to be a good person giving my all in whatever I do. In the process though we sometimes make mistakes and because of this we should be careful of what we say about others because no one is perfect.
Unfortunately, we as human beings forget our imperfections or mistakes and constantly hurt each other through our words or actions. 

This is something I have always have a hard time dealing with. 

When I was a victim of bad word or actions I would have sleepless nights and worrisome days. The sadness and anxiety would not go away and I would rehash the hurt and pain by asking over and over, “how could this happen to me or my family”? I do not deserve this when I have given so much. Or maybe it’s my fault for everything that has happened.

Since having encountered and embraced Nichiren Buddhism through practice by chanting, ‘Nam Myoho Renge Kyo” and reading President Ikeda books/literatures, my anxiety and rehashing the hurt and pain are not as bad as it used to be. 

I am so much at peace; and quiet reflection on positive thoughts has truly changed my outlook on bad experiences. 

There is a saying in Nichiren Buddhism, “changing poison into medicine” which is such a profound and positive mental state of one’s mind which can truly change an individual’s life condition. 

One can change the ‘poison’ of earthly desires and sufferings into “medicine’; something positive for one’s personal growth and development, thus helping others and praying for the people who have caused you pain instead of harboring ill feelings towards them.

This philosophy makes your life so much less burdensome you actually feel happier, stronger and good inside. 

In my current job my bosses always have good things to say about me even saying that since I have been in the department, I have brought “momentum” to the workplace. 

When my daughter got sick they suggested that I apply for the Family Leave Act so that my job is protected. It was approved right away once I submitted the paperwork to Human Resources. My daughter had a cyst in her adrenaline gland which was growing and could have been cancerous and had to be removed surgically. The cyst was found by accident after doing tests for another medical problem which have all been corrected. 

Now she is completely well, has graduated successfully from High School even though she had two surgeries this year, and is moving into the next phase of her life while chanting strong Daimoku. I am so grateful!