Monday, July 8, 2013

Win in the Morning and You Win in LIFE! Great Experience from Roberto

Roberto and his "baby" Moty

Win in the Morning and You Win in Life! 

Good morning, my name is Roberto Filacchione and I have been practicing Nichiren Buddhism since 1998.

In mid April of 2011 I had declared that I simply refused to keep driving a car without air conditioning. After that, my wish came true, in a way, when my car’s engine suffered a major damage that would cost me $1000 to have it fixed. But I just couldn’t afford paying for one more repair of many hundreds of dollars on a car with already 240,000 miles on it. I sold it to my mechanic for less than $500. That left me without a car and no transportation to get to work.

My finances were in bad shape: I had no money saved; my credit history showed a repossessed car, and my salary was incredibly low. Not wanting to be too dependent on others I decided to not accept any bailout money from my father, who had always been our family’s traditional “savior”.

The problem was that I needed to get back and forth to work every day and that meant traveling from Weston to downtown Fort Lauderdale and back. So, I got myself a bike to get to the nearest bus stop. Other times my co-workers or friends offered me rides But the truth is that I felt very demoralized and humiliated since I had never been without a car in my life. However, I understood that this was my opportunity to overcome my self-destructive nature and raise my low life condition. A life condition in which I didn’t take care of my health, my body, my teeth, my relationships, my Buddhist practice, my finances, and also my main means of transportation: my car.

Once at a district meeting, the young son of a friend of mine asked what was the difference between achieving your goals through positive thinking and praying, chanting, and practicing Buddhism to make them true. What I learned is that the difference is that, besides thinking positively and writing down a long –or short- bucket list, you achieve those goals by winning over your weaknesses like self-doubt, hopelessness, or even old resentments; by doing your human revolution. In the circumstances that I just described, this human revolution meant that, besides going to meetings, studying the writings, lecturing, or participating in the financial contributions, I needed to understand that I was in the right circumstances to do my own human revolution. 

During that time I was visited by my men’s division region leader who shared with me  guidance from Daisaku Ikeda that Mr Morinaka conveyed to the rest of the men’s division. It states: “Winning in the morning leads to winning in life… how we start each morning determines that day’s victory or defeat. It’s important that we resolve to win in the morning and begin our work with an energetic, refreshed spirit. We must not forget that is the secret to continual success.” I immediately determined to chant one hour every morning before going to work, and sooner than later things started to move even more quickly towards a positive direction: I was able to find the best and shortest bus routes to work. By saving on gas and insurance I was able to pay my outstanding bills, and most importantly, I was able to appreciate myself, and my life regardless of not having a car at that moment. I was developing something more than self-esteem, which was unconditional self-love and self- acceptance regardless of what I possessed or lacked with the spirit of not begrudging my life.

Having to ride the bus I was also able to witness a lot of the drama that we all miss when we drive on our super highways: Poverty! The slow demise of the poor and homeless –whether young or old, man or woman- who wander our city streets and buses, sometimes shoeless. I realized that I could not be seeing all this by pure coincidence. It became obvious to me how much we need to work towards kosen rufu in America. I thought to myself: who knows how many people could avoid this fate if they knew about Nam Myoho Renge Kyo.

At this point, I had been without a car for one year and half and continued chanting for exactly the one I always wanted. My finances were getting in better shape and, through it all I began to develop a new level of compassion and empathy for those who suffer really badly in life. I understood the importance of spreading the law and share the practice with as many people as we can. I didn’t resent my life and I simply couldn’t after I saw how others were suffering so much.

I finally develop the courage to take action and when I decided to go to the bank and try to get a car loan, to my surprise I no longer had a repossession in my credit history and my credit score was so good that I received a higher line of credit than I even needed and at a very low interest. I was able to purchase a car at a great price and in perfect conditions. It had been hardly used.

Through doing my human revolution I got more than a car. I learned to take care of every aspect of my life and I was determined to show proof that this practice really works. I knew that when we persevere in our prayers we get even more than we ever imagined. But the greatest benefit of all is that I gained a renewed sense of mission in my life where I want to give all I can to never see another human being suffer. In My Dear Friends in America pg. 313 President Ikeda states “The vast ocean is capable of encompassing anything; a small pond can only contain so much. The Buddhism of Nichiren Daishonin is as all encompassing as the universe itself. We are its practitioners. Let us cherish those around us – family, friends, and fellow members – embracing all with our big hearts and enjoying life together. Let us live truly great and wonderful lives.” This is what it means to me to fight for kosen rufu. Thank you.


  1. Great lesson for life! Positive thinkers make big changes in life.....I am really proud that Roberto start to belive I. Himself and developed a positive attitude ....we must follow his experince!
    Thanks for sharing this great testimonial!
    I will follow my Master Roberto advise!

  2. This is awesome, truly inspiring, Roberto!

  3. This is awesome and truly inspiring!