Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Perseverance = Strength = Happiness

This morning I sat down and said: 

"I am not leaving this spot until I have chanted more than an hour of Daimoku no matter what!" 

And I did it. I kept getting insights into what I wanted to share with you. I almost reached for my computer so many times, but I just forced myself to sit still, almost absolutely still, and keep chanting no matter what thoughts came into my mind of what else I could be doing. 

In a way, whenever we chant, we are just like the Buddha under the Bodhi tree, assailed by thoughts of why we must stop this right now and get on with our lives.
And our victory while chanting  - our perseverance - turns into our victory in life.

I just got back from a trip to the lovely town of Ojai in California and am getting back into my life here. 

You know how it is...unpacking...refocusing on "real life", and also, in my case, getting acclimated to the idea that I am going to have to have this surgery to repair a hole in my abdominal muscle by putting a patch on it - and as much as I am trying to muster the courageous spirit - yesterday, after meeting with the surgeon and setting the date, I was a little emotional. I hate pain. I am afraid of surgery, but they say it could get worse and I really have to do it. 

So last night I was feeling all these dark thoughts and I knew what was really wrong...since getting back, and in the last few days of my trip, I got thrown off my chanting rhythm. I didn't chant my full hour of Daimoku every morning, and the chanting I did do wasn't very deep. My life condition started to sag. 

How do I know when my life condition is sagging? I start to feel a little sad, lonely,'s nowhere near as bad as it used to be...but I can feel it creeping up on me. And that's why I am so happy that I have this practice to reel it all back in. So this morning that's what I did. I used my practice to focus my life energy, boost my spirits, and make me feel more of myself...stronger.  

I'm sitting here now, after winning in my life this morning. For an hour and 15 minutes (I had to stop so I could write this blog), I poured my life into my prayer. As I was chanting I was wondering what to chant about...and I realized that, as Daisaku Ikeda says, chanting naturally in dialogue with your life is most important. 

I just spoke to my life, and listened to my life, and sat here in dialogue. I chanted to raise my life condition so that all my thoughts come in at a higher frequency. I chanted for wisdom and perspective...courage and strength...and to feel President Ikeda's heart and life force as my own.  And I chanted for you. I chanted to somehow be able to be an inspiration even when facing my own challenges. I chanted to take my focus off myself and my own life, and put my prayers in other directions. 

I chanted for the total success of tonight's opening ceremonies for the International Youth Media Summit at Soka University in Los Angeles. This is Kate Randolph's huge endeavor and youth are coming from all over the world. It is not, as of yet, an official SGI event, but Kate deeply feels it is fulfilling our mentor's vision of bringing youth together from all over the world to create peace. It is such a noble cause. I've written about it here a couple of times. As of last weekend Kate was still needing $50,000 for it. If any of you want to contribute, here is the link: 

So today, I leave you with this quote from For Today and Tomorrow by Daisaku Ikeda for July 9 (p. 209)

"Even in times of hardship, 
the important thing 
is for each of us to determine 
that we are the star, 
and hero of our lives 
and keep moving forward. 
Putting ourselves down 
and shrinking back 
from the obstacles looming before us 
spell certain defeat. 
Through making ourselves strong 
and developing our state of life, 
we can definitely find a way through. 
As long as we uphold the Mystic Law 
throughout our lives, 
we can break through any impasse 
and surmount any obstacle. 
We will also be able 
to lead all those who are suffering to happiness."
Daisaku Ikeda

I've gotten a little behind in my correspondence over the past few days. Some of you have written me such heartfelt letters about your lives, and I will be able to take the time to answer each one soon. If you have not heard from me by next week,  please send me a gentle reminder, it is possible that an email can slip through the cracks. 

Have a great day! 

1 comment:

  1. Hai, i accidentally found this blog. I just began chanting for weeks, now what i need most is, summoning up my courage, i need it a lot., a lot.Today i feel really being defeated by my fear.I am very unhappy at the moment. Asking myself why do i entertain my fear, why do i give in to my fear.All these fear are again blocking me from moving forward.

    i know i can't just asking why? why? why?. I must go back to chanting and do my gongyo to call forth my abundant courage to confront my fear and the problem that i faced at the moment.
    Tonight i will do my evening gongyo and chanting and then go to sleep.

    i know my problem still here, if i do nothing to it. it will always be there. Tomorrow i will wake up and do my morning gongyo and chanting, and summoning up my courage, and face my fear and confront my problem again.

    Today i got defeated by it, not brave enough to confront it. But tomorrow i will face it again and confront it.