Sunday, May 31, 2015

Buddhists Take Action!

This blog is not on official publication of the SGI. It is written by a 30 year practicing SGI member. My purpose is to share the profundity and actual proof of chanting through my own life. You can subscribe by putting your email in the box to the right. You can translate using the translate button at the top right. If you want to share this blog please include the name Thanks! 

There is a reason for everything, right? And Ben's cause is a noble one. I have my son Ben's permission to share this with you. 

As many of you know, my 22-year-old son Ben was a star athlete who received a full college scholarship to run at a private university. But he was injured and could never compete again. 

The stress of this situation brought on a mental illness when he was 20 years old. For the past 2 years, Ben has been in and out of the hospital and various treatment centers. He has tried to end his own precious life many times, and I firmly believe it is my Daimoku, our Daimoku, and his mission, that has kept him alive.  

We recently found a place for him to live in Evanston Illinois called Albany Care psychiatric facility. Our hopes were that Albany Care could help him get back on his feet, gain confidence, and hope...and eventually he could live the life he was born to of value and fulfillment. 
He had only been there a week when the following occurred:

Last Sunday Ben and I were heading out to a movie, but he was agitated. We parked in a 6 story parking garage. I put on warmer shoes while he stepped out of the car. He went down the elevator before I did and I could not find him when I reached the ground floor.

I began calling people in terror. Aaron, (Ben's brother), and Meg, (Aaron's girlfriend) were only blocks away (so myoho!) they live about an hour away - and Paul, Ben's Dad, was also close. 
They showed up quickly and began looking for Ben. I also called 911. 

When we "found" him he was standing on the narrow ledge of the parking garage, 6 stories above us, in an altered state of mind. 

Police and fire department officials worked together to rescue him. He was in this altered state because he had stopped taking one of his medications. These medications are deadly if someone stops taking them. We have got to do a better job and find better forms of treatment!

It was an amazing event. The man who snuck up behind him and saved him was an off-duty detective, Ken Carter, who was having lunch in a restaurant directly beneath where Ben was standing. His fiance looked up, saw Ben, and they called for reinforcements. MYOHO! 
(I didn't know where Ben was at this time - we were all looking for him on the ground)

And the detective who talked with Ben while Ken snuck up behind him has been chanting since the age of 12 and was raised as a Buddhist by one of my mentors. Thank you Detective Corey McCrary. MYOHO! 

Ben is determined to live. He snapped out of it right after he was rescued. He said he wanted to live. He chanted Daimoku with me and Aaron in the hospital that night. We chanted in tears of gratitude. I was thinking of all of you and our shared Daimoku all day. When I saw him on that ledge I thought "It's up to you shoten zenjin!" 

Ben also chanted Daimoku with me last night at the psychiatric hospital when I went to see him. He had to ask for a private room for us to do this. And HE did it. 

And the other amazing thing is this:

When I called Albany Care in Evanston (the place he'd been staying) to plead with them to take him back, I talked with their Administrator. 

He told me that unless funding is restored by the state of Illinois legislature Albany Care (and ALL psychiatric facilities in the state of Illinois) will be CLOSED by July 1st 2015! I was already going to write letters of thanks to the police, fire department, and newspaper... 

Now my letter writing has taken on new meaning. I am writing letters of thanks that include pleas for people to contact their congress people. 

It is crucial that it stay open. ALL the psychiatric intermediate care places will close if funding is not restored. We can't let this happen. People will end up in the hospital, in prison or on the street. It will not save the state money. It will cost the state money and cause immeasurable human suffering. 

Nam-myoho-renge-kyo! Onward and Upward! 
Buddhists chant and take action! 

Buddhists summon the unfathomable power of the Mystic Law within our lives. 
Buddhism is about chanting and intelligence...knowing when to take action, and what action to take. I am chanting strongly every single day to know what to do - and to do it! 

(If you live in Illinois and want to take action, contact me at and I can tell you how to look up your government officials.) 


  1. Jamie,

    I will send daimoku to your's and Ben's life for strength and determination to overcome this obstacle.

    You inspire me and help me so much to learn and grow in my own practice. I am so grateful that I happened on to your blog one day in October 2013.

    Peace and strength be with you and Ben.

  2. Jamie, do you think you can contact my friend and SGI member Regina who has a schizophrenic son named Brandon? I know it would be a huge benefit for her. Her email is:
    Thanks and congrats on Ben!
    Alan in LA

  3. Hi Jamie,
    Today after reading your post as always my life and so many other lives feel connected with you. First of all i would like to thank you for being so courageous that you always are and share the most personal details and feeling with your readers and fellow members. By doing this i personally feel so much connected and inspired by you that u have become my strength. When i get up in the morning ,i pick up my phone and read your post.Before chanting i read your older posts and your life, words, experiences and just whatever you say uplifts me (and many others). Ben is such a fortune baby born to a mother like you and there is absolutely no reason for him not to defeat all these devilish functions in his life and shine like a Buddha that he already is. I cannot imagine what you must have felt after watching Ben standing on the top . i just praise you and your life and basically i always pray that all the members can connect with you and the kind of positivity and conviction that you give us. Also as you mention that you don't officially represent SGI, well i want to say that you do . IN the most purest and kosen -rufu way possible.. .I always pray and will continue to pray that you share your victory with Ben soon and i pray for all the protective -powers of the universe to come to u. LOts of love.

  4. Jamie ur blogs truly empower us. I live in India so I can only help u through my dsimoku. I have also been practising for 4 years now. I will definitely put Ben in my prayers.

  5. Jamie u truly empower us through ur blogs. Since I am in India I will support u n Ben through my daimoku.

  6. We have to show victory dear Jamie for kosen rufu

  7. We have to show victory dear Jamie for kosen rufu

  8. Hi Jamie thank you very much for your inspiring blog . I am so encouraged by your personal experiences and have no doubt you will be reporting victory .will continue to chant for Ben and for you to continue with your efforts