Monday, January 25, 2016

3 Essential Steps to Turning Poison into Medicine

We Nichiren Buddhists live by the phrase "Turning Poison into Benefit." We see each difficulty as an opportunity to create something wonderful from it. Except when we don't. It's sometimes hard to see the benefit that will come from a suffering. Sometimes we think the suffering will last forever. But I can assure you - with my life as an example, that we CAN turn all poison, all bad events into benefits. 

And remember  ~ we are not here to MASTER SUFFERING! We are here to be happy, and help the whole world be happier!

When I saw today's Gosho quote I just had to smile: 

"I explained the teachings of the Lotus Sutra 
to you before. 
Matters of minor importance arise from good, 
but when it comes to matters of great importance, 
great disaster without fail changes into great fortune."

(WND, 824)
A warning against begrudging One's Fief, 
Written to Shijo Kingo in July 1271

My life is certainly proving this to be true, in all ways. As many of you know, I am a 30-year practitioner of Nichiren Daishonin's Buddhism, and I write this blog to show the proof of this practice through my life. I'm an enthusiastic SGI member, and this blog comes straight from my heart. It took me many years to find this practice, and I write to help people find it, and to encourage us all to continue and forge on! 

I experienced the "greatest disaster" possible for a mother last summer, when after three years of trying to save my younger son's life, he lost it to the disease of Schizophrenia on July 2nd, 2015. (Yes, he "took his own life", but he would not have done that without the disease in his brain) 

I wrote many blogs from July 4th on, sharing his music and my spirit to turn poison into medicine no matter what. And in my heart, I knew I could do this. But, as his loving mother, I knew the grieving process would be intense. 

Sometimes it can be hard to imagine that a positive experience will come from something negative, but I can give you some hope for turning around the negatives. I have found there are 3 keys. 

Key #1
Forge Fearlessly Ahead and DO NOT give in to DOUBT! 
in other words keep chanting, keep living, keep going. Stengthen your faith more than ever...not in spite of hardships, but because of them. Stengthen your determination to be the Buddha you ARE! Study. Do Shakubuku. Use your faith! 

Key #2
Accept help. 
I have had people here chanting with me consistently. I accept the support, and those people are winning too! Embrace your friends in this organization. And if you don't have any - find them...determine to make friends in faith. Chant about this too!  

Key #3
Sometimes you just have to tough it out. Relief may be just around the corner. 
This has been a tough winter. It's been hard for me to write at times. Just before Christmas, my car died. My beloved Acura CL 2001 died. It requires $2500 to rebuild the transmission, and it's not even worth I've been driving Ben's car, and I've been grateful to have it. But I realized a few weeks ago that using his car was messing up my body. The location of the gear shift and the pedals caused my neck, back and legs to go all out of wack. 
My entire body has been in pain - I could barely walk. Thankfully, I'm now borrowing Aaron's car while I shop for cars. 

And here's the benefit:

I have long known I had neck problems that have been causing me all sorts of pain...pain in my hands, my back, my knee, my name it! 
This week I reconnected with my nephew in Florida. He's a special kind of Chiropractor who concentrates on upper cervical work. I've always wanted to have this type of treatment, but it seemed out of reach financially. 
Last week he told me about a doctor here in Chicago who went to school with him. On Saturday, I went in, got the first treatment and feel the first relief I've felt in a long time. We are on the verge of actually correcting the problem. 

So, you see, if my car had not broken down (a "poison"), I would not have been in the pain that led me to seek this treatment (a benefit). But as I've been going through this pain, I must admit, I have not been thinking of it as a benefit. 

SO, If you have a poison you are going through....just KEEP GOING! Don't stop. You will get to the other side. I promise. If you don't give up! 


  1. This is just what I needed to read today! Thank you so much! Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo!

  2. Thanks Jamie. You are a blessing!

  3. Thankful....your blog is very instant positive energy......the power on nam mayo oh renge kyu ....