Sunday, December 25, 2016

Merry Everything - 7 Keys to Having Hearts Full of Gratitude

Aaron was just visiting from Phoenix. He said "Mom St. Pete's is a new home for me now, because wherever you are, that is home." I am so grateful for my boy!
This photo was taken in Johns Pass. I can see Ben right alongside Aaron. Can you? 

"People whose hearts are full of gratitude and appreciation are truly beautiful. A humble heart is the wellspring of great growth and development."

Daisaku Ikeda,

Good morning! Merry Christmas, Happy Chanukah, Happy EVERYTHING! I am grateful for YOU. 

Many of you have been reading this blog from the beginning...the summer of 2009 when I first declared that I was going to end my life-long depression and take the rest of the world with me on this journey. Since then, countless people have found out about this glorious practical Buddhism and joined the SGI through Others have gotten reconnected, and many have been inspired.

My themes are many: 

1. Chant every day - twice a day (and if you are not yet doing this you will be amazed by the difference it makes once you start). Don't take my word for it. Just do it! 

2. Stay close to the SGI - make friends, overcome your own negativity, and use the organization as a place where you can expand your state of life while working alongside others to make the world a better place through our own transformation. 

3. Read president Ikeda's guidance with your life. Chant to understand it with your whole being.

4. Take the vow of the Bodhisattva. We have the opportunity to do this every time we chant....we chant for our own dream to be fulfilled so that we can show actual proof of the power of chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo and inspire others to chant...inspire others through our lives as we go about our daily lives being a bright beacon of hope and telling people about Nam-myohh-renge-kyo. Taking the vow of the Bodhisattva will naturally lead you to: 

5. Do shakubuku. Let people know the source of your smile. Last night at a party I was talking with two really lovely people and they each said Nam-myoho-renge-kyo with me three times. At the last District meeting I had two guests. You can chant for shakubuku. Chant to meet people who are seeking this practice, and for the courage wand wisdom to introduce them.

6. Study the Gosho. The letters of Nichiren Daishonin are our great fortune. We have the actual letters of this great sage and way-shower. Find a phrase that inspires you and engrave it into your heart. 
My favorite for many years was: 
"Suffer what there is to suffer, and enjoy what there is to enjoy, and continue chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo no matter what. Then you will experience boundless joy from the law." 
(From Happiness in this World.)

I also love:

"Like a lantern in the dark, like a strong guide and porter on a treacherous mountain path, the Gohonzon will guard and protect you, Nichinyo, wherever you go."
From "The Real Aspect of the Gohonzon) 

And number 7 is to have a grateful heart, and be a bright, cheerful person. Spread your light far and wide! 

As you know, I'm living on St. Pete Beach. And I need to leave my apartment for 4 months because another renter was already signed up to come here. Because of Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, I have been able to arrange to move right next door into another lovely apartment overlooking the Gulf of Mexica. (For even less money) Total benefit. But I still woke up a few days ago thinking of all the work...all the cleaning...all the ugh of moving. But I said to myself "From this moment on, I am grateful for this opportunity. I'm going to have fun with this and FEEL all the gratitude for this easy move. So I did. At that moment I changed my focus. And it makes all the difference. 

So for today, is there something you COULD feel grateful for if you just decided to? Is there someone you could express your gratitude to? The person it will most change is you!

(And for all who are chanting for Kate, please keep chanting. She is starting further treatment)