Saturday, April 15, 2017

"At That Time" Our Determination Changes Everything!

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I wrote this blog two years ago. I look at this writing now, and think back to what I was going through at the time. My life, and practice were up against a wall. 

(I write this blog to share my journey, and use my life as an example that anything is possible throuch chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo. I've been practicing Buddhism for 32 years with the SGI, but these writings, this blog, are from my heart to yours and not officially endorsed by any organization) 

Two years ago my 22 year-old son was so sick. He was suffering. And I was fighting with all my light for his life. As many of you know, Ben did not keep his "life" here on earth. 

On July 2nd, 2015, he left this plane and became "Our Forever Ben," a voice from beyond that encourages many. No, Ben is not alive here on earth...but he did "win" and continues to win. 

Soon after his "death" I began reading the translation of the Sutra in the back of every Gongyo Book. Over and over the Buddha says "I appear to be gone, but I am always here preaching the law." 

And I thought "I'm a Buddha, Ben's a Buddha, he is still right here." And I began writing to him and listening for his reply, then writing what I heard. It's so natural. Anyone can do it. It is Ben's gift to the world and he offers it in the book we wrote together called "Our Forever Ben, One Mom's Letters to her son-in-spirit and his poetic replies" available on Amazon. His words are so beautiful. He is always right here...and everywhere! We still write each other often. I hope our story brings light to many dark hearts. 

Here is what I wrote two years ago. Enjoy: 

Deciding to "Stand Up and Fight" Changes Everything!

The beginning of the "Expedient Means" chapter of the Lotus Sutra, which we recite during morning and evening Gongyo begins with the phrase "At that time the World Honored One calmly arose from his samadhi and addressed Shariputra"

In "The Heart of the Lotus Sutra" Daisaku Ikeda states: 

"In terms of our practice, therefore, I would like to stress that "that time" exists only when we pray to the Gohonzon and manifest determination and awareness of our mission for kosen-rufu. (World peace through our own human revolution - using our problems to FUEL our happiness and light the way of inspiration for all by showing the impossible is possible through our lives, notes mine, js) 

We have to make a determination, 
pray and take action. 
Unless we do so, 
our environment will not change in the least, 
though five or ten years may pass, 
that time" will never arrive.

Our single minded determination for kosen rufu, 
(a world of respect for all beings ~ JS) 
and that alone, 
creates the "time." 
"That time" is 
when we set our lives in motion, 
when we stand up 
of our own volition and by our own will and strength. "That time
is when we summon forth strong faith 
and take our place on the grand stage of kosen-rufu.

Goethe writes, 
"The moment alone is decisive; 
Fixes the life of man, 
and his further destiny settles." 
"That time" is the moment you resolve 
from the depths of your heart: 
"Now I will stand up and fight!" 
From that moment, 
your destiny changes. 
Your life develops. 
History begins. "

(note from Jamie: When I sit in front of my Gohonzon, and look into the mirror of my life... I chant in appreciation for my problems and VOW to show actual proof to others that the impossible is possible, and that each one of my problems leads us closer to a world of happiness for all...because one more woman stood up and said "NO WAY!" "I will WIN!" I picture the outcome already secure and chant in happiness.) 


  1. nicely written Jamie .. I'm very moved about bens struggle x thanks for writing these passages for us :D

  2. Jamie, it sounds like such a cliche but you really inspire me. I have been suffering with anxiety and nam myoho renge kyo has changed this. I still have bad days when I am tired and stressed but mostly I am joyful and the more I chant the better I feel. My love to you and loving thoughts to your Ben.

  3. Hi Jamie thank you so much for your blog. It is inspiring. Talking of Goethe there is a line in Prometheus: Hast Du nicht alles selbst vollendet heilig, gluehend Herz. In English: Have you not done everything yourself holy glowing Heart. Definitely a Buddha. Chanting has changed my life from being full of anxiety as a result of childhood sexual abuse and taking on too much (I am a hypnotherapist) to moving towards joy. I still have wobbles but I am so much better. Thank you Jamie. My love to you and loving thoughts to your Ben . Juliet

  4. Jamie, you are an ok inspiration. Thank you !!