Monday, August 7, 2017

Overcoming Problems Through Chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo


Yesterday I went to the Tampa bay Region's Kosen-rufu Gongyo and it featured the film of Sensei where he says "Write! Keep Writing! Speak out! Keep speaking!" (paraphrased) and I thought "Yes!" That is Sensei speaking to me, and to all of us. 

This morning I was studying for the Sophia group study meeting on Thursday and I read this about overcoming challenges: 

From the August 2017 Living Buddhism, The New Human Revolution Volume 27, chapter 3, installments 9-12, page 53:

"We can't understand others' hardships if we haven't experiences suffering ourselves. If leaders who lack such empathy come to hold sway over society, it will be a great misfortune for its citizens. That's why I'm always encouraging the youth, our future leaders, to take on challenges and hardships..."

"Struggling with problems is essential to our growth as human beings. It forges our spirit and becomes a source of creativity for opening new ways forward. It is no exaggeration to say that our real abilities are born from our capacity to grapple with problems. Cultivating this capacity, therefore is vital to realizing our full potential as human beings."

Recently I received an email from someone who was looking for a job and considering turning their Gohonzon back in because they hadn't found one yet. And I suggested they go to speak with their senior leaders, because I thought that was the best course of action. Getting guidance can be one of the best things you ever do your yourself. Being open to guidance is being open to to improvement. 

And in reflecting on this email I might think: "You are mistaking the point of this practice." YOU are the Gohonzon. Your power to overcome this suffering rests with you and you alone. Giving back the Gohonzon won't help. Only you can help your life by biting into this problem, not complaining and challenging your life to turn poison into medicine."

Early in my practice I had a terrible boss, and I spent a full hour every morning chanting fiercely and vowing to change this karma and never have a terrible boss again! The boss changed, I changed, and I left that job for a wonderful job I loved for almost 10 years. 

When my son Ben got sick in August of 2013, I never railed "What? My son is sick? Obviously this practice doesn't work!"
No, as documented in this blog, I chanted to overcome this source of suffering. I chanted for him to live a life that he was proud of...I chanted for his happiness, and that this challenge would bring poison into medicine, and create happiness for all. 

Over the next few years I fought valiantly with my practice...chanting two, three, four, five hours a day. Doing shakubuku, studying, having meetings every week at my house. 

And yes, the outcome wasn't what I was chanting for...and then again it was. Right now, I'm leading people who are grieving to happiness through my Grief Relief workshops and individual sessions. I connect people to their loved-ones-in-spirit, just as Ben and I are connected, through the written word.  Ben is helping me. Life is eternal. And he is free of sickness. And I am more grateful than ever for this practice. 

So when we have challenges, let's not erode our fortune by complaining. Let's say "YES! I get it! Another chance for me to challenge my life, build my compassion, and make myself a stronger, wiser fighter for kosen-rufu, my happiness, and the happiness of all!" Rooooaaaaaaarrrr like the lions we are! Go get "em!  

1 comment:

  1. just the guidance i needed right now. thank you