Sunday, January 28, 2018

Changing Karma Right Now with TODAY'S Daimoku!

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Wow I have had a lot of challenges lately! 
I must be changing karma BIG TIME because I'm not giving up, no matter what! 
This month marks five years from the time my sweet son Ben first showed signs of the mental illness that would later cause him to take his life at 22 on July 2nd, 2015. 
Since that time, I have lived every day to turn poison into medicine, and create incredible value out of Ben's life and death. I've moved all by myself to St. Pete Florida, and I'm creating my new life, together with my beloved SGI members. Last month my dear, dear friend Deb got her Gohonzon and she encourages me every day. She LOVES this practice and deeply understands and studies. She's such a gift. Now I'm chanting for the youth, and to have at least one new shakubuku who goes to the September 23rd youth meeting in Miami (they are all over the country 50,000 strong!) 

So I'm putting my life to the test. I'm chanting for 50k youth to assemble in America on September 23rd, and I've attached my own goals to this noble goal. I'm already progressing on those goals. More to follow. What can you do to challenge yourself and refresh your practice, while chanting for the youth of the planet? No one can deny we need the youth to become aware of their own incredible potential more than ever!  

What kind of daimoku (the chanting of Nam-myoho-renge-kyo)
changes our lives? 
The answer is ALL kinds of daimoku - 
the chanting of Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, the mystic law, changes our lives and changes our karma...
But I have a question. Do you sometimes chant with all the best intentions while thinking "I don't know why I'm doing's just one more time to chant but I don't feel it, and really, I'm feeling kind of hopeless?" 

And the first thing I'll say is "Congratulations for keeping your promise to yourself and showing up to chant. THAT in itself will change your life."

So, I've been thinking about the quality of my own chanting and I have something I want to share with you. (As you know, I do not represent the Soka Gakkai, I belong to it, but this is not a Gakkai publication. I love the organization and have been a member since 1985. And I started this blog in 2009 to overcome my own heartache, and to show, through my own example, that anything is possible when we base our lives on the Gohonzon.)

And lately my daimoku has been very strong, 
because as I chant I am thinking:

NOW! With THIS Daimoku I am changing my karma. 
Now this very Nam-myoho-renge-kyo is THE Nam-myoho-renge-kyo that is changing_____________________________on the inside of my life. 
Whatever you want to change...have the conviction that:
THIS Daimoku!
THIS Daimoku!
THIS Daimoku!
Is the one that does it! 

As the wise Kate Randolph would say "Go Deeper in your prayer" and I've chanted to know what she means by that. Just this week I've had so many challenges I didn't know where to begin my prayer. So I focused on unfolding the beautiful lotus petals inside my own life...accessing my beautiful Buddha Nature...believing in my Buddha nature...and knowing that, NO MATTER WHAT, my prayer is working! 

Whatever you're facing...whatever your karma. Please keep going and don't give up! 

As Daisaku Ikeda says: 

We are not defeated by adversity but by the loss of the will to strive. However devastated you may feel, so long as you have the will to fight on, you can surely triumph.


Here's to YOU and your happiness and success! 
Go Buddha GO! 

Thursday, January 4, 2018

You Possess a Glorious Future! Have the Spirit to Begin Anew!

A bad day doesn't mean a bad practice. We all have them...days when we feel we really can't connect to our source of strength via chanting and using the ultimate tool, the Gohonzon. (Scroll which represents our highest life condition. See for more explanation.) 

Do you ever sit down with clear intention to chant, but then get interrupted, or just not be able to really give it your all? This happens to the best of every single one of us. (If it NEVER happens to you, please write me and tell me your secret.) 

And the important thing is not to think "oh, this really doesn't work...or I should just give up...what's the use anyway? I can't chant this morning, so I won't try tonight", and suddenly tomorrow comes and it's too hard to chant that day too?

Here's the slippery slope. 

And the antidote, I believe, is to treat every gongyo as the sacred session with your own life that it truly is. If you can't do it in the morning, or you don't feel like you were able to feel that connection...well, in the evening, make another determination and don't fall off the bandwagon as they say. And if that doesn't work, make the determination to start the next day with a bright and fresh gongyo and daimoku.

Aahhhh, when you do this continually, and never concede defeat, your life will shine!

Daisaku Ikeda says, in Faith Into Action, page 146, under "Perseverance":

"No matter what the circumstances, 
you should never concede defeat. 
Never conclude that you've reached a dead end, 
that everything is finished. 
You possess a glorious future. 
Precisely because of that, 
you must persevere and study. 
Life is eternal. 
We need to focus on the two existences 
of the present and the future, 
and not get caught up in worry about the past. 
We must always have the spirit to begin anew 
"from this moment,"
to initiate a new struggle each day."