Monday, June 10, 2019

Turn EVERY Poison into Benefit!

Hello Friends! 
I'm in the Chicago Area to produce Ben's Memorial Mile and it's going to be better than ever. It's June 15th on the Outdoor Track of Downers Grove North High School in Downers Grove Illinois from 5:00-9:00pm. Join us! 

As many of you know, after almost three years of struggling with schizophrenia, my 22-year-old son Ben took his life in July of 2015. And I gave myself the task of turning poison into medicine. 

And if I can turn this poison into medicine - just THINK about how you can turn poison into medicine in your own life! Every pain, every suffering, every obstacle has a benefit when you chant in determination to turn poison into medicine. Also, along the way you come to appreciate your troubles. Every. Single. One. This is the way of the Buddha! The way to your happiness!

Every day since then I chant to have our pain turn into medicine to help all who are suffering, and to have Ben's short life make a difference! When he was alive he made a difference through his amazing talents - for running, songwriting, and being an all-around awesome (and genuinely funny) guy. 

Now attracts 500 people (and growing) for an evening of games, cheering our running friends on the outdoor track, eating great food, a bags tournament, games of tag, a choir from Ben's High School,  a dance lesson on the field, and so much more. We've raised over $50,000 for suicide prevention and Schizophrenia research. We want to make an even bigger impact this year. 

With the guidance of my sponsor in faith, Kate Randolph (whose Life Celebration I'll be attending and speaking at the San Fernando SGI Center on June 22nd), I kept "Digging Deeper" in my prayer. 

What does "Digging Deeper" mean? I chanted to discover this for myself. What could Kate mean? I chanted for an understanding. And as I chanted the real meaning of our eternal practice for absolute happiness for ourselves and others flowed into me. We are all eternal. Ben's eternal, so am I. My mission here on earth doesn't end when I die...
We are all eternal. So, I chanted to deepen my understanding of life itself. 

At the bottom of this prayer (and I'm still exploring it) is the deep prayer for kosen-rufu, a world of respect for all life. AND so is my personal happiness. We practice to be happy. Daisaku Ikeda says many times: The purpose of life is Happiness. 

So as I go about my week, with three evening fundraisers for Ben's Memorial Mile, a Proclamation by the Mayor, the cover story in the local newspaper...and Ben's Memorial Mile on Saturday, I am determined to cherish every moment with every person I'm with. I am advancing in Joy, in Happiness, with the Gohonzon and in faith. When we have the determination to turn poison into medicine and deepen our faith, all is possible! 
(I'm also giving two Grief Relief Workshops this week in the Chicago Area. So exciting!)

Sunday, June 2, 2019

Chanting with the Buddhas!

From Daisaku Ikeda: 

"Though we may seem 
to be chanting alone, 
we are not. 
As we chant, 
untold billions of heavenly deities 
are facing the Gohonzon with us. 
In this way, 
the protective forces of the universe assemble en masse (altogether)
and work to safeguard each one of you, 
manifesting in your environment 
and the actions of the people near you, 
the actions of your friends and fellow members." 

Daisaku Ikeda

This quote is really inspiring me these days. As I work to broaden my impact as a Certified and Accredited Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) Practitioner, it helps to know that I am not alone. 

Every morning when I face the Gohonzon and chant, my first prayer is for the untold billions of deities within my life, body and spirit to wake up and greet the untold billion deities on the Gohonzon.

And I chant for all who are seeking peace from debilitating grief, or the agony of emotional eating with no end in sight, to FIND ME, (through my website and realize I have something profound to teach them. All for Kosen Rufu! I chant to have victory in my business, and have my life inspire people that they can end their suffering and experience true joy. 

Just like any true professional in the SGI, I strive to make President Ikeda proud of me as his successor, by my professionalism, passion and experience.  

I have already helped so many while I was going through the certification process and with the clients I'm already attracting. (And working with through ZOOM or Skype all over the world) It's all a matter of faith, right? 

And knowing that untold billions of heavenly deities are with me as I chant my two hours every day. Well, it just boosts my spirit, my daimoku, my hope, and determination. I am the Buddha. And so are you! 

No matter what you are facing, Daimoku will get you through. Please remember that I love you all, but I can't give individual guidance because I am not your personal senior in faith. Please go to your senior for guidance. That is the beauty of the Soka Gakkai. 

May Contribution!

And today is the last day for May contribution in the states. Yesterday, as I made my last contribution payment I wept in gratitude for all this practice has meant to me for the last 35 years. I am humbled and in awe of the power of Nam-myoho-renge-kyo. As my sponsor Kate Randolph was so fond of saying "We Buddhists breathe rarified air. 

Ben's Memorial Mile!

Those of you who know me, know that overcoming grief is something near and dear to my heart. When my beloved son Benjamin Lee Silver came down with schizophrenia and lost his battle to suicide almost four years ago, Ben's Memorial Mile Family Festival and Running Gala was born out of my determination to turn poison into medicine (and with the support of several dedicated committee members who really took the lead). So far we have raised over $50,000 for suicide prevention and schizophrenia research. 

Ben's Memorial Mile is right around the corner! It's June 15th in Downers Grove, Illinois on the Outdoor Track at Ben's High School, Downers Grove North in Downers Grove. Check out to see some videos, read about our progress, or sign up and come out. Spectators don't need to register. There are tons of fun things to do...a bags tournament, dance lesson, relay games, great music, and a chance to run and walk, or just watch and be a part of the wonderful and warm environment Ben, and his family and friends have created.  

With my son Aaron (the doctor in Phoenix!) and Ben, before he got sick. This picture was taken after we attended a meeting at the Chicago SGI Buddhist Center. Both of my sons adopted this practice as their own. 

Sending love to you all!