Friday, July 23, 2021

3 Keys to Revving your Chanting Engine! (And getting to an hour a day!)

 

Hello Beloved Friends! 

I took this photo from Mulholland Drive in LA when Aaron and I were visiting LA. He's now in Portland doing his ultrasound fellowship. 

My son's not just a doctor, he's a visionary. There is a new version of ultrasound available to doctors and he aims to be one of the first M.D. academicians teaching it to residents!

I'm here in Phoenix doing my EFT Tapping work with people who have lost loved ones to suicide, and other traumatic losses. I'm teaching them to communicate with their nervous systems in a way that opens a path to peace and happiness. I'm also helping people with stress to build self-compassion. 

This month, I moved into a friend's gorgeous home where I'm happily house-sitting for a few months. 

And, in the move and motion of my life, my practice lost a bit of its verve. I'm sure you know what I mean! We strive to have faith like flowing water and a solid and consistent practice. And every once in a while there's an ebb in the tide! 

Soooo...I made a determination to chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo an hour a day, with consistent morning and evening gongyo for 100 days and strong goals. 

Yayyyy! 

And do you think I sat down that first day and chanted 60 minutes all at once like the strong Buddha I know I am? 

Well, this time, it was hard. My voice hurt. I got up once and got totally distracted. And although I joined with fellow members in sharing this 100-day Daimoku Challenge, I am chanting at home alone. And my engine of chanting Daimoku needed to be REVVED! 

I remained determined. Every day I did my best, and today I DID chant a solid hour. I did not get up once for anything. I did not check my phone. I sat there and poured my heart out to the Gohonzon (my life). As I was chanting this blog I am writing right now came to me. So here are my

3 Keys to Revving Your Daimoku Engine 

(and getting to an hour a day or more) :

1. Show yourself some self-compassion. 

It's okay if you are not perfect from the beginning. Do more and more every day to get to a solid hour. Just don't give up! 

Also, when I began this 100-day campaign, I wasn't sure of my exact targets, but I knew the more I chanted, the more clear they would become. 

Each day strive more and more. 

2. Make a pact with your Buddha Buddies! Find someone to challenge a 100-day daimoku campaign with, that's the best way. And if you can't find someone you know, just join along with me! 

3. Become stronger and stronger each day, and when obstacles arise greet them with joy and say "I was expecting you!" and turn poison into medicine! 


Sending you great love! And please remember I do not represent the SGI although I love them. And if you share this post please say it's from ChantforHappiness.com  With love, Jamie at ChantforHappiness@gmail.com



Wednesday, July 14, 2021

What does Nam-myoho-renge-kyo mean and why do we chant it?


What does Nam-myoho-renge-kyo mean, 
and why do we chant it? 

By Jamie Lee Silver, ChantforHappiness.com - 
(Not an official SGI site)
(Subscribe by putting your email in the box to the right. 
Translate button is at the top right.)

Nam-myoho-renge-kyo is the mystic law that means:


"I fuse my life with the mystic law of cause and effect 
through sound vibration (or sutra)." 

It is the title of the Lotus Sutra, Shakyamuni Buddha's highest teaching that declares all people possess the Buddha Nature...all people are Buddhas...and we can access this nature, and the wisdom, fortitude, resilience, and happiness that we possess by calling our Buddha Nature forth in our lives using this phrase. 

We are all Buddhas - 
(We do not pray to the Buddha for favors...we pray to connect with our own Buddha-nature and change from the inside, so that our environments may change) 
We possess the key to enlightenment 
we can tap the river of life 
that runs through ALL life 
- summoning the mystic law 
and realizing 
we ARE the Mystic Law. 
We chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo ~ 
and we ARE Nam-myoho-renge-kyo ~the Mystic Law. 
When we have something we don't like in our lives, we chant to summon the power of the mystic law, use that power to change from the inside, and show actual proof of the power of our own lives, and our lives will glow with brilliance. People around us will naturally want to know what gives us this glow. 
It works the same way when we have a goal. We chant, "I am determined to fulfill this goal so I can show actual proof and raise the vibration of the entire world!" 

Yes!
I like to think of Nam-myoho-renge-kyo as "I am one with the rhythm of all life." It is the rhythm that exists within all of life...the reason for the turning of the tides...the reason for the seasons...the atoms that exist within every single cell...from an elephant to a spec of dust...to the cells in our hearts and minds. Everything possesses this connectedness...this rhythm.  
It is all-encompassing and contains the wisdom and energy of all of life itself...the whole universe. 

When we chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo we tap into that energy and access it for our lives...directed towards our desires and for the fulfillment of happiness for all. In this practice, it's okay to have desires. More than okay! We don't have to alleviate them. Desires make us who we are and lead us to chant. 

When we chant we change the internal life within our lives. We change the core and fiber of our lives. We change our karma. And when we make that internal change, our ENVIRONMENT (meaning everything that is not within our own skin, our jobs, our relationships, our sense of self, everything we experience and think) ALL of that changes to reflect our internal change. We call this "Human Revolution."

When we chant we harness the energy that is our birthright. And we chant for however long we wish, twice a day, every single day, to get and keep our lives in rhythm. 

When we are in rhythm we are in the right place at the right time... to find out about and get the job...or to meet the man of our dreams...or to protect our child from danger. 
When we are in rhythm life isn't so much of a struggle as it is a joy...we see the beauty in everything and we feel our lives overflowing with appreciation. 

We chant for something and get it or something better. We get access to internal happiness and strength that cannot be blown away by any event or obstacle. 

In fact, we view obstacles themselves as benefits, as strange as that may sound....because obstacles make us chant more, and when we chant more we draw even higher life conditions and deeper satisfaction into our lives. 

What can we chant FOR? Anything. We chant for others, we chant for our planet, our countries, and ourselves. 
We can chant for whatever our desire may be...even if it might not be the "right" desire for us. In the act of chanting, we will change our karma and our desires themselves will naturally begin to shift. We will open our lives to the deeper wisdom within...the deeper yearning, the REAL desires that we have forgotten or given up on. We will grow. We will prosper and we will blossom. 

We will gain the wisdom of the right action to take - because ACTION springs from wisdom. 

The challenge is...we need to do it. We have to chant to bring all this rhythm and harmony out. And that's why we practice together as an organization, the SGI, The Soka Gakkai, our fellowship of friends who support each other, chant for each other, and create a new Soka family for each practitioner. We are so fortunate. 

We are in this life together...sharing our challenges and our successes. If you are not yet connected to the SGI please go to sgi-usa.com and find your local members. You will be so glad you did. 

Some Powerful Quotes from our mentor Daisaku Ikeda from Ikedaquotes.org:

THIS moment, this instant, is important, 
not some unknown time in the future. 
Today, this very day is what matters. 
You must put your whole being 
into the time that exists now. 
For future victory rests in the present moment.

BUDDHISM holds that everything
 
is in a constant state of flux. 
Thus, the question is 
whether we are to accept change passively 
and be swept away by it, 
or whether we are to take the lead 
and create positive changes on our own initiative. 
While conservatism and self-protection
might be likened to winter, night, and death, 

the spirit of pioneering and attempting to realize 
the ideals evoke the images of spring,
morning and birth.

Do gongyo (our daily recitation of the Lotus Sutra) 
and chant daimoku with a fresh spirit. 
And, filled with renewed vitality, 


Build a history of accumulating fresh benefit."

Daisaku Ikeda, from Ikedaquotes.org
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