Tuesday, November 30, 2010

BASKETBALL and an escaped cat...and chanting to trust my life!

Well life sure has its ups and downs. Even though the door blew open and my gorgeous himalayan cat (Myoho) got out, I am trying to focus on the great things...and chanting for the beautiful beast!
I have the door open and the wind blowing as I'm writing this...

And at 3:30 Ben and I head out to the Illinois/UNC game in Champaign! I got new tires this morning and while I was gone the door blew open and the cat got out. I hope he's having a grand adventure...and I hope he returns.
Nam Myoho Renge Kyo, Nam Myoho Renge Kyo.

Lately I am chanting to trust the power of my life...to not overthink everything I do...and to have faith that what I am chanting about will happen. I am chanting to trust the power of my prayer...and to stop thinking that one mistake is going to blow everything. I am chanting to relax in peace of mind! I deserve all the good that I know is coming to me...I am chanting to quiet all the noise in my brain!!!!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Holiday Season~and BASKETBALL!

Wow...it really is winter here. All the leaves are gone, and the sky looks like snow. I hope the snow holds off until at least Wednesday because tomorrow is a big day! The coach at Illinois is working on recruiting Ben...and gave him tickets to the UNC/Illinois game tomorrow and GUESS WHO is going? That's right! Ben and Aaron and I will be there! Woohoo!
I LOVE live basketball. When I was in High School at Oak Park High my entire family went to every basketball game, at home and away. My junior year we played at the University of Illinois and came in third in the state. What a golden memory!
Ben's hearing from a lot of coaches. He is going to have many choices when it comes to college. Of course, as his Mom, I just want him to be happy!
Aaron was just home for Thanksgiving break and we chanted together often...the three of us. There is nothing like it. NOTHING.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Sooo Thankful

I can feel it in my life...major negative karma is changing.
I will keep you posted.
Let's just say for the moment that I am feeling thankful, so thankful.
I feel stronger, less sad...stronger and stronger every day.
I feel as if a great weight has lifted, and there are blue skies on the horizon.
I KNOW my karma is changing...it has to change...all around me I am seeing the results of my introducing people to the Gohonzon, and helping them learn to practice. Julia sent me a picture of herself and the light in her eyes, and energy in her face was so ALIVE. She said, in a way, that before she began chanting she had been feeling her life force just sapping away due to an incident that happened in 2003. Now that she is chanting she has gotten so much more healthy and happy...you can see it in her face and feel it in her life! She's also experiencing a real growth in her musical talents...who knows what else will come along.

I love to introduce my people to chanting. It is truly the most rewarding thing. And the fact that when I do it, my life gets more strong and happy...and I draw more benefits in....well, that's just icing on the cake!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Mary Lou gets her Gohonzon

Today we had a study meeting/gosho lecture at my house. I studied this material over and over until I felt I had something useful and practical to relate to the members.
And Mary Lou also received her Gohonzon! She and I first began our friendship out of my quest to solve my leg problem through something other than surgery. She helped me quite a bit...but in the end, as you know...there was only one way for me to go.
I have to say I have been so much better since the surgery. I can walk, and walk and walk! Just like I used to!
And I will tell you...my karma is changing. It has to! You can't do a ton of shakubuku and keep your life standing still. Nohow...NO WAY! Something I have been chanting for is coming true. I don't want to spoil it here ...but I will say that I deserve it and I am a happy girl!
I've also been asked to write an online column about Buddhism, and to lead a class at the Chicagoland Wellness Center called (what else?) Chant for Happiness! Yaaayyy!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Aaron and Ben

Today, celebrating Ben's 18th Birthday! Two incredible Buddha Boys!

Recent picture

This was taken of me on Sunday...sending all good wishes YOUR way!

Ben's Birthday and Danielle's Enshrinement Party!

What a day...Ben's 18th birthday...and the same day, in Cloverdale California, Danielle's Enshrinement party for her Gohonzon.

I began the day chanting earnestly and sincerely to free my life and swing up into the happiness I know is so near...yet, whose spirit can be so elusive to me...I am ever aware of the karma I am surmounting...of the battle within. And as I was shopping for Ben's party, and Thanksgiving today...suddenly it was like the bottom just dropped out and the front side of my body was just filled with an ache and my heart was beating so fast. There I was, walking through the grocery store thinking of something special to get for my sweet Mommy...and the physical ache almost bowled me over. It was all I could do to finish shopping and almost run out of the store. I called my sister and she said the same exact thing had happened to her in the grocery store on numerous occasions. Of course it makes sense...here we are planning for a major event - two major events. Ben's 18th birthday and Thanksgiving. And Mom's not here for either of them. Last year Dad was here...and we were busy planning Mom's life celebration. When I got home I cried and cooked and chanted in appreciation for having had a Mom who was so wonderful in my life...and for having the two Buddha boys who bring me so much joy...

For Ben's birthday I made a colorful stir fry, and his favorite spice cake. Then I distributed gold wrapped chocolate coins at everyone's plates. Each of us made a wish for Ben's 18th year with each coin. We had some serious wishes about pursuing his dreams, and getting into a college that brings him joy, and making it through the college apps. And I'll just tell you we ended up having a wild and fun time...I mean, think about it...what would YOU wish an 18 year old boy? And to quote Ben, quoting Forest Gump "That's all I'm going to say about that right now."

Some of our wishes were quite dignified...others...hmmmm, not so much!

And I am thinking tonight of Cloverdale California where Danielle is enshrining her Gohonzon in her Gohonzon room as we speak. Julia came down from Ukiah, and many of Danielle's friends are there. She didn't just have an enshrinement...she had a party! Of course! She is so ready to have meetings, and she's already introducing her friends and studying away. There is just something to be said for being ready. She's known me since Aaron was about one year old. We discovered her in the park by our house in San Francisco. When our Nanny turned out to be someone we couldn't trust...we turned to Danielle and ended up bringing our children to her every weekday for many years. She taught me so much about parenting. She was always so respectful to each of the kids she was watching...no matter how dramatic the moment. She'd calmly get down to eye level with the child and say "use your words" in the most soothing tone of voice.
She MADE play doh for goodness sakes! The kids produced great works of art with her. When I asked her secret to having them create great art she said "It's knowing when to take the paper away." Ah. Very wise!

Over the years Danielle heard the boys and me chanting, saw them grow up, and then Aaron and I made the trek to Cloverdale to stay with her this spring. I hung my own Mom's Gohonzon on her wall and we all chanted together...and I have to ask exactly what happened...but she called me ON MY BIRTHDAY and said she wanted to practice. It was one of the coolest gifts ever!
Go Danielle! I am soooo glad you now share Ben's Birthday with him. You have noooo idea how incredibly great your already wonderful life will become now! As you know "A sword will be useless in the hands of a coward." And you are definitely NO coward!!!!" Congratulations!