Monday, October 17, 2011

What to Chant when you're not sure...

If you are not sure that what you want is good for you - 
chant for wisdom...
chant for Strength, 
chant for happiness. 
Chant to reveal the Buddha you already are....
for the beautiful diamond life that you are to shine brilliantly forth. 
You deserve to be happy right now...
Chant to really FEEL how much you deserve to be happy! 
And study President Ikeda's Guidance, read the gosho and help others learn to chant. Then you can NOT go wrong!!!! 

Ask for Exactly What You want...and remember....

I just received the question...
"How do I chant to get my boyfriend back?" 

And the answer is "Chant for exactly what you want." If you want your boyfriend back...chant for it. Picture him coming to you. Chant for exactly what you want...

And Remember,,,,what I've been blogging about here for the last several days is a prayer that is deep enough that it truly encompasses all of your desires...and in fact...raises you out of the Hunger of always wanting more, into a higher elevated state. 

Try chanting to unite your prayer with Daisaku Ikeda's prayer for peace...chant to unite your heart with his heart for all of humanity...and watch how deeply THAT prayer affects your life!

And yes, go ahead and chant "Gohonzon! I want my boyfriend back!" Chant with your passion! Nam Myoho Renge Kyo!!!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

The Universal Prayer for Peace

That's what I'm calling it...maybe someone else already called it that too. 

but now is the time I am totally devoting my prayer to the oneness of mentor and disciple. 

As I chant I am picturing Daisaku Ikeda with his hands together chanting...I am imagining what is in his mind and praying to share his feelings...share his heart...share his feel his deep, deep determination for all the people of this planet....I am chanting this way sincerely, and deeply, and watching our blue blue planet spin in my mind. 

Yesterday in the morning I was chanting this way and picked up my phone to read a headline and found out that the Occupy movement was now taking place in 952 cities all over the world.
I couldn't help but let my tears of joy and relief flow....

It is happening. 

Kosen Rufu is at hand. 

The people are rising up and saying No, not anymore my friend. 

Many of us remember when Al Gore was campaigning and he kept telling us about the richest 1%, and many of us knew what he was talking about... but all of us have felt stuck and uncertain about what to do. 

And now we see it happening. I don't know how all this will turn out. I don't have a crystal ball. 

I do know that for his entire life Daisaku Ikeda has been talking about the people....about how no one is more powerful or more important than the people...and that ultimately...they cannot be stopped. 

I am returning to the Gohonzon right now to pray for the people....for all of us...for all of them...for the 99% for the 1% for us all on our beautiful, dear planet!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Spiritual Independence

Spiritual Independence

A Bold New Concept in your own Human Revolution ...taking responsibility for your own faith and Happiness!

This blogpost is taken from Kate Randoph's Lecture on 10/12/11. I've written about Kate before. She introduced me to this practice 27 years ago this month. She lives in Los Angeles, and gave this lecture to the Downers Grove District by phone. 

What is Spiritual Independence? 

The concept originally stems from the date of November 28th, 1991 when the entire lay organization of the Soka Gakkai was excommunicated from the Nichiren Shoshu sect by the Priesthood. The priests had come to believe that they were endowed with powers and rights that were somehow more important and valuable than the common person. For those of us who study the Buddhism of Nichiren Daishonin and practice in the Soka Gakkai with President Ikeda, we know that this is an erroneous belief. We know that each person is a complete Buddha possessing all the power of the universe right within their own life. We tap into this power by chanting Nam Myoho Renge Kyo...the name of the Mystic law itself. 

So what does Spiritual Independence mean to us inside our lives? 

Ultimately it means standing up for the sake of your own happiness. Many of us still are "waiting for something in our lives to change" rather than feeding that change ourselves. 
Each of us in the Soka Gakkai can use the power of our determination to declare that by November 28th, 2011 we will all fully own our own DESTINY, and have the breakthrough we have been longing to have!!

We all know that the priesthood doesn't have anything that we don't have, but how exactly does that translate into our lives day to day? Most of us, raised in this culture, have some residue of Judeo Christian beliefs.  We tend to practice with some degree of belief in our own fundamental "badness" and that we must go through "suffering" to expunge that from our lives. Because of this, many of us live lives of "endless painful austerity." 

The idea that we have to chant for hours and hours and hours to create results is a residue of this belief. 
This does not mean we never need to chant, or shouldn't chant for hours on end if we want just means that we don't have to keep waiting for our lives to change...or chant as some form of punishment in pain. No! When we are chanting we can be celebrating our lives. Celebrating our inherent goodness...bringing forth our own Buddhahood! We need to do our daily practice of Gongyo twice a day to keep up the momentum in our lives. But we don't have to wait for the miracle to come from somewhere else. We can create it right now!

It is time for ourselves to free ourselves from that notion. 

Most of us spend our lives in one of the lower four our basic life tendency. 

The lowest world of Hell is a world of depression, hopelessness and lack of motivation. 

The world of Hunger is a world of never being satisfied...and always looking for something to fill the hole inside. 

The world of Animality is the world of forever bowing before those we consider more powerful, and stepping on those less powerful. It is a world ruled by greed and fear. 

The world of Anger is the world of "I am right and you are wrong." It is a world ruled by frustration and the urge to be in absolute control of everything and everybody. 

The higher ten worlds are: Tranquility, Rapture, Learning, Realization, Boddhisatva and Buddhahood. These are worlds you create in your life, the lower four worlds are worlds where you live in reaction most of the time. As Buddhists we can elevate our basic life state. That is what we call Human Revolution. And because of the interconnection of all of life, when we raise our fundamental life state, we simultaneously raise the life state of our home, our community, our workplace, our country, our planet and the entire universe. 

Because of the doctrine of the Mutual Possession of the ten worlds (the fact that each one of the ten worlds contains all the other ten) we can INSTANTANEOUSLY raise our life condition. 

When we chant from this realization we can change our minds this very second...change our states right here, right now...without having to hold the belief that "only when I chant three hours a day for a year can I change this" NO we can change it right now, then chant in appreciation and celebration. 

A Buddhist scripture talks about the singing of the caged when the caged bird sings, it attracts all the other birds to come flocking to it. When we chant in happiness we attract more happiness into our lives. 

We must stop thinking "Only when I can chant days on end without stopping can I change my horrible life!" NO ~~ We have to train our lives to be joyful right now! 

We must take responsibility for our lives. 
This does not mean we must take the blame. 
This does not mean that we are "GUILTY". 
Responsibility is objective. 
Responsibility doesn't have morality. 
Responsibility doesn't have emotions. 
Responsibility is just a fact. 
I take responsibility for my own I can change it! 

And instead of judging others...
ask yourself "how much do I care about that person?"
And instead of judging yourself  - ask yourself the same question: "How much am I valuing my own life?"

Whatever is the greatest source of your suffering ~ you can say "I'm DONE with that!" 
Then celebrate yourself in front of the Gohonzon and DEMAND that the Shoten Zenjin rise up in your life to support you. (The protective forces of the universe)

Bring forth the power of your own Spiritual Independence ~ ANYTIME ~ ANYPLACE ~ In ANY SITUATION...ON A DIME! 

Barbara Snyder recently returned from Japan. Ms. Marinaka (not sure of the spelling) told her the most important thing right now is for us to be VERY VIGOROUS in our prayer. 
Let's rise as the philosophers of JUSTICE. 
President Ikeda has said "Now I am watching over all my disciples."
 Bring forth 10,000 times more effort than before! Our Lives are LIMITLESS!! Catch how much more potential exists in YOUR Life! 
HAVE A BROADER VISION...then you will attract everything you are wanting. When your heart unites with the heart of a great teacher...Kosen Rufu is at hand. World Peace through individual transformation is happening. Can't you feel it? When you chant this way your strength will well forward and a path will come forth. 
Think to yourself "How is my life connected to the happiness of all? How can my breakthrough have a HUGE EFFECT on the world?
What does it mean "the happiness of all humanity"?
It means to treasure each other. Chant for each other to break through! You must realize your limitless capacity to be happy....happier than you ever dreamed possible! Limitlessly happy! Limitlessly ALIVE! That change is not somewhere over the rainbow!!! It is right here! Right Now! 
Make it happen. 
Say "I will do it! I will unite my heart with a great teacher for Kosen Rufu from this moment and I will manifest my unlimited power! I will tap more power than ever because I deserve it! I am a votary of the Lotus Sutra just like Nichiren Daishonin! 
It starts HERE! 
It starts NOW!
It starts with ME!"

Monday, October 10, 2011

Fundamental Darkness You just can't see!

If you've read my last few blog posts you know I made some fierce determinations. I saw some things I knew I wanted to change inside my life.

Well....I have to be the one to inform you that when you make fierce determinations, it is inevitable that the fundamental darkness that is inside your life (the functions that hold you back) will rise up in your life. 

This happened to me last week, and I just couldn't see it for what it was...a function....I thought it was REAL! I started suffering from intense longing. 

You see, we all have a "world" that is our home world (meaning the one we return to most often...our karma). Mine is the world of HUNGER. And hunger can be a world of suffering, or it can be an enlightened world. I was suffering....longing for my sweet Mommy who died two years ago in November, longing for my boys away at college...longing for a special man....ouch...I was hurting so bad. 

So I called my dear friend and mentor in faith, Kate and she gave me great guidance. 

First of all she reminded me that this was a good thing...for the longing to resurface. It gives me another time to stare my basic life tendency in the face and scream back at it...and change this suffering forever! She said I could decide right here and right now that I was changing my life state forever....from the world of Hunger to the worlds of Boddhisatva (helping others) and Buddhahood - also helping others and chanting. Happiness. And I could continue to chant to raise my life condition and do my own human revolution....changing positively every day from the inside out. 

She talked about Spiritual Independence. She said this is the time for all SGI members, and every person on the planet to realize their own power. She said I didn't have to go back and chant three hours tonight...or do anything else radical. I just had to stare the hunger in the eyes and say no more! 

It all seems so simple doesn't it? And the funny thing is so simple. And I immediately felt freed from the grip this feeling had on me.

She said - change the feeling...then go back to the Gohonzon and celebrate your life. Awesome. I can do that. I can do that! And so can you! She said the SGI is centering on November 28th - spiritual independence day...the day that the SGI members were all excommunicated from the Nichiren Shoshu priesthood. Truly a day of rejoicing. Truly a day and a time to realize we ALL have the Buddha nature right within our lives, and the key to connecting with our every happiness. We need NOTHING to draw it forth. It is who we are. It is who YOU are. We need no blessings from priests or anyone else! All we need is to claim our own freedom! 

Claim your freedom today!

Look at your deepest it anger...hunger...hell...greed...and stare it down and declare your own happiness! EVEN IF IT RESURFACES...CONQUER IT AGAIN!!! 

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Remember Your Prayer is a VOW!

I have to say this over and over again because it is such a foreign concept for everyone. 

When you are chanting you are NOT ASKING ANYONE FOR ANYTHING. You are making a vow that YOU will succeed deep within your life. You can vow to be happy. Vow to be healthier than you've ever been...VOW that your family members will be happy. Vow to live a life that President Ikeda would be proud of. 

Vow to feel deep, deep appreciation for your own wonderful self...for you ARE THE BUDDHA. 

You are the Buddha. 

Enjoy your life! 

When you realize you are the Buddha you can access every joy in  life. Keep focused. You are the Buddha. Chant to believe it with all your heart and soul. 


Saturday, October 1, 2011

Happiness is Possible at every moment!

I just want you to know that the most satisfying, and fulfilling happiness is possible now...and now...and now...and all the nows to come. 

This is how I live every single day. Really. Yes!!! 

I go from one lovely moment to another...and it all starts with morning Gongyo. President Ikeda says: "Win in the morning and you win in life" and he's right! 

Each day I go from one delicious moment to another. 
Here's a typical day for me. 
I wake up before the alarm. 
I lie in bed and list things in my life that I appreciate.
I get up, get dressed and go ride the exercise bike for 30 minutes, then do some weight machines if I have time. 
I come home, bathe and make some decaf coffee. 

Then I have my date with my life! 

Every morning I begin my day with an hour of Daimoku in front of my Gohonzon.. My goal during my prayers is to connect deeply with my life and encourage myself. I aim for the prayers that make me feel most energized and connected, and I am constantly writing new determinations and goals. 

I like to write these in narrative form and really feel how much I desire them and why. 
I sit comfortably in front of my Gohonzon and I pour out all the feelings, longings, happiness and sadness in my heart. I know that I am joining an ongoing ceremony by chanting in front of the Gohonzon.  I feel the pulse of my life. I say what I want to say. Sometimes I write insights into my journal. If I think of things on my to-do list, I jot them down so I can get them out of my brain. And I focus on what I want for myself and for others and for America and for the world. I chant for the mundane, and for the sublime. I VOW that each one of these prayers will come true. My prayers are a vow! The hour just flies by! 

One of my constant prayers is for YOUR happiness. you know I wasn't always happy, right? Oh Man, how I used to suffer from depression, and hopelessness...and a feeling of being unloved! And I was searching for a solution in life. Well, I found it, and I want as many people to find it and experience what I have as possible. I WANT people who are suffering to find my blog and feel hope. Then I want MORE people to find my blog and feel hope!!! And it is my deep desire to have each one of you connect with President Ikeda through the SGI, find your own SGI Tribe close to you, and carve a life of happiness. I want to reach people who are suffering through as many types of media as possible. My goal is to publish many books....books on parenting as a Buddhist, having a successful career, generating love in your life....and on and on. I welcome calls from publishers. I also love being on the radio. I was just on the radio this week (talking about Nam Myoho Renge Kyo of course!) and my friends who listened said I should be on the radio all the time. Wouldn't that be wonderful!!! I could reach even more people. Maybe I'd have "Jamie's Chanting Hour"! How's that sound? We could chant together and I could encourage everyone through various words of Nichiren Daishonin's and Daisaku Ikeda's and fellow members all over the world. If you're a person who knows how to make these things happen I invite your emails!

Then I get dressed and drive the five minutes to my work. What I do is so much fun that it doesn't feel like work at all. I greet all my friends and I set about creating wonderful things for my students to do through my connections in the community. Sometimes I call people I don't know and make them into new friends. And I make more connections and create more events. Last week I had thirty students attend a senior fair and do blood pressure checks, glucose testing and educate people on various health related topics. I helped them network and introduce themselves to other professionals. I took pictures of their smiling faces. It was a blast. 
During the day I usually have other networking meetings with people in person, to see if there are more ways we can work together. My life is this delicious flow of encouraging people and making new friends and cultivating old ones. I truly enjoy every moment in the day. 
After work I have friends to play with, or a date with a man, or I come home to my lovely apartment and am so happy here! I love reading your emails, and writing my blog posts. 
Every Wednesday night I host a rocking Buddhist meeting in my apartment.

....and each day....I begin anew...with happiness overflowing...and so can you!!