Monday, February 27, 2012

Two kinds of benefits

I got an email from someone who recently started chanting 15 minutes a day. They said the first few months they saw lots of felt like miracles were happening...but now, the benefits have slowed down for a time and they don't see any changes. 

My first response is to keep going and do not give up. My second is to say fight even harder for your life!

When you are not seeing huge benefits coming forth you are still getting results from your practice. I'll explain how it works. 

There are two kinds of benefits, the kind you see right away, Conspicuous benefits, and the kind that go deep into your life creating fortune just when you need it, called Inconspicuous benefits. You are getting both kinds every time you chant. It can be frustrating to think "I'm chanting and nothing is happening" but that is really not the case. Seasoned buddhists know exactly what I'm talking about. The fortune from chanting is building a daimoku bank for you. Those inconspicuous benefits will emerge from your life just when you need a crucial moment!

I remember in the early days of my the first year or two. I spoke to a senior leader (one who'd been chanting much longer than myself) about an aspect of my life I was challenging through my prayer. I think it was job related. She compared my life to a glass of water that had dirt in it. She said we easily stir up the dirt at the top when we first begin chanting, but to get to the dirt (karma - things we want to change) on the bottom we had to really dig deeper. That was the day I sat down on a bright and beautiful day and determined to chant 10 hours to change this suffering. 

Believe me...I saw changes right away after that. I felt like I was walking on air for days.

The person who wrote me the email said they'd been chanting 15 minutes a day for some time. I think 15 minutes a day is great, and your life will tell you when you're ready to chant for longer periods of time. Perhaps that is what this person should do...increase their level of daimoku. And study! And go to as many meetings as possible, and encourage others to chant. If your benefits slow down...that is the time to dig deeper, go further, be even more determined than ever you show proof of the power of this practice, and don't give up!!!!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Chant to Open the Way Forward

How do you chant when you really don't know what to chant for? What if you feel stuck and there doesn't seem to be a good least one that you can think of? 

You can chant to open the way forward and keep increasing your capacity to help more and more people. 

I chanted to increase my capacity and my territory was expanded three times at work. I am making new friends and have the chance to use my talents on two new campuses. And through this transition I am focusing on several things. The first is to honor and praise my life. My drive time is over a half hour to these new campuses, so I'm chanting an hour before I leave and then all the way in the car. 
The second is to open the way forward into my expanded capacity to fulfill my vow as a Boddhisatva of the earth. I don't have to know this very second how it is all going to turn out. I just have to keep focused on fulfilling my vow and moving forward every day...seeing my district members grow, and hearing from the readers of this blog. 

I am interested in you. Do you have things you would like me to write about? Do you have experiences you would like me to share on the blog? Do you have questions?  Please let me know. This blog is for YOU. 

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Hope is Life's Treasure

The purpose of this blog is to give you keep that fire burning in you --- even when it seems like everything is rising up against you. Hope is the most important thing. It is important for me. It is important for you. It is important for all those around you that you maintain hope!
I hope you enjoy this poem as much as I do.
I am reading it over and over as I face the challenges in my life!

Daisaku Ikeda wrote this for us on January 2nd, 2012...his 84th birthday.

 "Hope Is Life's Treasure"

Hope is
life's treasure.

who have hope
are always happy.

One can have
all the wealth, power and fame
in the world,
but if one loses hope,
one will falter and stumble
in life.

The ancient Roman orator
Cicero wrote:
"Our capital is invested in hope
rather than in money;
if that hope be abandoned,
all else will be amassed
only to be lost later on."

The arrogant
who ridicule the hopeful
invariably fall in defeat,
left with naught but regret.

On no account
must we ruin
our lives,
which shine with such promise!

Hope is
a jewel that inspires and uplifts.
As long as we have hope,
we will never be deadlocked.

Victory always awaits
and happy smiles spread
where there is hope.

In the words of
the admirable Wangari Maathai,
the Kenyan environmental activist
and friend whom my wife and I
will never forget:
"Hope is like a flower,
which, when it blooms,
does so no matter
what mood it's in
or who is watching.
It always gives its best.
We can too."

Hope is
a flower that blossoms
in effort and perseverance.
Hope is
the noble visible reward
of those who accumulate unseen virtue.

People who live out their lives
with hope
never become jaded
or apathetic.

A contributive life
of giving hope
to those who are suffering
is a source of growth,
and solidarity.

The great Spanish author
Miguel de Cervantes wrote,
"Just as light shines
more brightly in darkness,
so hope should be
more steadfast in trials."

Hope is the hallmark
of invincible fortitude.
Life is a struggle -
hence, our challenge is to live
with optimism and strength,
year after year.

the great Tohoku-born educator,
friend of first Soka Gakkai president
Tsunesaburo Makiguchi,
declared that hope
can be found
even in the darkest gloom.

Such hope, he said,
is "visible only
to the eye of
faith and courage."

Even while imprisones dor his beliefs,
President Makiguchi wrote serenely,
"Depending on one's frame of mind,
even hell can be enjoyable."

Josei Toda later said
in gratitude to his martyred mentor,
"In your vast and boundless compassion,
you let me accompany you
even to prison."

As the third Soka Gakkai president,
I have steadfastly walked
the profoundly solemn
path of selfless dedication
of mentor and disciple.

I have given my life
to realizing all
the cherished hopes of
my mentor.
My heart is clear and bright,
without a cloud of regret.

As Nichiren Daishonin writes,
"The sun breaks through
the pitch-black dark."
Courageous faith is
the sun of limitless hope.

Mentor and disciple
committed to the noblest cause
will rise above all trials and adversity;
the unsurpassed brilliance of their lives
shining on forever.

Infinite hope!
The mystic law is the source.
A boundless state of life!
Faith and practice are the key.

In the Lotus Sutra,
we find these truly generous words:
"We beg that the merit (we have) gained...
may be spread far and wide to everyone,
so that we and other beings
all together may attain the Buddha way."

Kosen-rufu us
the supreme and colossal hope
of elevating
all humanity
to a vast life-state
of peace and happiness.

Hope! Hope! Hope!
Hope is life's treasure.

At the start of a new year,
a new day,
let us set forth,
brimming with bright hope,
the sun of time without beginning
brimming in our hearts!

Let us boldly break through
even the deepest turmoil
of these troubled times,
and be the ones to create new hope!

Let us advance in triumph,
imparting the hope
of absolute victory
to one person after another!

The French writer and activist
Romain Rolland said,
"The last hope of our day
lies in youth."

I now wish to declare for all to hear:
"The greatest hope for the future lies in Soka youth."

My young friends,
never be defeated!

No matter what trials and hardships
may befall you,
never lose sight of
the golden light of hope!

Oh my friends,
my beloved friends
whom I trust with all my heart,
live out your lives with hope!
Be victorious without fail!

Daisaku Ikeda
--on my 84th birthday,
January 2nd, 2012


Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Treasures of the Heart

Valentine's Day is always a challenging day for we are in the middle of's dark...dreary...and I am mindful of the people who used to be in my life who have I chanted really strongly this morning, and came home after work and headed straight for the Gohonzon...vowing one more time to be absolutely happy for the sake of Kosen Rufu...

And now I'm taking a moment to share the following with you:

As Nichiren Daishonin says, the treasures of the heart are most important of all. 
This is the Valentine I received today from my sweet Benjamin who is a freshman at Miami University of Ohio. 
He wrote this for me, and gave me permission to share it with you:


You make me strong
You make me creative
You make me compassionate
You make me courageous

You brighten my world from an uninspired monotony
You help me see beyond my narrow-mindedness
You love me fully even when I am difficult
You accept me fully not just my future potential

Its amazing to have a mom like you
...unbelievable really
I don't know who I would be today
If I didn't have your love and support

Love You Mom!


What beautiful words from my spectacular boy. I love words more than anything...more than flowers (well, I love flowers too) and more than almost anything else!

Sending all my love out to you, my blog readers! May you bask in whatever love means to you today...all day...and every day! Love Jamie

Saturday, February 11, 2012

A great experience of someone who reconnected with the SGI

Here is an experience I received just the other day...
so inspiring!!!

Hi, I feel so fortunate to have found your blog.~! 
You are my inspiration. 
I read it everyday, & the entry 
"What does Nam Myoho Renge Kyo mean?" often.  
You help me to stay focused. 
I finally noticed the link to finding
Saturday. I immediately called the number, 
& I went to the meeting/service today = Sunday.  
I'm excited to be embarking on a new journey. 
I have been chanting at home alone since September, 
like 2X /day for at least 10 minutes. 
I learned how to chant "Nam Myoho Renge Kyo" 
& received Gohonzon in 1992
 in Rancho Cucamonga CA. 
I can not do any of the whole prayer 
that they did at Center this morning.  
Thank You for reading this. 
I started chanting hoping to find happiness, 
it is already here. 
Now, if i could just find the right man 
to share my happy life with..... 
Sincerely John St Louis, MO

Friday, February 10, 2012

Here's my experience live and in person! Listen here~!

I gave this experience this evening as encouragement for the upcoming Women's Division Victory Meetings. 
Go to to find the local victory meeting by you. 
(I know these are happening in the US, not sure about other countries!)

Click below to hear my experience from when I started this blog to now:

Voice Recorder >>

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

The Clear Mirror Guidance from Daisaku Ikeda to Share with You!

This is the month we traditionally reread, reread and reread the Clear Mirror Guidance from Daisaku Ikeda. So I've attached it here for you! Although Daisaku Ikeda originally wrote this message for women. It is for us all. It brings the law of cause and effect to life. 

Enjoy! Click Below for the Clear Mirror Guidance...absolutely fantastic!!