Tag Archives: Nam Myoho Renge Kyo

What’s the point of chanting Nam Myoho Renge Kyo?

1 Aug

 

 

NMRK0731A few people have asked me this week what “Nam Myoho Renge Kyo” means, why I often say it, or close out emails with it. So I though it would be fun and informative to post the answer on my Health & Wellness page… the Holistic Voyage community. I’ll post it below :-)

Nam Myoho Renge Kyo means “Devotion to the mystic law of cause and effect through sound and teaching.” Basically when I chant Nam Myoho Renge Kyo I am affirming to the universe that I am open to receiving protection, inspiration, healing, wisdom, divine support and love.

Buddhists also chant to have absolute happiness that is unbroken, indestructible and unshakable by obstacles or circumstances, to have good mind, body, spirit health (karmic and physical), longevity, harmonious families and purpose/mission-filled lives. It’s also a verbal commitment with the universe to take kind and compassionate action for one’s self and others and to treat all living beings with respect and dignity. This is all centered on our vow to advance world peace (Kosen Rufu).

I’m also affirming my understanding that karma is real, and anything I put out, will come back. Good causes manifest good circumstances. Bad causes equal consequences earned. Chanting Nam Myoho Renge Kyo (NMRK) allows me to tap into the universal protection and healing from the universe so that I am shielded by safety, led and aligned with synchronicity, and co-creating my dreams, desires, wishes and goals. It’s a prayer…affirming to myself and universe that I know my prayers will be answered, and I’m ready for assistance from my higher self and the universe to make it happen.

NMRK also is a prayer for happiness, healing and protection for others. (I chant for my family, friends, classmates, fellow Buddhist practitioners, mentors and Holistic Voyage community, and for the happiness and peace of all living beings.) NMRK is often a Buddhist or Japanese greeting too, kinda like saying Namaste or wishing someone well. I also chant to dissolve fear and gain confidence. (For example, I can’t swim and I’m afraid of water, but it was my dad’s birthday on July 28th and he wanted to go kayaking in 30 FEET of water. I didn’t want my fear to get in the way, so I chanted for courage, to eradicate fear and trust the universe that we would be protected and that the water was as safe as taking a shower. Guess what? I suddenly forgot all about my fear and had one of the best days of this summer.)

My mom has ESRD (Kidney failure) and has had it since September 2011. She’s been hospitalized 20 times since then, has been on hemo-dialysis and peritoneal dialysis and will soon receive a kidney transplant. Her battle with this disease could have been lost MANY times, but I know chanting for her to receive the best doctors & treatments, and chanting for her to live a long, healthy, happy life has made a HUGE difference and extended her life and gave her hope. I’m confident my mom WILL have a total health victory and receive the best kidney and be restored to perfect health (by the way, we’re both Buddhist and so is my life partner Tiffany.) I’ve also had major financial obstacles at certain points and have almost lost my home several times, but every time I chant with determination and faith, the money seems to magically appear in the nick of time.

When I first started practicing Buddhism 4 years ago, I was told to chant 5 minutes per day for 30 days for something specific and watch my prayers be answered, and my life transform and enhance. I chanted for 3 things, and all 3 were answered within 25 days. It was incredible. More over, it was the way I felt after chanting that made a difference. I felt calm, peaceful, alive, joyful and confident. I felt my life was truly designed to be happy, and that I deserved to have a wonderful life. I felt capable of improving the lives of my family members and changing the world for the better, and I became connected to a wonderful community of friends through the Buddhist organization and I finally felt supported, loved and inspired.

It’s said that the real meaning of NMRK can only be understood by those who chant it, as it’s power is boundless. I am living proof of this wonderful mystic law of Nam Myoho Renge Kyo. That’s why I’m honored to speak this foreign words. However for more info about NMRK or Buddhism…check out the grass roots Buddhist organization that I practice with.

 

Soka Gakkai International: Buddhist Association for Peace, Culture and Education (Nichiren Buddhism)

Got happiness?

11 Dec

happy

A worldwide movement has been started to heal the world, heal the planet and uplift humanity. Many organizations, groups, families and individuals have made a conscious decision to recognize the interconnected of all life. To that end, people world-wide have joined forces and coined 12/12/12 at 9:30pm EST, 9:30pm JST as “Global Shift day”. On December 12, 2012 at exactly the same moment, the entire world will be uniting as many in body, one in mind to uplift humanity and bring about a positive shift. The entire world will slow down for a moment to share in love and peace for the planet and each other.  Anyone can participate.  There’s no special discipline required nor is any specific religious belief or philosophy.  I am encouraging as many people as I can to join in.

On 12/12/12 at 9:30pm EST, I vow to unite as a global citizen to uplift humanity. I will be chanting daimoku (Nam Myoho Renge Kyo) for the happiness and victorious lives of ALL living beings and for the sake of kosen-rufu (world peace). As a practitioner of Nichiren Buddhism with the Soka Gakkai International (www.sgi-usa.org) this is apart of our daily practice. Close to 13 million people in 192 countries and territories chant DAILY for world peace, happiness, victory, healing for themselves and others, long lives, wisdom, protection prosperity for all, and respect for our great planet.

Please feel free to join me in chanting daimoku on 12/12/12 at 9:30pm EST. Visit the SGI website to learn more about the organization, and it’s mission. Here’s a short video for you, to hear how to chant. (The great news, is daimoku is available 24/7 and is being chanted somewhere in the world each minute of the day. So no matter when you join in chanting, you’ll be in rhythm. I am just spreading the message to increase it from 13 million people chanting on 12/12/12 so we can expedite world peace :-)

Here’s a great article I read once called “10 Good Reasons to Chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo” If you’d like a video introduction to SGI instead of reading the SGI website here’s a good one.

If you’d like to find an SGI-USA center near you, just enter your zipcode.

If you’re like me and love YouTube videos and love to watch real people, with real results who you can relate to, SGI has a YouTube Channel.

To your happiness,

TORRIE

10 Things I’m Grateful for Today and Always

20 Nov

I am subscribed to a website/blog and today Marie Forleo the owner of the site requested all her viewers to write down 10 things they are grateful for and encourage us to do it daily. I love this idea. See below for my 10 things.

 

10 Things I’m grateful for:

1) My family. (I absolutely LOVE my parents, grandparents, great-grandmother, step-mom, sister and my in-laws.
2) My life partner. (She is the most wonderful, supportive person and has stuck by my side and proven unconditional love).
3) My dog Markie. (He’s the sweetest thing, makes me smile, makes me laugh, keeps me active and shows what it would like to be a mom).
4) My Nichiren Buddhist Practice. (I love having a spiritual practice that helps me grow and be victorious in all areas of my life. SGI-USA has been a HUGE support in my life and I love the friendships I’ve established and the SGI President Daisaku Ikeda is a WONDERFUL, inspiring and loving man).
5) My home in Maryland. (I have a wonderful apartment, great neighbors, plenty of inspiration and all the resources I need in a modernized world).
6) My school Institute for Integrative Nutrition. (I’ve learned a TON about Holistic Health and Wellness, Nutrition, Life Balance, am gaining the expertise and credentials needed to begin my very own health coaching practice and I’ve made some really great friends).
7) Clean water and nourishing food. (I’ve learned how to eat well to improve my health, I feel nourished and have access to whole foods and organic foods which is truly a blessing).
8) Nature. (Nature gives us EVERYTHING we need to be happy and healthy, and surrounds us with beauty and makes us feel apart of a bigger picture).
9) Wonderful books, informative sites, great blogs and awesome gurus/experts such as Marie Forleo, Carmen Marshall, Elizabeth Rider, Jessica Aiscough, Kris Carr, Gabrielle Bernstein, Mastin Kipp, Deepak Chopra, Joshua Rosenthal and MANY others. (I learn so much daily, understand my life more, create balance, feel more inspired, improve my health, feel capable of creating an awesome life and understand my mission in life).
10) The Universe. (There are protective forces that surround, heal and keep us safe, forces that allow our prayers, wishes determinations to be answered, forces that create synchronicity and a feeling that someone..a higher power is always with us).

There’s so much to be grateful, this list could go on. I feel warm and fuzzy just thinking about these few things :-) What a great exercise. I agree with Marie Forleo that we should ALL keep track daily of all that we’re grateful for.

Interconnectedness and “actual proof”

14 Nov

I had a very encouraging dialogue yesterday. A kayo-kai sister Dharini introduced me to another YWD who’s going through the same thing I’m going through. This is an email reply that I sent to both of them. I’m posting this because this is yet again “actual proof” of the interconnectedness of SGI members (and life itself) and yet another benefit and answered prayer. I promised you all that I would share my journey to “human revolution” and victory, and this is part of it :-)

Hi Dharini, Eun & Michiko,

Dharini- Good to hear from you. Sorry I missed you this weekend. I don’t have transportation right now (car is in the shop). I hope everyone enjoyed the Youth meeting. I was REALLY upset that I missed it. I REALLY wanted to be there.

Also, I must say this; I absolutely LOVE, ADORE, and APPRECIATE you. You are such an awesome Myoho sister. You are going to make an awesome YWD leader, and I look forward to getting to know you better and building a friendship with you. Ever since you joined SGI, you have been a courageous YWD, tirelessly working for everyone’s happiness. I chant for you daily to have a victorious life where your wonderful causes manifest in your life. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for all you do!!!! Thank you so much for connecting me with Eun and I assure you, I WILL pay it forward and support her in her practice and inspire her like you (and your mom) have inspired me. I look forward to supporting you as well and chanting with you for your victories. (How’s the job situation coming along?)

Eun- I wish I had the opportunity to meet you over the weekend. Nice to virtually meet you. I look forward to meeting you in person. I’m very sorry to hear of the obstacle you and your family are facing, but rest assured that this will be a major source of benefit, and you and your family WILL be victorious.

I live in Pikesville, I’m 28 and also have been practicing for 3 years :-) I practice with the Jones Falls district in Baltimore. My mom (Michele) was diagnosed with ESRD in Sept 2011. She started Dialysis treatment on June 15, 2012. My mom is 46, very petite, has been a vegetarian for 21 years, never smoked, never drank alcohol, never did drugs, and isn’t diabetic, so this was a major shock to us. I just began the process for testing to see if I’m her donor. We are a 4 out of 6 match which is great, but her blood is building anti-bodies to my blood due to the fact that she’s had 3 blood transfusions since her kidneys failed. I am hoping I can still be her donor.

I would love to learn about you and your sister. Please tell me her name so I can chant for both of you. You are such a wonderful, compassionate and courageous person for wanting to donate to your sister. I pray you are a match. Let’s talk very soon so I can learn about the situation, share some advice and tips with you, and share guidance that’s been most helpful to both me and my mom. I’m really sorry this is your situation, but on a positive note, I am so happy Dharini connected us, and that we now have each other to share this journey. Other than Dharini, I only know one other member (Michiko- an awesome WD member in Ellicott City) who has gone through our same situation. Michiko received a kidney transplant. She almost died, but used this practice to save her life. I cc’d her on this email also. She really encouraged me when I first found out about my mom, and she lives in my mom’s district. (My mom received Gohonzon 3 years ago, 6 months after I received mine).

I have soooo much to share with you Eun and feel like Nam Myoho Renge Kyo brought us together. I am sooo grateful. THIS is a major break-through and benefit. I can’t wait to meet you, and can’t wait to share a victory alongside you. We WILL have an awesome outcome. Although many members have similar obstacles, you have no idea how rare it is to meet a member going through this situation.

Check this out: my mom’s tech at the dialysis clinic she goes to (Ellicott City Dialysis) also chants!!! How Myoho is that? None of this is happening to us by mistake. Just the fact that Dharini met you, Dharini of ALL people is such a reminder of the infinite power of Nam Myoho Renge Kyo. I KNOW our prayers are being answered. This is what we call an inconspicuous benefit. I am now even more determined than ever to continue to advance Kosen-rufu and more determined to show actual proof of this practice, so thank you!!! My contact info is below in the signature of this email. Please contact me ANYTIME. I look forward to hearing from you. Please stay encouraged, you and your sister are going to win!!!

Michiko- This is amazing!!! I am seeing the mystic law unfold in wonderful ways. My mom just so happened to be in YOUR district, and thanks to Kazumi connecting us, you encouraged me at a very low point in my life, and shared your story with me. I met Dharini by ACCIDENT on the day she received Gohonzon on Sept 16th 2012. (I NEVER attend Charles Village discussion meetings, I was there because my Shakubuku Grace was receiving Gohonzon and that’s the district she was in.) I heard Dharini share a partial experience and that’s the district she’s in. A few weeks later my mom was hospitalized for the 10th time, I posted it on Facebook and Dharini emailed me and encouraged me sooo much. I discovered her mom who lives in India had just received a kidney transplant 6 weeks prior and Dharini had been chanting for her mom’s victory and when it happened (she was shocked) and that’s what inspired her to receive Gohonzon. The interconnectedness of us SGI members is amazing!!! So now, you, my mom and I have the opportunity to support Eun and her sister toward a victory. I LOVE this practice!!!

I have to call my mom to share this with her. I hope this will inspire her to keep chanting because a TOTAL health victory is within reach. For the sake of Kosen-rufu and Eun and her sister, she MUST win!!! Eun and her sister MUST win because they will inspire others. This is awesome.

Thanks again Dharini. You have no idea what an awesome ripple effect you just started!!! I have to blog about this to inspire other members and other people seeking happiness and victory! Nam Myoho Renge Kyo is absolute!!

Great News!!

8 Nov

Here’s my Facebook post from a few days ago. Thought I’d share it here :-)
(Just a note, I did not fulfill my goal of hitting one million daimoku by my original goal date, but I am still pushing forward and will not give up on my goal of one million daimoku. The amount of daimoku that you chant daily doesn’t matter, it’s the heart and your determination that matters. Another blog that I follow http://chantforhappiness.blogspot.com/ urges us to “Chant to increase the power of your daimoku by 10,000 times.” That’s what I’m doing. I need to increase the power of my daimoku, then the one million daimoku target will follow. Thank you Jaime Lee Silver!!! If you all haven’t started following her blog, I STRONGLY recommend it. This woman is AMAZING, full of wisdom, strong faith and love. Let’s all unite to increase the power of our prayers by 10,000 times.)

Most of you know my mom has ESRD (Kidney failure) and started Dialysis on June 15th, 2012. Well here’s some GREAT news (and an answer to my prayers and the prayers of everyone else who’s supported along the way); The University of Maryland Kidney Transplant Center coordinator called me today: they are ready for me to start the “work-up” to be my mom’s donor. I have to do a 24 hour urine collection
so they can test the strength of my kidneys, a pap-smear, some blood work and a physical, then an all day medical evaluation, plus a few more test. They said I’m a perfect match for my mom, we just need to wait a little longer because of her blood transfusions. (her blood has formed antibodies due to the 3 blood transfusions, so her blood is confused right now, otherwise our blood is PERFECT together, and my kidney is perfect for her body otherwise). (I also need to lose a little weight, thank goodness I’m a student at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition LOL, now I can finally get this weight off in a healthy and sustainable way. I have the tools, now need to use them). Fortunately, even if her blood continues to have issues with my blood, that won’t slow anything down. I would go into a “cross-match program”. Here’s an example/scenario of what that means

(Let’s say a lady named Tina is a B+ blood type and needs a kidney. She has a daughter named Marie who is an O+ and wants to be her mom’s donor and has a perfect kidney, but their blood types are incompatible. My mom Michele is an AB+ and I’m a B+ so our blood types ARE compatible, (actually AB+ although a rare blood type, is the ONLY blood type that can receive a kidney from ANY blood type as long as the antigens match, which mine do match. My mom was fortunate to have this blood type) but my mom is also compatible with Tina’s daughter Marie. Since Tina is NOT compatible with her own daughter, but IS compatible with me, and my mom is a universal recipient, I could be Tina’s donor and her daughter Marie could be my mom’s donor.)

I don’t mind doing the cross-match program, I actually think it’s great because essentially I get to save 2 lives at once. The donor center is just going to keep doing testing to make sure that doing the cross-match is best for my mom. If my kidney is better for her, we’ll go that route, but if cross-match is equally good, we’ll do that so we can save her life and someone else’s life. I’m putting it in the hands of the universe. I’m praying for the best possible outcome, the best kidney for my mom, and praying that everyone involved lives a long, happy, healthy life. I’m really excited about this process..even though it’s scary, I’m very happy to do this for my mom, and happy that I may even get to help someone else in the process. How cool is that??? What a great mission :-) I’m very grateful I get to participate in this, and share this journey with my wonderful mommy :-)

Thanks again to everyone who’s supported my family during this time. My wife, my family, my friends, the Wright family (my in-laws), my SGI family (Buddhist friends) my IIN friends, even my facebook friends…you all have been sooo important in this process, encouraging, compassionate and committed/united in prayer. People have visited my mom at the hospital during her 10 hospital stays, called her to support/encourage her, went over to chant with her, chanted/prayed for her, sent cards and gifts, advocated for her medical care, sent uplifting emails, left wonderful comments, have called me, chanted with me, offered support, offered to run errands, talked with me during weak moments, facebooked kind words, ect. It’s amazing!!! I love you all. Thank you soooo much!!! I promised my mom a TOTAL HEALTH VICTORY, and dammit, I’m going to show her actual proof. I promised you all our prayers would be answered, and here we go, we’re almost there :-) I’m VERY absolute in my beliefs that Nam Myoho Renge Kyo works and would protect my mom. It’s coming to fruition at high speed. I am OVERWHELMED with gratitude right now. Thanks to each of you and thanks to the Universe!!! ♥ To each of you, I extend love, light, gratitude, appreciation and a commitment to repay my debt of gratitude. Stay tuned for a TOTAL Health Victory and good health head to toe for my mom, and I pray for victory in all areas of life for each of you.

Bow and Arrow Gosho

9 Sep

Hi everyone. I’m soooo sorry it’s been so long since I updated my blog. I am still committed to this one million daimoku campaign, just been very busy and was sick for a bit (nothing serious). I’ve have to refresh my determination a few times lol, but I’m definitely sticking with it. My new goal date for completion is December 20th, 2012 or sooner. This is based on time constraints and my lack of ability to chant longer than 2 1/2 daily without getting distracted lol. I WILL accomplish this though. I must, and I know you are all holding me accountable, and I made a vow to show each of you actual proof :-) Thanks for continuing to follow me on this journey.

So yesterday when I was chanting, I started getting antsy, so to refocus I opened the Gosho, and let the universe show me what I needed to read. It was sooo wonderful as the universe gave me EXACTLY what I was looking for….a reminder that no matter what, my mom can and WILL beat her illness. See below as I’ve copy and pasted the Gosho and background from SGI’s website.

(Side note-

Gosho [御書] ( Jpn)
The individual and collected writings of Nichiren (1222-1282). Gosho literally means honorable writings; go is an honorific prefix, and sho means writings. In general the word is used in Japanese as an honorific for certain books and writings, particularly for those of the founders and patriarchs of some Buddhist schools. Nikko, Nichiren’s successor, used the word gosho to refer to Nichiren’s works and made efforts to collect, copy, and preserve them as sacred texts. As a result, a remarkable number of Nichiren’s works have been passed down to the present, and many are extant in his own hand. In terms of content, the Gosho may be divided into four groups: (1) treatises setting forth doctrine, (2) writings remonstrating with government authorities, (3) letters offering advice, encouragement, or consolation to believers, or written in answer to questions (many in this category also include expressions of gratitude for offerings and support received), and (4) written records of Nichiren’s oral teachings, including his lectures on the Lotus Sutra.

The Bow and Arrow

I HAVE received one thousand coins and a bamboo container.

It is the power of the bow that determines the flight of the arrow, the might of the dragon that controls the movement of the clouds, and the strength of the wife that guides the actions of her husband. In the same way, it is your support that has enabled Toki to visit me here now. We know the fire by its smoke, discern the nature of the dragon by the rain, and recognize the wife by observing her husband. Thus, meeting here at this moment with Toki, I feel as if I were seeing you.

Toki has told me that, while grieved at his mother’s death, he was grateful that she passed away peacefully, and that you gave her such attentive care. He said joyfully that he would never be able to forget this in any lifetime to come.

My greatest concern now is your illness. Fully convinced that you will recover your health, you should continue moxibustion treatment for three years, as regularly as if you had just begun. Even those who are free from illness cannot escape the transience of life, but you are not yet old, and because you are a votary of the Lotus Sutra, you will not meet an untimely death. Your illness is surely not due to karma, but even if it were, you could rely on the power of the Lotus Sutra to cure it.

King Ajatashatru extended his life by forty years by embracing the Lotus Sutra. Ch’en Chen added fifteen years to his life. You also are a practitioner of the Lotus Sutra, and your faith is like the waxing moon or the rising tide. Be deeply convinced, then, that your illness cannot possibly persist, and that your life cannot fail to be extended! Take care of yourself, and do not burden your mind with grief.

When sorrows arise, think of Iki and Tsushima, and of the Dazaifu office.1 Or think of the people of Kamakura, who were enjoying the delights of the heavenly realm; but when the soldiers left for Tsukushi, their parting with their wives and children who stayed behind was like bark being ripped from a tree. They pressed their faces together and lamented while gazing into each other’s eyes. Now the men gradually grow more distant, traveling through Yui Beach, Inamura, Koshigoe, Sakawa, and the Hakone pass. And so, as one day passes and then another goes by, they march farther and farther away, and rivers, mountains, and clouds are interposed between them and their families. Tears accompany them, and grief is their companion. How sorrowful they must be!

If the Mongol armies should come and attack while they are thus lamenting, they will be taken prisoner, whether in the mountains or on the sea, and will suffer misery in ships or in Koryö [Korea]. This is entirely because of the treatment people have accorded Nichiren, the votary of the Lotus Sutra, who has committed no fault and is father and mother to all the living beings of Japan. Without reason, they revile and beat him, and parade him through the streets. Such insanity has provoked reprimands from the ten demon daughters, causing the present situation to arise. In addition, events that are a hundred, thousand, ten thousand, million times more difficult to endure will occur in the future. You will see such mysteries unfold before your eyes.

There is nothing to lament when we consider that we will surely become Buddhas. Even if one were to become an emperor’s consort, of what use would it be? Even if one were to be reborn in heaven, what end would it serve? Instead, you will follow the way of the dragon king’s daughter and rank with the nun Mahaprajapati. How wonderful! How wonderful! Please chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, Nam-myoho-renge-kyo.

With my deep respect,
Nichiren

The twenty-seventh day of the third month

To the lay nun Toki
Background

Nichiren Daishonin wrote this letter to the lay nun Toki in the third month of the second year of Kenji (1276) and entrusted its delivery to her husband, Toki Jonin, who was visiting Minobu at the time.

Toki’s mother had passed away toward the end of the second month of the year. In the third month, Toki carried her ashes from his home in Wakamiya, Shimosa Province, to distant Minobu, where a memorial service was performed for her. From a letter the Daishonin sent to Toki one year earlier, in 1275, it is clear that Toki’s mother was over ninety years old when she died. It is also thought that she had been extremely fond of her son.

The contents of this letter suggest that the lay nun Toki did her best to support and assist her husband. In addition, the Daishonin likens her faith to “the waxing moon or the rising tide,” suggesting that she was diligent in her practice. He also conveys Toki’s feelings regarding his mother’s death as well as his sense of gratitude toward the lay nun for her attentive care of her mother-in-law. Thus the Daishonin compassionately encourages the lay nun Toki during her illness, which she had been battling since the previous year.

It is possible that her illness was due at least in part to the exhausting effort of caring for her mother-in-law. The Daishonin expresses concern over her health in this letter and in another letter sent to Toki Jonin in the eleventh month of 1276, in which he writes: “I think of your wife’s illness as if it were my own, and am praying to heaven day and night.” Although the year of the lay nun’s death is not certain, one source indicates 1303, which suggests that she was indeed able to recover and live many years longer.

Torrie’s conclusion-

I could really feel the Daishonin’s compassion and firm conviction in this letter. It felt as if he were writing it directly to me, and telling me not to worry, to exert myself in practice and have confidence that my prayers for my mother’s good health WILL be answered. It was also symbolic of: yes, we all have many attacks on us daily, yes we are all persecuted, yes we all have issues and drama going on, but that doesn’t mean we can’t be victorious and live a life of happiness. It also warns against wearing yourself out to care for others. Yes, we should absolutely work for the happiness, safety, peace and good health of others, but don’t let yourself get worn out. Stop to rest, gather yourself and chant abundant daimoku to recharge yourself. Another awesome realization from this Gosho is uncovering that Toki’s mother was over 90 years old when she passed away. For a time full of war, invasions, calamities, illness, plague and social unrest, it’s TRULY a miracle that ANYONE could survive that long!!! Not to mention, treatment of illness was VERY limited, so often times if you were sick, FAITH and prayer was your only medicine. This is proof that she received good medicine, through the power of Nam Myoho Renge Kyo. It only takes ONE practitioner in a family to manifest this wonderful power. When we chant Nam Myoho Renge Kyo, we benefit our family 7 generations back, 7 generations forward. How awesome is that???? There were sooo many good points to this Gosho, but these are the ones that stuck out the most.

Victory report

17 Jul

Hey everyone. So I’m very late posting this, but I have an awesome victory report. Yay!!!!! Nam Myoho Renge Kyo is VERY present, active and responding. I’m very grateful. It’s not just MY victory, it’s OUR victory. Every single person who chanted even a single daimoku for me or my mom should celebrate this victory.

So my mom went into the hospital for the 7th time in less than a year on Thurs 07/12/12. This time she had to go in because:

  1. She just started dialysis 3 weeks ago, and she was having some side affects such as shoulder pain, weakness and low energy.
  2. She was having serious breathing problems caused from severe chest and stomach pain. It hindered her sleeping ability and she couldn’t lay flat.
  3. Her primary doctor suspected she had an enlarged liver (very dangerous) and thought her heart was overworking sue to a low blood count.
  4. She needed another blood transfusion. (she had 2 like 2 months ago.)
  5. Her blood pressure has been very high lately.
  6. Due to the stomach issues, she had to be tested for ulcers, gall-bladder disorders and colon cancer.

So my mom found out a year 1/2 ago that her kidneys were failing. In Sept 2011 she was told she had “End Stage Renal Disease” (ESRD) and would ultimately need to stay on dialysis for the rest of her life, or will need a kidney transplant. My mom is young (45), has always been very careful about staying healthy (she is very petite, has been a vegetarian for 20 years, often eats vegan and gluten free food, never smoked, never did drugs and is only a social drinker but still RARELY drinks, she exercises, takes vitamins and regularly sees a doctor and Holistic doctors.) but the problem is she has a hereditary condition: High Blood pressure. We are also JUST discovering that her dad’s side of the family is plagued with kidney issues.

I personally feel my mom has kidney issues for a very noble reason: As a Buddhist practitioner, she chose this mission before reincarnating into this lifetime to #1 clean up and transform her karma, #2 to teach people health isn’t just physical, it’s actually mind/body/spirit. If one is off balance, all become off balance (she has a lot of stress, and even though she is Buddhist now, she wasn’t Buddhist until 2 1/2 years ago {I introduced her to the practice} but she also hasn’t been consistently practicing. Those 2 things are indicative that her spirit/mind are affecting her body). #3 to get better so she can encourage others and teach others the power of Nam Myoho Renge Kyo. #4 Because she needs to slow down and enjoy life more than suffer, so having kidney issues makes her sit still, be quiet and relax sometimes so she can reflect on life. #5 Being sick gives you a new prospective on life. She will be inspired to live life to it’s fullest, recognize areas of her life she wants to change, and truly being able to become happy. I think this will help her do her “human revolution” (attaining Buddhahood, a self-transformation achieved through Nichiren Buddhist practice within the SGI. This transformation includes breaking the shackles of our ego-centered “lesser selves” and revealing out “greater selves,” wherein we experience deep compassion and joyfully take action for the sake of others and ultimately all humanity.” Quoted from Living Buddhism magazine)

“A great human revolution in just a single individual will help achieve a change in the destiny of a nation and, further, can even enable a change in the destiny of all humankind.”SGI President Daisaku Ikeda.

So here are a list of the victories and break-throughs that occurred thanks to chanting Nam Myoho Renge Kyo (she chanted, I chanted, my life-partner (wife) Tiffany chanted and other SGI members chanted for us).

  • At the last hospital (University of Maryland) my mom was told that she can’t keep getting blood transfusions because it will affect her chances for a matching donor kidney due to anti-bodies. So my mom was really upset that she had to get a transfusion again. Luckily, this time my mom was admitted to Howard County General (which just so happens to be the same place where she was first hospitalized in September 2011 and diagnosed with ESRD), and they actually keep a stock of “leukocyte reduced blood” which the American Red Cross recommends for cases like hers. So that’s the blood she received, therefore doesn’t pose a risk to her future donated kidney. (Not sure why U of M didn’t recommend this, but the point is, she got it this time). Also, she didn’t have to have 3 pints transfused like the last time, so instead of having 3 people’s blood running through her veins, she just has one person’s blood.
  • Despite what the doctor suspected and feared, my mom’s CT scan, Colonoscopy, Ultrasound, Nuclear medicine imaging scan, X-rays and blood work were ALL clear. They have ruled out the enlarged liver, heart problems, gall bladder dysfunction, internal bleeding, enlarged liver, colon cancer, ulcers and any other dangers. The ONLY thing that was wrong with my mom is: she needed blood, she had fluid on her lungs and stomach which was removed by dialysis and medication, and she has Gastritis (inflammation of her stomach lining) which was treated with meds. Her breathing and sleeping has returned to normal, the pain is reduced and she can walk now without stopping to catch her breath. Oh and equally important, my mom DID NOT have any adverse reactions to the radioactive substance used during the Nuclear medicine scan, or the anesthesia from the colonoscopy, nor did she experience pain from the colonoscopy itself. In fact when she woke up from the anesthesia in the recovery room, she asked, “so when are you guys starting the procedure?” The tech replied, “Ms. Riley, it’s already done and everything was good.
  • The last time my mom was at Howard General, she had a HORRIBLE, rude, cold-hearted doctor and a suck ass room. After chanting for the happiness of all my mom’s doctors, nurses, techs and staff and chanting for the best possible care and best possible treatments, my mom got an awesome doctor who was really compassionate, sweet, informative and patient. Here’s the funny and myoho (mystic) thing about it……it was the SAME DAMN doctor she had before, that she didn’t like!!!! LOL. How crazy is that??? If that’s not proof Nam Myoho Renge Kyo works, I don’t know what is. My mom also got an awesome, PRIVATE, pretty room with good nurses.
  • 3 weeks ago when my mom started dialysis, she was not pleased with the dialysis clinic and preferred to go to Davita. We just found out that the Nephrologist she is assigned to at her current clinic is the BEST Nephrologist in Maryland. (Dr. Jia Liu in Ellicott City/Columbia, MD). Dr. Liu also happens to work at Howard County General, and was the doctor on call to come see my mom!!!! Not only is she the best, but she was able to FINALLY talk some sense into my mom. For 8 1/2 months, medical professionals/family have been trying to get my mom to agree to Peritoneal dialysis rather than Hemo-Dialysis (Hemo required my mom to get an emergency catheter placed in her internal jugular vein…a dangerous and risky location prone to injury, infections, complications ect. My mom preferred this for aesthetic reasons, and because she loves taking long bubble baths daily, and Peritoneal ports only allow for showers. She also didn’t want to have another operation (the catheter was done on an emergency basis that had to be done either way, but can be removed once she starts peritoneal) Peritoneal dialysis is a laparoscopic catheter placed in the stomach, but is MUCH safer, less risky, improves the quality of life of a patient, and Peritoneal dialysis itself is more convenient as it’s done at home at night while you sleep, instead of 3 days per week, for 4 hours at a clinic. It also will reduce some of the side effects- (she currently gets headaches, leg pain and weakness after dialysis. She has shoulder pain also, which may be related to the jugular catheter) and may even help my mom totally get off her blood pressure meds as it regulates blood pressure, and people who are on peritoneal dialysis permanently, live longer than hemo-dialysis patients.) Sadly, despite the very obvious reasons why peritoneal is better, my mom was being super stubborn and wanted hemo-dialysis. On Friday Dr. Liu talked to my mom and finally convinced her to do peritoneal. This is a HUGE victory because that jugular catheter scares the CRAP out of me and everyone else. She’s already had complications and an infection (which is now gone) from it. This decision alone made it totally worth my mom being hospitalized!! How cool is that???
  • Also, my mom had to close her business/office (Self-Employed Massage Therapist) because the current catheter prohibited her from doing massages. Everyone who’s ever been to my mom’s office can tell you she is HANDS DOWN the BEST massage therapist. I was so sad 2 weeks ago when I had to help my mom pack up her office. I know she likes doing massage, and that just totally killed her income. Her clients have been calling her like crazy and my mom HATED telling them she is no longer in business and she felt bad for the clients. That made me sad. She also had to turn down a MAJOR contract which SUCKED! She’s already ended her lease for the office and turned in the keys. However, now thanks to Dr. Liu, my mom can resume doing massage once she gets the peritoneal port implanted in her stomach. I know some of you are thinking, “well that still sucks, she already gave up her business.” Actually, it was STILL a benefit. Here’s why #1 That office was in an upscale office park building in Elite Columbia, MD, which was very expensive which ate into her profit. #2 Because of the office rent, my mom would work and do clients whether she felt sick or not. #3 She had to drive to the office and burn gas. Now, my mom has flexibility and can work from home when she feels like it. Her house is big enough that she can set up her massage room there. She can just see her regular clients that she trusts, and doesn’t have to burn gas or pay rent to do it. Also, if she doesn’t feel well, she can just choose not to work, instead of being obligated. This is a perfect situation that would have never occurred if she didn’t get that emergency catheter. My mom is very stubborn and would have never given up her office. So as you can see, her obstacle was essentially her protection.
  • My mom went from weighing 132 pounds down to 112 pounds due to the illness. Also due to the toxin build-up in her body, she started itching really bad all over, so much that she was scarring her skin from all the scratching and caused it to darken. She even had spots all over and had dark rings under her eyes. She is now gaining some weight back and looks healthier, her skin is returning to it’s normal color, the dark rings are gone and the scarring is going away. She’s not even itching as bad as before. She looks like herself again and has more energy.
  • My mom was discharged from the hospital Sunday 07/15/12 and is doing very well. In fact she was out running errands with another SGI member and building a bond with her. She even went grocery shopping and cooked.

I am so amazed, inspired and appreciative of all of these victories. It strengthened my faith and allowed me to know without a doubt my prayers are being answered. My gratitude is fully present when I think about the wonderful SGI members. Each time my mom is hospitalized, members call, email and text my mom. Members visit her, chant with her, share guidance and encourage her. Most importantly, they send her daimoku (chant for her) and give us hope. Every SGI member I know has been supportive in one form or another. My own life partner Tiffany who is also a member did more than you could imagine to be supportive. (Since I don’t have a license she takes me daily to visit my mom at the hospital, and sits with me there for hours, picks up my grandmother to visit my mom. Takes my grandmother grocery shopping and to doctor’s appointments. She even does shopping for my great grandmother. She chants with me, lets me vent and is always optimistic. I am beyond grateful to this woman). Every time I speak with a precious SGI member, I always feel better, more encouraged, have more faith and feel more determined to become a better daughter to my mom. I never feel alone. I know without a doubt if I didn’t practice Nichiren Buddhism, I would not be able to handle my mom’s illness. I would have been so sad, worried, defeated and angry, I would have gone down a destructive path, cried constantly or even committed suicide because I would have felt hopeless and feared the worst for my mom and wouldn’t have wanted to stick around to see something bad happen. Nichiren Buddhism gives me the strength needed to carry on, support my mom, and have faith of a victory.

I constantly re-read the Gosho (Writings of Nichiren Daishonin) “The Good Medicine for all Ills” and read President Ikeda’s lecture on this Gosho. That one Gosho alone will give anyone with any obstacle hope, that through Nichiren Buddhism you can turn poison into medicine, suffering into joy. I also read the following quotes by President Ikeda:

“Illness is part of life. From the perspective of Buddhism, the important thing is to summon the courage to fight it with the determination to make a breakthrough. True health is found in a positive and constructive attitude. “

“Illness is not something to feel ashamed of. It is not a sign of misfortune or defeat. Suffering is the fuel of wisdom, and it opens the way to happiness. Through illness, human beings can gain insight into the meaning of life, understand its value and dignity, and strive to lead more fulfilling lives.”

I am very grateful for SGI, the leaders, members and friends in faith, President Ikeda, my life partner Tiffany, all the doctors, nurses and staff taking care of my mom, and my mom for letting me share this journey with her, for showing strength and a willingness to overcome this illness, and I’m proud of her for trusting Nam Myoho Renge Kyo and showing it’s power.

In closing, whenever I face ANY obstacle, I muster faith, chant Nam Myoho Renge Kyo and remember this quote:

“If you have faith in this Gohonzon and chant Nam Myoho Renge Kyo even for a short while, no prayer will go unanswered, no offense un-expiated, no good fortune un-bestowed, and all righteousness proven.”
Commentary on “The true object of worship” by Nichikan Shonin

Determinations

16 Jul

“Our lives inherently possess a boundless energy. Summoning this forth, we can break through the shell of the small self that constrains our lives. The process of revolutionizing our own lives and helping others to do the same, can transform society and ultimately elevate the state of humanity.”  Daisaku Ikeda

“When we change, the world changes. The key to all change is in our inner transformation—a change of our hearts and minds. This is human revolution. We all have the power to change. When we realize this truth, we can bring forth that power anywhere, anytime, and in any situation.” Daisaku Ikeda

Ok, so I promised I would post my determinations and prayers so you can all witness Nam Myoho Renge Kyo in action and the proof of this powerful practice of Nichiren Buddhism. To make sense of this, see my original post at http://onemilliondaimoku.wordpress.com/2012/07/13/1-million-daimoku-campaign/

To learn more about Nichiren Buddhism, please visit www.sgi-usa.org

***Warning- Some of the determinations may not make sense to a non-Buddhist/non SGI member, as some of the terms are in Japanese or Sanskrit (Nichiren Buddhism originated in Japan and the sutras written by Shakyamuni Buddha were in Sanskrit).***

I have 2 separate list. One is for determinations, one is for prayers. In Buddhism, prayers and determinations are essentially the same thing, but I’m weird so I like to separate mine lol. For me, my determinations are things more so related to me and what I’d like to personally do. They are also the bridge that will help me actualize my prayers. These determinations are congruent with my Bodhisattva vow also. Prayers are also things related to me, but it’s also wishes for others, personal victories and goals. I can’t properly explain it, but there is a difference, I’ll post both, but for now, JUST the determinations. (plus no one feels like reading all that in one post lol. This post is long enough as is).

For the Sake of Kosen-Rufu, I must show the actual proof of ALL my prayers being answered. Victory is my only option. Kosen-rufu depends on me having the courage of the Lion King, the determination of my mentors and strong faith that wells forth easily and is like flowing water. I am determined to unite with my Kayo-Kai sisterhood, and reply to my mentor Soka Gakkai President Daisaku Ikeda, so here’s my determinations:

  • I will always follow the “Strategy of the Lotus Sutra”.
  • I will live the Gosho and become a great disciple of Nichiren Daishonin and SGI President Daisaku Ikeda.
  • My ichinen will infuse with the Gohonzon,  and I will ALWAYS trust the Gohonzon 100% with my whole life and be confident that all of my prayers will be answered.
  • I will always be dedicated to advancing kosen-rufu in America and will show actual proof of the mystic law of Nam Myoho Renge Kyo.
  • I will uphold and propagate the mystic law and the Lotus Sutra, and introduce thousands of people to Nichiren Buddhism for the sake of their happiness.
  • I will master my mind.
  • I will have a positive attitude and optimistic view of life.
  • I will take responsibility and understand that I need to be the change I want to see.
  • I will always seek and maintain good friends in faith and will myself become a good friend.
  • I will help my chapter flourish daily.
  • I will sincerely recognize, acknowledge and repay my debts of gratitude and always be appreciative.
  • Each day I will muster more faith, encourage others to do the same and encourage members in their practice.
  • I will win in all of my struggles & obstacles, no matter what the circumstance. I will defeat internal and external devilish functions (Sansho Shima) and remain steadfast, consistent, focused and victorious in my Buddhist practice, so I can demonstrate the greatness of Nichiren Buddhism and work freely for kosen-rufu.
  • I will have break-throughs, benefits and will grow & advance daily  to encourage others.
  • I will have clear targets, determined prayer and will take action.
  • I will develop a powerful life condition that is unswayed by others’ behavior or my environment and manifest the supreme state of the Buddha.
  • I will break through my limitations. turn the impossible into possible, poison into medicine, obstacles into opportunities and suffering into joy.
  • I will eradicate and cease all acts of slander and onshitsu (complaining, criticizing and negative thoughts, words, actions and feelings.)
  • I will let go of all resentments and practice forgiveness.
  • I will chant for the happiness, growth and victories of others, especially those who give me a hard time.
  • I will have sincere, compassionate, heart-to-heart dialogues daily (verbally by phone or in person, instead of just through technology).
  • I will be the best, most compassionate wife, daughter, granddaughter, sister, friend, SGI youth leader and business professional.
  • I will manage my time better, be more punctual, and have a well-balanced life.
  • I will continue to polish my character, reveal & bring forth my Buddha Nature/Buddhahood and remember & carry out my Bodhisattva vow.
  • I will treat every human being as a Buddha, always be respectful, honest, compassionate and speak all the good I know of that person.
  • I will respect the precious sanctity of all life.
  • I will always have the courage, confidence and wisdom to think, say and do what’s right.
  • I will enjoy and appreciate my life daily and cease begrudging my life.
  • I will always respect, appreciate, be in harmony with, have a good relationship with, and be regret-free with my parents, grandparents, my wife, my friends, Buddhist organization, Buddhist mentors, and my country.
  • I will make many great causes to positively transform my karma & the karma of my family 7 generations back, 7 generations forward.
  • I will attain Buddhahood to bring happiness to everyone around me and positively contribute to the world.
  • I will joyfully do gongyo twice daily, and chant abundant, sincere, focused, determined daimoku like the roar of a lion.
  • I will exert myself in practice and study daily and apply what is learned.
  • I will participate in and contribute to abundant SGI activities.
  • I will establish and maintain absolute, unshakable and indestructible happiness.
  • I will make the right causes and take care of myself so I can happily and healthily live to be 100 years old in this lifetime.
  • I will take education, knowledge and wisdom seriously and learn and grow daily.
  • I will develop more compassion each day.
  • I will eradicate and cease doubt, worry, fear, confusion, delusion, anger, greed and foolishness.
  • I will trust Shoten-Zenjin and have confidence that my wife, our families and I are always protected.
  • I will recognize my fundamental darkness and eliminate it from my life.
  • I will manage stress well and be undefeated by it.
  • I will awaken to my mission and joyfully fulfill my mission in this lifetime.
  • I will do my “Human Revolution” and be the best person I can be and create value in whatever I do.
  • I vow to create victory in every aspect of my life! I will build a bridge towards my happiness and the happiness of others, by using the supreme wisdom of Nam Myoho Renge Kyo!

In all honesty, I have often been guilty of breaking some of the above mentioned. That’s why now, it’s very important to me that I fulfill these determinations. This is my “mirror work.” I have to change ME, in order to fulfill any prayer,  to truly fulfill my Bodhisattva vow and in order to contribute to a peaceful society. Each day I will chant to fulfill my determinations.

An easy day-by-day introduction to Nichiren Daishonin’s Buddhism

15 Jul

Thank you so much SGI-South Africa for compiling this PDF. Pretty much everything you want to know about Nichiren Buddhism in one place. Just click the link below.

First Steps
An easy day-by-day introduction to
Nichiren Daishonin’s Buddhism

Benefit report

14 Jul

In Nichiren Buddhism we experience what we call conspicuous and inconspicuous benefits, break-throughs and victories. Want to see what my mom, my wife, other SGI members and I accomplished and manifested quickly??? Read below.

 Here’s my daily benefit report: As I’ve mentioned in my 2 previous post, one of the main things I’m chanting for is my mom’s total health victory and for her to be 100% cured head to toe. My determination for this is sooo aggressive, I purchased a journal and actually wrote 5 pages of specific things I want to improve. I won’t bore you all with the list, but I will say I’m seeing actual proof of an answered prayer already!!!
My mom was told in November 2011 she would need to begin dialysis soon due to her rapidly daily kidneys. Her nephrologist advised her she should get a fistula implanted in her arm. (an artificial vein that allows them to dialyze and clean her blood and remove toxins). My mom was not ready to face reality, so she declined. He advised her the fistula would take 6 months to mature to a point where she could begin dialysis through that port. My mom decided to gamble, think positive and hope it wouldn’t come to that. She chanted, but not consistently. Prayers are always answered in Buddhism, but you have to stay committed to your prayers and make the right causes, pray until something happens, and never be defeated. Her nephrologist told her if she waited too long, she would end up needing emergency dialysis, would have to have a very dangerous procedure where they inserted a catheter in the internal jugular vein in her neck, with the tube running through her chest. She didn’t want that, but she waited so long, she had to have this done on June 15, 2012 and has been on dialysis ever since.
 A doctor told my mom this catheter could last up to a year, but everyone advised her it was still best to get the fistula in her arm for hemodialysis at the clinic, or prepare for peritoneal dialysis (at home machine used while you sleep) and get a port installed in her stomach. She declined both and said she would just keep the catheter in her jugular and hope that she had no complications.
Here’s the problem- not only is the catheter in a dangerous location (her freaking jugular) but it also prohibits a lot of activities and sleeping positions, and poses a 54% probability of getting infected. My mom actually got an infection a week after it was surgically implanted (which was caught immediately and eliminated immediately thanks to my prayers for her protection, all the members chanting for her and her chanting for herself), so we see this is not a good idea. Despite this, my mom still decided she didn’t want to be “put under” for another dialysis port procedure even though the arm and stomach is a better location, and she didn’t want to have surgery again or be cut on until it was time for her kidney transplant. Everyone, doctors, nurses, family and websites all advised removing the catheter in the jugular as quickly as possible and have the other ports instead. My mom being the stubborn, strong-willed person she is repeatedly said, “It’s my effing body! I do not want an ugly fistula in my arm and I don’t want tubes surgically implanted in my stomach! I don’t care if it’s better, this is easier for me since it’s already there! Stop bringing it up!”
Here’s what part of my prayer was effective yesterday.
“For the sake of Kosen-rufu, I pray for my mom to have a total health victory and be cured 100% head to toe.
-My mom will have the absolute best, most compassionate, most knowledgeable, highly trained, professional doctors, nurses, techs and medical staff, who provide the best treatment, medicine, resources and support and will be capable of treating, healing and curing her.
-My mom will awaken to what’s best for her safety, protection and good health, and will be the best, most obedient patient and will be open to receive, accept, appreciate and follow the advice of her doctors to allow them to best treat and heal her. She will always receive the absolute best care, treatment, medicine, procedures, techniques, support and resources so she will have medical staff she can trust and be confident that they will assist in her total health victory.
Here’s the benefit. After only ONE day of chanting this way, (especially 8 1/2 months of her refusing to have the fistula or stomach port,) can you believe my mom suddenly decided IN ONE DAY to go ahead and listen to the doctor’s advice, and has finally agreed to the stomach port for peritoneal dialysis??? That’s absolutely amazing!!!! So once this is done, she can get the catheter taken out, and have dialysis done properly. (again, the catheter is only for emergencies and not meant for long-term use. It’s too risky) I am soooo grateful and happy to hear this. The nephrologist simply said, “Miss Riley, I think you should get the stomach port. It will be safer, will reduce your risk for infection, and will eliminate your headaches post-dialysis.” I’m blown away because doctors/medical staff have been trying to get her to do this for months, and no matter what they said, she chose to keep the unsafe, risky, limiting catheter simply because she didn’t want another surgery. Suddenly, the mystic law of Nam Myoho Renge Kyo goes to work, responds to my prayer and less than 24 hours later is showing me that my prayers can and will be answered. Wow! I am soooo appreciative.
I told my mom about the above prayer and she said, “you know, funny you should mentioned you prayed like that. One of the hospital doctors I didn’t like who was assigned to me before is once again assigned to me. As soon as I saw her I got pissed because I remember her being rude, cold, short, impatient and not helpful. Funny, today she was a total different person. She was nice, caring, sweet, patient, compassionate, informative and helpful. It’s almost like your prayer affected her already!”
I said, “yup, it sure did. I told you I chanted about it last night. Mom, you’re going to be totally fine. Have faith. I’m going to keep chanting. You WILL be in perfect health again.”
Lmao!!!!! How AWESOME is that???? That’s called “actual proof”!!!! The mystic law doesn’t mess around!!! Nam Myoho Renge Kyo is real, absolute and wonderful.
I texted my mom’s other half and explained that my mom was finally going to do the CORRECT port, and this is the response I got;
“What??? Are you serious? That’s unbelievable! I wonder what changed her mind? Wow! That’s amazing! I’m glad she changed her mind. Wow, that’s almost magical.”
My response
“it’s because I chanted about it. I told you this practice works. It was all prayer. I was more serious about my prayer this time, and it worked.”
Is this not a great start on the path to victory??? I’m sooooo excited and full of gratitude! Ain’t no stopping us now lol.
Here’s the deal, it’s not just my prayer less than 24 hours ago….I have A LOT of support. All the SGI members in Maryland have been sending daimoku (chanting Nam Myoho Renge Kyo like crazy). So this is essentially OUR victory and OUR answered prayers. I am sooooo beyond grateful for the support of all the SGI members. Whenever I’m too sad, weak, scared or bummed out to stay encouraged, they are right there by my side being a shoulder to lean on, a wonderful family providing love, guidance, support, encouragement, inspiration and prayers. They are wonderful. My mom and I are so appreciative for these amazing, compassionate, courageous SGI members. Thank you sooo much! Sensei is right, when we unite in prayer and have a shared vow for victory, the protective forces and mystic law go to work quickly and responds with amazing results.

Confessions

14 Jul

       

Tiffany (left) & Torrie (right)

Day 2- (Actually written 07/13/2012)

So I’m gonna start today’s entry off with some confessions.LOL

# Confession #1- I only did gongyo (Buddhist prayers & daimoku) once today, and I literally only chanted for 2 frickin minutes!!!! Wait, don’t judge me lol. Let me explain. So last night I never went to sleep. I didn’t go to bed until 6am. Somehow I slept all the way until 2pm. Then, when I woke up I immediately called my mom since she’s still in the hospital. I talked to her for almost an hour because we were talking about everything the doctors said, and all the test that were ran. Then at 3pm Tiffany woke up, so we did quick gongyo so we could get showered, dressed and ready to leave. We ended up leaving the house at 4:30pm. Then we had to drive 25 minutes to Parkville, MD  to go pick up my grandmother (due to traffic it actually took 50 mins), then drove 40 minutes to Columbia, MD where my mom is hospitalized, but we stopped to get food first. We didn’t get to the hospital actually until almost 7pm due to the traffic and stopping at Chipotle for me, McDonald’s for Tiff. We stayed at the hospital until 9:50pm. (Here’s where I messed up….because the nurses and techs were constantly in and out, and my mom’s other half was there, I didn’t do gongyo with her, but did hand her her Juzu (prayer beads) liturgy book (Buddhist prayer book) and Omamori (portable Gohonzon) so she could do gongyo when we left. Then we drove almost an hour to the Super Walmart in Cockeysville, MD to take my grandmother grocery shopping. We didn’t leave there until 12:30am, then drove another 15 minutes to take my grandma home, but realized she forgot bread and bananas so we stopped at the 24 hour Wal-mart. So we didn’t drop her off until 1am, then drove 25 mins back home to Pikesville. So since it’s now technically the next day, you could say I only did gongyo once. It’s 2:12am now, so I will do gongyo again and chant at least 15 minutes before I go to bed. That sets me back on my goal of 3 hours daily though :-( I checked my “Chant Buddy” app and it says I’ll need to chant 3 hours and 5 mins per day to reach my goal, so I will refresh my determination and start again tomorrow. I am soooooo grateful my friend and Kayo-kai sister Nichelle texted me and asked if we could chant together tomorrow morning. She said she was inspired by my determination and wants to join me. Thanks Nichelle :-) Then I have another opportunity to chant at 7pm with members of my district. So I am confident I will finally hit my chanting goal tomorrow. Hell, if I can, I’m going to do 6 hours just so I can have a “nest-egg” of daimoku :-)

Confession #2 I’ve always been very ambitious, but I never accomplish much because I can’t stay committed, or I’m not dedicated enough. Not sure what the problem is. My only big accomplishments in life have been #1 Staying with the same woman for 9 years and marrying her 03/03/12 #2 Beginning the practice of Nichiren Buddhism and actually sticking with it (I told my wife Tiffany if we lasted a year, then we knew this was the right practice lol #3 We started our own franchise home based business (Organo Gold)  #4 I’ve always met or exceeded all my work quotas and often was one of the top performers in the company. I’m sure there’s been other small things I’ve accomplished, but nothing to write home about lol.

Most things I start, I don’t finish. Example…I attended college twice, majored in Philosophy and both times secured a 3.75 GPA or better, but I never made it past the first semester (the last time I withdrew from school I had a valid reason though. The point is I never went back). Since I’ve been Buddhist I’ve started and stopped maybe 4 one million daimoku campaigns. Even things I really wanted such as goals, materials items, vacations, ect, I never put much effort into obtaining it. If it didn’t come easy, I let it go. I’ve always been ambitious….having the biggest dreams, wishes, desires, yet it’s just that, dreams. I’ve been too weak and lazy. I’ve always been optimistic that things would work out, but faith without action is useless. You can’t just casually dream about stuff and live on the “hope & wish” creed. You must do what’s necessary for manifestation. I have failed to do that.

I say all this to say
#1 For the first time in my life, I feel inspired enough to “grab the bull by the horns” and actually accomplish something that’s not tied to a job quota. I attribute this to my practice of Nichiren Buddhism. In Buddhism we believe in living a life with no regrets. There’s also no such thing as a lazy Buddhist. Chanting Nam Myoho Renge Kyo (consistently) gives you the wisdom, courage and motivation to take action and be victorious.

#2 I now realize that obstacles are not meant to make you suffer. Obstacles are actually fuel to propel you into a better life. There’s a Buddhist concept called “turning poison into medicine.” Obstacles are opportunities to transform suffering into joy. Had my mom never got sick, and had I not had a ton of obstacles surface in my life, I probably would have never committed to this one million daimoku campaign. In Buddhism, chanting daimoku (Nam Myoho Renge Kyo) is the powerful sword that cuts through suffering, adversity, sadness. It not only cuts, it penetrates and coats the obstacle to turn the situation into joy, happiness, peace, learning and source of benefit. As we chant, we learn a lot about ourselves, others, grow, develop, affect positive changes in others based on changing ourselves, clean up and eradicate negative karma, create good karma, help improve the lives of others and positively affect our families 7 generations back, 7 generations forward. So being given an opportunity to chant, especially abundantly, is in itself a source of happiness, great fortune and is a blessing in disguise :-)

# 3- Thanks to Nichiren Buddhism, SGI and the wonderful mystic law of Nam Myoho Renge Kyo for the first time in my life I have TRUE determination, faith that my prayers WILL be answered, as I have the wisdom & courage to actually take action. I won’t just have “beggars faith” and beg that my problems go away, or beg that my mom is cured and healthy, or beg that anything else good will happen. That’s NOT Buddhism. We don’t beg. The mystic law (Nam Myoho Renge Kyo) is absolute. Pray sincerely for myself and others, have faith, take action, make good causes and study Buddhism. That’s the key, that’s the formula to my answered prayers. I will trust the Gohonzon with my WHOLE life, have unshakable faith, the strongest, most focused prayers and will determine sincerely with every fiber of my being to be victorious in ALL areas of my life. Most importantly I will take action, and stay committed to fulfilling ALL prayers for the sake of Kosen-rufu!!! I will not get lazy and just give up this time. VICTORY IS MY ONLY OPTION!!! Otherwise I have failed each of you reading this, I am lying to you and making you all think this practice doesn’t work, and I am not making positive contributions for Kosen-rufu (securing lasting peace and happiness for all humankind through the propagation of Nam Myoho Renge Kyo and establishing humanistic ideals of Nichiren Buddhism in society) Buddhism is a religion/philosophy of “Actual proof.” Not blind faith. I WILL show you ALL the wonderful power of Nam Myoho Renge Kyo and the Gohonzon. There are over 12 million people in 192 countries and territories practicing Nichiren Buddhism with the SGI and they are experiencing benefits, answered prayers and happiness DAILY. So I can and WILL too!

I have soooo many friends in faith, senior SGI leaders, district/chapter and area leaders encouraging me, the “Writings of Nichiren Daishonin” (The Gosho—Japanese for honorific writings from the founder of this Buddhism), and messages, lectures, writings and passages from my mentor SGI President Daisaku Ikeda that inspire me to stop wasting my life, do something big, accomplish many things, pray with true determination and stop worrying and have faith in my Buddha nature and the mystic law that ALL PRAYERS WILL BE ANSWERED WITHOUT FAIL. There was a period where I was literally freaking out, crying constantly, extremely sad, very fearful, feeling defeated, angry and devastated that my mom had kidney failure at such a young age (45) and needed a transplant. It was like my world literally ended. Then seeing her hospitalized so many times, most recently for 17 days, I saw NO light at the end of the tunnel and just felt so sad, angry and depressed that this was happening to my sweet mommy, that I wanted to die. My mom is my best friend, sister, my everything! Now, I know with my Buddhist practice my mom’s great health with be restored. Not to mention, she practices Buddhism too, even though not consistently, she does have Gohonzon. Which means her life is protected. So having faith that even something this big can transform and be positive and have a victorious outcome, I know that all my other wishes, desires, prayers and determinations can be fulfilled too. So as I chant for my mom’s health victory and long, happy, fulfilling life, I’m going to turn some other obstacles into benefits too! How wonderful.

So say goodbye to the old, lazy, weak, cowardice, slacker Torrie. You are now looking at a crusader for Kosen-rufu. An ambassador for peace. A victorious warrior who gets ALL prayers answered. A member of SGI who can show YOU how YOUR prayers can be answered too. Watch closely, as my prayers are answered.

1 million daimoku campaign

13 Jul

Day 1- (I actually wrote this 07/12/12, but for some reason it didn’t post. ugh!)

This is a VERY personal journey, but I’ve decided to share it with friends, family, SGI members and those seeking a wonderful life philosophy to live by. I am determined to advance Kosen-rufu (World peace) and I am determined to show that Nam Myoho Renge Kyo (Nichiren Buddhist prayer) works. If you are not familiar with Nichiren Buddhism or Soka Gakkai International (SGI) please visit http://www.sgi-usa.org

I welcome you to follow me on this journey as I reveal……… in Nichiren Buddhism ALL prayers ARE answered!!! Without fail.There have been quite a few victories along the way since I started practicing this Buddhism. I have not always been consistent in my practice, and today I determined that from this day forth, I WILL be consistent, focused and will practice correctly. It’s crazy, even though I have 100% confidence in Buddhism and the Gohonzon (see SGI’s website) I have still been either too lazy or allowed myself to be too busy to remain consistent in my practice. It’s almost like, you know eating healthy and exercising will help you lose weight and decrease health risk, yet you still don’t do it. Well sadly, this is easier than that, and I’ve still been a slacker lol. Not anymore!!! I’m willing to be totally transparent, start to finish. This is my online journal, but also an opportunity for me to hold myself accountable for my commitment and a way to inspire someone else, even if just one person. I am in control of my destiny, therefore I need to hold myself accountable for my victories.

Come take a proverbial “walk with me” to see inside the life of a Nichiren Buddhist practicing with the SGI. I dedicate this journey to my mom, my wife Tiffany and all the SGI members in Maryland. I’ll be 28 soon, but fortunately I’m still a YWD (Young Women’s division) in SGI, so I also dedicate this journey to ALL of my kayo-kai sisters across the world in all 192 countries and territories. This is JUST THE BEGINNING of an AWESOME journey. This will be my first of MANY “Million daimoku” campaigns :-)

This is a post I wrote on Facebook today:

“This is truly pathetic lol, but I have a confession to make. I am 71 days into my 1 million daimoku campaign, (only 93 more days to go as I made a vow to complete by Oct 12, 2012) and I have somehow only chanted 21 hours 15 mins!!!! That means I’ve only averaged 18 minutes per day in chanting. I only had one day of chanting 3 hours, maybe 2 days of chanting over an hour, which means some days I didn’t chant at all, or only for a few minutes. That’s really sad. No wonder my mom was hospitalized for the 7th time in 11 months today. I really need to step up my daimoku!!!!! I want a victory, I need to fight for it!!!!
I sat down and re-wrote ALL of my determinations and prayers for this one million daimoku campaign with the biggest things being #1. My mom being 100% cured and having a total health victory. #2 Having a happy, healthy and harmonious family, marriage, friendships and SGI district/chapter/area. #3 Tiff and I attending the Soka Spirit FNCC in Sept 2012 #4 Stop being a fearful CHICKEN and finally obtaining my driver’s license and being a safe driver so my poor sweet wife can stop playing chauffeur #5 Transforming my financial karma, becoming debt free and being able to have financial freedom to pay all expenses, run my business, support my family and support SGI #6 Tiffany and I losing weight, quitting smoking and eating/living in a healthy, organic/holistic lifestyle.
There are MAAAAANNNY more things I’m chanting about, mostly for the happiness/victories of others, but these are the things I wanted to highlight. I am DETERMINED to show actual proof of this practice for the sake of kosen-rufu, determined to let ALL the support and daimoku of everyone be rewarded with a victory, determined to show my mom that all her good causes and daimoku transformed her health and I WILL complete this daimoku campaign on time. No matter what, I will not fail my family, my SGI family, my wife, my friends, my shakubuku’s or our mentor! I’m CLAIMING THE VICTORY NOW and will make the causes and chant the daimoku to support it.
From this day forward, I will fulfill or exceed my daimoku goal! Period!!! In order to hit my daimoku campaign goal by Oct 12th, I now have to chant 3 hours and 3 mins per day LOL. That is A LOT, but maybe I can reduce the daily commitment by having a few 12 hour Toso’s. 3 hours per day is a stretch, but I did this to myself. When I started this campaign on May 3rd, I only had to do 1 hour 10 mins per day. I failed myself, so now I must find a way to do this 3 hours daily. It’s not a punishment, it’s a lesson and a reward to chant this daimoku.”

To clarify and as not to begrudge my life/benefits, I will say, my mom has been hospitalized 7 times as of today in the past 11 months (end stage renal disease and is now on dialysis), but I am truly appreciative that my mom always had a victory while she was hospitalized and has had some really awesome nurses, doctors and medical staff. I’ve had sooo many benefits, I’ve forgotten some. Now, I can no longer forget lol. It’s all in writing. I NEVER want to be ungrateful again by forgetting ANY of my answered prayers, so at least for this 1 million daimoku campaign, I will keep track of my answered prayers here.

So here’s the deal…no matter what I’m determined to show actual proof, so I’m going to have to make up for lost time and step up my daimoku (chanting Nam Myoho Renge Kyo). Today I was only able to chant 1 hour and 20 mins, but it was focused, clear daimoku, so I know it made some impact. Since my mom is in the hospital now (complication from dialysis. She just started dialysis 2 weeks ago. She needed a blood transfusion. She was having trouble breathing and has fluid on her stomach and lungs. Here’s the benefit…the doctors thought she had an enlarged liver, and thought her heart was being overworked. It was simply fluid that can be removed easily and painlessly. See the power of Shoten Zenjin? (Protective forces of the Buddhist practitioner) I am very grateful) I was there visiting with her. For the most part she was medicated (was having some pain) and sleeping, but she looked really healthy which is a plus. She’s having more test ran tomorrow, so we’ll have a better idea what’s going on then.

Something else really awesome happened today- One of my Kayo-Kai sisters really inspired me and touched my heart with something she sent me in the mail. A few days ago we made a vow to go to FNCC together for the Soka Spirit conference. My wife is determined to go, Chundell’s mom and a few of her friends so we decided no matter what, we’re going and will chant about it. Here’s another one of my post from Facebook:

“There’s nothing like having a myoho sister (Buddhist friend) to keep you inspired, encouraged and committed. Thank you Chundell for the beautiful card, hand-written with a heart felt note, list of other myoho sisters to chant for, a reminder of our shared determination/vow AND an application to FNCC for September 2012 already filled out. You are amazing! Thank you! I love my sisters!!!!”

Anyway, thanks for reading my first blog entry. Stay tuned for more as this wonderful journey unfolds. I will try to write daily or at least a few times per week. Later this week I’ll post and let you all know what I’m chanting for so you can see for yourself when the prayer is answered :-)

Today’s guidance from Sensei;

“I imagine that some of you have family members who are not yet practicing Nichiren Daishonin’s Buddhism. There is no need to be impatient or to agonize over this. Whether people take faith has to do with their mystic connection with Buddhism, which takes a variety of different forms. Important is the presence of one person who is practicing. One person’s attainment of Buddhahood brings happiness to family members and relatives and all those around him or her. When a single sun rises, everything is illuminated.”
— Daisaku Ikeda

Final note: I began my daimoku campaign on May 3, 2012 (Soka Gakkai Day) with a target date of completing my first million by October 12, 2012 (the 733 year anniversary of when the Dai-Gohonzon was inscribed by Nichiren Daishonin). Buddhism has been around for over 2,500 years but the world has only been fortunate enough to be fully  aware of the true law of Nam Myoho Renge Kyo for 759 years).

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