Tag Archives: Kidney failure

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)

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

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