How Easy It Is to Brighten Someone’s Day

life is an echo, you reap what you sow

Today a paralegal called me back who I had spoken to last Friday.  When we finished speaking she told me, “I went online after we spoke to find your music. I listened to it all day while I worked. It’s beautiful. You have a gift.  I hope your arm heals okay. You have so much give.”

Such a simple sentence with so much power to heal the hurt and fear inside. A simple sentence many people are not able to say; withheld because it isn’t important to the giver. A simple fear; will I be able to raise my arm and play the piano without pain? Will I be able to open my arm and play a bass arpeggio? If that happened would I be told to just get over it? That would be likely.

SoundCloud – Sonni Quick. Hear my music at this link. Let me know if there is anything you’d like to download as an MP3 and I’ll make it possible.

Two days ago one of my oldest friends from jr high responded to a post I put online about my fall and she mentioned she has lost complete use of her right arm. A one line sentence with no explanation. I must call her today. How can I not? Had she told me before and I don’t remember? My mother had a stroke in April that affected her right side. It is somewhat stronger, but still she can’t hold a pen or feed herself with that arm and hand. This helps me understand their loss. I’m in a cast and a huge sling to immobilize my arm.

Throughout our lives we are sometimes faced with losing parts of our life, whether the death of a loved one or any part of our life cruelly snatched away. We have to learn to cope with it ouur it will kill some part of us. Sometimes it alters us permanently. You would think that experience would make us more sensitive of others, but I think it makes some of us want others to hurt as much as we do. If we have to lose, so does everyone else. Their pain is NOT MY FAULT we may think.

It’s been emotionally painful, knowing how much this fall could change my ability to play and possibly affect other plans for my life. I believe many creative people in all the arts are sensitive to the opinions of others. We expose ourselves to criticism and rejection of a very personal part of ourselves. It is not that everyone has to praise or love what I do, but rejection or disinterest by people who know me opens up a wound that goes deep inside. It can’t be fixed when it is done intentionally or callously with no regard. If the argument is given that it was done unknowingly then what does it say about the quality of that person to care so little,

These are the kinds of behaviors that go around, over and over, cause and effect that bring sadness; no one taking responsibility for the things they do yet seek understanding for themselves when the effect of their causes swing back to them. Can I treat people the way I’ve been treated? I don’t think so, but truthfully, I’m not sure. I would hope I wouldn’t be vindictive. I would be disappointed in myself if I did.

Daisaku Ikeda guidance

Today, this woman on the phone, a stranger, taking the time to tell me how she enjoyed my music gave me the boost of inner confidence I needed to hear to believe a little more that I will be okay. It gave me the determination to not only get it all back but to use this experience to add a  deeper layer of expression to the emotions I play. We don’t often realize how much our words affect the people we speak to. Sometimes we are callous and don’t realize what we do. What we think, say or do affects our own life as well as the person we say it to. We reap the benefit of being positive, and we reap the negative of the pain we cause.

What I play are not compositions. They are improvisations. I do not “write” these pieces down so others can play them. They belong only to me and not to the interpretatiom of others. I can not play them again so I record while I play. I don’t think about what I play. I get a feeling – an emotion – and I let my fingers express it. Usually days later, after memory of playing it fades, I listen. Simple, clear, uncomplicated melodies. Close your eyes. Relax. Clear your mind of your worries.  Regroup yourself.  My music is a meditation..

Because I am very sensitive to emotions, the brightness in this woman’s voice was just the medicine I needed. She made the cause to brighten this woman’s day. She may not understand that but the effect of that cause will be there for her in her life regardless, hopefully as something nice done for her.

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I am a Nichiren Buddhist. Our faith is based on the law of cause and effect. We take that very seriously. It makes US responsible for our lives and happeniness. Christians have something very similar in their teachings. It is called – you reap what you sow. There is also the Golden Rule. If you believe the Bible is irrefutably God’s word, how seriously do those phrases play a part in all you think, say or do?

God is Love?

 

life is an echo, you reap what you sowOnly when we experience the crushing, painful depths of suffering can we begin to understand the true meaning of life.  Precisely because we have experienced great suffering, it is imperative that we go on living.  If each of you uses your sadness as a source of growth, you will become a person of great depth.  This is the harvest of your pain and suffering.

Daisaku Ikeda SGI

 

Everyone experiences pain and suffering.  When we don’t understand it we tend to blame others or we think what happens isn’t our fault.  We don’t want our unhappiness to be our fault.  But when we don’t accept that we have made the causes for our life to be the way it is, because of causes we made in the past, then we don’t learn and grow and most likely repeat the same mistakes over and over.

Some of want to think a higher life form wants us to have the problems we have and this being wants to test us.  It would be so easy to do that, but it also keeps us from growing as we wait for something else to change our problems so we can become happy.  If you look deeply at your life to see if indeed you are happy, and find that your problems really haven’t changed it might give you cause to wonder why.

Your faith, whatever it is, should make you happy.  It should enable you to change the things about yourself that make you unhappy.  It’s not about what happens when you die – it’s about your life while you live.  When I see people hurting each other, passing judgment on people not like themselves and exuding so much hate; while telling the world how much faith they have. I have to wonder, faith in what?  What kind of faith is it that says it is okay to be so hateful?

I read posters that say, “God is love” and other wonderful platitudes, but I don’t see love in this country where people try to insist they live in a Christian nation. Really?  Look at the political headlines on any given day and read about our Christian leaders and say, “This is love?”  I don’t think so.

Sonni’s Pinterest Boards

The Roar of a Lion

lion

If we meekly go through life with a begging mentality, asking whatever we think is “up there” to fix whatever problem we have, we never tap into the strength we have to change it with our own focus and determination. If we meekly accept that our problem wasn’t fixed because it was the will of some entity then you have missed the chance to learn, through your own wisdom and determination, to change something that causes you unhappiness. Having faith is not about having a wonderful place to go after you die – it is about having a wonderful life while you are alive! Have appreciation for being alive and having determination to succeed. Faith is about having the tools to change the part of your human nature that causes you to do and say the things that cause you unhappiness, so we can stop making the same causes over and over. Cause and effect – or reap what you sow is the same for everyone.

I read an article on a Christian website the other day where a supposedly religious scholar wrote that it really wasn’t important to pay attention to the phrase, “you real what you sow”, even though it is mentioned numerous times, because Jesus died for your sins.  WHAT??? You don’t have to worry about the negative causes you make???  But these are the very things that  bring unhappiness into your life that lead you to need to pray to have an outside source fix them, after you caused it to happen to your life through your actions. I will end today with this daily encouragement from Daisaku Ikeda:

“The daimoku (nam myoho renge kyo) we chant is not a weak imploring plea for something. It is a lions roar that reverberates with all of our being, and is powered by making a personal vow, setting our minds on realizing it and aligning our lives with the fundamental law of the universe. There is no force stronger or more sublime.”

“Nam Myoho Renge Kyo is like the roar of a lion. Therefore what illness can be an obstacle”

Don’t beg or plead or make promises if only your prayers could be answered. That is the prayer of a coward. Summon inside yourself “no doubt – at all” that your goal will be realized, regardless of the faith you believe to be true.

http://sgi-usa.org

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This Lifetime Will Never Come Again

sgi-usa

This lifetime will never come again; it is precious and irreplaceable.  To live without regret, it is crucial for us to have a concrete purpose and continually set goals and challenges for ourselves.  It is equally important that we keep moving forward toward specific targets steadily and tenaciously, one step at a time.

Daisaku Ikeda   SGI International    http://sgi-usa.org      my mentor

Nichiren Buddhist lay organization

Daisaku Ikeda, sgi-usa, daily guidance, Nichiren buddhism
Photo credit: sgipanama.com

Rhonda – Life Interrupted

sympathy-card-messages-2

This quote is for the Quick family.  My niece, Rhonda, from my first marriage, who was the little flower girl at my wedding to her uncle, was only 4 years older than my son.  The following day was her 43rd birthday.  This was a shock for the entire family because we don’t expect something like this to happen to someone who had no life threatening medical problems that she knew of. She never made it home that day.

Last week, on her last day at work, she was cleaning out her office because she and her husband Donovan were moving the next day to live closer to their twin boys who were going to school at LSU.  They were packed ato leave and the  boys missed her.  She and Donovan were ready to go on with a life that held all the promises of a new chapter to live.  She missed her boys.  But she was found that day by an employee, gone, for no obvious reason.  She was okay when she left for her last day of work, regretfully alone, with no one to say goodbye to. That thought brings tears to my eyes.

The Quick family is a large family.  At least they have each other.  Lots of kids and grandkids and great grandkids, aunts, uncles and cousins.  The matriarch, my former mother-in-law is a wonderful woman, who has always had a full house and everyone was always welcome.  I may  have divorced her son, but I didn’t divorce the family.  My heart goes out to all of them at this time.

LIFE INTERRUPTED  by Sonni Quick   copyright 2015                                                      (please use headphones if using  a cellphone or laptop – piano tones sound tinny without good speakers.)

Donovan, her husband, I never had a change to meet, but I heard about thim hrough the years.  My daughter, Rhonda’s first cousin, said he loved her very much.  Please accept this gift of music,  I recorded this yesterday for Rhonda.  I turn the feelings I have inside into music so I have something to share with you and your boys and the rest of the family.

Debbie, her mother, I’m so sorry.  There are no words that will suffice.  Richie, Sandy, BJ, and Robert  – her siblings – take care of yourselves.  Be good to yourself.  We should appreciate every day we have because we never can know how short life our life could be.

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To my readers:  There is also a link to this piece of music “Life Interrupted” on facebook. It will also take you to other tracks at http://soundcloud.com/sonni-quick.  Soundcloud is a new venue I’m using for music I write, so if you like what you hear, please like and share, because those numbers influence new people who chance upon my name.  Most of this music I want to share with the publication of the book I’m writing, “Inside The Forbidden Outside”.  Self promotion is a long, hard labor of love.  Soundcloud is a great place to hear new artists, as well as established ones.

Also – if you are new to my work, please visit my other blog, “My Name is Jamie. My Life in Prison” http://mynameisjamie.net, which is about Jamie Cummings, the father of one of my grandsons who been inside for fourteen years of his life.  His Birthday is January 10th and I posted his address if anyone would like to send him a birthday card.  This blog tells you the human side of people in prison which is far different than what you probably think it is.  We a have a lot of room in our hearts to care about people who are less fortunate.

Daily Encouragement for July 17

FOR TODAY AND TOMORROW

Life isn’t always smooth. If it were we would never grow and develop as human beings. If we succeed we are envied;if we fail we re ridiculed and attacked. Sadly, this is how people are. Unexpected grief and suffering may lie ahead of you. But it is precisely when you encounter such trying times that you must not be defeated. Never give up. Never retreat.

Daisaku Ikeda   SGI-USA

Lay Nichiren Buddhist organization based on the Lotus Sutra

sgi-usaPeople often have a phrase or motto that sees them through difficult or important times.  A short saying, a few words, can determine the course of one’s entire life. Nam myoho renge kyo  Nam nyoho renge kyo

A Life Lived Without Purpose

Daisaku Ikeda, sgi-usa, daily guidance, Nichiren buddhism
Photo credit:
sgipanama.com

A life lived without purpose or value, the kind in which one doesn’t know the reason why one was born, is joyless and lackluster. To just live eat and die without real sense of purpose surely represents a life pervaded by the world of Animality. On the other hand, to do, create or contribute something that benefits others and to dedicate ourselves as long as we live up to that challenge – that is a life of true satisfaction, a life of value. It is a humanistic and lofty way to live.

Daisaku Ikeda
SGI-USA.org
Soka Gakkai Int’l
Nichiren Buddhism