A Child’s View of God

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Today I was talking with my granddaughter, Moya, age 9, when she came home from school.
     While I cleaned out her lunch box, she said, “My friends keep talking to me about religion and I don’t like it. There is no god up there. That’s silly. Where is ‘up’ anyway?”
     I asked her, “Why do you think kids believe the things they do. Where did they learn it?” I also added, “Where did you get the idea there was no god? Who taught you that?”
     I explained to her that kids usually believe what their parents tell them to believe. Our family, or at least the ones who are part of our lives, are not Christian. We are Buddhist or atheist. Other people might need something ‘out there’ that loves them and has a plan for their life, but we don’t.
     “Your parents didn’t teach you god was a real thing, Moya. You should understand why we don’t. You should, as you mature, think about the pros and cons of both. Question it. Then you can decide for yourself if it has value for your life, or if you decide you have no use for it you should know why.”
     “Ask people why they believe what they do. I did. Most people said it was what they were taught when they were young.”
     “Are parents always right?” she asked.
After thinking for a minute she added “What if the parents didn’t believe the same thing. How do the kids know who to believe?”
     “That’s a good question,” I told her. “It would be confusing if one parent believed in God and the other one didn’t. What if one person was Jewish and the other was Catholic. Both believe on God, but each has very different rituals.
     “Tell me,” I asked her, “Why do you believe there is no God?”
     “Because it doesn’t make sense. I’m not going to believe it just because someone else does. Especially because they can’t tell me why it is true. People make things up and say God did it. How do they know that? Or they say things like, ‘God says . . .” when I know he didn’t say anything to them. That is lying.”
     “There are many religions throughout the world.” I explained. “They teach many things. I believe the most important thing about any religion is that it teaches you is how to be a better person. Can you to learn the right thing to do? Do the teachings tell you to have blind faith? Does it teach you that you are responsible for your actions, and if you do something wrong, it affects your life?  You are responsible. Or does it teach you to pray to God to fix your problems?”
     I was a Christian when I was young and lived at home. I went to Sunday School and church was old enough to move away from home . I couldn’t see that it helped anyone. People went to church because all their friends did. It was another 15 years before I started studying Buddhism. That was 30 years ago. Even my mother left the church for Nichiren Buddhism.
     These are heavy concepts for a nine year old to wrap their head around. She hasn’t has much experience in the world. It would be great to have an unseen entity fix things without us having to worry about it. We learn from or mistakes. If we don’t acquire the wisdom to do things ourselves we don’t change.
     I have been told more than once that to get into heaven you only need to make sure to ask Jesus to come into your heart and all sins (causes you made) will be forgiven. Then you can go to heaven. People focus on heaven because they think they will be happy there. I never could buy that. You could be hateful, cheat, steal, even molest a child, then ask for forgiveness and you are saved!
     Will that create a happy life? I doubt it. It also makes more sense to me that heaven and hell are a state of mind we live every day.

     “Your teacher told me you were acting out on class. She had to make you sit in time out. ” I continued. ” When she turned around to talk to someone you got up as if you didn’t have to listen.” You got into trouble.         You caused it to yourself. You are responsible for your unhappiness. This is what I meant by cause and effect. Everything you do affects your life in some way, either in a good way or a bad way.
     “If you make good causes by doing the right thing your life will be happy. Not laughing happy. Good happy. You enjoy life.”
     “Aways try to do the right thing and learn from your mistakes. Be good to people. Treat them the way you want to be treated.” Moya was listening hard so I continued to try to help her understand.
     “Many people who say their life is about loving God believe they will be happy that way.”
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If I say anymore it to will be too much for her. But I’d like to add something else for the readers who have as account on Facebook. The God posters are getting to be too much. I can understand it on the timeline – to a degree. It’s your page. You can post anything you want. But respect that other people may not be Christian. If you want to send out messages through messenger to the people you are connected to, don’t just automatically send it out to everyone. It isn’t like your timeline where things get pushed down if you aren’t there to see it. 

Those messages that were sent out through messager sit there until you personally attend to it. My faith is Buddhism. I had to write back to more people than I cared to, asking them to please stop sending me Christian religious stuff. It isn’t appreciated. I don’t send Buddhist quotes or Gosho passages to you.

If I want to talk about Nichiren Buddhism I will write a post on my blog. That blog post will go to my timeline. You might see it if You are on fb at that time. But I don’t send it to you personally. If you want to send yours, go through your list and select those you know would want to receive it. Or make a Facebook page that expresses your belief and ask those friends to “like” it. Then your religious quotes will go to those people. Be respectful.

Do You Know Why Your Thoughts Are So Important?

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Author: Margaret Blaine
We’re taught that our thoughts don‘t really matter unless we act on them. Nothing could be farther from the truth.

We are one with the creative life force in the core of our lives, so our minds have the same creative capacity as the life force itself. This means our minds are unlimited and can create the circumstances we desire.

In the Buddhist dictionary, we are told that the mind possesses the potential of 3000 realms in a moment of life and encompasses the simultaneity of cause and effect.


This means that every thought, we have, sets a seed in our lives that will manifest in the future when the time is right. Our outer life today is the “visible” manifestation of the “invisible” workings of our mind of yesterday. So, the thoughts, we dwell upon the most, create our life in the future. Until we learn about this we just let any old thoughts, and beliefs run through our minds, unaware we are in fact creating our future life circumstances. The beauty? We possess the ability to consciously change what we are doing to get better results.

As President Ikeda writes in My Dear Friends in America, ‘belief and thought alter reality’. This capacity of our minds is truly miraculous. Most of the time we are either unaware of what we have, take it for granted or doubt we really have it. We not only project our thoughts out to the universe while chanting, but we unconsciously do it all day long. Since the universe reflects our thoughts back to us, it is important that we become aware of what we are projecting.

I have heard people say that chanting doesn’t work. But chanting always works. The response reflects what you are thinking about the most. If you are chanting while thinking this is a waste of time, then the universe will reflect that back to you. But if you chant with the faith that you will get what you want, that result will be reflected back to you too. Awareness, of what you are thinking, will allow you to create the future life you want on purpose, through deliberate intent, rather than by accident. Awareness will allow you to achieve your goals more quickly, because you are no longer getting in your own way.

Become Aware: What Are You  Thinking About?

You give yourself a major advantage once you become aware of what you are thinking. It can be a challenge to notice the almost subliminal thoughts that flit by so quickly. But once you develop the habit of noticing, you will catch yourself when you are thinking about negative results, or worrying about problems. Then you can deliberately change those negative thoughts to reflect what you want to have happen and radiate that to the universe. The results will be quite different.   

This is what is meant when Nichiren said, “Learn to master your mind. Don’t let your mind master you.”

Pay attention and notice how you are thinking while addressing a concern. Are you addressing it with doubts or disbelief that you can change the situation? Are you focusing on your fears? Are you giving your attention to the problems and obstacles rather than the solution you want?

How to Resolve Disbelief and Doubts

• Notice how you are thinking.
• Resolve doubts through study or asking questions.
• If you discover you don’t believe you can achieve the goal you have set, then reduce it to the first step, something you can believe.
• If you find yourself focusing on your fears, redirect your attention to what you want.

You Can do It.

Changing habits of thinking and beliefs may feel slow. But it can be done. Just be patient and persistent. Shortly, you will find that you are developing a positive frame of mind. And, as you chant, focusing on the what you want ( your end goal) rather than the problem, you will see your life shift into a positive direction. You can do it..

Nothing is Impossible

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Today I was reading about the paralympics for those with disabilities. How inspiring! So often we hear people around us complaining about how hard life is for them and why they don’t accomplish doing things for themselves. My mother is recovering from a stroke that rendered her right side almost useless. She went from a highly active 83 year old woman who has been a leader in her community, always inspirational. Overnight she became totally dependent on others for some of the simplest things we take for granted. How do you use the toilet and stand up and pull your pants up with one good leg and one good arm and keep your dignity?

My mother has been my inspiration my entire life. I am who I am because of her. She taught me my worth doesn’t come from an hourly wage, it comes from developing who I am to the best of my abilities so when I look back on my own life I will know I did my absolute best to be the best I could be. She never judged me. She encouraged me. Value isn’t created by money. We know our own value by how we continue to understand to ourselves, the way we learn that, and if we are being true to ourselves instead of uding what other people think we should be as our guide.

My mother and I are carbon copies in many ways and are able to talk about even the smallest details in our lives.

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She has worked like an Olympian to regain use of her body. Because she has ways lived this way, people look to her for inspiration. She is finally coming home in 2 weeks after 5 1/2 months in the hospital and nursing home. You could paper all the walls in her room with the cards she has received. People come from out of town and out of state to tell her how much she means to them and talk about all of the things she did for them along with caring and telling them they can overcome whatever problem they have. She always made people know how special they are.

we are human

Her Nichiren Buddhist practice of 26 years has given her the strength that no matter what the outcome, she did the best she could. Most of us could do more than we do. Many people don’t tell others what their dreams are because then they might be expected to follow through with it, and what if they fail? But the biggest failing is excepting mediocrity and thinking that is good enough.

This video is awesome. It is what made me think of my mother. The legacy we each leave behind when it’s time to depart this earth is the effect we have had on others that has changed their life for the better. That change allows them to pass their legacy on. I hope this inspires you to do something you’ve always wanted to do but was afraid to try. Good luck! Amaze yourself. Do something you never thought you could.

How Come God Hates Gays?

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So often people look the other way and pretend things don’t exist, but we have done that for so long and it has added to the predicament our country, or world, is in today. Today the subject is, again, religion. When someone else’s faith interferes with my life I don’t like it.

Everyone has the right to choose their faith. I am a Nichiren Buddhist. If you don’t want to be one, too, that is fine. My faith doesn’t affect you. But if you are Christian your faith intrudes into my life in many ways.

There is not a single breath in me that believes in a power outside myself that actually knows little ol’ me, understands my thoughts or desires, has a plan for my life I should trust and also has a personality and emotions. Two of those emotions are anger and hate, because he sure does hate gays I’ve been told. I find that thought rather ridiculous.  But what I believe, I don’t insist everyone else has to believe. Each of us has to find our own way through life. We can also choose nothing at all, which is also our choice. Most people believe what they were taught, consider that to be truth and look no further. Again, their choice.

Yesterday I read God caused the floods in La to punish the gays. How did that become newsworthy? That stunt was also floated by ( wow, a pun) during Hurricane Katrina. He also didn’t cure me of Hep C. ( I just got my last test results. Clear after 42 years. A miracle!!! Nope, not even one teeny tiny prayer to anything “out there” to fix me. So I wonder how I did it? How did I get cured if I didn’t need a Celestial Being to do it? Why would anyone? Because a Christian would believe God saved them and that would be proof of His existence. But that’s okay – if it makes you happy. The whole point is being cured however it happened.

The country I live is politically trying to use personal faith to control the politics of a country through “Biblical Law”. That makes me very angry. We know that is what they are trying to do. If you sincerely are Christian and you approve of everyone having to live their lives based on corrupt politicians using the Christian faith for control so they can push through policies you might think are good for YOU but bad for others, then you are aiding the failure of this country. The supposedly devout Christian politicians – The “White Right” are about as far from being Christian as possible. The fact that there are states where you have to declare your Christianity to even hold public office is scary. Anyone can say anything. Then they have to go to church to be seen even though their actions outside the church are opposite of what they declare is truth.  That tells you their belief is only as deep as the hair on their skin.

The fact that we got as close as we did to having a presidential candidate who thinks he is an “Anointed Christ King” is scary as hell. There are people who actually approve of this fanatic! Sadly, we’ll have to deal with him again in 3 years. Our contenders for office, who are declared Christians are lying through their teeth. They only want the Christian vote, of Christians who say they are, but aren’t or maybe are. Three is more than one kind of Christian.

Through our bought and paid for media along with the Trumpster, many people now believe all Muslims are terrorists, the same way Muslims not living here think all Christians are terrorists. So who are the real terrorists? Are you one? Do you fear Muslims whose only “crime” is being Muslim. Are you hateful?

Don’t get me wrong. I know there are people who honestly try to live the life of a Christian, and there are some who are in it for the social life and activities. I have Christian friends – just not the hateful ones. I got rid of those. Some people are just good people, regardless of their faith.

Buddhists consider the law of cause and effect to be absolute, just like gravity on earth is absolute. Christianity has the same teaching – You reap what you sow – but from what I’ve heard and read it isn’t a lesson that carries much weight. It’s not very important.  A pastor in his writings online told his followers not to worry about that phrase, even though it is mentioned dozens of times in the Bible. He said it didn’t matter because Jesus died for their sins. So anyone reading that could take that to mean it doesn’t matter what they do or how they behave because they are saved. Just say the words “forgive me” and all is hunky dory.  Oops! Not quite. You might think you are forgiven but there is still the issue of a reaction to every action whether you believe that is true or not. Why strive to be a better person while you are alive if you are saved from repercussions and are going to heaven anyway?  Maybe that is why we have so many dirty politicians?

Donald didn’t create the hate. It has always been there. He just let it out of the bottle and people began to show their true natures they had so far had kept hidden. No one would have openly declared themselves to be racist. It would not have been politically correct. Now they can and do.

We had convinced ourselves we were a cut a above other countries. We were special. ( We have bigger guns). Not anymore. All you have to do is tally up the ALL of the gun deaths which is scary.  The first half of this year there have been 35,019 gun incidents, 8,963 gun deaths,  413 deaths of children under the age of 11, 1953 deaths of teens ages 11 – 17, 253 mass shootings, 205 cops killed and 1163 people killed by cops. No country in the world comes close to comparing with the US in gun violence yet people still use the term “Christian Nation”. What a joke.

During this political election year I have heard many “good” Christians full of so much hate for a variety of reasons.  The Christian Right are some of the most hate Christians alive. It has been so disheartening to me that people who speak so highly of being loved by their God could hate other people so strongly. I can’t wrap my head around that. Can someone explain it to me?

I could not find one gun death in America that was caused by a Buddhist – and there are millions who practice this faith here. NOT ONE. Which faith do you think has the better teaching? Which one would you rather be? God is slipping up here if so many Christians feel they need to carry guns and use them. My sister wears a gold cross around her neck and carries a gun in her purse. Her husband had ALL of his guns taken away after he got drunk and pulled his gun on a friend in the same room with his wife.  He can quite Bible verses like a pro. A lot of good that did him.

Okay, that’s it. I’ve said my piece. Like it our lump it

Can Anybody Hear Me?

CAN ANYBODY HEAR ME?   by Sonni Quick   copyright 2016

You can add comments about the music under the wave form. You can see the comment I left to show you where.

Written in support of all trans people.

I apologize for my fellow man who doesn’t understand his faults.

IN THE PASSING OF TIME

We live our years, we’re no longer young
Time is passing us by
Are you happy with the choices made
and the person you’ve become?

Does it make you sad when you look back
when you had the chance to choose
but thought your life was all God’s plan
You couldn’t see then what you’d lose

Your very soul when it was young
 loved your life like an endless dream
When you look back, then look at now
Did life pass by in an endless stream?

Do you justify your anger?
Do you have the need to fight?
Do you Feel disgust for those you judge?
Did God say you had the right?

So you punch and kick God’s love at them
with hate instead of love
God told you this in a spiteful voice
whispered from above?

Do you justify your righteous thoughts
and think God will forgive?
These ugly thoughts won’t stain your life
Cause you happiness instead?

It’s okay to force God’s love on them,
Make them feel your pain?
The effects of this on your own life
will come back to you again.

When it’s time for me to go,
and when it’s time for you
Was your life what you desired
What do you wish you could undo?

Will it break your heart to think inside
the love that Jesus taught
had turned around inside your soul
Became hate and warped your thoughts

When you were young and life before you
stretched through endless years
did you think you had all the time in the world
to overcome your fears?

Did you think your life was planned for you
so you didn’t have to change?
You could hate and judge and didn’t think
your God would cause you pain?

You have only yourself to blame
at the very end of life
when you didn’t learn the Bible taught
hate would cause you strife

You haven’t learn that you will reap
the effect of causes sown
The words so clear on the Bible’s pages
you’ll pretend you hadn’t known

You can not die with happiness
With a heart intent on pain
I hope the last thing on your mind
is sadly… “I’ll have to live it all again”

You will not have earned the happiness
in the life that is to come
Forgiveness doesn’t ever change
the angry, hurtful things you’ve done

All of us have to pay 
the price for things we do
But you’ll get another chance next time

to become a better you

Sonni Quick – a Nichiren Buddhist
copyright 2016

we are human


Ever since the issue came up of the state that wanted to cause even more hate in this country with the nonexistent issue of trans women molesting four year old girls in restrooms. They caused fear on an issue never before expressed. These Christians thrive on fear and hate. Because of this hate they want to force women to use restrooms based on their birth rather than who they are today and it has brought out ugliness in people that is really quite shameful.

All of the attention, especially on Facebook, with the use of posters, has  used guns  pointed at these women keeping watch to make sure none of “women” come into the restroom because now they are all concerned that these “men” are going to sexually molest little girls.  Was that ever – at any time – an issue?  Did it bother any of these people before?  Has there ever been a case of a trans woman molesting little a little girl?  Does being trans automatically make them a pedophile?

This extreme attention has all been directed at trans women who were born as a male.  I have seen absolutely nothing about women who feel they are now supposed to be afraid of trans men.  The have had testosterone.  Many have grown facial hair – sometimes full beards, and definitely don’t look like women.  But not woman has posted anything about these men being in the ladies room, next to them in a stall doing their business. But they DO have to be afraid of heterosexual men barging into the restroom to patrol and ask for ID’s

An important thing to consider; the hateful comments all seem to come from very hateful Christians who feel it goes against their faith – and no – I am NOT saying that all Christians are hateful – but the ones I conversed with definitely were. 

Then, to mock me, they said things like, “She’s just a Muslim and can’t help herself,” also maligning, all Muslims. Exactly what did Muslims have to do with this? We have hateful Muslims and good Muslims and we definitely have hateful Christians and good Christians.  How any person can think they are a good Christian who practices what it teaches in the Bible, yet can still be so hateful, is beyond comprehension. Are they practicing Christianity, or perhaps some other form  of religion that is definitely not based on the lessons taught in the Bible.

I am not a Christian, but I used to be, and I have read the Bible. I don’t remember hate being taught. I do remember being taught to treat people the way I want to be treated. The Bible also teaches what will happen if you don’t. You reap what you sow; in other words, karma. The law of cause and effect. When these Christians get back what they give, in any circumstance, they will most likely cry, “I’m a victim! I don’t deserve this! They have no right to treat me this way!” But that is how you reap what you sow.

Anyone who reads what I write knows I am a long time Buddhist.  I don’t shove my faith down others throats. I do not malign other religions for fun or crudeness.  That would be disrespect my faith.  There is good to be found in most religions.  I say “most” because I don’t know about all religions. If you are following the teachings of a religion so you become a better human being and learn how to improve your life and be happy, who am I to say it is wrong?  But if you use it to hurt others and to put other religions dow; be belligerent – a bully –  that is another story. 

If you can’t take responsibility for your life and your actions and instead use your faith as an excuse to hurt others, I’ll use my words to show you your fallacy.  I have no tolerannce for hypocrites,  or plastic Christians.

After reading these Facebook posts it went round and round in my brain. When I woke this morning I reached for pen and paper and wrote that poem. I included the most recent piece of music I have recorded. 

I only ask, share this post with your own social media and let people know that disparaging people who are not like you is not the way any of us should behave.  Being born into the wrong skin has made trans lives lives difficult enough to deal with without ignorant people slinging mud at them because they don’t approve of them, even if you think you are so perfect and think everyone loves you because you are such a wonderful person.  People doing that make a mockery of their faith and everything it stands for.  You get back what you dish out, so have fun when life gets you back.

 

 

http://facebook.com/jamielifeinprison . . .Blog posts and news about injustice in the world

Chapter List: Inside The Forbidden Outside
A Message From Someone Who Cares (forward)
First two chapters:
Everyday Dreams
Jamie’s Story

I have begun a newsletter on different aspects of the prison industry as well as updates on the progress of the book. I’m looking for a reasonable cost publishing house that can also include CD’s of the piano music found at http://soundcloud.com/sonni-quick most of which was written for the book.Fill out the contact form to be put on the mailing list which will only go out monthly. (You won’t get bombarded like some businesses do!)

I Have a Question About Blogs

I don’t ask this in a negative way. It is just a thought that crossed my mind as I looked at blogs today – ones I decided not to even pull up to see what they have to say – not that everyone would be interested in my two blogs, either.

I started thinking about what does and doesn’t interest me. How do we present ourselves to others so they would want to open our blog. What is it we think is most important for other bloggers to know about us from our very first sentence?

I am Buddhist. I’ve written about that in different ways on my blog in posts that have something to do with faith and religion. But I don’t feel the need to make that the number one thing that is important for people to know about me above everything else.  My being a Buddhist is not why people read my blogs.  In other words,  I don’t write a Buddhist blog.

I think faith is personal. Your faith shows by who are. Is your faith the first thing people need to know about you? Is it important for people to know you are Christian before they read your blog? Does any other person of another faith feel the need to know you are a follower of Christ? Do people of other faiths put their faith at the head of their description of their blog. I’m Morman. I’m Muslim. I’m Jewish. No, but by reading their blog you’d find that out.

I have friends of other faiths. It isn’t a prerequisite to be Buddhist to be friends if you respect each other and don’t insist on converting or say, “I’m right and you’re wrong.”

Please, don’t be offended. I’m not saying to not write about your faith. I write about mine, too. It’s an important part of who I am. But I am much more than a Buddhist. What I have learned through the teachings of Nichiren Buddhism has changed my life in many positive ways. But my blog is about much more than Buddhist teachings. If I made being a Buddhist an important part of the description of my blog mI’ll be a lot of Christians wouldn’t open my blog and I would have missed meeting some great people.

I have come across many Christian blogs that are only about the teachings. Nothing wrong with that. ButI find when someone has to tell me they are Christian before I even know what their blog is about – I skip right by it. It looks like it is the focus of their blog. If someone tells me up front they love to sew then it looks like it is a blog about sewing – skip – if it says they are concerned about the food we eat – I open it – if the most important thing is they love dogs – skip, I don’t have a dog and never will. Do you see what I’m getting to? There are many non Christians who won’t open a blog who gets emphatic about being a Christian. Do you only want Christian followers?

I would have checked out that blog if the bio was about what was in the blog, so they lost a potential reader because they didn’t use the space to tell me anything interesting.

Of course this is only my opinion. Everyone is welcome to think differently. I would be interested to know what you think.

The Roar of a Lion

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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