Happiness is . . .

 

daisaku Ikeda guidance

I met a man today as I was picking up my belongings to leave physical therapy. He was on one of the bike type machines. Stationary bikes are boring. I had just finished fifteen minutes myself, determined to get my strength back, healing from an injury.

It looked like the effort of the exercise was causing him discomfort so I told him, “Sometimes I close my eyes and imagine I’m climbing a mountain.” I didn’t quite hear his answer but it didn’t look as though climbing a mountain seemed very appealing to him so I said next, “How about running down a beach and listening to the waves?”

His eyes welled up with tears and he looked about to cry. “No, I never want to go to another beach.” He then poured out his pain of what happened to him and the memories he had of the beach, and how through that his life fell apart. He had moved some time ago within a half hour of a beach with his wife and children. His wife had never been to a beach and she became obsessed with it. Every day she had to go to the beach, even on Christmas.  He really wanted to have Christmas at home.  She was never home. She was always at the beach.  Eventually she left him – for a woman.

Later he met another woman. He fell in love with her and asked her to marry him. She did. They were happy for awhile. He didn’t know she had an old boyfriend in prison. When he got out she left him to to go back to this man. He said, “I’m done. I can’t do this anymore. I have nothing to live for.”

I asked him,”Have you ever heard the words nam myoho renge kyo?” He had been looking down. When I said those words his eyes snapped up to mine in immediate attention. Startled. It was an unusually strong emotion for someone who had never heard the words before. But even though we don’t understand the song of birds, the birds do. Something inside him recognized what I said, even if he wasn’t conscious of it. “No, What is it?” he managed to say.

I repeated the phrase three times and he tried to say it with me without my asking him, which is unusual, especially when someone doesn’t know what it is. Why would they try to say it?

“This is the law of cause and effect,” I gave him the translation. “It doesn’t have to be like this. You are misunderstanding what happiness is. It isn’t something that completes you, that can be taken away by . Goes away. Happiness caused by things outside yourself is fleeting. That is relative happiness. What you wasn’t is absolute happiness, indestructible happiness.” With this he looked at me as though a small part of himself had found relief.

“Do you want to know more?” I gently asked him, not wanting to press too hard and scare him off. It was painful watching someone so desperately unhappy and not understanding how to change it. It takes more than wanting it or it would have been changed already. It only took the smallest kindness and a little time to show him he wasn’t invisible. I believe he felt very alone. I told him we could talk again if he wanted. He looked me in the eye and said, “I’d like that.”

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

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

Daisaku Ikeda – Daily Enouragement

Daisaku Ikeda, GI president, value creation society
Daisaku Ikeda
President of the SGI
My mentor
photo credit: meucciagency.com

The present, as I am sure you all sense, is an age pervaded by great weariness and apathy.  I would like you to be aware that the power and energy to serve humanity in such an enervated age can only be born from a vigorous, indomitable, noble will. Though the times may be rife with petty human conflicts, a pervading sense of hopelessness and all manner of turbulent storms, I hope that all of you will forge ahead boldy with unflagging good cheer.

From the book: Today and Tomorrow, daily encouragement from
Daisaku Ikeda
SGI president

Tina Turner. . .

Tina Turner today
Tina Turner today

. . .and her Buddhist practice. Through many things posts I’ve put up, and conversations I’ve had with people, many people know that I am a Nichiren Buddhist.  I don’t slam any other religion because I believe that you can find good teachings in all religions and if someone takes those teachings and applies it to their life and it affects the way they live their life then it is not up to me to say that you are wrong and I am right.  I have Christian friends and I post on Christian blogs. We each have to find our path.

Sadly, there are many people who say they are Christian, in the US, and because Christianity is dominant in this country, it makes you feel that it is Christianity is the number one religion in the world.  It isn’t.  There are many people who are Christian in name only, or only call on God’s help when they are in a dire position, and can still be hateful to the people around them at the same time.  What is taught doesn’t change anything about their behavior.  They believe in God because it is what they were taught growing up.  There wasn’t any choice.

If everyone around you tell you it is true, then you are going to think it is true. I realized at a young age people were told to believe something, but I couldn’t get an answer to the question, “why?”  It was always an answer saying because God says so.  God says this or that, or wants this or that, and we were to believe something with the credibility of science fiction – in my opinion.

I recently wrote a post https://watchandwhirl.com/2015/02/23/why-do-you-believe-what-you-believe/  I ask people this question a lot, honestly asking why?  Is it all you know?  Is it what you were taught?  Did you follow a different path and then found Christianity? Have you ever seriously looked at any other path with an open mind?  If you didn’t, was it because God would punish you for blasphemy? Do you honestly practice the teachings of your faith every day or just sometimes? Is there anyone out there who will answer me?

After searching for years for something that made sense, 27 years ago, when I was 34, I found Nichiren Buddhism.  I’m writing about this today because I found 2 minute clip of the Tina Turner movie, “What’s love got to do with it?” If you remember the movie, she turned to Buddhism when her life was at a very low point.  She made it out of a very bad and abusive relationship through chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo.

They aren’t magic words that change things – and you aren’t praying/chanting or asking something – out there – to change things for you, or saying that it must be the will of a higher being who wants me to experience this, you realize that it puts you squarely in the drivers seat.  You know the only person who can make changes, is yourself.  And what your frame of mind is, will directly affect how you respond to things in your life.

I found another clip of Tina Turner, in an interview where she talks about why she is a Buddhist.  I thought some of you might find this interesting.

Here’s another one with her as well, and when you listen to her chant, I can do this right along with her word for word because I’ve spoken it thousands of time.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MOsr_ZOi-Jo

Thank you for coming into my part of the world a short while.