Buddhism Concepts
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  • What is “Being in Rhythm” With the Universe?

    Buddhism teaches philosophical concepts, which, when you really study them, I believe are teaching us universal laws, or how the universe works. For example, one of them is the simultaneity of cause and effect. We are taught that when we create a cause through thinking, speaking or acting we have set a seed in our lives which will product an effect some time in our future when the time is right.

    Another is oneness of life and its environment. This law says that our environment is created from the inside of us to manifest in the outer world. Our outer circumstances reflect what we have projected to the universe consciously or unconsciously through those thoughts words, actions and attitudes.

    The question becomes. Can we use these laws consciously to create a future on purpose rather than by accident? And the answer is a resounding “yes”. If we are not getting the results we want in our life or through our chanting , it is important to become aware of the causes we are making with our thoughts, words, attitudes and actions, both while chanting and during the day.

    How Does This Work?

    When we chant, we are aligning ourselves with the highest part of ourselves, which, though invisible is one with the Mystic Law. President Ikeda describes it in Life, An Enigma a Precious Jewel, as the God energy of the universe. This is not an outside entity but resides at our core as our Buddha nature and exists within all of creation. We know that energy is creative, unlimited, manifests into the material world, and is not bound by any circumstance. This means that, since we are one with that energy in our Buddha nature, we have those same characteristics. When we create through our thoughts, words, actions and attitudes, that energy manifests into the real world as our life situation and circumstances.

    The Clear Mirror Guidance, he  says,  “In the inner realm of life, cause and effect occur simultaneously. With the passage of time, this causal relationship becomes manifest in the phenomenal world of daily life.” Our states of mind don’t just color our perceptions but actually determine the physical reality around us. These are the simultaneity of cause and effect and oneness of life and its environment, in action.

    Creating the Future on Purpose Not by Accident

    What am I projecting?

    If we are having the experience of things not working out, or being hit or miss, we must change the seed causes we are putting into our subconscious to manifest when the time is right in the future. If we plant negative causes we will reap negative effects. If we plant positive causes we will reap positive effects.

    There Can Be Lag Time

    Changing what you are doing definitely creates the conditions for the future. There may be a lag time between the time you have changed and the time when your new way of chanting, behaving and thinking begins to produce the effects that you want. Don’t be discouraged. Be consistent and continue keeping on until the shift happens.

    Of course when we chant with a goal in mind we are enhancing the process. Even with chanting to boost the process, we want to be aware of what we are thinking and feeling and how we are behaving during our chanting time and also all throughout the day. Awareness can help us plant the seed causes to produce the future effect we want.

    Try The Following

    If you are having trouble getting what you want, try the following:

    • Examine your thinking. Are you looking at the problem or what you want.

    • If you are discouraged, chant for courage.
    • Ask yourself, am I full of complaints or gratitude?
    • Am I dwelling on the negative side of any situation?

    Negative or positive?

    Do I really believe that outside circumstances control the outcome?

    Ask yourself. What do I want to create, a future full of problems and negativity or the outcome I want?

    Take These Steps

    1. Determine what you want, set a goal and chant for it.
    2. Take action on ideas that come to you.
    3. Pull your mind out of negative thinking during the day and refocus on what you want.
    4. Keep on keeping on until you get what you want

  • Did You Know There Are Ten Internal Hindrances to Buddhist Practice?

    When we become practitioners of Nichiren Buddhism, we take on the task of liberating ourselves from suffering. We also commit to helping others do the same. In this way we align ourselves with the positive forces of the universe.

    Both fundamental darkness and fundamental enlightenment reside in every persons life.  Fundamental darkness, negativity, it is triggered when a practitioner tries to expand their state of life with the goal of helping others to become happy. Fundamental darkness shows up as spiritual resistance. This spiritual resistance doesn’t arise because your faith is weak or faulty. It arises because your faith is strong and true.

    What Is Spiritual Resistance?

    Spiritual resistance manifests as one or another of the ten hindrances to Buddhist practice. In The Treatise on the Great Perfection of Wisdom written by Nagarjuna (150-250 B.C., these hindrances are called the ten troops. The function of the ten troops is to undermine the faith of practitioners.  Although this picture of the trees lying across the road is an outward hindrance, inward ones also prevent movement forward but are much more subtle.

    The Ten Troops

    1.Greed.   

    a young man wearing a sheepskin coat isolated over a white background holding banknotes

    Frequently when greed enters a persons life, most other things are given up in pursuit of it. When focused on “getting mine,”people can easily fall from a life of integrity, as we see in the newspapers every day.

    2. Care and worry
    Care and worry, especially focused around one’s own welfare, or that of people you care about, can pull you away from your Buddhist practice. It’s easy to be so immersed in fears and concerns that you forget to do Gongyo or decide not to go to meetings, even withdraw from the group entirely.

    man a husband on bed as patient in hospital or clinic with woman a wife take care on hospital bed side with love and care

     

    3. Hunger and Thirst
    When survival is front and foremost, everything else takes a back seat. For example, when we look at what the refugees are facing, it is understandable that we might deviate from spiritual practice in the face of such challenges. It takes a strong person to persist no matter what.

    4. Love of Pleasure
    How often do we skip Gongyo or a meeting because of something more pleasurable beckons to us?

    5. Drowsiness and Languor
    Drowsiness and languor leave us not wanting to do anything that requires effort, or would disrupt our comfort. It’s easy to turn away from doing our human revolution when we are drowsy.

    6. Fear
    You might turn away from taking the next step forward towards a goal that might require a step in your human revolution. Or you might have fear of authority like the leaders who abandoned Toda and Makaguichi to prison in war torn Japan. Or you might be fearful of a personal loss or situation, which would lead you to withdraw from parts of your practice. When dealing with fear, we need to chant for courage.

    Motivational saying that you have 2 choices with fear to either run from it or rise and take it on

    7. Doubts and Regret
    Doubts are insidious and must be resolved. Doubts hide from you that you are a Buddha and have within everything you need to handle anything that might come up. Doubts might pull you away from your Buddhist practice entirely. So when doubts arise, it is important to study, hear experiences, or get guidance in order to resolve them.

    8. Anger
    Anger at leaders or other people in the organization can readily lead to dissention and disunity. When members become angry they can slander other members. This can
    undercut the benefit they have built up. Some have withdrawn from the organization and isolated themselves, thus subverting their own practice.

    9. Preoccupation with wealth and fame
    Instead of trying to do their human revolution and become a person of character, this person is obsessed with money and fame. Spiritual considerations may be dropped by the
    wayside in that pursuit.

    10. Arrogance and Contempt for Others
    When one member becomes righteous and critical of others, it can become a real threat to the unity of the Buddhist group.

    One of the Ten troops might be the weak link in the otherwise strong chain of your life.

    Chain breaking

    Be Aware

    It’s important that each of us be aware of the ten troops, so that when they appear in our own lives, and they will, we will recognize them for what they are. Then we won’t be derailed, and will be able to persist in our human revolution to become happy and help others to do the same. This means handling whatever the situation is by doubling down with our practice to resolve it, not by giving in to one of the ten troops.

    Please Share an Experience

    Please share an experience where you have successfully engaged and won over one of the ten troops.  Tell us what you did.

  • Proven Steps to Human revolution

    Not quite sure about how to accomplish human revolution in your own life? Let’s look at what human revolution is, then three steps anyone might take to make it a reality.

    We were born to become happy and to help others do the same.  If we want to establish absolute happiness in our lives and become a light to other people, we have a big challenge, to overcome our weaknesses. This is the process of doing our human revolution.

    What Does Our Target Look Like?

    • A way of being where we can do what we need to do with courage
    • A solid inner state where the ups and downs of daily life don’t affect us
    • To have a compassionate heart.
    • To live compassion in action in daily life.
    • To manifest the wisdom of a Buddha in any circumstance
    • To have the ability to create value out of any situation
    • To have the ability to overcome any obstacle
    • To become unshakably happy & help others do the same
    • Buddhahood

    3 Steps to Realizing our Human Revolution

    Step 1: Chant

    When we have deep faith in the Mystic Law embodied in our Buddha nature, and chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo in front of the Gohonzon, our Buddha nature will manifest.  Then we will have joy in our hearts and the courage to challenge ourselves.  We will also have the deep wisdom to know what to do. This wisdom will show you what actions you should take next to work on your human revolution.

    Step 2: Take Action         

    Time for Action and Dont Wait Concept. Stopwatch clock ticking on dark yellow background. Modern flat design. Negative space on bottom can be used to extra wording.

    In order to do our human revolution, chanting alone is not enough. We also must take action to overcome our negativity and weakness. So what might this look like? A few examples:

    • Challenge yourself to do something that makes you uncomfortable.
    • Make a phone call to connect when you are more comfortable with texting.
    • If you tend to be lazy? Get up out of your chair to do something.
    • Refuse to dwell in a negative conversation about another person.
    • Empathize with the challenges of another person although those challenges might be inconvenient
    • Help others
    • Work on giving up complaints, even though sorely tempted.
    • Do something right away instead of procrastinating.
    • Refuse to indulge negative thoughts. Instead focus on how to create value in the situation.
    • Set a goal that is a stretch. Chant and then accomplish one action at a time needed to
      accomplish that goal. This will help you accomplish your human revolution and expand
      your life.

    As we take these small actions one at a time, persistently working a little each day to improve
    ourselves, these small actions lead to big changes over time.

    Step 3: Study Buddhist Teachings

    Study something from the Buddhist teachings every day. Maybe you won’t understand the ideas
    initially but at some point you will have flashes of insight and can grasp them. Study is vitally
    important for us to understand what we are doing, the process and where we are going. Even a
    paragraph a day from the calendar or an encouragement book will keep you going. There is aintro to Buddhism
    great new booklet out called Introduction to Buddhism which has small easy-to-read articles,
    each focusing on one concept. http://bookstore.sgi-usa.org/category_s/12.htm 

    This booklet is published by the SGI study department. http://margaretblaine.com/about-the-sgi-usa/

    Congratulations

    If you have been working on your human revolution and have an instance where you did it successfully, please share your experience with us.

     Flat design style modern vector illustration concept of a manual vintage stylish typewriter with share your story text on a paper list. Isolated on stylish color background

  • Are You Chanting for Benefit or to Change Karma?

    There comes a time in our practice, probably after chanting for a number of years, when we are faced with a particularly difficult obstacle or challenge and we begin to notice we have been here in this position before, possibly many times.  Maybe you never have enough money and even though you get it, before long  there’s not enough again.  Perhaps one relationship after another goes south.  Maybe you suffer from depression recurrent or anxiety. Possibly you are battling chronic overweight.  Whatever the situation, you have that feeling  that it is much too familiar.

    When we first start to chant, we chant for benefits.  They allow us to prove the practice to ourselves and are always helpful in resolving other concerns.

    In this situation chanting for a benefit might solve the problem for a while but then…. that problem returns.  You lose 20 lbs and gain it back.  You find the perfect partner and then discover he or she has developed the same problem you vowed to leave behind.

    Recognizing Karma When You See it.

    When you find problems recurring, you are dealing with karma. Karma is tendencies laid down by actions which, repeated over and over, have become habits over time. They can be good or bad. Some examples of bad karma would be compulsive gambling or overeating. An example of good karma, would include the unerring ability to establish good relationships.

    Or, karma might also manifest as the tendency to attract the same kind of circumstances over and over. One example is a man who finds one job after another. He blames his bosses for bad decisions, loses his temper and is fired. An example of good karma, someone who always seems to be in the right place at the right time.

    Our current circumstances are the result of our past choices and actions positive or negative. You see this in partners of alcoholics, who divorce one partner and then find another alcoholic. You also see it in people who are born with a lucky spoon in their mouths.

    4 Ways to Change Karma

    1. Shift the way you chant

    As you chant for an end goal you might ask this question, “What do I need to know to keep this from happening again?” Or, “What do I need to change in myself so that this won’t continue to occur? “ Or, “ I need to know the truth about myself.” Chanting in this way moves your practice to a deeper level. Here you can address established patterns which repeatedly bring you to back to the same place. Changing karma is one of the reasons we have the practice.

    2. Apply the Concept of Oneness of Self and Environment

    Chanting in this way means that you have taken responsibility for creating your situation, even though, on the surface it may appear it is someone elses problem.  You are applying the Buddhist concept of oneness of life and its environment. Buddhism teaches that when you change yourself your circumstances will change.

    3. Chant with Intensity and Determination

    Challenging difficult obstacles is the fast track to overcome karma. It is in the midst of tremendous hardships that it is possible to transform one’s karma at a fundamental level. Laid back chanting will not work. You must chant with powerful intention, intensity and determination and follow through with action accordingly.

    4. Encourage the Practice of Others

    You can change karma more quickly by encouraging the practice of others and teaching others how to chant along with chanting about your concern.  This is a powerful positive cause for your life and places your life on the fast track to enlightenment.

    Changing Karma Can Be done

    Changing karma is not easy but it can be done.  Go to www.sgi-usa.org  and read many life experiences where people have changed their karma through the Nichiren Buddhist chanting practice.

    Notes: Teachings for Victory, Vol 1, p. 45-49 has an important discussion about changing karma. To find this book, go to www.sgi-usa.org, the online bookstore

     

     

     

     

  • What Does the Life State of Buddhahood Look Like? # 2 of 2

    If you are living in the life state of Buddhahood, you aren’t different from any other ordinary person. You’re like everyone in that you will continue to have your unique personality and interests and abilities. But other things will be different. You will base your life more of the time on the universal side of yourself, your greater self. In Nichiren Buddhism you tap into your Buddha nature and connect with the universal part of yourself every day when you chant.

    Buddhahood is not a Final Static State

    Buddhahood is not a final, static state. You establish the faith needed to advance along the path of unshakeable happiness for a while and then that faith might dim for awhile. Then you regain it once again. As time goes on and your faith in Nam-myoho-renge-kyo grows stronger, you will be able to embody the characteristics of your Buddha nature and keep advancing along the path of absolute happiness more and more of the time.

    Some Characteristics of the Life State of Buddhahood

    Unlock Full Potential

    By chanting every day and challenging yourself to overcome your limitations, you will gradually open your life to your greatest potential and will manifest a unique, creative life that could only be lived by you. This is your mission. No one person’s mission is just like any other, and yours will use your particular way of looking things, your abilities and strengths.

    An example of this is Herbie Hancock, the famous jazz musician. He is a Nichiren Buddhist. No one else does what he does in music. His way of playing and composing jazz is unique to him.

    A Life State Unmoved by Life’s Ups & Downs

    As you move along the path, dealing with daily life challenges and obstacles, you will forge a state of life that towers strong and unshakeable, unmoved by the ups and downs of life. You will continue to do your work in life undeterred by whatever happens.

    Nichiren Daishonin, the founder of this branch of Buddhism is an example of a person unmoved by circumstances. After barely avoiding execution, he was exiled to live alone in a hut in a graveyard in the snow, for spreading his ideas on Buddhism. Rather than become depressed he sat down in that hut and did some of his finest work, writing to encourage and teach his followers. He felt he was the happiest of men.

    Deep Wisdom

    As you chant and connect with your universal self, you tap into the greater wisdom in your Buddha nature. As you chant each day and attune yourself to your Buddha nature, that wisdom becomes deeper and more profound and gradually you will come to see life as it is. You will be able to see deeply into people and circumstances.

    Great Joy

    As your state of life rises, life itself becomes an irrepressible joy. Living with such great joy, it’s natural that you will want to enable others to do the same.

    Ability to Overcome Any Obstacle

    After repeated experiences of overcoming obstacles you discover you can manifest whatever is needed and will never become deadlocked, resulting in a state of infinite freedom.

    Herbie Hancock gives a talk about taking charge of your life in a u-tube video, Buddhism and Creativity. He says that one of the great benefits of practice is becoming the captain of your ship taking negative circumstances and turning them into something positive, turning one obstacle after another into a benefit. You will be able to manifest whatever is needed to do the work of bringing happiness to one person after another.

    Buddhahood Is….

    In a nutshell, Buddhahood means to bring out and embody the characteristics of your Buddha nature, deep wisdom, compassion, freedom and absolute happiness and to advance continually along the path of unshakeable happiness

  • What is a Buddha? #1 of 2

    The purpose of this post is to give you some idea of where you are heading when you start to practice this Buddhism.

    Traditional Beliefs

    People tend to look at statues of a plump Buddha with hands in a meditation position and think that is the Buddha, as if there is only one. Some traditions tend to look up to the Buddha as a superhuman being who stands way above an everyday person.

    In other branches of Buddhism, there is also a common perception that to become enlightened requires a long, arduous journey encompassing many lifetimes.

    Anyone Can Become Enlightened

    In one of his final verbal teachings, The Lotus Sutra, Shakayamuni Buddha, the original historical Buddha, said that every single one of us has the potential to become a Buddha. In the Lotus Sutra, he says that you have the Buddha nature, or the innate potential to become enlightened, in this lifetime, in your present form.

    The Path to Buddhahood

    When you come in as a beginner, you are taught to chant, to connect with the enlightened level of Buddhahood in your life, your universal self. Initially you are taught to chant for goals for yourself. At the beginning they might be quite specific, things that are needed for your life. In the process faith grows and your life becomes more connected with the universe.

    In time you will overcome many of the issues which were creating problems in your life and you’ll find yourself becoming happy. Then naturally a shift begins to take place, where your desires change and become more altruistic. You want to share the practice with other people, so they may become happy as you have. You have begun manifesting the compassion of the world of Buddhahood.

    As your life condition becomes more and more established in the higher worlds of Bodhisattva and Buddhahood, you find yourself deriving joy from supporting and caring for others. The main thrust of your life starts incrementally to shift from self-absorption to altruism and caring for others. You have begun the work of a Buddha, bringing forth your own potential through challenging yourself in Bodhisattva practice and also inspiring others to do the same.

    What is Attaining Buddhahood?

    So what does attaining Buddhahood mean? In Nichiren Buddhism, it doesn’t mean you suddenly turn into a Buddha, a God, a transcendental being standing way above ordinary people. It means you have securely entered the path of Buddhahood. It nmeans you continue to advance along the path of absolute happiness.You will come to live a life where you savor a state of happiness and complete peace of mind, while living with your earthly desires just as they are.

    Remember the Ten Worlds, those ten internal states of life within each of us? Buddhahood is the highest of the ten worlds. You tend to go in and out of all of them every day. That means you might be functioning at the highest level for a while and then slip into one of the lower worlds and then maybe return. What does happen is that over time that level of life becomes more established and is expressed in compassionate, altruistic behavior focused on enabling other people to become happy.

    In a Nutshell…

    Buddhahood is not some superhuman transcendental state. Anyone has the potential to become a Buddha. You will come to live a life of unshakeable happiness and peace of mind.

    Next Post: What Does the Life State of a Buddha Look Like?

    January 9, 2015 • Buddhism Concepts, early stages, newcomer, personal growth, Uncategorized • Views: 1366

  • The Way to Alter Your Circumstances Successfully

    In the western world you tend to think that you are influenced by conditions outside and separate from yourself. Have you ever heard yourself say any of the following?

    • She made me feel angry, sad, anxious etc
    • My mother wouldn’t let me so
    • He wouldn’t change so I couldn’t….
    • The economy is bad so I can’t get a job.

    Buddhism has a different view of the relationship between you and your environment. Instead of being separate, you and your environment are seen as inseparable like a person and his shadow. The shadow, your environment, is dependent on the person, you.

    How You Create Your Environment: The Buddhist Point of View

    When you think, speak or act, you are simultaneously setting a seed in the depths of your life, which will produce an effect when the environmental conditions are right. Good causes can show up as good fortune and pleasurable experiences. Bad causes can show up as obstacles and suffering in life. These effects also show up in oneself as tendencies, habits and inclinations.Cause Effect Keys Means Consequence Action Or Reaction

    In Buddhism, the environment is not a single place where everyone is born into and lives. Rather, each person has their own unique environment in which the good and bad effects of their past actions appear.

    According to Nichiren Daishonin, the founder of Nichiren Buddhism, there is no escaping our past actions. We carry the future effects in the core of our lives for good or bad.

    How Does The Environment Reflect Us

    Let’s look at two rooms. The first room is very messy. Books, clothes and personal belongings are strewn everywhere. In the second room the inhabitant has set up a way to keep everything perfectly organized. The rooms reflect the inner lives of the person living there.

    If either person is unhappy with their room, maybe the messy one can’t find things, or the perfectionist wants to be more relaxed, they would have to change something in themselves to alter the environment in their room.

    The implications of this are profound. To alter circumstances in your environment, you must change yourself.

    How Carrie Altered Her Circumstances

    Carrie’s husband was having chronic problems trying to run his own business. He didn’t want to work for anyone else, but as he tried one business after another, he was unsuccessful in each one. His failures threw the family into financial chaos. Initially sympathetic with his desire to be independent, Carrie became less sympathetic as the financial strain mounted over several years. She chanted about the problem. She tried to influence him to work for someone else but was unsuccessful.

    One day, while chanting for insight, she saw that she wouldn’t be able to influence him to change unless he wished to do it himself. She realized she had been passive while waiting for it to happen. She saw there was another alternative. Instead of trying to get him to change, she could assume the full responsibility of taking care of herself and the children.

    She knew her income wasn’t enough to cover the family expenses, even with very careful money management. That’s why she’d waited for her husband to take responsibility.

    She resolved to ask her boss for a raise. Anxious, she chanted for courage. Two weeks later she had the raise in hand.

    Then she talked to her husband and told him she couldn’t live with the chaos anymore. He had to have a job and stabilize his income in three months or she would leave him. When nothing changed, she followed through.

    It wasn’t easy. She had to retrench and stretch every penny. As she took responsibility, the financial situation shifted, and the chaos settled down. Through making the inner changes necessary to change her circumstances, she had taken charge of her life.

    How You Can Change Your Circumstances

    • Chant for insight
    • Decide what you want to have happen
    • Take action

    One of the great promises of Nichiren Buddhism is that you can take your life circumstances and and alter them for the better. You no longer have to be at the mercy of the waves of life.

    Listen to the chant: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BXPEkzV2Rq4

  • You Are a Buddha

    Inside each of you is an Enlightened level of life. At your core exists a beautiful, radiant self, embodying unshakeable happiness, a deep wisdom, compassion, unlimited freedom and enormous vitality. It is called your Buddha Nature.
    The goal of Buddhism is to bring out the qualities of your Buddha Nature, so you can embody them and live them in everyday life. A person who does this is a Buddha.

    The Caged Bird

    caged birfBefore you discover your Buddha Nature, you are in the position of a caged bird that doesn’t know it can fly away to freedom, if the door of its cage were opened. If the bird remains inside when the cage door is opened, it doesn‘t believe it can fly. Once the bird realizes what it can do with its wings, the cage will disappear.
    The cage is not to be taken as a physical cage. It represents the bird’s limited beliefs.

    Some Limited Beliefs

    When you haven’t yet discovered your unlimited potential, you feel that you have restrictions just like the caged bird who doesn’t realize it can fly out of the door. What does your cage look like?
    Do you believe the outer environment or other people control what you can do?

    •  I can’t get a job because of the bad economy
    • It’s impossible to get my college degree
    •   I can’t do it because my husband, mother, says I can’t.
    •   I’ll never get my dream: I’m settling for….
    •  You have to be realistic

    You are not a slave to your environment. You create your life and circumstances from the inside, out. It’s this illusion that keeps you from sustaining indestructible happiness.

    Liberate Your Buddha Nature    Caged Bird freed

    The key to the liberation of your Buddha Nature from within is to chant Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo with strong confidence that you have this supreme potential.
    When you chant Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo you can tap into your Buddha Nature and bring out its qualities to use in everyday life.

    Darkness Versus Light

    Faced with difficult problems and obstacles, it is be difficult to do this. When faced with a challenge that appears unsurmountable, it is easy to disbelieve our true potential. Our Buddhist practice is an ongoing battle to overcome this darkness.
    Through setting goals, chanting for them and taking the steps to overcome the challenges and obstacles they represent, you come to understand one step at a time that you actually possess this unlimited potential. You are a Buddha.

    Listen and Try The Chant

    Here is the URL: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BXPEkzV2Rq4

  • You Can Change Your Life Condition Easily

    In the last post I discussed the Ten Worlds so you could have an overview of the different internal life conditions you experience every day. You can see that they range from the lower worlds, which are negative, to the higher more positive worlds. Each of the worlds contains the potentials of all the others, so it becomes easy to shift from one to another.

    You Can Change Your Life Condition at Will

    When you chant Nam-Myoho-Renge –Kyo, you can, at will, pull your life condition out of a state of negativity and into a more positive state. This gives you much more control over your internal state of life. This means you no longer have to remain stuck in unhappy states of anxiety, sadness, anger etc.

    3 Things You Can Do to Change Your Life State

    Let’s say you find yourself reacting to something which has just happened and you don’t like how you feel. Here are some things you can do.

    1. Chant Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo. Some people do this to calm middle-of-the-night anxiety. Others chant to calm themselves when angry or scared. Someone else chants to pull themselves out of feeling sad. You can chant until you feel better. If you find yourself starting to dwell on the worry again, focus on what you want to have happen instead.
    2. You can also chant for a goal which represents the solution to your concern. For example let’s say you have money worries. You could chant for a stable financial situation.
    3. Chant until you feel your life state shift into a more positive one.

    Prove It To Yourself

    You don’t have to remain stuck in a negative emotion. Listen to the chant at

    Then try chanting and see what happens

  • The Ten Worlds

    Last week we talked about ten conditions of life, which we experience each day. These are important to us because through chanting Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo, we can shift from negativity to positivity. I’ll describe them from the lowest to the highest.

    The Six Lower Paths

    Hell – A person feels there is no way out, where living is misery, suffering and despair. They can be filled with rage and exhibit self-destructive behaviors.
    Hunger – A person is at the mercy of their cravings for things such as food, drugs, money, pleasure, power, and recognition. Never satisfied.
    Animality – A person is amoral, ruled by the “law of the jungle,” fearing stronger people and despising and preying on the weak. Can’t make long term judgments.
    Anger – A person is determined to best others in everything, sees everything as a threat, values themselves as superior and holds other in contempt.
    Humanity – A person is generally humane, highly vulnerable to outside influences, and can easily fall into the four lower worlds.
    Heaven– A person experiences intense joy resulting from the fulfillment of a desire, inner contentment, physical well-being but short lived.

    These are the six lower paths. They respond to changing circumstances in our lives. In these worlds we are basing our happiness and identity on circumstances outside of ourselves.

    How These Lower Worlds Work

    Let’s say Jerry wants a girlfriend (Hunger). He courts her and wins her, (Heaven). Other rivals appear on the scene, jealousy. (Anger) He loses the girl, despair. (Hell).

    These internal life conditions react to the changing circumstances in Jerry’s life.

    The Four Noble Paths

    Learning – Seeking the truth through learning from others.
    Realization – Seeking the truth through direct perception. No longer just reacting to circumstances.
    Bodhisattva – Has an aspiration to achieve enlightenment, and also enable others to do the same. Satisfaction in altruistic behavior.
    Buddhahood – A state of perfect freedom, infinite compassion, deep wisdom and unshakeable happiness no matter what is going on in life. Freed of karmic bonds and illusion, Buddhahood is expressed in the bodhisattva way of life.

    These paths are not reactive to circumstances but require the person to be self- motivated from the inside, out.

    Try It

    Let’s say you are depressed, anxious, fearful etc. Sit and chant until you feel better

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Introduction to
Nichiren Buddhism

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