How Are You Chanting?

  • Are You Sure You’re Chanting For What You Really Want?

    I hear stories where people are chanting for a goal but not getting what they really want.  Without even realizing it, they might be chanting for what they don’t want. In this post I want to discuss four reasons why this happens.

    1. You Don’t Believe Your Goal Is Possible

    Let’s say you have a major challenge. You may not be chanting for what you really want, because down deep inside, you don’t believe its possible. As long as you believe it isn’t possible, you will be right. It won’t be.

    “When your determination changes, everything will begin to move in the direction you desire. The moment you resolve to be victorious, every nerve and fiber in your being will immediately orient itself  towards your success. On the other hand, if you think, “This is never going to work out,” then at that instant every cell in your being will be deflated and give up the fight. Then everything really will move in the direction of failure.” Daisaku Ikeda, Faith into Action

    How can you create a goal that you can believe is possible?

    • Create an opening by chanting for a positive resolution to your situation, while visualizing how the end goal looks.
    • Try chanting for just the first step.

    An Experience

    I have a friend who had been slammed with bills for thousands of dollars. Her home needed major repairs and then her husband had some legal bills. She started to chant to be able to cover her bills. Before long she was able to cover them, but there was nothing extra after the bills were paid. She began to think that chanting wasn’t working. Then in a meeting she heard, “Be careful what you chant for.”

    She started to look carefully at how she had been chanting. She had been chanting to cover her bills. She realized chanting had worked. They were no longer overwhelmed with debt and were just covering their bills. Her results were giving her feedback, showing her exactly what she chanted for. But, her results weren’t what she really wanted. She really wanted to have extra money so she and her husband could have some sense of financial ease.

    She changed the way she was chanting. She started chanting for extra money to come in over and above the bills. She had absolutely no idea how that would come about but she was open that it could happen. One day, two weeks after she changed the way she was chanting, she received a letter from her mother. To her astonishment a $13,000 check was inside.

    This is a perfect example of why we need to be careful about what we are chanting for. Sometimes we don’t even realize that we are not chanting for what we really want.

    2. You Can’t See the Path

    Another reason you might not be chanting for what you want, is because you can‘t see how its going to happen. Here is where faith comes in.  You have connected to the universe. There may be many ways to your goal that you’ve never even considered. Chant with the end in mind, seeing your goal as completed. Then be open as to how it might come about.

    If you have determined that your goal can only come about one way, you could be hampering the functioning of the universe, Maybe another path might be better. It is your job to set the goal. It is the job of the universe to work out a way to get there.

    3. You Believe Circumstances Outside Yourself Control the Outcome

    We are trained by society to believe that outside circumstances control what we can achieve, the economy, another person, etc. This is the exact opposite of what Buddhism teaches, that the locus of control is within us and outside circumstances change as we change ourselves. I want to address this with a personal experience.

    An Experience

    My husband and I bought our house and were involved in a major remodel. Midway through, we discovered we were living next to a house and inhabitants that were less than desirable. The house was owned by an absentee landlord. We watched him put a roof over dry rot. It was clear. He was going to permit the building to deteriorate. His renters were a group of people, who were not going to keep up the property either, a student nurse and an alcoholic carpenter and his wife. We wanted a positive situation next door.

    I decided to chant for a positive resolution to the problem. I used to laugh that it would take an explosion for that situation to change. I couldn’t see how it would happen, but I had faith that if I continued to chant, seeing it as done, that it would eventually come about.

    I chanted for six months before anything overtly occurred. Then the alcoholic carpenter came running over in a panic. “I’ve paid my rent. I’m subletting from the nursing student. He has taken it all and gone to Vegas. The landlord is coming in two days and he is furious!”

    The landlord did arrive in a rage, and pressured anyone involved with the house for his rent money.

    A day after the landlord came, the nursing student returned. For nine months the tenants had been trying to get the landlord to repair a dangerous wiring system. The upstairs windows were stuck shut and the renters were afraid of fire. Upon the advice of his aunt, a real estate attorney, he had put the rent in an escrow account until the repairs were made.

    When the landlord continued to hassle the tenants, the nursing student got a restraining order. It forbade the landlord to come around anyone involved with his house. Now we had the landlord sitting at the end of the street by our house glaring at the nursing student playing his guitar on his front steps. I kept chanting that there would be a positive resolution to this situation.

    We heard the landlord decided to take the tenants to court. The nursing student paid for a house inspection. The inspector listed everything wrong with the house. It was much worse than we had realized. When they all arrived in court, the landlord’s attorney advised him not to go to court because he would have to fix everything wrong with the house before he could rent it. There appeared to be a stand-off. I continued to chant, while a couple of months passed. Then all the renters left. Everything was quiet.

    One day a contractor’s van rolled into the driveway. Scott had bought the house and spent six productive months fixing everything wrong with it. He sold it to someone who has been a good neighbor and has since taken care of the house.

    In my wildest imagination, I could never have foreseen what would happen to fulfill my goal. It taught me that it is an illusion to believe you can’t influence a situation. When you connect with the Mystic Law, things that seem impossible, become possible.

    You can put it to the test. Set a goal that is a stretch and then chant for it keeping your end goal in mind whenever you think about it. Refuse to let yourself dwell on anything else, except what you want. And see it as already accomplished. Since you are changing a habit you may have to do this over and over. But if you follow through, I’m sure you will be surprised. I was.

    4. You Can Only See the Problems to Achieving Your Goal

    Sometimes you don’t chant for a goal because you can only focus on the reasons it can’t get done.  We are taught to address the problems we can see. We are not taught by society that they are the results of hidden causes, that are invisible.

    When you chant you are working with the causes, the invisible  thoughts and goals which will produce future results. Imagine your future end in mind as already accomplished. You must be willing to realign yourself with what you want and turn your attention away from dwelling on anything to the contrary. When we dwell on the negative, that is what manifests. When we dwell on the positive outcome, that is what manifests. We are connected and one with the creative power of the universe. You want to use it on purpose.

    Do you think the telephone was created because Alexander Bell thought it couldn’t be done. It was invented because he saw it as done and then kept working towards that end. He held his end goal, the picture of the telephone, in his imagination. The imagination is what allows us to co-create with the universe. Use your imagination to produce your desires, not sink them.
    Don’t worry about the rest.

    Then have faith. Faith means learning to trust your universal connection to work out your end goal out as you have imagined it.


    1. Chant for a positive resolution to your situation visualizing the end goal as already accomplished.
    2. Use your imagination to visualize it in detail.
    3. Make sure, if doubts arise, that you refocus on your goal as accomplished. This can happen many times a day.
    4. Keep chanting and have faith the universe will work it out.

  • Why Chanting is Not Magic

    Chanting is not Magic

    Some people talk about this practice as if it is magic. Chanting is not magic. Our circumstances change as we change from within. There is no question that chanting gives us ideas about what to do. When we take action unseen connections are made that we could never have foreseen ourselves. Sometimes it seems like magic when we are not aware of the changes we have made in ourselves.

    I know a new person who is working on learning about leadership. She was having a problem with someone under her, who was causing difficulties. As she chanted about the issue, she loosened her control on the project he was working on. The problem disappeared as he assumed responsibility and moved ahead with the project. She said, “I don’t know how it happened.” It seemed like magic to her. But as I listened carefully, it was clear she had let go of micromanaging the project and her co-worker responded well. She had changed, so her circumstances changed.

    How do We Make Personal Changes From Within?

    First: Chant about an issue. As we align ourselves daily with the Mystic Law, that universal energy, we let go of the lesser side of our nature step by step and gradually come to embody our higher nature.

    Second: Listen to those little inner nudges do one thing or another. In the Wisdom of the Lotus Sutra, Vol 2, Daisaku Ikeda says,
    ”We are in constant exchange and communication with the cosmos, our lives reverberating with it as one living entity.”

    Guidance comes through your connection with the universe through those little internal nudges to do this or don‘t do that, and through those ideas that are better than any you would have thought of yourself. That guidance comes with an absolute knowing. Pay attention to that knowing. We all have heard that little voice, but it’s so quiet that it’s easy to ignore, or talk ourselves out of following it.  How many times have you had the feeling you should do something and then not done it?

    Third: Take action on those ideas that come with the knowing.

    Fourth: Study the daily encouragement available to us. That might be only a paragraph a day. Reading just a little each day allows you to absorb the thought, think about it and then look for opportunities to put it into practice. Our mentor is a living example of how to apply the Buddhist teachings in everyday life.

    Fifth: Support others. It’s remarkable how it happens, but when you chant, study and support others you put your life on the fast track of personal development. That’s how to make changes the most quickly.

    Personal Experience

    Though out my adult life until I started this practice, I tended to be a loner. I regretted it, but I didn’t know what to do to change it. I was working at an agency doing international adoptions and feeling isolated once again, this time at work.  

    By then I had been studying Buddhist concepts and knew that our lives come from the inside out. I realized my isolation came from me, and that if I wanted it to change, I had to do something differently. I had the realization, while chanting one day, that I was sitting at my desk in my office but not getting out to say good morning or ask about the lives of other people. I took a deep breath, went against some long term habits. I walked out of my office, and made an effort to say good morning and inquire about what was going on in the lives of my co-workers. One day I realized to my delight, I was no longer isolated.

    Even though I had chanted about it, this change wasn’t magic. I received the realization from chanting, but then I changed my behavior and my coworkers responded. By the way, that change transformed the rest of my life. I’m now part of a wonderful community of people whom I love.


    1. Chant about the issue
    2. Listen to those little nudges and ideas that come with the knowing this is the right thing to do.
    3. Take action on those nudges and ideas.
    4. Study the encouragement from our mentor.
    5. Support others

    Please comment and share how you have made changes.  We can all help one another.

  • 8 Steps to Master The Way You Think

    Why is It Important to Master Negative Thinking?

    We are one with the Mystic Law, that creative, unlimited life force, in the core of our lives, our Buddha nature. Because of that connection, we human beings have an amazing ability. Our thoughts take form in the physical world. Our habitual, characteristic, predominant mental attitude shows up in the conditions, environment, health, and experiences of our daily life. As Daisaku Ikeda says in Faith into Action,

    “In accordance with 3000 realms in a single moment of life, pessimistic thoughts or feelings take form just as they are, in reality, producing negative results. People who have negative thoughts create effects for themselves that perfectly match their thinking. So its important to be optimistic.”

    In the same way our positive thoughts and mental attitudes take form as positive experiences and circumstances. In this way we build our circumstances from our inner life to manifest in the outer world.

    Accept Responsibility & Take Charge of Your Life

    No matter what your life circumstances you are not a victim. To believe, that anything outside of yourself is creating your circumstances, is to believe an illusion.
    To take charge of your life you have to take full responsibility for having created your current life circumstances. Until you understand the power you have, and use it on purpose, you will continue to create your life by accident.

    Chant for clarity if you don’t know what to do. I suspect that if you examine your thinking you will see what the issue is.  Awareness is the first step.  See to see how our thoughts often flow when chanting for a goal.

     How Can I Master a Habit of Negative Thinking?

    What can we do to change, if we know we have the habit of negative thinking? Let’s look at a specific example with the understanding that this applies to any concern you might have.
    Let’s say you want a beautiful home but currently don’t have the money to manifest it. One day you become aware that when you think about that beautiful home, you are envisioning a lack of money to do it. Don’t envision needing money, while you chant, or as you go about your day. That perpetuates the thought of lack. You don’t want to continue to produce the life circumstance of not having enough.

    Instead envision your home as beautiful and opulent as you want it to be. Imagine how it would feel to live in such a home. Imagine having plenty of money to create your dream home. Spend some time each day envisioning your home in detail, as you wish it to be. Any time you find yourself envisioning the lack of money, substitute a constructive thought for the destructive one and re-envision the home exactly as you wish it to be. You are creating a new habit of thought and as time goes on with regular practice your mind will automatically go to what you want, not to your doubts or fears.

    Even though you have an earnest desire, the general plan may be dim at first but gradually an outline will form, then the details. Each day, see the picture more and more clearly and the ways and means of manifestation will appear. Thought has the vitality of the life force behind it. It grows what is planted just as a plant grows out of a seed planted in a garden. Keep an open mind and be ready to take action when the time comes.   Don’t dig up the seed every day to see if it is growing. If you dig up a seed planted in a garden every day, it won’t germinate. That is true with the seeds in your mental garden as well.

    Try it as an experiment and see what happens.

    When the ways and means of creating what you want appear, take action.

    Some Goals Take Longer Than Others

    It’s important to recognize that some goals are going to take longer than others. All goals manifest when the time is right. Maybe you need to develop a skill. Or perhaps there is a life change that must happen. Perhaps you need to grow in some way. Whatever it is, do whatever comes up to be addressed one step at a time, while keeping your focus on what you want.

    Be Patient with Yourself

    We’ve all grown up in a society which has taught us to do the exact opposite of what I’m describing here. If we don’t like our circumstances we have been taught to try to change them rather than understanding the cause that created them. In other words, try to change the effect rather than understand the cause.

    The 8 Steps

    1. Accept that your life is what you have created the past.
    2. Pay attention to how you are thinking now. Awareness is the first step.
    3. When you catch yourself looking at your fears, or what you don’t want, re-envision what you want. Practice, practice, practice. Habit change happens a little change each day.
    4. Focus on what you want each day, seeing the details.
    5. Take action when ideas come up to move forward towards your goal.
    6. Accept that some goals take longer than others.
    7. Be patient with yourself.
    8. Keep on until you have achieved your goal.

  • 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

  • Do You Know Why Your Thoughts Are So Important?

    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..

  • Are You Missing a Step When Chanting for a Goal?

    1. Set A Positive Goal

    A reader sent me a question asking how to chant for a weight loss goal. Let’s use this goal understanding that the same principles relate to any goal we set.

    Often people chant about losing weight or wanting more money. These are negative goals. You are looking at what you are lacking, not what you want. To set a goal you need to do is decide what you want your goal weight to be, in other worlds the solution to your problem. If it is a finance goal, how much money do you want? If it is a relationship, the perfect relationship for you.

    Don’t set goals that have multiple parts. You want crystal clear goals. Simplify each goal and have as many goals as you wish. Be specific and make sure you’re chanting for what you really want.

    I heard a story from a young man, excited about results from his chanting, wanted to introduce people to the practice. He chanted to introduce people and talked to a good number of people. But they didn’t decide to start to practice. Discouraged he didn’t see he was getting exactly what he had chanted for – people to introduce. He wasn’t chanting for people who would want to begin the practice.

    2. Make a Decision

    We talk about making a determination. A determination is a decision that you are going to do this no matter what. Making a decision tells that universal part of yourself, your Buddha nature, that this is definitely what you want. Intention is the builder. Vague goals, such as I wish, I hope, maybe, I’d like, do not make that connection with the universe.

    You are telling the universe you don’t really believe your goal is possible. These kinds of thoughts do not have the energy behind them that a decision creates.

    When you make a decision and follow it up with taking the first action steps, you make connection with the quantum field, that invisible intelligent energy at the core of your life in your Buddha nature. That decision starts the process of manifesting your desire into the world. Step off the cliff and fly.

    If you can add a drop-dead date by which your goal will be accomplished that adds greater leverage still.

    If you having trouble believing it, set the goal lower or ask for the first step. You can always proceed step by step.


    3. Pay Attention

    Pay attention. Often the universe responds in subtle ways. Answers and ideas might come through other people, an overheard conversation or a book, a sense of inspiration. Notice any ideas that come regarding your area of concern to you, while you are chanting, or during the day.

    If you’ve set a goal, you have asked the universe to help you manifest your goal. Answers will come to you one way or another, as you’ve started a dialogue with the universe.

    Pay attention to small steps of progress. Don’t discount them.

    Be aware. Don’t let your thoughts slip into the abyss of doubt and disbelief and remain there. Pull them out and refocus on what you want. You may have to do this fifty times a day, if your habit of negative thinking is strong. Believe me it is worth it if you persist. You are practicing developing a positive mind state. Eventually it will come without effort.

    4. Be Receptive

    You have to be receptive to what you want before it can happen.

    If you not achieving your goal, you need to notice what is happening internally.

    • Are you at a subtly resisting getting what you want, thinking you don’t deserve it, that it’s for other people, not you? It could be a feeling of pushing it away..
    • Are you mostly focusing on problems all day long and not looking at solutions?
    • Are there underlying reasons why you wouldn’t want to achieve this goal?
    • Are you experiencing major ups and downs with your emotions, leading to negative thinking?

    Sometimes people focus on problems, thinking that looking at solutions is not realistic. if you do this, you are disregarding the truth of your life, that you are the builder and no one or no circumstance can stop you from getting what you want. You are looking at what appears to be true, not at the underlying reality. Turn away from thoughts of limitation, reinstate your desired outcome and follow ideas as they come to you. Allow yourself to be receptive. Open up to receiving what you have asked for.

    5.  Examine what You Are Thinking – Belief and Expectation Brings Your Goal into Manifestation –

    Your thoughts are far more important than you realize. What we believe and expect, we create. According to the Buddhist dictionary, our minds pervade the entire universe, including both body and mind, and self and environment. Our minds have the ability to take any thought and have it manifest in the future.

    People ask, “Why isn’t chanting working?” It is working. You are getting what you think about the most. Remember oneness of self and environment? If you not achieving your goal, you need to examine what you are thinking.

    Are you subtly resisting getting what you want, believing that it isn’t possible? Do you have a goal you don’t really believe you can reach?                 

    Try this. Pretend you are your future self, that you are living after your goal has been accomplished. Have your future self look back and see your goal accomplished. How would you feel then? Take that belief and confidence into your chanting time.

    6. Never Give Up

    When you hold a goal, consistently, it’s as though you are creating an architectural drawing in the unseen, which will manifest into material reality. When you don’t hold the thought, and relapse into having thoughts of limitation , it’s like having to start from scratch and redraw the drawing when you pick it up again.

    Don’t be impatient. Perhaps you may have to grow in some way before you can reach your goal. For example if your goal is a new job, you may need to develop some skill or present yourself differently as though you are the person who can fill that job. Maybe there is something major in your life that must be addressed before you would be considered for that job, for example, overcoming a substance abuse problem before being considered for a truck driving job. Are you resisting growing out of fear or because you don’t want to change something?

    Keep chanting no matter how long it takes.  you will eventually get your goal or something better.


    Here are the 6 steps

    1. Set a positive goal.
    2. Make a decision
    3. Pay attention
    4. Be receptive

    5.Examine what You Are Thinking
    6. Never give up

  • Do You Know You Are An Unlimited Being?

    I don’t think we recognize what we are at our core. We say we have a Buddha nature, which possesses wisdom, vitality, compassion and absolute happiness. But what is the Buddha nature, really? President Toda’s realization in prison, was that that Buddha nature is life itself.

    Buddha Nature is Life, Our Unlimited Higher Self

    Life is that eternal, conscious, vibrating intelligence at the core of creation and is one with our Buddha nature. Scientists call it the quantum field, from which all of creation emerges. Life is creative. Life possesses the incredible power of manifestation. Since you are one with it, you have the same nature, the same spark that resides in life itself, as the wave has the same qualities as the ocean. You are spirit manifesting in a physical body. You have that same unlimited capacity to create what you want in your life.

    We Don’t Believe it

    At some level we don’t believe it. We have doubts, we say, “I can’t”. When we fall into that negativity we are allowing our thinking minds to disbelieve and limit our fundamental nature. In order to allow that unique spark in us to be fully expressed in the world, we need to master our minds, and stay focused and positive. This allows us to stay in alignment with it. Then the energies can flow without impediment and benefits can show up in a miraculous way. Our creative ability to manifest, and our unique path, blooms. When we fall into doubt, negativity and disbelief, our results are constricted.

    Practice Makes Perfect

    Fortunately, we get to practice that alignment twice a day, when we sit to chant. That is when we put ourselves in rhythm with the universe, to have oneness with that energy flow. We also need to practice it during our everyday activities by:

    • Embracing rather than resisting challenges seeing them as another opportunity to become aware of what we really are.
    • Seeing them as a growth opportunity, to strengthen ourselves and practice aligning with the energies of the higher self.
    • Keeping focused on what we want
    • Not being seduced by what ‘appears to be’ and recognizing that is just surface appearance, that we have the power to change it.
    • Letting problems, the illusion go, to focus on the solution
    • Staying balanced and stable when life appears to go bottoms up.

    Our Training Limits Us

    In order to live in alignment with our Buddha nature, our higher unlimited self, we have to reorient our minds, and overcome the training of a lifetime. That training has taught us to be realistic, in other words, limited, focus on problems, doubt our own abilities and feel unworthy.

    Enlightenment is…

    This is what enlightenment is all about, developing an awareness of, and a belief in the unlimited being that you are, then manifesting your unique contribution in the world

  • Know Why You Don’t Always Get What You Want?

    Let’s say you’ve set a goal for a new house. You’ve begun to chant about it.  Do you find your thinking going like this?

    I want a new house.
    I doubt I can get it.
    I want a new house but I don’t think I can afford it.
    I want a new house in this lovely neighborhood.
    My significant other says that isn’t realistic in view of my history.

    And so it goes….

    When you set the goal, you have started the process of attracting it to you. Your goal is the thought that is going to draw and shape that universal life-energy and bring it into your world. If you have thoughts that doubt you can get it, or say you can’t afford it, it’s as though you’ve held up your palm and told the universe to slow down.

    According to President Ikeda, “When your determination changes, everything will begin to move in the direction you desire.  The moment you resolve to be victorious, every nerve and fiber in your being will immediately orient itself towards your success. On the other hand if you think, “This is never going to work out,” then in that instant every cell in your being will be deflated and give up the fight.  Then everything really will move in the direction of failure. Faith into action, P. 108-109.

    Keep Giving Attention to What You Want

    Maybe your goal feels like too big a stretch and you don’t believe you can get there. Don’t give up. Take the first step towards your goal. Look at houses on the internet. As you look at the beautiful homes, let yourself dwell on what you want. Flesh it out in detail. Give attention to what you want. That attention continues to strengthen the desire. Brush away any thoughts to the contrary and turn your attention back to what you want.

    Develop the Details

    As you dream about your perfect house, add in the special details that would make it your home. Allow yourself to become excited about it. Know there will be the perfect house for you when the time is right.

    Don’t keep Looking at the Defects in Your Old House

    You’ve been living with what you don’t want. That’s why you decided to set the new goal. Don’t continue to look at the defects in the old house over and over to explain why you want a new one. When you keep giving attention to them, you are creating more of the same. Focus your mind on what you want and brush away what you don’t want. This is not always easy and often requires practice.

    What is Being Realistic?

    My significant other says I’m not being realistic in view of my history. Being realistic to him/her means looking at conditions as they have been in the past. If you continue to look at what-has -been, that is what you will continue to create. What you give your attention to, grows. Don’t you want to create a new reality, something new? To do that, you must keep your attention on what you want to have happen, the something new.

    The Material World is More Changeable Than You Think

    You often think that the way life looks on the surface it is the reality. When you do this you are forgetting that all of life at the quantum level is vibration and shaped by thought. It only looks immovable. But that’s not the reality. When you persist with your thought and stay focused on what you want the “immovable conditions of life” will give way to the new creation.

    You Set the Goal: The Universe Handles How to Get There

    It’s your job to set the goal. It is the job of the universe to take care of how you are going to get there. When you decide how it is going to happen, you set road blocks in the way of the universe doing its job. When you open your mind to all the possibilities, you may well be completely surprised by what develops, sometimes things you would never have imagined.

    A Personal Experience

    My husband and I bought a fixer upper and turned it into our dream home. Next to us was a house owned by an out-0f-state landlord who was letting the house deteriorate. The renters went from a nice family to multiple renters, one couple with substance abuse problems and a nurse in training.

    We chanted that the house would be bought by someone who would fix it up and make a nice home of it. For several months, nothing happened. We could have looked at what was and decided that we couldn’t influence it. Instead, we persisted chanting with our vision in mind. I remember saying to my husband that only an explosion would change the situation there. We just couldn’t see how our goal could happen.

    One day, there was an explosion. The nurse, collected the rent, and left town to consult with his aunt, a real estate attorney. The landlord arrived two days later in a high temper. It turned out the nurse had put the rent in escrow until the landlord fixed electrical problems, which were in danger of causing a fire. The landlord harassed everyone. When the nurse returned he slapped the landlord with a restraining order which forbade him to come around the house or talk to anyone involved. We had the landlord sitting on the wall in front of our house glaring at the nurse playing his guitar on the front step of his house at 1 A.M. Then we heard rumors of court action. In the space of three days, everyone left the house.

    Nothing happened for six months, while we continued to chant, our vision in mind. Then one day, Scott drove in. He was a contractor, and had bought the house with the intention of fixing it up and selling it. He turned that house into a beautiful family home and then sold it to a man who has been an outstanding landlord, who rented it to a nice family. Anything is possible!!!


    1. Remember your thoughts are the builder. They form  that life force/energy into what you envision.

    2. Look at at what you want, not what you don’t want.
    3. Practice getting rid of negative thoughts by returning your attention to what you want.
    4. Don’t worry about being realistic. That is only what-has-been and you don’t want to continue to create the same old thing.
    5. What appears unchangeable is an illusion. Everything can be changed when we turn our thought energy to it and chant about it.
    6. Be open that it can happen in ways you can’t imagine. Don’t tie down the creativity of the universe by structuring ‘how’ it is going to happen.
    7.  Set a goal and try the experiment.

  • Do You Know Why You Shouldn’t Chant About Your Fears?

    As a Nichiren Buddhist, you hear that you should chant for what you want. But what if you have a fear, or feel threatened by something. Shouldn’t you chant for what you want to change? The answer is no, not if you are looking at the problem.

    Think about it carefully. If you are holding the fear in your mind’s eye, you are giving your attention to the problem, and the problem is what you are putting out to the universe.

    Speech, Thought & Action Create Your Future

    You want to envision what you want to have happen not what you fear. Why? Because according to the law of cause and effect and 3000 realms in a moment of life, our thought, speech and action, create causes for our future. In My Dear Friends in America, President Ikeda quotes Ghandhi saying, “Your minds determine your future, your lives.” He also quotes William Hazlitt, whom he felt was an acute observer of human nature. He said that the power of belief, the power of thought, will move reality in the direction of what we believe and how we conceive it.

    Quantum Mechanics would support this. It says that at the source of all thought and matter is an ocean of pure vibrating energy and consciousness. When we have a thought or chant about a goal, we begin the process of attracting that vibrating energy into form. As you think that thought over and over it begins to show up more and more in your world. Think of all the times you started thinking about something and then found it everywhere. So you need to ask yourself. What do you want to create? Do you want to hold the thought of what you fear, or do you want to hold a thought of what you want?

    When we sit to chant, we project our thoughts and state of mind on the mirror of the universe. Then it is reflected back to us as the results we receive. The Clear Mirror Guidance, pg. 10. As President Ikeda says, “ Life is a ‘visible’ manifestation of the ‘invisible’ workings of the mind.” MDFIA 253.

    Shift Your Goal From The Problem to What You Want

    Let’s look at an example. Let’s say you are you are afraid you won’t have enough money to pay the rent. While chanting, take the fear of not being able to pay the rent, and chant about what you want to see happen, having the money to comfortably write out the check. We attract whatever circumstances we chant about when we put something out to the universe.

    When you chant about something, there is going to be a buffer of time between when you begin chanting and when the result shows up.  This is sometimes the hardest period, because you’ve changed what you are doing but haven’t yet seen the results. Be patient, keep chanting for what you want, and expect you are going to get it.

    A Personal Experience

    My husband and I  chanted for safety and protection before beginning a two-hour drive north to Portland, Oregon. Both of us had had the feeling there was potential for an accident. We were driving along the expressway in sync with the other cars going 75 miles an hour, when the cars ahead of us abruptly stopped dead, without warning. We were just able to stop, and when we looked around, the car behind us was by our left window. We were unhurt, our car untouched. To this day, I don’t take a car trip without chanting for protection and a safe trip first. I know this is a prosaic example but when you repeatedly have experiences where what you chant about comes to be, you know you are truly experiencing the mystic function of the mind.

    Try an Experiment

    To begin to master your mind, so you can focus what you want and won’t dwell upon fears. Try practicing the following steps.

    1. Identify what you want to have happen in your area of interest and chant about it.
    2. Don’t pay attention to what appears to be happening in the present, or to any fears you might have. If necessary, pull your attention fifty times a day away from those thoughts and back to what you want.  Just get back on the horse and don’t linger on your fears.
    3. If you don’t really believe you can have what you want, think about working towards it step by step, until you can believe what you are putting out to the universe. Chant for the first step with a thought that gives you hope.
    4. When you think of your goal during the day, focus on what you want and expect it to happen.
    5. Enjoy the results.

  • Do You Know How to Refresh Your Practice?

    Have you ever had a time when you felt unmotivated, study seemed like platitudes, doubts have shown up, and you are in the doldrums in your practice? You can become stale when life is comfortable, and there are no real problems on the horizon. True you might have aspects of your life you wish would change, but they aren’t anything that pressing, so you let them go. You know the practice works and you always have it if you need it. You have become complacent and before you realize it, your life and practice have become stagnant.

    Since this seems to be a universal experience of everyone from time to time, I decided to ask some experienced 30-45 year practitioners what they have done to refresh their practice.

    Be Proactive

    Negative Thoughts Are your Feedback: Chant About What is Blocking You

    A roadblock barrier or barricade is split as you Break Through the obstacle and forge ahead to get where you want to go and achieve a goal or reach success

    Trudy says. “I know I’m is in trouble when study doesn’t seem inspiring and I feel completely unmotivated. In the earlier years I listened to my negative thoughts. I was convinced they were true, and I let them influence me. Now I don’t listen anymore. I know that that negativity is my barometer, my feedback that I need to change something in my life. It tells me I need to mobilize myself, start break through prayer, then chant until I sees what the blockage is. I know that the blockage is always inside of me.”

    Ken doesn’t listen to those thoughts or feelings either. He comments, “I don’t worry about how I feel anymore. I just do the basic practice. That refreshes me.”

    Angie, had this to say. “I realized I was in my own way. I had cut myself off without even realizing it. I know that when I feel disconnected it isn’t anyone else, but comes from inside me. When I feel unmotivated I need to be in contact with other members who are energized.”


    Education Student People concept - Asian student reading and researching on the study in the library. Asian student happy to study. University student.

    Ruth observed, “I realized I couldn’t always depend on other people. I had to have my own conviction. The way I’ve built that is through studying Buddhism. It helps me have a deeper understanding of what is going on in my life.”

    Help Others Become Happy

    Dick says, “I refresh my practice by addressing my mission to bring happiness to as many people as possible. While I chant, I visualize inwardly communicating with my mentor and ask what I can do towards that goal every morning.  During my evening chant I imagine reporting back. Keeping myself accountable every day to do something, keeps me motivated. I also make sure I read something from The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin everyday, even if it is short. I have found that when life is tough, those snippets come back and strengthen me.”

    Nancy comments, ” I make a choice every morning to rededicate myself towards my mission of bringing happiness to others. During the first ten minutes of practice, I ask what I can do today, towards that end. That energizes and focuses me. All of the problems of daily life recede to the background, when I focus on the mission I was born for in this world. I also make a point of having at least a weekly connection with other members who are energized.”

    Chant for Others: Explain Buddhism to Them

    Jen says, “What refreshes me is starting someone in the practice. Explaining Buddhist concepts, and chanting about the person I am starting, really gets me going again.” Another way she refreshes herself is to take action to visit and help another person. She has found that when she encourages another person, she encourages herself.

    Group therapy. Group of young people sitting in circle while one man telling something and gesturing
    John instructs students in technology in electricity, welding, sheet metal and machine maintenance. Some of what he teaches could result in injuries if he isn’t very careful and on top of his game. “I have on-going goals to have my classes go smoothly and to be alert so I can keep my students safe. These on-going goals keep me very engaged with the practice and motivated to have the clarity and confidence to be the best mentor I can be,” he says.

    Challenge Yourself

    Another way to re-motivate yourself is to challenge yourself with a big goal and a drop dead date.  If you determine you are going to accomplish it no matter what, it can bring you out of the doldrums quickly.

    They Were Proactive

    Each of these practitioners knew that their complacency and sense of disconnection was a problem that needed to be addressed, that it was a hindrance to their practice.  Then they took proactive action to address it.


    If unmotivated try one of the following steps to re-motivate yourself.
    1. Chant to find what is blocking you.
    2. Ignore negative thinking.
    3. Be in contact with other practitioners who are energized.
    4. Do something to encourage another person.
    5. Explain a Buddhist concept to someone else.
    6. Start someone new.
    7. Ready or not, take on a big challenge.
    8. Make a contribution to the group, a presentation for ex.
    9. Remind yourself – feeling disconnected is one of the hindrances to Buddhist practice


    Please share the way you have refreshed your practice.  You will help someone else.

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