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  • Why is it so Hard to Establish a New Habit?

    As we work on our human revolution, that transformation from the lesser to the greater self, we are going to have to give up habits of thinking and acting that don’t serve us and adopt new ones which serve us better.

    How Do We Build a New Habit?

    We start by making a decision to change something with our conscious mind.

     

    The  part of us that is going maintain and act on the change is our subconscious mind. that subconscious part of us is entrusted with all of the things that maintain our lives.  It keeps our heartbeat regular, digests our food, and keeps all of our vital processes functioning to maintain life.  For this reason the subconscious mind does not change quickly.

     

    Think about how you learned to drive a car. Initially you had to consciously make a decision to practice braking and accelerating as you learned to drive. You might have been overwhelmed by all the things you had to remember at once. You motivated yourself by looking at the freedom you would gain, the fact you would be a part of the grown-up world, etc. Yet after you practiced driving for a while, the actions became automatic and your unconscious reflexes put on the brake or the accelerator at just the right time.  You had become a driver. By setting the goal and following through, you grew into a new identity.

    The Steps:

    • You made the decision
    • You practiced taking small actions to build the new habits,
    • Your subconscious mind adopted the new behaviors
    • Once that happens you are supported in the new habit. the subconscious handles things automatically.
    • You built a new identity, a driver.

    Make a Decision: What do You Want to Achieve?

    Let’s say you don’t believe you can achieve the goal you’ve set and you want to be able to pull yourself out of that mindset.

    First, create a conscious vision of what you want to achieve. Why do you want to achieve it? Your why’s are your strong reasons for doing it, your motivators. Your motivators could be the opportunity, on the positive side, or the consequences if you don’t do it on the negative side.

    Make the decision you are going to do it no matter what. Then chant to be willing to make the necessary changes.

    Accept the Fact of Resistance

    We all have resistance to change. When we learn to recognize it and embrace it as part of the process, then it becomes easier to persist. Change doesn’t happen overnight so we can’t expect habit change to take place in a couple of days. You have to plan on being persistent with the new behavior for a couple of months.

    Change isn’t comfortable in the initial stages, so you must be willing to step out of your comfort zone for a while until the new behavior becomes habitual. We all revert to old thinking or behavioral habits and have to work to change them.

    Having this goal of changing a negative mindset. I don’t really believe this goal is possible. I want to change this way of thinking. I know I’m being negative and I know being negative has not created good results in my life. I don’t want to continue to create negative results in my life. I want to focus on the solution. But, I find myself falling into looking at the problem over and over. See my post, Do You Know why Your thoughts Are so Important? http://wp.me/p3V1J9-PB) to discover why developing a positive mindset is important.

    This is the time the rubber meets the road. Do you quit, drop the goal and move to something else? Or, do you stick with it and practice pulling your thinking out of looking at the problems to refocus on the positive end goal? If you decide to practice, you have engaged in the process of building a new positive habit – focusing on what you want.

    You don’t have to completely believe you will achieve the goal. Treat it as an experiment and see what happens. That way you will keep your mind positive, engaged in the process of building a new positive habit – focusing on what you want.

    One Small Step a Day

    Consciously take a small action to build the new habit. When you become aware you are falling into negative thinking, refocus your mind on your end goal – the solution to the problem. You may have to take that small action over and over during the day. When you take a small action, for example , turning your attention to what you want, your mind lowers its resistance.  It may take a month or two of being persistent in pulling your mind out of negativity. But one day you will find yourself doing it automatically. At that point you will have established a new habit and will easily focus on the positive goal.

    “I like change, but only a little bit at a time.”

    Whether you can believe you can achieve a goal or not, stick with it until you get what you want. Seeing the way events work themselves out, ends up building the belief that anything is possible.

    A Personal Experience: A Physical change

    Let’s say it’s a physical change you want to make. Lifelong I have had a tendency towards a rounded back. Slumping while sitting is a physical habit. As I got older my back rounded more as I worked at computers and desks. I decided one day I didn’t want to be facing the floor when I was 90.

    I chanted about the issue. an idea came to go to a physical therapist. I went and she she introduced me to the foam roller. I lie on it on my back length wise and use weights to open my chest. When I started a year ago, due to the rounding, there was a three inch space between my head and the foam roller. I committed myself to doing the exercises 3-4 times a week. Getting off the roller was actually painful.

    Over the months I noticed my back seemed to be loosening and then one day I was able to brush the roller with my head. Over the next couple of months my back continued to relax until I was able to lay my head flat on the roller. It took a year, but by doing just a little 4 times a week, I was able to transform the trajectory of my back. It was a huge victory. People started commenting that they couldn’t see the hump I had had. I won’t be facing the floor when I’m ninety. I didn’t think that kind of change was possible. One small action at a time.

    Find a Role Model, a Mentor

    If you’re unsure about what is needed, find a role model, someone who embodies what you want to do. You can talk to them to find out how they did it or you might read something they’ve written that shows you how they think. This is when having a mentor is so useful.

    When chanting for a goal that is a stretch, it is helpful to read Daisaku Ikeda’s writings. He demonstrates how to reach for a huge goal in The Human Revolution, and talks about the importance of staying positive in Faith Into Action. Then in the Daily Encouragement, he encourages you to persist with your dreams and not let anyone talk you out of them.

    Summary:

    1. Create a vision of what you want.
    2. Make a decision you are going to do this no matter what.

    3. Chant for your goal.
    4. Accept the fact of resistance.
    5. Take one small step a day to practice the new way of thinking, or to make a small behavioral change.
    6. Find a role model
    7. Never give up.

  • 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.

     Summary

    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 margaretblaine.com/know-why 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..

  • 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 It’s Important to Forge Your Mind of Faith?

    President Ikeda says in the  Clear Mirror Guidance, that when you chant, your mind of faith is reflected on the entire universe, as if on a clear mirror.  This means that when you chant about a concern, your mind of faith is going to influence the results you receive.

    If your mind of faith is joyful and you chant with confidence and determination, the universe will reflect this state of mind in terms of good results.    

    But, if you are chanting ritualistically, with complaints, disbelief and doubts, you won’t receive a lot of benefit.

    Are You Aware of Your Mind of Faith?

    Being aware of your mind of faith, allows you to recognize what you are doing while you are chanting. If you are fearful, and focus on problems rather than solutions, then further problems may well be the result. If you chant with doubts, disbelieving you can be successful in achieving your goal, study, get guidance and do whatever you need to do to resolve them.

    Learn to be aware of what you are doing and then adjust your thinking to get better results. Focus on your desired solution, then relax and allow the universe to determine the path.

    This is a subtle process, but learning to control your mind is the key to developing the mind of faith, which will produce the results you want. It will allow you to bring out the full positive potential in all situations.

     What Does ‘Learn to Control Your Mind’, Mean?

    Being able to control your mind means :

    • To be able to keep your attention focused on what you want, not letting yourself dwell in doubt, fear and vivid imaginary disasters.
    • To refuse to be deluded by how things appear on the surface of life, knowing that if you stay focused and continue to chant, you can effect change.
    • To be emotionally stable through the ups and downs of life, staying focused on your goal as you wish it to be.
    • To possess the confidence that you have the same creative power as universal mind, that you can mold, influence, overcome obstacles and create expansion in your life just as that universal energy does.

    An Experience

    Two married practitioners, Amy and Doug, had agreed to be co-signers on their daughter, Diane’s house. All went well for several years and then both Diane and her partner, Alicia, lost their jobs. They couldn’t afford the mortgage. Without telling Amy and Doug, they stopped paying their mortgage. Everyone’s credit went downhill. When Doug and Amy checked their credit for something else eight months later, they realized there was a problem. For a while they tried to help, but soon a second mortgage was more than they could afford.

    How Can We Get Them to Put the House on the Market?

    Amy and Doug began to chant for ideas on what to do, as Diane and Alicia weren’t prepared to put the house on the market. Diane attempted to get an adjustment on the mortgage but it wasn’t moving forward. The bank kept asking for more and more papers and losing the ones she’d provided. The back monies kept rising month by month. If the house was foreclosed, it would mean Doug and Amy’s retirement. They felt completely powerless.

    They chanted about how to get Diane and Alicia to put the house on the market.

    They talked repeatedly to Diane and Alicia about getting a real estate agent. Relationships grew tense. They chanted about how to handle the house issue, and still keep the relationships positive. Then unexpectedly the bank took legal action. Doug, Amy, Diane and Alicia received papers summoning them to a court date.

     What Would It Take to Sell the House?

    Seeing that the bank was getting ready to force action, Amy and Doug went to look at the house. They saw there were a number of repairs and painting that needed to be done before the house could be put on the market. The owners finally agreed that if everyone was going to get their money out of the house, it had to be put up for sale.

    While chanting, Amy and Doug realized that they could take care of the repairs, the painting and the large overgrown yard, since both Alicia and Diane had significant physical problems. The family began to pull together. Doug and his oldest son did the repairs and Amy and Doug paid for the yard work and a retainer for an attorney. Then Diane’s younger brother came for a visit and he helped them weed out their belongings. A full dumpster went to the dump.

    A Crisis

    Amy and Doug chanted daily for a good buyer. After two months, three showed up. One was accepted. A month passed while inspectors came to look at all the systems in the house.

    Their attorney told the Diane and Alicia the first court date was due to be the day after their expected closing date.

    One month before the closing date, the buyers came back with another offer wanting about $30,000 worth of repairs. The sellers and Doug and Amy were under the gun.

    Don’t Be Thrown by Events

    Doug and Amy could have been overwhelmed and fearful facing the apparent situation – the potential loss of the buyer, repairs they couldn’t afford and a foreclosure. Instead, they had confidence, that with their chanting practice they were going to succeed.  They continued to chant while keeping their eye firmly on the goal, a smooth closing. All four sellers put their heads together and agreed to cover about $2500 in repairs . They told the buyers that they weren’t going to haggle any further, but would go to the next buyer. The counter bid was accepted.

    No Money to Move

    The second crisis showed up when  Diane and Alicia didn’t have the money to move. They had bad credit, three cats and two large dogs. Diane rapidly discovered that no rental company would rent to them.

    Doug and Amy chanted that they would find a place to live where they would be happy.

    Diane talked to her brothers about helping out with money for the move. To everyone’s surprise and relief, they agreed.

    Diane and Alicia found a townhouse perfect for them despite their bad credit. The owners believed in giving second chances, a second surprise.

    One day before the scheduled court date, the house was fully sold and recorded. The family got their money back from the profits made by the sale of the house.

    Poison Turned Into Medicine

    Poison, the threatened foreclosure, had been turned into medicine, a successful sale, and successful move, and better family relationships.

    Summary:
    1. Be aware of what you are projecting to the universe, your mind of faith.
    2. Deal with any complaints, doubts and disbelief.
    3. Control your mind and emotions and stay positive, your eye on the goal, no matter what.

    March 16, 2017 • Buddhism In Daily Life, handling goals, practical buddhism • Views: 427

  • 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!!!

    Summary:

    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.”

    Study

    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.

    Summary:

    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

    Comments:

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

    February 2, 2017 • chanting practice, faith/prayer, personal growth, practical buddhism • Views: 427

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