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  • 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.

    Summary:

    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

    April 14, 2017 • Buddhism In Daily Life, Uncategorized • Views: 598

  • Challenging Goal? Add Leverage to Create Momentum

    Have you ever found that you set a goal, one that makes you stretch,  then found yourself forgetting to chant about it or finding reasons why you don’t want it after all? You might develop doubts that you can ever achieve it. You have encountered the normal resistance we all face when we start to grow. I discussed this in my last post, “Steps to Making Personal Changes When Chanting for a Goal.”

    Ask, Why Do I Want This Goal?

    Ask yourself , “Do I have strong reasons for setting this goal, strong enough to make it a determination rather than just a wish?” Did something happen in your life to push you set this goal? For example:
     Did you set a goal to become fit because you had a health scare?
     Do you have a strong desire to contribute to the world in some way, to accomplish something important to you?

    Man Hand writing What Is Your Reason? with black marker on visual screen. Isolated on background. Business technology internet concept. Stock Photo
     Are you facing a serious problem that you must solve?
     Are you trying to forge a new, expanded identity?
     Do you want to overcome a weakness?

    Remind yourself of all the reasons you set this goal to begin with. Write them down to remind yourself. A strong non-negotiable “why” can make all the difference when you hit your resistance to change.

    Add Some Leverage    

    Man moving up graphic with help of lever. Metaphoric

    Since you wanted the goal initially, create some leverage to get yourself back on track.

    Leverage can come in many forms and gives us the additional boost we need to keep us from slipping into old patterns. Leverage can help us overcome the reluctance to move forward. Some examples:
     Put a list of your reasons for setting this goal on your altar.
     Share your goal with a partner or your Buddhist group.
     You might announce that you are setting this goal at a discussion meeting and then report back once a month on your progress or lack there of.
     Ask a friend to hold you accountable for taking steps.
     Set a challenge for yourself like signing up for a race or attending a class at the gym. Maybe you have to hire a trainer or an online coach to hold you accountable
     Set a drop-dead date by which you will have completed your goal.
     Reward yourself after taking a step that is a challenge

    My Experience

    Before writing my first books, I had a history of loving the beginning of a project, but then losing motivation and follow through. When I wrote my first books, I had strong non-negotiable reasons for writing them. My writing critique group gave me the leverage I needed to write on a regular basis, provided regular deadlines for submitting my work, and encouraged me. My chanting practice kept me on track by giving me topic ideas. My prayer kept my end goal in front of me. Short daily Buddhist readings showed me what I had to address in myself to be successful.

    All of these things gave me the boost that I needed to keep moving forward when I engaged with my resistance to the personal growth required. Leverage can help you
    too and then you will experience success with that difficult goal.

    Excited, happy girl giving thumbs up showing success, isolated on pink background.

  • Facing a Difficut Obstacle? Make Good Causes.

    What Does Compassion In Action Look Like?

    If you want the universe to fully support you, then take the time to put compassion into action. What does this mean exactly? It means putting out the antennas of the heart, becoming aware of the needs of people around you. It means giving considered thought about how you can help him or her and then taking action to help meet the need.

    One way to do this is to teach another person how to chant. This is compassionate because it is giving them the tool to come out of suffering. But this isn’t the only way. Another is to chant for someone who is suffering, or to be willing to put aside your own life, when someone needs you to support them.

    People have many needs that can benefit from compassion. Is there a shut-in on your block that is lonely and needs a warm friendly look in from time to time? Is there an older person living alone, who needs help with errands, to get the mail, or to get to bed at night? Do you try to create harmony in your neighborhood when there is conflict? Doing these things is compassion in action.

    Old people in geriatric hospice: Black doctor visiting an aged patient holding hands of a senior woman. Concept of comfort and compassion

    Then chant for the people or situations you are handling. These actions can help break through the loneliness brought about through isolation, and help to create community. Chanting and taking such actions can transform your life.

    Encourage the Law of Cause & Effect to Work For You.

    When you do these kinds of things you are encouraging the law of cause and effect to work for you. We know that when we make good causes, good effects are the result. The direct line between cause and effect may not be clear as the universe is often more indirect. Here is an example of how it works. Let’s say you help others out of compassion supporting them for a large part of the day. You arrive home at night, exhausted and don’t have any food in the refrigerator. Too tired to think of shopping you are surprised when a neighbor knocks on the door and, unasked, has brought you supper. The universe has supported your need.

    Man Hand writing Cause and Effect with marker on transparent wipe board.  Business, internet, technology concept.

    Experienced practitioners often make good causes, when facing a difficult obstacle. I have seen practitioners throw themselves into volunteer work for the organization, make an effort to support other people and find people to start in the practice. Another Buddhist practitioner has made herself the heart of her neighborhood, by helping her neighbors when needed.

    Just studying Buddhist philosophy doesn’t create the kind of transformation that putting compassion into action can create. Your whole life will become rich in relationships and community, and become an inspiration and an example to other people. You will be supported by the universe.

    Compassion is the Soul of Buddhism

    “Compassion is the very soul of Buddhism. To pray for others making their problems and anguish our own; to embrace those who are suffering, becoming their greatest ally; to continue giving them our support and encouragement until they become truly happy-it is in such humanistic actions that the Daishonin’s Buddhism lives and breathes.”
    Daisaku Ikeda, For Today & Tomorrow, p.363

    September 28, 2016 • Buddhism In Daily Life, chanting practice, faith/prayer, Uncategorized • Views: 610

  • Challenge Yourself! Set a Drop-Dead Date for Your Goal

    In one meeting where members were discussing goals, a member from Kansai spoke up. “We don’t set goals like this in Kansai.” The group turned to look at him. They knew that Kansai was a province in Japan where there had been an enormous success with an impossible goal. The Kansai member continued, “The way to set goals is to make them very specific and have a drop dead date, by which you will have achieved your goal.”

    One person commented, “The idea of setting a drop dead date scares me to death. I’m afraid of failing!” Isn’t that why many of us don’t set a date for completion? Secretly, we don’t really believe it can be done.

    If that’s the case, it’s important to examine our thinking. Everything we chronically think and feel is projected to the universe. If we are telling the universe our goal can’t be done, what do you think is going to be reflected back to us? Remember our architectural drawing in the last post? http://wp.me/p3V1J9-LA When we envision a goal while chanting it is like creating a drawing on invisible planes when we chant for a goal. So ask yourself, what am I creating in my architectural drawing, what I want or what I don‘t want? Am I erasing the drawing by doubting it can be done?

    Chant for Exactly What You Want

    What's On Your Bucket List words on a metal pail to illustrate things you want to do before you die

    Our words and thoughts are creating the channels in our subconscious mind through which the creative energy of the universe will work. This means we want to formulate our goals carefully. Often we set a goal focused on what we want to get rid of, not what we want. For example, “I want to lose 40 pounds.” This focuses the mind on what we don’t want, the 40 pounds. If we chant for this goal we may find nothing much changes. To create a goal that will lead to what we want, we should say, “I want to weigh 130 pounds, my ideal weight.”

    Let’s look at some others. An anxious, fearful person might say, “I want to live a relaxed, serene life.” A person who is struggling with finances could chant, “I want a stable income of name the amount by such and such a date.”

    Make sure you are chanting for what you want, and not what someone else wants for you.

    Set Specific GoalsAncient chinese philosopher Lao Tzu quote on old paper background. At the center of your being you have the answer; you know who you are and you know what you want.

    You can be very specific when setting goals. If you find yourself resisting being specific, I might ask you. Do you know where you want to go or what you want? If the answer is no, you could chant for your best direction or clarity.

    Chant with the End in Mind

    Seeing the end is already done is the challenge of chanting for a goal. you don’t yet see it in the material world. It important to remember that, when you chant, you have already planted the seed for its appearance in everyday life.

    How Do You Feel while Chanting?

    Since we are projecting where we are to the universe, we also have to examine how we are feeling. Do you have deep determination, or are you feeling desperate? Are you feeling anxious and needy, or confident?

    When you envision your goal as already accomplished, how do you feel? Describe your goal exactly as you wish it. Remember the drawing and enhance it, with details  until you feel happy, pleased and relieved, excited etc., that it is done. Let’s take an example, of a house remodel to show how this works. Envision your house as completed just the way you want it. See friends coming to visit, and the feeling of pride and happiness you experience now that it’s successfully completed.

    What if I Don’t Hit my Drop Dead Date?

    Set another one but don’t stop moving forward. Never give up. Instead, celebrate whatever progress you have made.
    Summary
     Set a specific goal
     Formulate a positive goal
     Set a drop dead date by which it will be accomplished
     Envision how you will feel when it is accomplished
     Celebrate any progress towards your goal

    August 18, 2016 • Buddhism In Daily Life, chanting practice, Uncategorized • Views: 577

  • Proven Steps to Human revolution

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

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

    What Does Our Target Look Like?

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

    3 Steps to Realizing our Human Revolution

    Step 1: Chant

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

    Step 2: Take Action         

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

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

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

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

    Step 3: Study Buddhist Teachings

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

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

    Congratulations

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

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

  • Guaranteed: 12 Steps to Break Through Deadlock

    When deadlocked, we are in a struggle between negative and positive forces. We don’t see the path forward: we feel up against a wall. It is then that our faith is put to the test. Are we going to succumb to negativity, doubt our Buddha nature, and give up? Or, are we going to seize the opportunity, build our faith and move forward to victory.

    Deadlock is an Opportunity

    When we face a deadlock we are presented with the opportunity to expand our lives in ways we might not imagine and certainly can’t see at the beginning. Perhaps we have a limited view of ourselves which stops us from taking the necessary action. Perhaps we have been dealing with anxiety, fears or depression which have held us back. Perhaps we have a certain way of functioning which blocks our progress.

    Building Faith, the Power Source

    Ever-stronger faith is what gives us the power and the courage to break through such deadlocks. So how can we find the way to develop our faith? If we study the experiences of practitioners who have broken-through, and produced victorious results, we’ll see each one has taken certain steps.

    1. They put the Strategy of the Lotus Sutra first. This means  chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo about their concern before trying to figure it out on their own.  They know that that connecting with and bringing out the deep wisdom available from within, they can find a way around deadlock.
    2. They chanted with focus and intensity as though they were going to shake the universe. Chanting with focus and intensity pulls you out of inertia and a laid back attitude. You can feel your energy and motivation rise.
    3. They chanted to raise their life condition and give them courage.
    4. They made a determination their goal was going to happen, even though it felt impossible.
    5. They studied the writings until they found the ones which gave them the support to move ahead.
    6. They threw themselves into encouraging the practice of others, putting the law of simultaneity of cause and effect into action.
    7. They kept their minds focused on moving forward.
    8. If they had doubts, they resolved them. They refused to fall into the abyss of doubt and despair. Sometimes that mean’t pulling their minds out of negativity fifty times a day.
    9. They went to meetings and heard experiences. Some of them got guidance for support.
    10. If isolated, they clung to the writings for instruction and example. They took action when it was required.
    11. With every set back they turned to the Lotus Sutra knowing Nam-myoho-renge-kyo is the one way to find the route around any obstacle.
    12. They made the resolution to keep on until their goal was reached.

    You Can Do It Too

    If these practitioners can do it, you can too. Just put these steps into practice and if you persevere you will find your way through.

    Leave a Comment

    Please leave a comment if you have broken through deadlock. It will help someone else.

  • Conquer Overwhelming Circumstances with Buddhist Practice

    When overwhelmed, too busy or in crisis, the temptation might be to chant less because of time constraints You think,”I’m so busy I don’t have time.” The net effect of this is to push the practice to the periphery of your life rather than keeping it in the center. when we do this, we’ve pulled back rather than using the practice to engage directly with our circumstances. We begin to start relying more on ourselves and less on the universal wisdom we have within. Our actions can become less effective.

    The small self can feel overwhelmed by our circumstances. The universal connection, our Buddha nature, can stabilize our situation and make everything flow smoothly so that sense of overwhelm disappears. Let’s see how one woman, Jean, used her practice in a situation like this over a two-year period.

    Jean’s Goal: A House Remodel

    Jean had a goal to remodel her home. She hired a contractor we will call Al, to do the work. She gave Al money up front to buy supplies. Three weeks later he came back to her for more. She gave him more money and also put down a deposit for kitchen cabinets.

    At this point she was doing her normal chanting practice to get things moving. She came to meetings and took care of and encouraged members. She had a strong practice both for herself and for others.

    Several weeks later Al came back to her and said he didn’t have any more money. He admitted he had used it for something other than the house. He told her that if she would buy the rest of the supplies he would do the work without pay. Feeling as though she had no alternative, Jean agreed.

    Soon after, the work slowed to a crawl. Al moonlighted at her house and worked at other homes during the day for money. The people he had brought to work with him weren’t getting paid either, so they stopped coming. It was clear to Jean Al wasn’t going to finish the work and what he had done was shoddy. She had given him all her money for the remodel and the work had ground down to a complete halt.

    How She Handled the Crisis with Buddhist Practice

    Step 1

    Jean realized she had a real problem. Her home was torn apart, she had no working kitchen, the contractor couldn’t finish and she was out of money. Feeling overwhelmed by her circumstances, she didn’t cut back on her practice. Instead she doubled down, chanting for longer periods, doing more activities, attending meetings and encouraging other people. She was confident she was making good causes and according to the law of cause and effect she  expected good results. She reached out to other members for chanting support and encouragement. Jean relied on her practice to clarify the steps she should take.

    The first step was to lay a claim with the contractors’ board as Al had not fulfilled his contract.The contractor’s board responded to her claim by sending an arbitrator. She and the contractor signed a new agreement, worked out through the arbitration process. Al agreed pay her $18,000 and pay for the cabinets. He had 60-90 days to follow through with the agreement. Jean waited but no money appeared.

    Step 2

    She decided to apply for his bond, her final recourse, to reimburse her for the money he had used up so she could complete the work. If this didn’t work she would be left with a house in chaos and no money to finish the work. There were a number of steps to this process. She entered upon a period where she would take a step and then he would have 30 or 60 days to respond. 6 months, then a year passed as the step-by-step process dragged along.

    Illustration depicting a roadsign with a one step at a time concept. White background.

    Jean continued to chant a lot and to do activities at the stepped up level. She had complete faith that this situation would work out, that this was a process she had to go through. At every step taken, she won, which helped her to remain positive.

    Step 3

    Then Al tried to get out of the arbitrated contract. This forced Jean to hire a lawyer and go to court. She won in court – the judge told the contractor the contract he had signed was binding. Jean could take the bond money.

    Portrait of a cheerful african woman with hands raised pointing up

          VICTORY!!!

    After the verdict, her lawyer pointed out that the contractor had dragged out the proceedings as far as he could, after being told early on there was no way he could win. This had cost Jean a lot of money unnecessarily. He thought the contractor should pay court costs and her attorney fees. The Judge agreed.

    Summary of Steps to Handling A Crisis

    1. When overwhelmed, Jean did not pull back from daily chanting but instead did more and also added to the activities she was doing to encourage and support the practice of other people.
    2. She reached out to others for chanting support and listened to the experiences members, who had succeeded with their obstacles.
    3. She remained positive, keeping the end goal in mind.
    4. She continued her daily study to stay close to the teachings and be reminded she was a Buddha and could turn anything from poison into medicine

    You Can Do It Too

    Just remember these steps and, if overwhelmed,  double down rather than pull back from your practice.  Doing this you can overcome anything.

  • How to Unlock Your Mental Limits

    When we run up against a mental limit we think we are going to do something, and then we don’t do it. We resist moving forward, and abandon our goal or project.

    My Experience With Mental Limits

    I came up against my mental boundaries in the gym, where at seventy one I challenged myself to become fit. I thought this would be a straight forward process. I would just do what my trainer told me. What I hadn’t expected was that he would challenge me in ways that I would resist, that I would have to retrain myself mentally in order to move forward.

    One day my trainer added a lot of additional weight to an exercise for the abdominals.
    “I can’t lift this,” I said. He exploded, “Don’t you ever say can’t to me! You just made the decision to stop.” After that, I modified how I talked to him and to myself. When I felt something was impossible, I created a mental opening to doing the exercise. I said, “I’ll try.” Or, “I’ll do my best.” With that small change in thinking I set aside my self-imposed limitations and did the exercise.

    I discovered that I had beliefs about what an older body could or could not do. One day I asked my trainer, “What are the limits for someone my age?” “There aren’t any,” he responded. Rather than create limits for myself, I had to shift my thinking to encourage myself, “I’ll see how far I can take it, one step at a time.”

    Five years later at 76 I have not found my limits yet. I’m still making progress with balance, agility, strength and coordination. Every day when I go into the gym, I am faced with something I don’t think I can do. Every time, I have to take myself mentally in hand to create that mental opening. Then, I discover I can do it.

    Ways to Create A Mental Opening

    How can we can create mental openings, to allow us to move forward with a challenging project or goal? Try the following:

    • Don’t continue to look at the obstacle. Imagine what you want to achieve as already accomplished.
    •  Remind yourself. I have my connection with the universe on my side. Then with your goal in mind, chant for the next step to take.
    • Don’t look at the whole goal. Instead, just chant about taking the first step.
    •  Be curious. Challenge yourself, Let’s see how far I can go one small step at a time.
    • Scared about doing something? Chant for courage. Then think to yourself, I’ll do this one small thing, then I can relax.
    • Feeling overwhelmed? Remind yourself, I can do anything for 15 minutes. Set a timer and get to work.

    When you think in these ways you can take a challenge that feels enormous and break it down into bite sized attainable pieces. Your resistance and desire to back off and abandon your challenge will disappear and you will be able to move forward

    October 15, 2015 • Uncategorized • Views: 806

  • Here is a Method for Mastering Your Mind

    Our Thoughts Influence Everything

    President Ikeda, the foremost proponent of this form of Buddhism in the world, says in his book Faith into Action that positive thoughts take form in reality, creating positive results, where pessimistic thoughts take form and produce negative results. This principle doesn’t apply to an isolated thought here or there, but does apply if we consistently think one way or the other.

    When we set a goal, think of it as creating an invisible architectural drawing, which, at some point will show up in the material world. This principle becomes important when you are chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo  to overcome an obstacle or major challenge and a negative circumstance might follow, if you don’t achieve it. For example let’s say you need to get a mortgage refinanced or you might not be able to remain in your home. If the challenge is not resolved very quickly, it becomes easy to focus on the fear of losing your home. When fear starts to dominate your thoughts then it’s time to ask the question, what do I want to create? Do I want to create what I fear, or do I want to manifest my desired outcome?

    Practice for Mastering Your Mind

    Nichiren Daishonin, the founder of this form of Buddhism, talks frequently about mastering our minds and not letting our minds master us. What does that mean when facing an obstacle, or major challenge? When we become aware that we are focusing on our fears, it is time to give ourselves a good mental shake and redirect our thinking. We need to envision what we want as already accomplished.

    Once when I was chanting for the resources to complete a house remodel, I had to pull my mind out of the abyss of my fears fifty times a day and refocus on what I wanted to create. It was a real spiritual struggle. I knew that I would create what I consistently focused on mentally. I kept asking myself, “What do you want to see happen here? Do you want to manifest your fears or your desired outcome?” Then I would have to refocus my mind on my goal as already accomplished, seeing my home as completely and successfully remodeled in my mind’s eye.

    Steps to Creating Positive Results

    When you find your mind sinking into the abyss of fears and negativity take the following steps.
    1. Chant until you can feel your life condition pull out of that negative state. That may mean chanting longer than usual or chanting longer for a period of days before this occurs.
    2. Remind yourself: I want to manifest my desired outcome, not my fears.
    3. Then focus on seeing your end goal as already accomplished. Envision it how you want it to be. Continue chanting with your end goal in mind.

    August 6, 2015 • Uncategorized • Views: 984

  • What is a Buddha? #1 of 2

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

    Traditional Beliefs

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

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

    Anyone Can Become Enlightened

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

    The Path to Buddhahood

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

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

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

    What is Attaining Buddhahood?

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

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

    In a Nutshell…

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

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

    January 9, 2015 • Uncategorized • Views: 1304

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