Mastering Your Mind: Post #1
I have been practicing Nichiren Buddhism for eighteen years. During that time I have heard over and over from people who are new to the practice, that chanting for goals doesn’t seem spiritual.
I disagree with this. Chanting for goals is a discipline which develops many spiritual attributes in the practitioner. In this and future posts I am going to explore some of the spiritual attributes developed by chanting for goals.
Chanting for a goal, as we have seen in the last post, requires that you set a positive goal and determine that you will achieve it no matter what. What kind of Goals Can I Set?
From the time you set the goal until you have achieved it, many things can happen. Perhaps events conspire to make it look as though the goal is impossible. Perhaps you have hit the hard slog in the middle when all you can do is put one foot ahead of the other. What you do then can make all the difference.
Fears Get In The Way
There may be a temptation to dwell on your fears.This might have been your habit in the past.
In the last post, link, Manifesting What You Want is a Skill, you can see that dwelling on fears can create what you fear instead of what you want. At the very least, dwelling on your fears will make it far harder to achieve your goal.
Fears are saying that you don’t really believe that you have a Buddha nature and can create life as you want it. If you are struggling put your fears aside, remind yourself you don’t want to create what you fear. Then chant until you draw out the courage you have inside. Sometimes you might have to chant for longer periods or more frequently than twice a day, until you can feel the fear dissipate.
Mentally picture both your goal and your determination as many times as necessary to reach your goal. This is a discipline that allows you to train your mind from being reactive to being proactive.
Being Reactive Versus Being Proactive – An Example
Let’s say you received a warning at work. If you were a reactive person you would sit and picture all of the things which you feared might happen, a job loss, no money, being homeless etc. Being reactive, means you respond to anything which comes along, picturing the worst. You are being tossed to and fro by the winds of life.
When you take on the daily discipline of chanting and working with your mind to stay focused on what you want, you are learning to be proactive. This means you are taking the direction of your life into your own hands. You set your next direction, your goal, then follow the path towards it with determination and faith that your connection with the universe will take you where you want to go.
This isn’t always easy. You might have to surmount a number of obstacles as you chant about your goal. Some goals might take a long time to achieve and the temptation is to give in to doubts and fears. But when you repeatedly picture what you want and refuse to dwell in your fears, then you will develop the strength of mind necessary to create your life as you want it to be.
One newer practitioner had a high degree of anxiety. She would allow her fears to take over and would retreat to bed for several days at a time. This didn’t help her to follow through with obligations and academic deadlines. When she finally got out of bed, she was playing catch up and her work had slipped. Since she had fallen behind, life was harder. At that point she was reactive to events.
After chanting about her goals for three years and seeing them met one after another, she told me with satisfaction, that she no longer goes to bed when things look bleak, and life has become a lot easier for her.
She has become proactive She has learned to set her fears aside, chant, and focus on what she wants. When she is threatened by fears, she has learned to talk to herself differently, reminding herself that she has gotten through all of the other challenges and she will be able to get through this one too.
Mastering Your Mind
Gradually, as you chant and having the experience of overcoming obstacles to your goals, you will take control of your mind and emotions so that life’s negative events lose their power to frighten you or make you anxious.
You will learn how to master your mind in this way one step at a time. The time will come when fears will no longer master you and you won’t be undone by unexpected or negative events in life. Your mind will have become focused and strong.
Join the Conversation
What kind of experiences have you had with doing this? Has there been any aspect of chanting for a goal that has been a challenge?