Many people suffer from depression. Depression can leach all joy out of life, leaving you without zest.
One of the wonderful things about this Nichiren Buddhist chanting practice of Nam-myoho-renge-kyo is that anyone can lift their daily life experience out of the more negative states of life, such as anxiety, depression, and anger and into the more positive ones of joy and compassion. When you chant you tap into your beautiful central core, your Buddha Nature, your universal connection. Then you can bring out wisdom, unshakeable happiness, and vitality there to use in everyday life.
Here is how one person broke through the darkness threatening to obscure his life. Brad, a man in his forties, started to practice about 20 years ago. At the time he was suffering from a severe depression. He couldn’t seem to find the work he wanted. Even with a college degree and a profession, he worked stocking shelves. He had invested a lot of time and money in a profession he didn’t like. He wanted a relationship and couldn’t seem to find one. Nothing in his life was going well.
Over time, as he chanted, his life turned for the better. He discovered another profession congenial to him and gradually pulled out of the depression. He found a young woman to love and they married.
Several years later, he experienced the loss of that important relationship and started to slip back into the depression once again.
As he chanted he made a determination. He wasn’t going to allow depression to take over his life again.
“I just wasn’t going to let that happen, so I challenged the depression,” he said. “It was a real spiritual struggle.”
He chanted for longer periods of time with the determination that he was going to regain the contentment he had had before the breakup. He got support and took steps to strengthen his faith.
His life condition gradually pulled out of the depression over a period of time. He persevered day after day and continuing to chant with that determination he broke through the depression and began to enjoy life again. Today he continues to chant to maintain his emotional stability.
When Challenged: Strengthen Your Faith
If your life has been engulfed by a negative life condition such as depression, anxiety or anger, you too can pull out of it by taking the steps followed by Brad.
- Make a determination you are going to become happy
- If you are new, you can learn the chant by going to www.sgi-usa.org to find us. You will find the name of someone close to you, who can guide you into learning the chant.
- If you already a practitioner chant for longer periods until you feel yourself rising out of the negativity.
- Strengthen your faith
For example study the promises such as this one,
“Even though one might point at the earth and miss it, though one might bind up the sky, though the tides might cease to ebb and flow and the sun rise in the west, it could never come about that the prayers of the practitioner of the Lotus Sutra would go unanswered.” WND, 345
- Attend meetings on a regular basis. You’ll hear the experiences of other people. Be reminded that you have the power within to overcome this obstacle. If they could overcome their obstacle, you can too.
“Faith makes people strong. And people of genuine faith shine the most when they encounter great difficulties. Certainly it is better not to have obstacles. But from another standpoint, difficulties are benefits. By challenging them we can forge a character pure and immutable as gold.” FIA, p. 143
- Find a chanting buddy. chanting with someone else can help you put in more chanting time. This will result in raising your life condition, pulling you out of negative states. With a more positive state of mind and more energy, you’ll be better able to confront your obstacle.
- A practitioner? Make an effort to help other practitioners. When you take action to further enlightenment for all people, you are also furthering your own life, and obstacles tend to work out. Experienced practitioners know this and facing and confronting a difficult obstacle will throw themselves into activities to encourage and help other people.
- Get guidance from an experienced practitioner. It might be exactly what you need at the critical moment. An experienced practitioner will have had the experience over and over of finding they have been able to surmount obstacles they thought were impossible, deepen their faith in the process and come to live a life of victory.
You Can do It
If you’re suffering from depression, take heart. There is a way out of it.
Perhaps one day when you have succeeded in overcoming your depression, you will be able to say as experienced practitioners do when someone says they are confronting a difficult obstacle.
“Congratulations, now you have something to chant about