I’m doing something different this week as I have a very bad cough that won’t allow me to tape the vlog. Once it improves I will tape it, but for now, here is the transcript .
In this vlog I want to share with you through a personal experience. how you can build your faith. I want to begin with a quote from Daisaku Ikeda.
” The entire universe is like our own personal bank account. The amount of fortune we can withdraw depends solely on our faith. Faith means battling life’s negative functions.” Wisdom of the Lotus Sutra, vol 4, p. 187
A Major Fixer Upper
I had found the perfect house for us. It was a major fixer upper. I had looked at it walking the bike path in the park next to the Willamette River for the last two years, wishing I could live there. It was the only house on the river that took advantage of the incredible 180 river view. One day I saw a For Sale sign on the window. I ran up to the house. The moment I stepped into the front yard I knew this house was ours. Particularly when I saw it had a basement, something highly unusual in this part of the world.
We both knew without question this was our place, although we found out later 200 people had looked at it and decided not to buy it due to the amount of work required. We had remodeled a couple of houses and had a pretty good idea of what we were letting ourselves in for, when we sat on the rotting deck and saw that the electricity was held onto the house by a piece of rope. We listened to the rapids in the river and that was that.
We got a construction loan to cover the remodel, due in 10 months. We had to make a list of the projects we were going to complete. Seemed like plenty of time to do the work. We began to chant that the work would go smoothly.
We ran into our first big obstacle right away. We had known we had to replace one basement wall, but that one turned into three. This took a lot of the money we had for the whole project. “Oh well,” we sighed philosophically, we would just have to do more of the work.
I chanted for the work to go smoothly. My husband chanted for the solutions to specific construction problems. He said it was amazing. It was like tapping into a library and getting the answers he needed. “They were always better than anything I would have thought of myself”, he said. The work proceeded apace although it was taking more time than we had hoped.
We arrived home one night to find that the lights we had left on, were off. We discovered crispy wires. This mean’t we had to rewire the first floor as well as the basement. Our timeline just got tighter.
In the spring we realized that we were not going to have completed the work by the time that the construction loan was due in June. This mean’t we could lose the house. We decided to communicate with the bank and wrote them a letter telling them what had been accomplished so they could see we weren’t deadbeats.
When the loan was due we got a letter from the bank requesting $1500 to extend the loan. That was all we needed. We didn‘t have enough money as it was. We needed $25,000 more than we had.
I upped the chanting ante. Without telling any one I chanted seeing the house as finished and ours. I chanted for the necessary $25,000. This whole financial situation had triggered major fears of financial loss in me.
I had been studying Buddhism and understood that the law of cause and effect and the law of oneness of self and environment were telling me that our results would be created from the inside out. This mean’t that if I allowed myself to fall into negativity due to my fears, I would be creating the very situation of which I was fearful.
As Daisaku Ikeda says,
“If you practice faith while doubting its effect, you will get results that are at best unsatisfactory. This is the reflection of your own weak faith on the mirror of the cosmos. On the other hand, when you stand up with strong confidence, you will accrue limitless blessings.’ For Today and Tomorrow, p. 355
The Battle with My Fundamental Darkness
I couldn’t allow myself to dwell on my fears and doubts. Not my usual pattern. A battle ensued. When a doubt would come up – I would remind myself of my goal. Doubts popped up from everywhere. This was a battle with myself and I was determined to win it. I realized I was engaged in a battle to master my mind rather than let it master me.
I also realized I had to let go of my beliefs about what was possible. If I listened to what my non Buddhist friends and acquaintances would say, they would tell me we weren’t being realistic to think we could manifest the money we needed by chanting about it. Every time I began to doubt what I was doing I had to remind myself of our goal.
About three weeks after I started chanting for the $ 25,000 I received a phone call from my sister. Could I use a loan of $5,000?” I was thrilled. I could see wallboard and wire. ‘This must be a sign I was making progress towards my goal,” I thought. Another four weeks passed when I received a call from my brother across the country. He wanted to invest $20,000 in real estate as the stock market was so poor. Could I use $20,000? I was extatic. we had the extra $25,000 we needed to finish the house.
In June, the due date for the loan came and went and we didn’t hear anything more from the bank. We chanted we would finish the house in time. We continued to work at top speed, until ten and 11 a night, after working at our day jobs.
A housing inspector, with a reputation for being difficult, gave my husband tips on how to handle different projects so he could pass the inspections. He told my husband he respected the quality of work he was doing. My husband always built on the 100 year principle. His work should last 100 years.
Were We Being Protected?
July passed, then August and September with no further communication from the bank. We looked at one another. “Were we being protected?” I thought the bank would have wanted another $1500.00 before now to extend the loan another couple of months. We were getting closer and closer to completing the work. In the last week of October when we had about three days to go, the bank contacted us. We had to have the work done by November 1st. We met the deadline.
This experience was a turning point in the forging of my faith. When we received the money we needed to complete the house, I realized for the first time that I had the ability to manifest what I needed from the universe. The low level anxiety I had carried all my adult years about possible financial loss just dissipated. I also realized that no matter what ups and downs we were facing we could stand on the rock of our relationship with that connection with the universe. There was nothing to fear.
Summary of Lessons Learned
I learned that to achieve a goal I had to master doubt, and trust that the universe would support me. I came to understand that any time we take on an ambitious goal, my fundamental darkness would come to the fore and had to be overcome. If I tried to take on a goal that was too big,Ie wouldn’t be able to believe fully it could happen. It would be better to choose goals that would grow us step by step. If I wanted an oversize goal, I should chant for the first step, and then the second. The struggle with myself would be too big otherwise. So one way we can forge our faith is through setting and going through the spiritual battle to achieve the goal.
I had learned I had to let go of old beliefs about what was possible. With the Gohonzon, we had stepped onto the path of miracles.
Study had alerted me to what I needed to do in addressing the doubts. To create what I wanted, I had to remain positive. I realized that both study and chanting would show me the steps to take. Study also showed me how to stay close to my mentor – through daily reading of encouragements, asking, “What would President Ikeda do in this situation?”.
What is Faith?
“Faith is nothing unusual. Faith means putting one’s trust in the Lotus Sutra,” ….in the Gohonzon, the essence of the Lotus Sutra…………..” and chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo as a woman cherishes her husband, as a man lays down his life for his wife, as parents refuse to abandon their children, or as a child refuses to leave its mother.” WND, p. 1036
Anyone of you can forge a mind of faith through these steps. Faith builds a strong center of absolute happiness in the core of your life which allows you to face anything and not be thrown off balance.
Thank you for listening. Here are some related vlogs
1. Know the warning signs You are Battling Fundamental darkness? https://wp.me/p3V1J9-T8
2. Do you Know Why Your Thoughts Are So Important? https://wp.me/p3V1J9-PB
3. 8 Steps to Master the Way You Think https://wp.me/p3V1J9-PX
Now I want to hear from you. Please comment, send me ideas for topics and tell me what you like and what you don’t.
I’ll see you in two weeks.