Difficult Problem? 5 Steps to Nailing It.

When we first start to chant we are taught to set a goal and chant for it. It seems as though we are influencing a situation outside of ourselves. What we don’t see, is that to influence that situation and achieve our goal, we have to change ourselves – that it is an inside out process.



Are You Looking Outside Yourself?

All of us have problems in our lives which cause us suffering. It might be a relationship problem with a spouse or a child or a financial problem. It could be an illness. If you handle it the way society says to handle it, you will probably try to address the effect, the problem you are dealing with. How do we do this. We try to deal with the problem on the level of the problem. For example we might to fix the other person, if it is a relationship problem. We tend to blame the other person for the problem without ever thinking that we might be the problem ourselves. We look outside of ourselves at the problem and the solution. Don’t you, most of the time?

This means displacing the responsibility for the situation onto another person. That seems easy doesn’t it? But there is a price. It means that you won’t be successful in solving the problem

You have given away your power to change your circumstances, because you are looking in the wrong direction. You are looking outside yourself.

We Determine Our Circumstances From Inside Ourselves

Buddhism teaches that we all have the great power to determine our circumstances from the inside out, that nothing depends on circumstances outside of ourselves. That seems like taking radical responsibility. But when you examine it closely it is enormously empowering, because it means that nothing, no one or anything else determines the circumstances of your life.

Problem Requires an Internal Cause and External Effect To Manifest

Let me introduce you to Satori Izumi. He was a SGI leader that was well known for helping people to create excellent results from their chanting. Izumi points out that there has to be both an internal cause and external effect for a problem to manifest. For example, let’s say the internal cause is a seed. The external cause might be the watering of the seed so it will sprout. If there was no seed, watering the area would produce nothing and if there was no water, even if a seed were present, it would not grow. The seed is the original cause, the water is your life circumstances which arise when the time is right.

Suffering? Your Karma Needs to Change

Satori Izumi would say that when we try to change the problem outside of ourselves, our view has become non-Buddhist. You will never be able to change the situation if you only try to deal with the problem outside of yourself.. He says that no matter what the problem is, it is the effect of past causes, that the cause lies deep in your life, made at another time, perhaps in another lifetime. This is the karma you must address.

Let’s say you have a violent husband or wife, or a child who is delinquent. You have to ask yourself, “Why did I get involved with this man or have this child? You have attracted them to you because of your karma to suffer because of their situation. Perhaps in a past life you hurt them, so now your karma is to be hurt by them.
To determine who owns the problem, ask yourself. “Who is suffering because of this situation? The person who is suffering is the one who created the cause for this situation to manifest. That is the karma that needs to be changed.

Chanting Can Transform Your Karma

Chanting will not change someone else’s karma. As Greg Martin, SGI-USA study leader, points
out, “The Gohonzon has unlimited power to change you.” Chanting can absolutely change your
karma to suffer because of the situation. When you change, the other person will change, as
conditions change from the inside out.

A Challenge?  It’s Your Next Step Towards Enlightenment

Remember that every challenge that comes up, contains keys for your growth to the next step
towards enlightenment.

Take These Steps

If you find that you are not getting results when chanting about a problem, take these steps.
1. Recognize that if you are suffering it is your karma.
2. Set your end goal visualizing the problem as resolved
3. Chant to clarify what you need to change in yourself.
4. Let go of any resistance to change. This is your next growth step towards enlightenment.
5. Chant for courage and take action.


We discussed that problems arise from past causes made in another time, possibly in another
lifetime. The current problem is the effect.
To resolve the problem you cannot address it on the level of the problem, the effect, but rather
have to change ourselves, the cause.

Then we listed 5 steps to resolving a problem.
1. Recognize it is your karma since you are suffering.
2. Set your goal visualizing your problem as solved, however that looks to you.
3. Chant to clarify what you need to change in yourself.
4. Let go of any resistance to change as this is your next step towards enlightenment
5. Chant for courage and take action.

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