President Ikeda, author of many books on Buddhism and the leader of the Nichiren Buddhist movement for 60 years, points out in his Clear Mirror Guidance, the universe acts as a mirror, when we are chanting for a goal, and reflects our state of mind back to us.
Let’s look at some states of mind we might be projecting to the universe and ask ourselves.
- Am I chanting as a Buddha or a beggar?
If you are confronting a difficult challenge, the temptation is to chant as a beggar, please let me keep my house, please let me…. Chanting as a beggar sets you up as being weak, depending on an outside force to solve the problem. You hope but don’t really believe that the solution to the problem lies within your hands.
In fact, you have the Buddha nature within. This means you are connected to universal energy and intelligence and can bring them out to tackle anything which might come up. When you chant based on the Mystic Law of Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, (link) you tap into everything you need to resolve any challenge.
So chant as a Buddha with the absolute determination that this end result will come about. See the desired end result clearly in your mind. Let the universe know that you are resolved to do anything necessary to bring it to fruition.
- Am I focusing on the end goal or on the obstacles to reaching it?
When you focus on the obstacles you are projecting them to the universe and they will be reflected back to you. Keep your attention on the end you want and let the positive forces in the universe work out the path to get there.
You will never be deadlocked if you base everything on the Mystic Law of Nam-myoho-renge-kyo. You will discover ways around obstacles or they may just disappear. As a matter of fact it’s a great adventure to see how the steps to your goal work out. Completely unexpected twists and turns can occur.
- Am I trying to force my goal?
You don’t have to force anything. Just let your attention be on your goal when you sit down to chant and then let go. Chanting for a goal is an interesting balance between being in charge and letting go. You are in charge when you set the direction you want – the end goal. You let go when you relax and let the positive forces in the universe work out the path. Trying to force a goal doesn’t let that behind the scenes activity work in the way it should.
- Am I strategizing or chanting with the end in mind?
Most of us have been taught that we have to have a plan. But in Nichiren Buddhism that is putting the cart before the horse. When you chant with the end goal in mind first, then ideas, people and circumstances will come to you to work out your goal. You don’t need to work out a plan all by yourself.
- Am I chanting with desperation or gratitude?
When you chant with desperation, you are letting the universe now that you don’t believe this goal can be achieved. You may be focusing on the obstacles rather than the end result.
When you chant with gratitude you have relaxed, letting the universe know that you absolutely believe this goal is going to come about.
These five considerations can make the difference between chanting like a Buddha and achieving a goal or struggling with disbelief and mixed results. Give it a try and see.
If you are new to chanting you might be interested in Stepping
Stones my workbook and guide to Buddhism, where you have a step by step guide in learning to chant.
Next Post: Goals Require Action
This is the third post in the series on goals.