Are You Chanting for Benefit or to Change Karma?

There comes a time in our practice, probably after chanting for a number of years, when we are faced with a particularly difficult obstacle or challenge and we begin to notice we have been here in this position before, possibly many times.  Maybe you never have enough money and even though you get it, before long  there’s not enough again.  Perhaps one relationship after another goes south.  Maybe you suffer from depression recurrent or anxiety. Possibly you are battling chronic overweight.  Whatever the situation, you have that feeling  that it is much too familiar.

When we first start to chant, we chant for benefits.  They allow us to prove the practice to ourselves and are always helpful in resolving other concerns.

In this situation chanting for a benefit might solve the problem for a while but then…. that problem returns.  You lose 20 lbs and gain it back.  You find the perfect partner and then discover he or she has developed the same problem you vowed to leave behind.

Recognizing Karma When You See it.

When you find problems recurring, you are dealing with karma. Karma is tendencies laid down by actions which, repeated over and over, have become habits over time. They can be good or bad. Some examples of bad karma would be compulsive gambling or overeating. An example of good karma, would include the unerring ability to establish good relationships.

Or, karma might also manifest as the tendency to attract the same kind of circumstances over and over. One example is a man who finds one job after another. He blames his bosses for bad decisions, loses his temper and is fired. An example of good karma, someone who always seems to be in the right place at the right time.

Our current circumstances are the result of our past choices and actions positive or negative. You see this in partners of alcoholics, who divorce one partner and then find another alcoholic. You also see it in people who are born with a lucky spoon in their mouths.

4 Ways to Change Karma

1. Shift the way you chant

As you chant for an end goal you might ask this question, “What do I need to know to keep this from happening again?” Or, “What do I need to change in myself so that this won’t continue to occur? “ Or, “ I need to know the truth about myself.” Chanting in this way moves your practice to a deeper level. Here you can address established patterns which repeatedly bring you to back to the same place. Changing karma is one of the reasons we have the practice.

2. Apply the Concept of Oneness of Self and Environment

Chanting in this way means that you have taken responsibility for creating your situation, even though, on the surface it may appear it is someone elses problem.  You are applying the Buddhist concept of oneness of life and its environment. Buddhism teaches that when you change yourself your circumstances will change.

3. Chant with Intensity and Determination

Challenging difficult obstacles is the fast track to overcome karma. It is in the midst of tremendous hardships that it is possible to transform one’s karma at a fundamental level. Laid back chanting will not work. You must chant with powerful intention, intensity and determination and follow through with action accordingly.

4. Encourage the Practice of Others

You can change karma more quickly by encouraging the practice of others and teaching others how to chant along with chanting about your concern.  This is a powerful positive cause for your life and places your life on the fast track to enlightenment.

Changing Karma Can Be done

Changing karma is not easy but it can be done.  Go to  and read many life experiences where people have changed their karma through the Nichiren Buddhist chanting practice.

Notes: Teachings for Victory, Vol 1, p. 45-49 has an important discussion about changing karma. To find this book, go to, the online bookstore