We all want to get results when we chant for a goal. If you have been chanting but having trouble achieving your aim, these points might make good questions for examination.
Am I being consistent in my practice?
Some practitioners sit down and chant with regularity when facing a problem, but slack off during calm periods in their lives. This type of off and on chanting won’t lay a solid foundation of fortune in your life, which is needed when facing adversity or a major challenge.
So what is fortune? When we attune our lives to the perfect rhythm of the universe, the result is increased vital life force, wisdom, compassion and good fortune, or benefit to face the challenges in front of us. On the surface of life, fortune seems like luck, but it is created by past good causes which are showing up as positive effects, in the current situation.
Consistent, twice daily practice is needed to lay the foundation of fortune, in your life.
Do I have a clear focus or goal for my chanting?
Chanting without a focus is like flying a plane without a destination in mind. Although chanting is never wasted, if you want to achieve an effective response you will want to have a clear, positive destination in mind.
Your goal should be specific. For example, an experienced practitioner wanted to find a job close to where she lived but had only thirty days to do it before her income would be reduced at her current position. Her goal read as follows:
- She chanted for a job no more than ten minutes away from her home.
- She wanted to be able to drive against rush hour traffic.
- She specified the amount of salary.
On day thirty of chanting, she landed a job with those precise qualifications.
When we bought our current home, I chanted for a house in the middle of the city, no more than ten minutes from Jerry’s Home Improvement. My husband works building projects in his shop and frequently runs to Jerry’s for materials or tools.
This experience had a twist. We were in the concluding stages of a remodel on the house where we were living. Someone else bought the house we wanted and held it for the six weeks it took for us to conclude the work. Then the buyer was unable to conclude the sale due to financial considerations, so we stepped in and got it.
The house we bought was six minutes from the center of town, overlooking a park, woods, bike path and river, with a horse in the field across the street, a piece of country in the middle of the city. It is ten minutes from Jerry’s.
Be bold in asking for exactly for what you want. Don’t let doubts hold you back.
Am I chanting to get rid of something or chanting for what I want?
Sometimes when faced with a difficult challenge we chant to be rid of something we don’t want. Practitioners have learned that the universe doesn’t respond to a negative goal. So how do we formulate a positive one?
Let’s say you have a health problem. Rather than chanting to rid yourself of the condition, you will want to chant for perfect health. If you have a weight loss goal for example, don’t chant to lose 20 pounds, instead chant to weigh your goal weight.
Am I chanting with determination or hope?
Determination announces to the universe that this is your goal and you are going to do whatever is necessary to achieve it. This kind of determination, although invisible to other people, activates the positive forces in the universe, which will support your determination.
Sometimes people chant with hope but no real conviction. Hope announces to the universe that you believe the outcome is in doubt. In the Clear Mirror Guidance, President Ikeda says that the mind of faith is extremely important and has a subtle and far reaching influence. If you practice while doubting the effects, you will get results that are at best unsatisfactory – the reflection of your own weak faith on the mirror of the universe.
Elevate both your determination and faith. When you do, President Ikeda says, your life and your surroundings will open wide before you and every action will become a source of benefit.
Have I been expecting benefits to magically appear without effort?
Chanting definitely is the first step. Then it is important to act on the ideas received while chanting, regarding specific steps you can take toward your goal. Taking these steps-doing something-is the other half of the equation.
Let’s say you are chanting about how to become debt free. While chanting the idea comes that you should speak with a financial counselor at an agency in town, who works with clients to teach them how to get out of debt and handle their money so as to remain debt free.
Taking the next step would mean calling the agency and going to see the counselor, even if you are reluctant. If you don’t do this, you may never learn how to manage your money or achieve your goal of ridding yourself of debt.
If you aren’t sure what actions to take, chant for clarity. But chanting plus taking the next steps toward your goal, are both needed to produce the results you want.
Am I focusing on my fears rather than what I want?
Fears are illusions that hide the fact that you have the Buddha nature and already have everything you need right now to change your circumstances. Dealing with fear means you must pull your mind out of the abyss every time you fall into your fears and refocus on what you want to have happen, your desired outcome.
In Faith into Action, President Ikeda shows why this is so important. To paraphrase him; When your determination changes, every nerve and fiber of your being will begin to move in the direction you desire. But, if you start thinking that this isn’t going to work out, then every cell will deflate and give up fighting and failure will be the result.
Your mind, setting your intentions, is like an architect drawing the blueprints for your future life. Knowing you will be living that life at some point in the future, you will want to focus on what you want to create and refuse dwell on your fears.
A vision of your accomplished goal along with your appreciation for its completion sends a strong clear message to the universe that you not only believe your goal will be achieved but you also see it finished. Since the universe exactly reflects your mind, sending that image would be a powerful impetus towards achieving your goal.
Do I realize I am going to have to change to achieve my goal?
We know the Buddhist principle of oneness of self and environment which states that our circumstances manifest from our inner vision and become concrete in the environment. So it follows that our current circumstances reflect our lives now. In order for them to change, we must change.
When you contemplate the next step toward your goal, a fear of taking that step might appear. Fears frequently lurk behind the reasons we resist moving forward.
To overcome fears, start to chant for longer periods of time until your internal state of life pulls out of the fear and into confidence. Then quickly take the action which worried you before.
Do I secretly believe that the environment controls the outcome and I don’t have the power to change it?
The belief, that the environment controls the outcome, is an illusion that says we don’t have a Buddha nature and the ability to overcome what life throws at us. An example of this kind of illusion would be to believe you can’t find a job because of the bad economy. Or, that you don’t have the ability to resolve a bad situation in your workplace because so many other employees are immersed in perpetuating it.
In order to overcome the belief that your situation is controlled by the environment, it will be important to take the following steps. Study. Go to the sgi-usa website. You can search for topics of interest.
If you can invest in Faith into Action by President Ikeda, you’ll find information on every kind of topic. Twenty minutes a day given to study, along with chanting, will allow you to gradually retrain your mind to know that you have a Buddha nature and can produce the results you want.
Attending meetings provides study opportunities, as every meeting covers a topic. Call and get guidance from a longer term practitioner.
Hearing the experiences of longer term practitioners will encourage you and help you change this kind of belief.
Am I Chanting With Appreciation for what I have Now and My Accomplished Goal?
Appreciation and a vision of your completed goal sends a strong clear message to the universe, that you not only believe your goal will be achieved but you also see it as completed. Remember the universe reflects your mind exactly, so sending that image would be a powerful impetus towards achieving your goal.
Have I given up too early, before my success?
Keep chanting for your goal no matter what. The only way you can lose is by stopping before the end. Though the timing may not be exactly what you wished, and even if one way seems blocked there is always another route to follow to your destination. To paraphrase President Ikeda, ‘ When you turn the key of faith and practice, in every situation you can find limitless possibilities, and behind the door of every deadlock, a treasure trove of opportunity.’
So keep chanting and taking action and never give up until you achieve your goal.
- Be consistent in twice daily practice
- Set a clear focus or goal
- Chant for what you want.
- Chant with determination and conviction.
- Expect to chant and take action toward your goal.
- Believe you have a Buddha nature and can overcome any environmental condition.
- Expect to change, our lives manifest from the inside, out.
- Chant with appreciation for your accomplished desire
- Keep chanting until you arrive at your goal.
“Chanting to Overcome Adversity”, (C) Margaret Blaine, The Practical Buddhist