I had a question this week about whether we can chant for something that goes beyond our personal wants. Of course you can. You can chant about anything you want and need to chant about.
I think the reason people chant for their personal wants is because they are immediate and close and it is easier to see if you are getting results. But there is nothing that says you can’t chant for anything that is important to you. Think of Daisaku Ikeda, who is chanting for the health and happiness of the members every day and for kosen-rufu across the world.
Daisku Ikeda points out, “You are free to chant for whatever you wish. It’s all up to you.” FIA 154
Will Chanting Change Someone Else?
A number of questions have come up recently about how to chant to change other people.
It’s important to remember that the Gohonzon changes the person who is chanting. When that person changes, then then the environment will change in coordination with the concept of oneness of self and the environment and the law of cause and effect.
Satoru Izumi, a former leader famous for his effective guidance, tells a story of a young woman who was complaining about her mother-in-law to President Toda. She called her malicious, said she won’t change her ways and called her names. The President responded, “As young as you are, you are still unable to correct your own disposition. How then can you expect your aged mother-in-law to change hers?” He then went on to give her guidance. The woman realized that she was the problem, not her mother-in-law. When she returned home she discovered the mother-in-law’s attitude towards her had changed for the better.
When you set a seed in the core of your life through your thoughts, words or actions, then you have set the cause for an effect in the future when the time is right. In a family situation if one person changes, then the whole family re-adjusts and rebalances.
The Strength of Your Faith and Practice Matters
I know of a situation where a member was working in a company where one of the supervisors was verbally abusing the people under her. She simply didn’t know how to handle people. The member was shocked and felt that this situation wasn’t acceptable. She developed a firm determination that the situation had to change, and then for 2 hours a day she chanted about it. She even announced a little after Halloween that the situation would be handled by the end of the year. She knew then she had to produce a result. That strong determination and faith produced results. The supervisor was asked to step down and placed in a position where she wouldn’t have to supervise anyone.
If you are chanting about other people and nothing seems to be happening, it may be you have set limits on what your faith can accomplish. Ikeda says,
“It is important we offer prayers with great confidence. The powers of the Buddha and the Law are activated in direct proportion to the strength of our faith and practice.” FIA P. 151
If you have weak faith, nothing much is going to happen. Ikeda says,
“If you practice faith while doubting its effects, you will get results that are at best unsatisfactory. This is the reflection of your own weak faith on the mirror of the cosmos.” My Dear Friends in America, p. 99
I’ve had questions about chanting to change a group of people where nothing seemed to be changing. It could be that no one in that group of people wants things to be any different. This is purely my opinion, but I think it much harder to chant for other people in a group situation and demands a lot more faith and effort from the person chanting. I’d be interested in knowing what some of you think.
If you’re trying to shift something for a number of people or a difficult situation and nothing much seems to be happening, you might want to ask other people to chant with you. A group chanting with one end in mind creates a lot more power and can push a situation over the hump so it can be resolved.
We looked at the fact that you can chant for whatever you want.
That if you want someone else to change, you will have to change yourself in accordance with oneness of self and the environment.
Finally we looked at the fact that the strength of your faith and practice matters, If strong, amazing things can happen. If weak, not much.
Finally get reinforcements if you have a difficult situation which doesn’t seem to be resolving or you need to shift a group. A group of people chanting together creates more power.
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