According to Daisaku Ikeda in The Clear Mirror Guidance, p. My dear Friends in America, p.99.
“Understanding the subtle workings of one’s mind is the key to faith and to attaining Buddhahood in this lifetime. “
When chanting for a goal we all know we enter into a spiritual struggle with ourselves. We’ve been taught that we have an enlightened Buddha nature and another side as well, fundamental darkness. When we have fallen into fundamental darkness we aren’t aware and don’t believe that we have the Buddha nature. We feel disconnected and alone. It happens to everyone from time to time, so you are not alone.
We also know that when we believe we have the Buddha nature and chant with courage and strength, we can win over our obstacles. So we need to learn to recognize as quickly as possible when we’re being blinded by fundamental darkness, so that we can pull ourselves out of the abyss.
As Ikeda says,
“The mind of faith is extremely important. The mind of faith has a subtle and far reaching influence.”
This means that our state of mind and heart, what we are thinking and feeling while we chant for a goal is going to impact what happens with that goal.
He continues to say, “If you practice reluctantly with a sense that it’s a waste of time, disbelief and complaints will erode your good fortune. If you continue to practice in this way, you will not experience remarkable benefits.”
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.”
On the other hand “If you stand up with strong confidence, you will accrue limitless blessings.”
Looking at your own practice, are you getting the results you’ve been hoping for, or are you disappointed by the results you’ve achieved? Sometimes results are mixed. You might find with one goal you are stalled with no forward movement while with another goal you are successful and you manifest the results that you want.
If you aren’t being successful in achieving your goals, it’s time to look at some of those subtle influences arising from your state of mind. When you bring these influences into awareness, then you can deal with them to bring them into alignment with what you want to do.
Have You Fallen into Fundamental Darkness?
The following are some questions to ask yourself to determine whether you have fallen into fundamental darkness.
- Am I reluctant to chant or am I chanting with joy?
- Am I chanting feeling as though I am wasting my time, or am I confident I can manifest what I want?
- Am I unsure I can achieve my goal or am I sure this goal is going to be achieve
- Do I have lots of doubts about the practice?
- Am I focusing on what isn’t working, the obstacles and frightened by them, or am I confident and focusing on the end result?
- Do I feel disconnected and alone or connected and supported?
- Do I feel as though I’m stagnating or moving forward?
- Do I feel like backing off and giving up or am I determined to move forward?
- Do I secretly believe I am controlled by outside forces?
If you’ve answered yes to the first half of these questions, you have fallen into fundamental darkness. Doubts, disbelief, feeling as though the practice is a waste of time, are all part of your state of mind that is being projected to the universe, and more importantly will be reflected back to you. This is when you won’t experience remarkable benefits, whenever your faith is weak,
Climb out of Fundamental Darkness and Then Build Faith
The first step towards climbing out of fundamental darkness, is to recognize that you have fallen into it.
Once you realize this, then the second step is to strengthen your faith so that you can be confident that you have the strength to overcome any obstacle.
- Remember that you are one with the Mystic Law at your core which governs the life of the universe. Chant with the conviction that you are one with the Mystic Law. This will allow you to fuse your life with the law so you can bring the wisdom of your Buddha nature out to address the problem you are dealing with.
- If you’ve set a goal that is overwhelming, chant about the first step of your goal. This might bring it down to a bite-size step that is more believable.
Read a paragraph or two a day of the writings. The more you study, the conviction that you really do have that connection with the Mystic Law, becomes stronger. On a daily basis you are reminded of the Buddhist concepts we are working with, which are so different than what we are taught in our culture.
- Make your next goal a step, rather than a giant leap. In this way achieving your goals one after another, you will build faith one goal at a time.
- Listen to the experiences of long-term practitioners. They will show you how they used the practice to overcome their obstacles and will give you the confidence you can do it too.
- Teach others to the best of your ability. Making efforts for the happiness of others creates profound effects in our own lives, enabling us to overcome the negativity and fundamental darkness in our lives to become unshakably happy.
Today we discussed how to recognize when you have fallen into fundamental darkness.
Then we talked about the steps you can take to build faith.
Why Is It Important to Have Faith in the Gohonzon? https://wp.me/p3V1J9-110
Know Warning Signs You are Battling Fundamental Darkness? https://wp.me/p3V1J9-T8
Do you know why Your Thoughts Are so Important? https://wp.me/p3V1J9-PB
Would you have other questions you would ask? If so, send them to me and I’ll include them in the e-book I’m writing on what makes our practice work and what hinders it. If you’d like to see the current table of contents, I have posted it as a download. Let me know what you think.
See you in two weeks.