I had a question this week, which is universal to anyone who is practicing at one time or another. “Do you have tips on doubt and sticking to the practice?”
I think all doubts need to be taken seriously.
What do Doubts Indicate?
What is happening when we have doubts about the practice? Our awareness is being shrouded by fundamental darkness. This is when we can’t see the true nature of our life, that we have the Buddha nature, where we are one with the power of the Mystic Law. At times like this we feel disconnected and alone, and we can start questioning why we are practicing at all.
Doubt is one of the ten troops sent by the “Devil of the 6th Heaven” to impede a Buddhist practitioner. This is not a devil in the Christian sense but is a manifestation of the fundamental darkness which we all have within our lives, just as we have fundamental Enlightenment. It proves you are on the right path and signifies you are practicing correctly. So, congratulations.
he “Devil of the 6th Heaven” represents the negative forces that manipulate the lives of others, brings out doubts and negativity from within our own life, or utilizes the negativity of others to sway us.
How to Recognize Devilish Functions?
So how do we recognize devilish functions? They arise in confusing form, but the central core is they will always try to deprive us of the benefit of our Buddhist practice and make us doubt the power of faith in the Lotus Sutra, undermine our belief in Buddhahood and prevent us from breaking through our perceived limitations in achieving our goals. Other indicators separation from others and disunity between members or between mentor and disciple. So doubt is evidence that this is happening and each of us should take it seriously, so we can combat the fundamental darkness in our own lives.
How Do We Win Over Negative Functions?
In the Hope-Filled Teachings of Nichiren Daishonin from SGI President Ikeda’s Lecture Series, pg 167,
“Either we advance or we retreat, there is no middle ground. Either we cringe in fear and surrender to the negativity in our own lives and that of others, or we challenge this negativity and deepen our conviction in faith. The difference in resolve determines everything.”
Chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo with the Determination that you are going to win. You won’t feel like it. Another of the 10 troops is languor and drowsinesss. You may feel resistant. When we face this kind of struggle, this is where we must master our mind to override this reluctance.
“It may seem perfectly all right to put ourselves and our wishes first, to simply follow the
dictates of our emotions and cravings, but the truth is, there is nothing more unreliable than our
Nichiren Daishonin frequently stressed. “You should become the master of your mind and not let your mind master you. “
When doubts come we can give in, or we can rouse our determination to discipline our minds and gain mastery over them. As Ikeda says,
“Belief is the sharp sword with which we overcome fundamental darkness. This means
persevering and challenging ourselves in faith throughout our lives, challenging the tendencies
that would take us away from our practice and bringing forth fundamental enlightenment from
within by chanting strongly to the Gohonzon.”
What You Can Do
1. Challenge those negative functions and use them as an opportunity to transform your karma and establish even stronger resolve.
2. Unite with fellow members for support
3. Chant together on a regular basis even though you may not feel like it.
4. Get encouragement from other members.
5. Get guidance if you continue to need it.
6. Use our mentor “Daisaku Ikeda as a role model. Read in the Human Revolution how he
handled doubts and obstacles and ask yourself, “What would he do here?”
7. Finally study, even if it’s only a paragraph a day. Even if you forget what you’ve read you will engrave something deep into your life.
There are indexes in the back of our Buddhist books. If you having doubts look up doubts and
read on that or on how to build faith. As Daisaku Ikeda says,
“In the clear mirror of the Gosho, the true nature of all things becomes
apparent. That’s why it’s important to hone our wisdom through Buddhist study.” Then he says,
“The correct way to read the Gosho is always to interpret the Daishonin’s words from the
standpoint of strengthening our faith.”
8. Prove the practice to yourself again. Set a goal and plan to chant for it for 90 days and then step to a more difficult one. Re-prove the practice to yourself.
Today we discussed what doubts represent in our practice, the manifestation of fundamental darkness from our lives.
Then we discussed how we win over negative functions by firs recognizing what they are and then challenging them.
Finally we discussed the ways you can get support and strengthen your faith.
Know the Warning Signs you Are Battling Fundamental Darkness https://wp.me/p3V1J9-T8
Have You Fallen into Fundamental Darknesss https://wp.me/p3V1J9-15E
Steps to Forge Your Faith https://wp.me/p3V1J9-VX
Script download: Doubts1
Keep your comments and questions coming. I love to hear what you are thinking. If you feel you can help someone, please do. I’ll see you in two weeks.