Prove It To Yourself
If you have read about the practice and have decided to find out whether it is the path for you, I suggest you pick a goal and chant for it for ninety days.The ninety day experiment exists so you can prove to yourself whether the practice works for you. No one asks you to believe anything. How could you? You’ve had no experience with the practice yet.
To begin the ninety day challenge, the person guiding you will teach you to chant, Nam-myoho renge-kyo, the primary practice. If you aren’t working with someone go to http://www.sgi-usa.org/newmembers/resources/chantingpractice.php. This is the official Soka Gokkai International website for Nichiren Buddhism. Read down the list until you come to Chanting Practice. You can hear or download the chant there.
Have A Positive Goal
When you start to chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, have a positive goal in mind, something that would be a stretch for you to achieve. Set a goal for something you want. For example, you could chant for a job, a reliable vehicle, a relationship or a raise.You could chant to resolve a problem in your life, or about a health condition.You can chant for anything you want. Make it a clear goal for now, not vague. You can chant for anything later, but during the prove-it-to-yourself period you should have a clear, defined goal so you will know when you achieve it. Start to chant for it a few minutes twice a day setting your intention as you begin.Then watch what happens.
Hope Versus Determination
There is a certain mind state that is the most effective in achieving a goal. It is called determination and is very different from hope alone. Determination means that you are going to achieve this goal no matter what, and are prepared to do anything necessary towards that end. Hope on the other hand indicates that you believe that it may or may not happen. It is important to realize that the universe is going to reflect what you think, so make sure you have made up your mind to achieve your goal.That kind of determination activates the invisible positive energies of the universe to support you in your endeavor.
Touch base with the person who has introduced you if anything comes up such as doubt, or questions of any kind.They will guide you in the ways of using the practice for the best results. Or, come to my blog where we will be discussing questions that come up.
Chant First, Receive Ideas, Take Action
When you set a goal and start to chant for it, you have started an adventure.You never know how the universe will work out your goal , so just see the end in mind and don’t worry about how it is going to happen. Our culture teaches us that we have to figure things out on our own, but figuring out how things should develop is not anywhere near as effective as chanting and leaving the universe free to work in its own way.
Realize you have started a conversation with the universe by connecting with your own Buddha nature within.You chant with an intention and the response will come in the ideas you receive.
Sometimes ideas come as you chant, sometimes at other times during the day. Pay attention to anything that relates to your goal no matter how small and insignificant. Don’t let these ideas float off.
If you see that an action should be taken,take the next step and do it. Don’t put it off. Sometimes these ideas come at just the time the action needs to be taken and if you put it off, you may lose an opportunity. Taking these specific steps towards your goal is how it will work out in the material world.
Listen to the Experiences of Practitioners.
They will give you ideas to think about, ways you might use the practice to achieve your goal. You can find a group closest to you by going to http://www.sgi-usa.org. Look to the right to Find Us and put in your zip code.
Steps in Trying the Ninety Day Experiment
- Have a positive goal in mind.You can chant for anything you want. Make it a specific, clear goal, not vague.
- Chant with the determination that you are going to achieve this no matter what, not just the hope that it will happen.Chant twice a day setting your intention to achieve your goal when you start, then chanting.
- Keep the end in mind.
- Don’t try to figure out how the steps should develop.
- Pay attention to any ideas that come relating to your goal.
- If you see an action is needed,go ahead and do it right away.
- Get support from other practitioners.
- Enjoy the process.
“Try the Ninety Day Experiment,” ©Margaret Blaine, The Practical Buddhist