When we chant about a challenge or an obstacle we are taking on negative forces which we must
encounter on our way to Buddhahood. They train and test us so we can forge the strength to be a
“The benefit we receive when we initially take faith is like a small mountain. The boundless
life force of Buddhahood is like a large mountain. On the way from the small mountain to the
large one, we have to pass through a valley. This indicates the three obstacles and the four devils
and other obstacles of all kinds. Only by passing through this valley can we ascend the great
mountain of Buddhahood.” Wisdom of the Lotus Sutra, Vol V1, p.88
The Spiritual Struggle
When we face these challenges we become engaged in a spiritual struggle. Are we going to let
fundamental darkness take over our lives and obscure the fact that we are Buddha? Will we
succumb to discouragement, overwhelm, fear, and the sense that we are disconnected? Or, are
we going to bring out our determination and challenge ourselves to bring out our Buddha nature
and take another step to Buddhahood? There is a great discussion about this in On Attaining
It is when we are engaged in this spiritual struggle that we need all the support we can get.
Where Can You Find Support?
The SGI, our Buddhist organization, was set up to protect support and encourage us during challenging times. The meetings are like a warm home when you’ve been out challenging obstacles in the world.
1. You can receive guidance which can encourage your faith.
2. There are meetings where you can hear experiences of others – perhaps who have had challenges far greater than yours and who have succeeded in overcoming them.
3. There you have good friends, who will let you know when you are off track and chant with you.
4. In meetings you are reminded you are a Buddha and have the power to overcome any obstacle.
5. Practitioners reach out to you when you’ve withdrawn.
6. District members will chant with you to boost you over a difficult hump.
7. You can learn about Buddhism which will help you handle your obstacle better.
8. You’ll have the chance to support another person which results in boosting your
spiritual strength and getting your own life to fly.
Sometimes when facing a difficult obstacle, we don’t feel like attending meetings. We may feel
overwhelmed with too much to do. This is the time we need them the most. This is the time to
put the practice at the center of your life. Then everything else will fall into place. Remember
the spiritual battle. Even though you may be engaging with a difficult obstacle, you have the
support you need to see you through to become victorious.