Hi Anna and all Soka friends in Malaysia! This is Viki in Hong Kong - thankyou so much for visiting us and inspiring us, the children loved your visit and so did we! it was so lovely to share experiences, let's continue, and hopefully I will be able to visit your kindergarten in the coming year. Here's the most wonderful article on Courage, from the Amsterdam Zenshu site. Happy Christmas!love Viki In the Gosho “Letter to the Brothers”, NichirenDaishonin says: ‘The cart which overturns on the roadahead is a warning to the one behind. In a time likethis no one can help but thirst for the true way. You may hate this world but you cannot escape…. You must endure this trial and see for yourselves the blessings of the Lotus Sutra. Nichiren Daishonin will also loudly call upon the Buddhist gods. Now more than ever, you must neither show nor feel any fear. (Major Writings, Vol.1, p.139). When Dr. Kawada (Director of the Institute of OrientalPhilosophy) was asked how we can recognize the qualities of Buddhahood beginning to work in our lives, he answered with one word: ‘Courage!’.We can change the fear, insecurity and lack of confidence by starting to like ourselves and therefore beginning to have more confidence. Once you’re happy within yourself, other people respond positively. If you are in harmony with yourself, others will be too. Only, it’s confusing when you don’t know how to get in harmony. There are different ways to live and different lifestyles. Your lifestyle is not what determines your happiness. What matters is to draw out your Buddha nature. Fundamentally, Buddhahood is about having the confidence to be our true selves wherever we are and whatever is happening. This means really appreciating life itself. When we appreciate our own lives and the lives of others, we are able to perceive things andact in a different way – a creative and positive way. Stress is often the cause of diseases. And stress itself is usually the effect of lack of confidence,like, that things will work out (which causes insecurity to come out); or always trying to control things with your mind (which causes anger to comeout); and thirdly, the fear for commitment. When we start the process by facing the lack of commitment to ourselves and others, fear and anger will come out as physical symptoms of our spiritual ‘poison’. If we don’t take care and speak out for ourselves, how can we take care of others? The opposite of fear is courage. When you have the courage to face yourself, you can overcome the fear. Fear is there because we don’t want to see or acknowledge something. Karma in itself is not good or bad, but what we create from it is important. If we try to cover it up and pretend to be something we are not, then we suffer deeply. It is one’s reaction to one’s karma that matters. If you don’t fear something you can’t discover your courage. Courage is one of the qualities of Buddhahood viki 12.16.05 - 11:40 pm #

Flight to Taipei from Hong Kong 28.11.05

"It's a beautful day today," "25 degree celsius, it's clear blue skies" said the pilot, Albert Low. The sky is indeed blue, carrying my dreams and feelings along. How does it feels like to grasp a handful of clouds? Now I am up away from the clouds, soaring high like a bird, no, higher than a bird... My high school dream has become a reality, My second high school dream, to be precise. The first was realized during my 5th month in TSS, Now, thw second is now a reality to be on a plane flying to different countries... "15 minutes to Taipei." "Ground temperature is 26 degree celsius" Looking out from the window, I see the wings piercing through the wind and the clouds. How wonderful the world is! I have already started to miss every one in Hong Kong Soka Kindergarten. Hoping deeply that I'll be able to visit Hong Kong in near future... WIth love, ~*aNnA*~
They are giving a name to their own flag. They have created a flag of their own before this. By the way, all of the children in Hong Kong are using 繁体字 instead of 简体字(like we all here in Malaysia)。他们真得很厉害哦!虽然有些字不会写,但是,他们模仿字是一流的!小女孩叫 Moon, 小男孩叫Skyey So.
This is Lai Cheok Hei. He's very sweet and nice. All children in HK Soka Kindergarten are adorable! We were having snack together. This was the first time we met.
Yes! At last we are here at Hong Kong Soka Kindergarten! It's a beautiful place. Full of laughter, full of love and passion. Most of all, we don't feel like a foreigner here!
Four of us: Me, Siew Hui, Pooi Yin and Boon Yean took several pictures here. It's written with Ikeda Sensei's words for HKSGI members - 广布,和平。
This is the hotel we stayed at during our visit to Hong Kong for 7 days. It's 15 minutes walk from Hong Kong SGI Headquarters.
Hope Courage Friendship
Tadika Seri Soka


You are worthy of the highest respect. You are noble leaders who are praised and protected by Nichiren Daishonin and the Buddhas and bodhisattvas of the ten directions. Right now you may be unknown. You may have no money. You may be laughed at and ridiculed by people ignorant of the Daishonin's Buddhism. But when viewed from the perspective of the eternity of life you are all supreme victors, people who will achieve unsurpassed success in life. There is no doubt that in future existences each of you will enjoy an expansive life-condition far surpassing that of presidents, business tycoons or eminent scholars. Nichiren Daishonin assures us of this in his writings. If it were not true the Daishonin would be a liar. And that just isn't possible. The Daishonin never lies. (7/11/99) One kind of actual proof of victory in daily life is financial security. I hope, therefore, as you accumulate bountiful treasures of the heart and much good fortune, that you will also become secure financially. As long as we are living and working in society, having a certain amount of financial security is an important element for happiness. (9/26/93) The second Soka Gakkai president, Josei Toda, used to say, even though your wallet may be empty, there is an abundance of money floating about in the world—it just hasn't come your way, that's all! But, he would continue, if you accumulate good fortune, using it to "drill a hole" into that vast reservoir of money and tap some for yourself, you will never have to be wanting. (9/26/93) A tree doesn't grow strong and tall within one or two days. In the same way, successful people didn't get to where they are in only one or two years. This applies to everything. (DOY 1, ch. 8) In too many cases, acquiring fame, status or wealth alters a person's character. It is as though the person turns into a pup-pet of fame or wealth. How can human beings live in accordance with their unchanging innermost self and not be affected by these influences? Herein lies the battle of human life; such is the path believers in the Mystic Law must follow. (1/6/91) Success is not a matter of accumulating more of this or that; it is not measured in quantity. It means changing the quality of your life. Wealth, power, fame and knowledge alone can-not make you happy, no matter how much of these you ac-quire. Nor can you take them with you when you die. But by improving the quality of your life you will at last approach true happiness. (3/5/97) The only way to succeed is by first bringing to completion that which is most immediate. This principle applies in all affairs—in our daily lives, our work and our families, as well as in the progress of kosen-rufu. (2/17/90) Buddhist scriptures describe secular millionaires as being of a good family, possessing wealth, having dignity; being pure in their actions, exhibiting proper manners and enjoying great prestige. In accordance with the teaching that "all laws are the Buddhist Law," it is worthwhile for us to strive to acquire the virtues of these millionaires. I hope that, basing yourselves on faith, you will become wealthy people of virtue and influence who are widely respected. (2/18/90) What is success in life? Who are the truly successful? There are famous and powerful people who become pitiful figures in their old age. There are people who die alone, feeling empty and desolate inside. Just what is success? The English thinker Walter Pater (1839—94) wrote: "To burn always with this hard, gemlike flame, to maintain this ecstasy, is success in life." The person who lives life fully, glowing with life's energy, is the person who lives a successful life. (3/5/97) Such things as money, fame and material possessions offer fleeting satisfactions that can be called relative happiness. However, when we transform our lives internally, when we develop within ourselves a brilliant inner palace, then we can be said to have established absolute happiness. (DOY 2, ch. 20) A person of success in the true sense is one who can enjoy a free and unrestrained state of life. (2/18/90) You who have embraced this great Law are millionaires rich in life force who possess good fortune surpassing the wealth of even the world's richest people. Material possessions can-not be enjoyed after death. But "millionaires rich in life force" can freely make use of the treasures of the universe in lifetime after lifetime and enjoy a journey of eternal happiness. (2/18/90) Worldly success is not equivalent to true happiness. Achieving this requires that we have a profound understanding of the nature of life. There is much truth to the words of Benjamin Franklin that "success has ruined many a man." (2/18/90) There is nothing wrong with being successful in society and enjoying a degree of fame. But ultimately, the lives of those dedicated to the welfare and happiness of others, even if they remain unrecognized, are the ones truly worthy of respect. (DOY 1,ch.2) Daisaku Ikeda
Even one daimoku can permeate the entire universe. How much greater then is daimoku's capacity to move anything when it is chanted with sincerity and determination! Daimoku chanted with the profound conviction that "my life is the entity of the Mystic Law" or with the resolve that : "I will dedicate my life to spreading the Mystic Law as an emissary of the Buddha" cannot fail to draw a response from the Gohonzon. Such daimoku cannot fail to permeate the universe. (7/21/92) Invisible radio waves travel vast distances through space, reaching Mars and Venus. In the same way, our inner determination, which is unobservable to common mortals, activates the forces in the universe—the heavenly deities and the Buddhas throughout the ten directions—and appears as solid actual proof in accordance with the principle of 3,000 realms in a single moment of life. (4/11/92) Faith means making 100 percent effort—in our daimoku and in our actions. When we practice in this way, the Buddhist gods will lend us their protection. We mustn't have a complacent, dependent attitude in faith, chanting haphazardly without definite goals, making only halfhearted efforts in the belief that we'll be protected automatically. Deep determination and unshakable character are vital. Those with these qualities are second to none in faith. (11/25/96) When your determination changes, everything will begin to move in the direction you desire. The moment you resolve to he victorious, every nerve and fiber in your being will immediately orient itself toward your success. On the other hand, if you think, "This is never going to work out," then at that instant every cell in your being will be deflated and give up the fight. Then everything really will move in the direction of failure. (3/24/97) Anyone who has ever made a resolution discovers that the strength of that determination fades in time. The moment you feel that is when you should make a fresh determination. Tell yourselves: "OK! I will start again from now!" If you fall down seven times, get up the eighth. Don't give up when you feel discouraged just pick yourselves up and renew your determination each time. (DOY 1, ch. 6) Life is a struggle with ourselves. It is a tug-of-war between progress and regression, between happiness and unhappiness. Those short on willpower or self-motivation should chant daimoku with conviction to become people of strong will who can tackle any problem with seriousness and determination. (DOY 1, ch. 6) DAISAKU IKEDA


"To speak ill of that person [who embraces the supreme Law] is to speak ill of the Law, just as to show contempt for the son is to show contempt for the parents who bore him" (MW-5, 32). The "person" here, in the specific sense, refers to Nichiren Daishonin. In a broad sense, however, it indicates his followers, we Soka Gakkai members who promote kosen-rufu. To speak ill of those who propagate the Law even at the cost of their lives is to speak ill of the Mystic Law. To show contempt for the children of the Buddha is to show contempt for the Buddha himself. (9/30/91) When people worship the Gohonzon, all Buddhas and bodhisattvas in the entire universe immediately respond to their prayers by lending their protection. If people slander the Gohonzon, the response will be exactly the opposite. For this reason, one's mind of faith is extremely important. The mind of faith has a subtle and far-reaching influence. (2/27/90) Shijo Kingo suffered on account of calumny. But the Daishonin told him, "Never let life's hardships disturb you." Those who resort to libelous accusations are defeated as human beings; no action is more lowly and base. We should not be swayed in the least by such despicable actions. Just as we do not put garbage into our mouths, we must not permit such rubbish to enter our hearts. The Daishonin encouraged Shijo Kingo to shut the cowardly behavior of his accusers out of his mind. The Roman philosopher Seneca says that the arrows of slander cannot pierce the heart of a person of wisdom. (LG, p. 242) Those who abuse the SGI, who exploit the members for their own selfish reasons and aims, are committing the gravest slander of the Law. (6/25/96) There are cases when we wonder why merit doesn't reveal it-self in spite of our earnest and high degree of faith. At such times, rather than suspecting that you may entertain doubt about the Gohonzon, it is better to ask yourself whether you are guilty of any slander. Because a person who is contemptuous, hating, jealous or holds grudges will realize no benefits. (2/20/90) Buddhism reveals the ultimate Law of the universe and the ultimate principle for achieving happiness. Taking faith in Buddhism plants the seed of true happiness in our lives. Therefore, we must not uproot and throw away, scorch or otherwise spoil this seed of happiness as a result of harboring hatred and jealousy toward fellow believers and eventually discarding our faith. (2/14/90) DAISAKU IKEDA

What Is Buddhahood ?

What it certainly isn't is some transcendental state of life that is seperate from daily reality. Buddhahood means enlighment : enlighment to the true nature and potential of life. As such, it is a state of life which each individual inherently possesses. The awakening of this state in our lives brings with it such characteristics as strengthened life-force, courage, determination, compassion and wisdom. There are no commandments whatsoever in Nichiren Daishonin's Buddhism, since an awakening to our higher state of life, or Buddhahood, enables us to make our own moral and ethical judgments. These are based, above all, on respect for the dignity of all life and a growing awarness of the reality of a strict and inescapable, universal law of cause and effect. Buddhism does not believe in the concept of heaven or an afterlife but rather speaks of the eternity of life. Our physical body must at some point decline and need to be replaced, but the essence of our life will continue, to be reborn in a new body at some time in the future. Buddhism states that life is to be enjoyed and, whilst it recognises the basic suffering of life, directs its followers to challenge them. Through this, we grow as human beings and become strong, improving both the quality and circumstances of our own lives and that of society, with all the potential at our disposal. The Buddhist practice activates the power within us to do this.


There may be times when you feel reluctant to do gongyo or take part in activities for kosen-rufu. That state of mind is reflected in the entire universe, as if on the surface of a clear mirror. The heavenly deities will then also feel reluctant to play their pan, and they will naturally fail to exert their full powers of protection. (2/27/90) No matter how healthy, intelligent or affluent we may be, if our minds are weak, then our happiness will also be frail and brittle. Our minds of faith, moreover, enable us to bring out the full positive potential in all things and situations, so it is crucial that we strive to forge our minds of faith. (2/2/93) Mahatma Gandhi (1869—1948) once said that people become the people they expect themselves to be. Your mind, your ichinen, determines your future, your life. (3/9/93) Faith is the secret to happiness for all people. When you truly forge your mind of faith, you will become an eternal victor throughout the three existences of past, present and future. Strong faith enables you to display appropriate wisdom, so that you can take advantage of change and move forward in the direction of hope and victory. (1/31/93) It may seem perfectly all right to put ourselves and our wish-es first, to simply follow the dictates of our emotions and cravings, but the truth is that there is nothing more unreliable than our own minds. Life doesn't always go like clockwork and things will not necessarily turn out as we had hoped or planned. Consequently, Nichiren Daishonin frequently stressed that you should become the master of your mind, not let your mind master you. We mustn't allow ourselves to be ruled by a self-centered mind. Rather, we have to discipline our mind and gain mastery over it. This is the Daishonin's strict admonition. (8/27/97) As long as our mind of faith is connected to the Gohonzon, our benefits will never disappear. That's why it is vital to per-severe in our Buddhist practice throughout our lives, no matter what, even if on some days our physical condition or other circumstances prevent us from doing gongyo and chanting daimoku to our full satisfaction. Those who continue to challenge themselves to the end savor ultimate victory.(1/31/93) The mind of faith is invisible. Those who advance together with this organization dedicated to kosen-rufu will evolve the correct mind of faith that matches the time. With this mind of faith, you can fill the canvas of your lives with portraits of happiness in which all your wishes are fulfilled.(1/31/93) DAISAKU IKEDA


Faith manifests itself in daily life. Daily life, in turn, is the stage upon which we show proof of faith. True human victory and happiness are attained through the earnest and steady day-to-day efforts we make. The pattern of our lives, like that of the sun, may seem monotonous and routine, but there is nothing more profound than our daily endeavors. Achieving brilliant victory in our daily lives is what being victorious in faith is all about. (9/26/93) One who takes good care of his or her job, daily life and family is a person of deep and genuine faith. Activities are intended to be carried out in the spare time that you have from work and family. (2/25/90) Please steadily advance along the fundamental path of "faith manifests itself in daily life;' living in the way that best suits you. Just as the sun rises every day, if you persistently advance based on the Mystic Law, the absolute Law of the universe, you can definitely lead a life in which all desires are fulfilled, a life of which you cannot now even conceive. Please be convinced that you are now leading the most certain and valuable life. (2/26/90) We have been born, and life is made for living. It is important that we strive to live on tenaciously to the very end, no matter what happens. Faith in the Mystic Law supplies us with the immense life force we need to live strongly and confidently each day so that we can overcome the various sufferings and hardships we encounter. (6/19/96) Faith and daily life, faith and work—these are not separate things. They are one and the same. To think of them as separate—that faith is faith and work is work—is theoretical faith. Based on the recognition that work and faith are one and the same, we should put 100 percent of our energy into our jobs and 100 percent into our faith, too. When we resolve to do this, we enter the path of victory in life. Faith means to show irrefutable proof of victory amid the realities of society and in our own daily lives. (10/6/95) When we plant the seed of happiness that is faith and carefully tend its growth, it will produce fruit without fail. We have to keep in mind, however, that we cannot plant a seed today and expect it to bear fruit tomorrow. That's not reasonable and Buddhism is reason. If we persevere in the practice of "faith equals daily life" in accord with reason, then our prayers will definitely be answered. This is Nichiren Daishonin's promise to us. And his words are true beyond any doubt. (6/9/96) DAISAKU IKEDA


Buddhism is an earnest struggle to win. This is what the Daishonin teaches. A Buddhist must not be defeated. I hope you will maintain an alert and winning spirit in your work and daily life, taking courageous action and showing triumphant actual proof time and again. (3/8/96) In this lifetime, to demonstrate the power of faith in the Mystic Law to others, some of you have been born into poverty so that you can show actual proof by gaining secure and comfortable lives. Some of you have been born with ill health so that you can show proof by growing strong and healthy. Irrespective of your situations, however, the light of faith in the depths of your beings will continue to shine eternally with diamond-like brilliance. (6/22/96) Since we have taken the lead in embracing this great religion to which so much of humankind still remains oblivious, it is important that we demonstrate the value of this Buddhism by showing actual proof in our daily lives. Seeing such proof is what enables people to realize the greatness of this Buddhism, that it is something unique that they have not en-countered up until now. (2/26/90) When we speak of showing actual proof, it doesn't mean we have to try to put on a show of being any more knowledge-able or accomplished than we are. It is my hope that, in the manner that best suits your situation, you will prove the validity of this Buddhism by steadily improving in your daily life, your family, place of work and community and by polishing your character. (2/26/90) Shijo Kingo, a person of strong faith, was at one point envied and slandered by others, earning the disfavor of his lord. But later he received a new estate from him. In modern terms, we might say that Shijo Kingo scored this victory by showing wonderful actual proof of faith at his place of work. The test of faith is winning in daily life and society, since that is where Buddhism finds _expression. (4/23/96) Science is based on tested proof or empirical evidence. You conduct a test or experiment and then observe the results. Nichiren Daishonin's Buddhism, similarly, teaches that nothing beats actual proof. In this regard, it stands alone among world religions. I hope that each year you will strive to show clear proof of victory in Buddhism and your studies. Please always remember that showing such proof is the mark of a true successor. (4/2/98) Daisaku Ikeda


When something unexplainable happens in our life, which we cannot seem to figure out, we will usually say, "This is my karma." Therefore although karma can be positive or negative, many associate the word karma with something negative. Viewed from a negative, karma can leave a person with a sense of powerlessness whereby we accept our present sufferings as results of negative causes we have made in the past; with no hope of ever changing it. But this is a distortion of the original meaning of karma. Buddhism teaches that "if you want to know the causes that existed in the past, look at the results as they are manifested in the present. And if you want to understand what results will be manifested in the future, look at the causes that exist in the present." Therefore as indicated in the Gosho passage above, to accept the idea of karma does not mean to live under a clout of guilt and vague anxiety, not knowing what bad causes we may have made in the past. Rather, it means to be confident that our destiny is in our own hands and that we have the power to transform it for the better at any moment. We must realize that what we are experiencing in our lives at this moment is the result of causes we did in the past. It was not something handed down from above. Since karma is based on the principle of cause and effect, the causes we make now will decide the effects that will appear in the future, that gives our present lives and its accompanying sweet and bitter moments its true significance. Karma is a Sanskrit word meaning action. According to Buddhism, karma can be caused by our thoughts, words and action. Although words and action creating causes in our life is easy to understand (the scientific principle of "For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction,") the notion that our thoughts too can create karma in our life is beyond science. Yet, since our thought is what gives rise to our words and action, its impact on the causes we are making becomes crucial. For this reason, we are constantly reminded about the importance of having a correct positive thought or determination (ichinen) in our practice as this will impact the results we are looking for. As all these causes create a latent effect in our life that will be manifested, through an external cause, as a manifested effect in the future, we cannot in a sense, escape the effects of our karma. It will be manifested, if not in this lifetime then in future lifetimes. But as Nichiren Daishonin said in the Gosho Lessening One's Karmic Retribution, "If one's heavy karma from the past is not expiated within this lifetime, one must undergo the sufferings of hell in the future, but if one experiences extreme hardship in this life (because of the Lotus Sutra), the sufferings of hell will vanish instantly." We must realize that our present sufferings are an opportunity for us to expiate our past karma in this lifetime and change it for the better. Therefore the key to changing our present sufferings into good fortune, now and in the future, depends on whether we have the courage to squarely face our karma with the determination that, no matter what, I will fulfill my vow, my mission as a practitioner of the Lotus Sutra. It is to link our karma to our mission. When we work for the sake of kosen-rufu, for other's happiness, we ourselves will be making the greatest causes that will secure our future now and into the eternal future. This is the purpose of our Buddhist practice.

How To Change and strengthen The Inner Core of your Life ?

First of all, before you begin to chant - RELAX :CLEAR YOUR HEAD. CLEAR YOUR HEART! But especially your head - your mind. Relax emotionally, mentally, physically. It is important to be very natural. Second, when you chant, you really need to use your eyes. FOCUS ON THE GOHONZON. Then listen to your voice. Focus on the center part of the Gohonzon "myoho" - mystical. You have to use your eyes. This is extremely important. When you really use your eyes, your mind stops. Clear your mind by strongly focusing your eyes. Let your thoughts rest by using your eyes. When you're busy thinking all the time, your brain is sucking energy. This means your brain is getting stronger - (which isn't healthy), but your core isn't changing because the energy isn't being directed there. What you really have to do is look at the Gohonzon with power and let your mind relax. The Gohonzon in your life already knows your worries and desires. Keep everything in your heart - JUST CHANT WITH YOUR EYES LOCKED ON THE GOHONZON. Then when Nam Myoho Renge Kyo comes into tune with the core of your life, Nam Myoho Renge Kyo will melt away and dissolve karma. It will change into strength so you can become strong and clear minded enough to accomplish your desires. In this way, you should come to enjoy the act of chanting because you're feeling the core of your life. You're fusing with the highest potential in your life, represented by the Gohonzon. WHEN YOU'RE THINKING STRATEGIES, YOU'RE NOT CHANGING YOUR KARMA. Q : When I chant I often imagine what I want. I picture it in my mind. I see it happening in my mind. Is that okay ? A : Positive imaginations are a good thing, but not strategies. If you get to imagining how to make it happen, instead of the images of it, then you are strategizing. Prayer should come from your heart!The Gohonzon knows your worries and desires. Keep them in your heart, focus on the Gohonzon and SIMPLY CHANT. If you can do simple good daimoku and gongyo, Nam Myoho Renge Kyo goes stronger, deeper, to expand you, dissolve difficult karma and generate positive results. Daimoku should come from your core. If it comes from the brain, the brain becomes stronger and so does the confusion. When you close your eyes or avert them from the Gohonzon, the power to fuse the core of your life with the Gohonzon weakens and the mind plays around. Chant clearly, confidently, comfortably. We need to keep checking ourselves. It's easy to get carried away by force of old habits and chant while uptight or emotionally. DON'T READ WHILE YOU CHANT ! DON'T DO ANYTHING WHILE YOU CHANT! JUST CHANT. When you read, read. When you chant, chant. After good daimoku, you may read, or your schedule may require you to get right to work or do things you need to do. You may have a busy life, but don't have busy daimoku. Don't be busy while you chant - FOCUS ! Through focused daimoku, you can melt away negative karma. Karma is going to be dissolved. Chanting is a time to cultivate your life, not think about your strategies. Daimoku is the time to enrich your Buddha nature, not the time to have a planning meeting for your life or day. In my head : Positive imaginations In my heart : Deep prayer In my mouth : Clear chanting Thank you for reading.

On Daimoku

f you underestimate the power of daimoku, And use other strategies, you will lose in the end; You can accumulate good fortune only when you fight for kosen rufu, Without begrudging your life; Unless yours prayers are united, The fight for kosen rufu cannot gain momentum; No matter what anybody says, or does, Nothing can defeat the power of daimoku; But without action, you cannot call it faith; The Gohonzon can penetrate through everything; The world of faith is very mystic, and once you become serious, You can gain one thousand times or ten thousand times more benefits; When you chant abundant daimoku You have the power to open the heaviest iron door that stands in your way, You can overcome the most massive obstacles in your life, You can definitely change your negative karma; The world of faith is the place where many of us, Chant powerful daimoku in unity, Thus creating the power like the huge force of the wind. There is nothing but daimoku; Daimoku determines everything, Daimoku has more power than one million guidance, Or one million books on philosophy. Chant abundant daimoku and pray to the gohonzon; Ask the Gohonzon for whatever you need; Everything will come true as you wished, And the path of kosen rufu will open up in front of you. Everything depends on how much daimoku you chant; When you chant a lot of daimoku, You will naturally feel that you need to study more; When you chant abundant daimoku, Your work will become fulfilling. There may be many times when you experiences great suffering and deep sorrow, There may be many nights when tears will not stop flowing, At such times, my heart will be open to you, I am always here to listen to you; I, too will share your tears with you, You don't need to tell me anything, If you are happy, I can tell just by looking at your face, Just tell me about the problems and pain that you have, I will always carry half of your heavy burden, And walk together with you. Daisaku Ikeda

Building Blocks of Happiness

We all have roles to play in our lives – whether parents or partners, workers or students. Faith in Nichiren Daishonin’s teachings enables us to fulfill those roles and realize the human potential unique to each of us. The more we strive to apply the Buddhist practice, we uncover its validity and thus further deepen our faith. Nichiren Buddhism is rooted in reality and stresses the inseparability of faith and daily life. We are not Buddhist only when praying or attending meetings. As we utilize the inner strength, wisdom and compassion from our practice at home or work, we can truly experience the value of Buddhism. Therefore, if we neglect the responsibilities and challenges we find in our families, communities or society, we cannot be said to have a proper understanding of faith. Faith permeates daily activities, and our homes and offices are the very places to show the Daishonin’s teaching of humanism and compassion. We all have many challenges in life. Sometimes we use our faith as an excuse for inaction or as an escape from harsh realities. If we take the easy-going attitude, "The Gohonzon will take care of all my problems for me," we are being irresponsible and disguising it as faith. Or, if we use our practice as a license to cause suffering – whether to Buddhist or non-Buddhists, thinking, "I can do whatever I please because I chant," then such an attitude must be considered arrogant. As we pray to the Gohonzon we should take concrete action, challenging ourselves each step of the way. As we know more about the Daishonin's teachings, we should practice what we learn. Action without prayer is like a spinning wheel, but prayer without action is merely wishful thinking. When we pray to the Gohonzon "as earnestly as though to produce fire from damp wood, or to obtain water from parched ground," (WND, pg 444), we can definitely make possible what previously seemed impossible. Buddhism flourishes only when it takes deep root in the midst of reality. (From the March 200 issue of Living Buddhism, the SGI-USA's monthly publication)


转眼间 已经在 创价幼儿园 五个月了。 时间过的 非常快。 在创幼的每一天 充满欢喜 充满挑战 与同志们 一起为了 孩子的 幸福, 成长, 彻底奋斗。 往后, 心已决 与师匠 其共战 至永远。

Saturday...meeting all the way...

Today... 3rd of September 2005... I've had the most fun having meeting from 9am until 10.30pm. This morning at 9.30am, I had Akademeia Training prep on Gosho section together with Yeng Cheng, Lai Yee and Lai Yee until 1pm. Then, we head for lunch at 1 pm at BK cafeteria. At 2pm, we had Akademeia Training Meeting together with other committee to update on the Akademeia Training Camp next week. We ended the meeting at 5pm. I rushed to Sg. Long to get my passport size photo and went back to Kajang for a bath. At 6.30pm, i reached BK again to prep with Chee Ran for the training meet in Seremban, I'm going to share my experience. So, we prep until 7.30pm. We had a small talk until 8pm. They head for State Representative Meet, I head for Music Festival Meet at State's Room. At last, I came back to TSS at about 10.30pm. This doesn't stop here, I have another meeting together with the Music Festival Event PIC from Recorder Band, Galaxy Chamber Orchestra, Martial Art, Brass Band, Kotekitai at 9am until 11am or 12pm. Then, I'm back to TSS to prepare to change a big room - activity room into a learning centre (A jungle) for the TSS Open Day on the 11th of September 2005. ....... I'm gratefull for all these. These are all the opportunity, Free opportunity from Gakkai, For me to grow up, For me to learn new things, For me to exceed my limits... I'm happy!!!!

Prof. Yammamoto Concert

There goes the first concert yesterday. Everything went on very smoothly. Got some feedbacks from the audience. Many of them didn't have any feeling. It's just a concert. That's it. Upon hearing this, I don't know what response to give. Perhaps, we ourselves - the players didn't feel anything too. Perhaps we just played the music for the sake of the music? Perhaps... too many perhaps. I think most of the players had difficulties playing at the very begining, but, we've did better and better after many practices. We did improve technically but not spiritually. I think this is what lacking in Galaxy Philharmonic Orchestra. The conductor said he was very touched when we play "Romance"and also the rest of the pieces. Why is this hapening? Aren't we suppose to bring hope, courage and happiness to the audience that come and support us? We failed to do so last night... Technically yes, but, spiritually no. Tonight is the last show. Hoing that we will be able to bring the sense of joy and the sense of mission to all the leaders and members. School is starting tomorrow. It's getting more and more exciting now a days. I'm going to further my studies really soon in Diploma in Early Childhood Education in UM, later, going to further on masters program in the field of education. Hoping to earn a PhD in the years to come. Soka Elementary school, Soka High School and Soka University in Malaysia... These dream will come true very soon. Take care!

Tadika Seri Soka

Recently I have had the most memorable, fun yet busiest month of all... It's never ending from July until now and will continue until the end of this year. Great benefit from Gohonzon as I am able to grow up with many comrades here in TSS. Teacher Carmen, has been the source of my smiles... She's energetic and always think very positively. No matter what, she'll always say that, "Don't worry, I can do it!". Teacher Debbie, my Supervisor... A cheerful lady. Full of hope and always know what to do when I need help in my English class also in Thematic activities... She's my savior! Hah! Other than that, she's very caring and considerate. Always reminding us what is there to be done and what we shouldn't do. I think without her, I will have a tough time making a lot of mistakes... Teacher Ti Ying. A lady full that is full of courage. She takes on every obstacle and challenge until the end of her last breath, achieving victory everytime without fail. Growing stronger and stronger evrytime after a battle. I learn a lot from her spirit of never giving up! Aunty Susan, my class teacher(lady boss) cum a mother to everyone in TSS. Her spirit is still the same as a youth although she's about 60 years old. Always smiling and always lending her helping hand when help is needed. Encouraging us never to give up in everything. Her creativity in arts really amazes me. This is what you call when the heart is young, age doesn't counts! Last but not least, Teacher Low. My source of encouragement. Seeing her workload has already given the boost to fight all the way in any battle. Wishing that we can share her workload. To my beloved Gohonzon. Thank you very much for everything you have gave me. I am impressed and joyful enough to accept whatever that is thrown to my face. Always telling myself to keep smilling and have a cheerful heart no matter what. Thank you all my beloved comrades! Let's advance together in the path of education for the sake of peace!

4 months old...

It's been a while since I have the chance to really sit down and type out something here in this blog. I'm sorry that I couldn't make it here in this blog. Everytime I want to type out something, it seems so impossible to blurt out my feelings. These few weeks have been the busiest moment of my life. I really doubt that I can continue to fight this battle. I know I have to fight this battle no matter what... It's been great working together with Pooi Yin - my assistant headmistress cum the person I look on to the most, here in TSS. She has been a great friend and really encourage me alot through her actions. Although we seldom talk about faith, I learn alot from her daily struggles and her cheerfulness in fighting each battle with a smilling face. The workload is so immense that sometimes I hardly can breathe, at that time, all I can think of is Sensei and also Pooi Yin. When I said to myself that Sensei's workload and also P.Y's workload is nothing, compare to mine. I shall strive on no matter what. I have been going out to work at around 7am, waking up in between 5.45am to 6.15am and also sleeping at 1-2am everyday. Every morning during Gongyo and Daimoku (about half and hour), I was frustrated with my sleepiness. I kept yawning and I don't want this to happen during my Gongyo and Daimoku session. This is because I wouldn't have to chance to chant anymore the whole day until I reach home at about 11pm-12am. By then, I would quickly bathe, wash clothes, dry up my hair, do whatever that has to be done and gone to sleep the earliest by 1am. I want to have the most brigthful, cheerful, lively gongyo to start off my day here in TSS. To tell the truth, once I step into TSS, I will immediately feel refresh. The children has been a great source of encouragement to me. Sometimes, they are annoying and they can make you really mad, nevertheless, they are very lovely and I am very proud to grow up with them. Seeing their growth is the best thing of all. Few weeks ago, a reporter from Seikyo Shimbun came to visit TSS. His comments on the children of TSS is that they are more active than the children in Soka Kindergarten in Sapporo. I am very proud of that. Recently, 4 top Kindergarten teachers from China came to TSS for 3 weeks exhange, their comment on the children is that the children are very,very active, 10 times more active than their children in China. I have to go off now... See you later, I hope. Take care!

Message from SGI-UK

It's very sad to hear/read bout the bombing in London, by yet again, the terrorists. Below are a message written by the General Director of SGI-UK. For the people in London, I hope all of u r absolutely fine. Let's us all pray for everyone's continued safety. Dear members of SGI-UK, Sensei sent us the following verbal message today: "I have heard many reports through the television news services about the London bombs and I am very concerned about everyone, including all the members of SGI-UK. I would like to express my profound sympathy to those who have passed away or have been hurt. Please express my very best regards to all the members in the UK." July 7th 2005 I hope that as members of SGI-UK we will summon up all our strength at this time so that we give confidence and support to all those people around us who are distressed and shaken by the horrible events that took place in central London today. Our only option is to summon up our faith, strengthen our conviction and increase our efforts for kosen-rufu, encouraged by Nichiren Daishonin's words that "When great evil occurs, great good follows." (WND p.1119) Sincerely, Robert Samuels SGIUK General Director

Changing our ichinen to change our lives

MR KAWAI’S GUIDANCE IN FAITH [7 Feb 1999, New York] [Conveyed by Mr Noro based on President Ikeda’s guidance] We practise this faith not for mere exertion, that is, not for the sake of practice, but for change and progress and as quickly as possible. Members may say, “I’m doing many SGI activities,” but so what? The real question is how much have I changed my life, my environment, my livelihood? How much benefit have I received? There are many members, who are doing lots of Daimoku, but there is no change in their lives. Something is wrong. Buddhism is not the Law of Cause and Effect in Action. It is the Law of Cause and Effect in Ichinen. For example, faith is not feeling refreshed after prayers and activities. Faith exists for us to change our lives. When we wish to travel somewhere, first we decide on the destination, then we plan on the action [route/mode of transport/ and then we travel and reach that destination. Faith is the same. IN FAITH, WE MUST FIRST HAVE CLEAR TARGET CLEAR PRAYER CLEAR ACTION It is important to pray strongly and then take action and we will see the results without fail. It is important to determine to change. That is to pray “I want to change.” And then take necessary action. There is absolutely no use to ask the Gohonzon, “What should I do?” There will be no answer. You must decide what you want to accomplish. Once we decide/determine on some goal, there may seem to be no solution. But that is precisely why we pray. If it was possible, we would not need the Gohonzon. If there was a way out, then there is really no need to chant. But we pray to make the impossible change to possible. Do not engage in “What should I do…?” daimoku - that is, while chanting to think of strategies/look for options in your mind. There is absolutely not need to think of methodology, because there is no way out! We should simply pray like this – “I want to accomplish this. I will accomplish this.” IF, WHILE CHANTING, WE THINK THAT OUR DESIRES ARE UNATTAINABLE/IMPOSSIBLE, THEN THAT IS THE PRAYER THAT WILL BE REFLECTED ONTO THE UNIVERSE. AND THAT IS EXACTLY THE ANSWER WE WILL GET BACK FROM THE GOHONZON! IMPOSSIBLE/ NO SOLUTION. We must pray with 100% confidence in the Gohonzon. I believe in the Gohonzon, my prayer will definitely be answered, just as the Gosho states, “No prayer to the Gohonzon will go unanswered!” This is the Buddhist formula, which is 100% correct. IT IS OUR DOUBTS THAT GET IN THE WAY. While chanting, we always try to find ways out of our problem. Therefore, our ichinen is not directed towards the Gohonzon, but directed elsewhere. Thus it follows, that there is no real joy in daimoku and activities. We just keep doing what we are told to do. There was a young lady [student division] who wanted to go to USA from Japan to study. It was impossible, as she had no money, etc. So SHE PRAYED, NOT CHANTED, but deeply prayed, “I want to go to USA to study, I will go.” One year later, she reported positive results. There had seemed no solution, but a ‘bridge’ was formed through her sincere daimoku. This is the Mystic Law. It is beyond our understanding. That is why it is called mystic. So there is no need to think. Just pray… There was a WD who came for guidance. Her husband had terminal cancer and doctors said he would not live longer than 3 months. She was asked “Can he be cured?” The answer was “I don’t know.” The leader went on to say that President Toda’s guidance was that “WHEN WE DETERMINE THAT THE ONLY ONE THING WE CAN TRUST IS THE GOHONZON, THEN THE BODY BEGINS TO RECOVER FROM SICKNESS.” This means to cure one’s own illness by oneself, through faith. The human body is capable of producing 700 types of medicines. But when our life force is weak, nothing is produced. When our life philosophy is polluted by slander and impurities, our life cannot produce its healing power. Buddhism is great. Our life is great! It is supreme! It is Divine. It is the life of the Buddha. So through faith we can always manifest this state of the Buddha, this power of the Gohonzon. People call Buddhism, great, but actually it teaches us that our own lives are great. With determination, great life force and wisdom can be manifested from our lives and bodies to overcome sickness which is one’s negative karma, the source of which is slander. SO THE REAL QUESTION IS NOT WHETHER THE ILLNESS IS CURABLE. RATHER, THE QUESTION IS WHETHER WE DETERMINE THAT IT IS CURABLE. The woman told her husband about this guidance and together they both corrected their ichinen and prayed and he was cured. A deputy zone WD leader in Japan could not walk due to pain in her legs caused by rheumatism. She was asked “Do you think that your disease can be cured?” She replied, “No!” “So then, that is your desire, your state of mind and that is why the answer from the Gohonzon is ‘no cure’” replied the leader. The leader continued by saying that if the medical doctor has given up, if he says there is no cure for your condition, then that is the time to summon up your determination to change the impossible into possible. The very next day, the woman called the leader to report that when she made a determination, the pain disappeared from her legs. And 2 weeks later, she was completely cured. Her sufferings had been caused by her thinking that it was impossible to be cured, that she would have to live with this life condition. But THE MOMENT SHE DETERMINED [ICHINEN] TO OVERCOME THROUGH FAITH IN THE GOHONZON, THE POWER OF THE MYSTIC LAW WAS MANIFESTED THROUGH HER LIFE. There are 3 kinds of faith. forward gear faith neutral gear faith and reverse gear faith Forward gear faith and practice consists of: Having a clear and specified target and determination to accomplish it through prayer and action. For example: “I want a white cat. She must be of Persian species, 3 years old, with blue eyes and female. And I want her in 2 weeks. I will get it.” In other words, doing a lot of activities and daimoku with no targets and clear goals is of no use, as it will not produce any changes in your life. Neutral gear faith and practice is: Chanting out of duty, with no joy. A habitual practice. E.g. I am a leader, I have responsibilities, so I am doing activities. But there is no effect. It is like the analogy of a car. The engine is full and ready to go, but nothing happens. Reverse gear faith and practice is: The more activities and daimoku one is doing, one is still going backwards, rather than forward in one’s life. In other words, one may be making a lot of seemingly good causes, but one is also complaining. There is slander and grudges against others. Or one might be complaining about one’s own situation on not seeing immediate results. This is dangerous practice. Just like in automatic transmission cars, there is very little difference between forward and reverse gears. Likewise from outward appearance it is difficult to tell where/what one’s ichinen is. But one’s life will ultimately clearly manifest it. Slander - Even if you commit slander without realizing it, it is still slander. One should never criticize leaders. Right or wrong, one should not complain at all. Instead, one can chant for them to grow and one will benefit from that too. Similarly, never do ‘onshitsu’ in your family. That is do not complain, criticize or carry a negative feeling towards your husband/wife, children or parents. THIS IS YOUR KARMA. ; YOU CHOSE YOUR SPOUSE/PARTNER. Chant for their growth. Further, do not depend/rely on others. Do not complain that they don’t do this or that. Criticism will bring no benefit. But it will certainly bring punishment. In conclusion: We must eradicate the following types of prayer: out of habit or ritual [that is without any target or determination] out of delusion [that is while chanting, trying to find solutions to your problems] out of disbelief [that is thinking that this is impossible and will not happen/change] Instead, pray with your entire heart, your entire being that I am going to build a bridge towards my happiness and those of others by myself, by using the Supreme Wisdom of Nam-myoho-renge-kyo. One needs to have the experience of benefits/breakthroughs, so as to encourage others. “I have so many benefits through this practice! What about you?” Especially, senior members must receive many benefits. Buddhism is reason. Otherwise what is the use of practising this faith? If they don’t witness changes/benefits, then, their faith has become habitual. Experiences: There was a MD Chapter Chief in Japan who had a small trading company, which was almost bankrupt. The sales had dropped by half. At that time he prayed deeply that the sales could climb to $3 million. And it became so. The next year, his target was $5 million and the year after $7 million. So it is important to determine first, then chant. An owner of a barber shop reported drop of sales due to lack of customers. He was advised to determine and pray concretely and in specific detail e.g. exact number of customers for haircuts, for blow-dry, etc., that is, detailed prayer, with a deadline. One member prayed to sell his car. He did. But with no profit at all. Because he did not pray for it. One woman had severe economic/financial problems. She prayed 3 hours daily in the morning saying “I want this amount of benefit today. I need it.” And she received it. We need to experience benefits through faith and prayer to show the power of the Gohonzon and encourage others. President Toda and President Ikeda said that there are 10 reasons why no change or benefits occur in senior leaders’ lives, even though they have been practising for a long time. Unclear determination No concrete targets in faith Doing regular gongyo but no concrete prayer Passive gongyo and activities from a sense of obligation A complaining and begrudging attitude about faith Seeking spirit for senior leaders/guidance has become weaker Not working hard in office or at home Depressed because of various sufferings in life Weak sense of mission for kosen-rufu Sense of responsibility as a leader is weaker Even if we have one of the above, then it indicates that our faith has become habitual and there will be no benefit. We must have big dreams which lead to hope and finally become reality when we chant! Therefore, we must have big dreams! Experience: The president of a fisheries company was very concerned about the drop in the catch of fish as it was affecting his sales, so he went for guidance. The leader asked him “You say that you can’t get lots of salmon fish. Does this mean that there is no salmon or that you are unable to catch them?” “I can’t get any,” he replied. “Why can’t you call them to your net? Did you pray like that?” the leader encouraged. “No, I didn’t” “There is no natural boundary in the ocean. So why don’t you pray like that?” the leader encouraged. So he did. His catch went up from 20 fish to 300 in one day. His company went from deficit to surplus. This is no miracle. This is the Law. This is reason. WHAT IS AMAZING IS WHEN YOU DON’T GET BENEFITS EVEN THOUGH YOU DO CHANT! REALIZE THAT YOU HAVE THE POWER TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE!

Drop by to say Hi!

Yup, It's after office hour now. I'm still here in TSS. Surfing net... July is a very X10000 busy month. Next week, new juniors are coming in to Academy K, then in TSS will have 6 years old graduation camp. Then, 4 kindergarten teachers from China will be coming to TSS to work for a month and basically we, the teachers are going to be tour guides. I'll be having Women Peace Conference Exhibition to do (I'm the so called "writer" for the exhibition). After that in the mid the August, we'll be having Akademeia Training camp together with Galactic Future Group (I'm in the Gosho group). Later in the end of August, there will be Professor Yamamoto's concert. So, basically, I'm fully booked for the month of July and August. A chat with ex-YWD Malaysia chief has enlightened me about all this. It is a previleged for me to have this opportunity to work 10 times harder than anyone else. This is my mission. This is what I can do to contribute to society and the growth of myself. It has been 3 months since I have been here in TSS. I'm now praying that I will have the fortune to go to Taiwan and Hong Kong end of this year and also to grow up in faith every day. Every day I feel that I have done things that I don't think I can do and I have succeeded in finishing what ever that has been given to me... Also I'm praying every day that every problem that I encounter are in fact opportunities to happily show the greatness of Gohonzon in every fortune that I collect in all overcoming all the difficulties. Please keep this blog update... See you guys...

Odd... Weird... You nAmE iT!!

Such is my feeling now... Weird... Odd... Baffled... I just don't know what is in my mind now. There are many things to be done Yet... I'm still struggling... Kept telling myself I have no time to loose, I must finish all the work...

Jianwen Chien fr. S'pore

Hey!! Here's another experience.. It's by Jianwen Chien fr. Singapore. Enjoy!! I am a YMD in Singapore. Before coming to Australia to commence my further studies, I met 3 really inspirational people who encouraged me to start taking my faith seriously. One of them, E.T, in particular, was always there to encourage and support me through the time when I was contemplating whether to go to a local university or an overseas one. Their words never leave me, even though I do not see them often because they spoke to me with their hearts.Today, I want to share with you a personal experience which happened to me for me to change my life and my negative karma. I hope that this experienceis able to touch the hearts of those who are undergoing similar challenges,and spur them to action.I met M at a university event. I was drawn to her great sense of humour and cheerful personality. Soon after, we became really good friends and gradually, she began to share with me her personal experiences. In one of the dialogues, something that she revealed to me really startled me at first; that she had been sexually assaulted when she was younger. Due to the fear of social stigma, she never revealed it to anyone, not even her parents.She almost committed suicide because of the mental and physical scars that were left by the incident. I felt that she had not gotten over it even up till today. She has her own way of dealing with it. I think it was after therape incident that her outlook of life changed totally.Her story really made me want to help her by introducing Nichiren Daishonin Buddhism to her. At the same time, it made me even more resolute to propagate true Buddhism to the people who are suffering in silence and pain in similar circumstances.However, the more I wanted to share with her, the more she resisted by arguing with me that there are no certain right or wrong and she thinks that everything is OK. Usually, I would end up getting very angry trying toc onvince her and the conversation would simply end up as an argument.Everything is OK.This sentence boggled my mind for days and I even began to question the right or wrong that I believe in. Then I thought that by thinking that everything is OK, she might be trying to make the unpleasant incident sound as if there's nothing wrong about it. It is only because society sees rape as being wrong, that's why it is a social stigma. That's probably why she says that Everything is OK.At that time, I wasn't aware that I was gradually beginning to fall in love with her. Before I knew it, my life became centred on caring for her and nothing else mattered. My life condition contracted and I lost my enthusiasm for study or socialising. There were times I felt so miserable for losing the direction and drive I used to have. I even stopped chanting for quite sometime. The worse thing is, M was going out with other guys which made me feel like a fool clinging on to a false hope of being loved in return.At the verge of anguish, I called E.T and asked him for advice. I did not tell him that I was in love with M but I asked him what the best way to help M is. He mildly admonished me, telling me that if we are not strong in the first place, then how could we introduce this Buddhism to others? He also encouraged me to chant lots of daimoku about it. He reminded me that all theknowledge in the world about Buddhism cannot compare to a single daimoku for the happiness of another person. Throughout the conversation, he told me notto rely on him for constant support and encouragement but instead develop a stand alone spirit. He reminded me about a poem I had written to him; about the phrase, Mai Ji Sa Ze Nen. it has been my constant thought, how to lead common mortals to enlightenment.That really struck me hard. The Buddha's compassion is so great! No matter how long it takes to introduce Buddhism to another person, we should not give up or despair. We just have to chant steadfastly to connect with the other person's Buddha hood, praying single-mindedly day by day, for his orher happiness. Ultimately, our greatest desire is to see the other person become happy, it doesn't matter whether he or she takes up faith or how long it takes to do so. What matters most is the other person's happiness. Time therefore becomes immaterial, that is, it doesnt matter how long it takes to convince another person to take up faith. It is through our sincere prayers and actions for the happiness of this person that he or she will eventually be moved by our sincerity. Maybe it takes a year, two years, tenor twenty, it doesnt matter, the important point is not to give up on aperson, seeing them as a hopeless cause or stubborn case.With that determination and also with an inspiration from an experienceshared by Alvin about how he managed to shakubuku 100 people in 3 month.I decided to do at least 3 hours of daimoku per day for M and also for the sake of Kosen Rufu. When we set impossible goals for ourselves, our lives will definitely change because we draw from our life, even greater potential and ability we never dreamt of ever possessing.I chanted for three hours every day since and after quite sometime, I could begin to feel truly for M's happiness. She had enabled me to draw forth the compassion I never experienced before. The feeling of pure joy and gratitudeno words could describe. Tears welled in my eyes as I continued to pray for M's happiness.After that, we got a chance to exchange our frank opinions about relationships and about life; I was surprised that I managed to maintain my cool and composure, unlike during the previous dialogues. From this dialogue, we gained a better understanding of each other's views, not onlythat, we respected each other's views without incurring any ill-feelings.The relationship between M and I did not work out as a romantic one but through this experience with M, I have realise that I have a very emotionaland unstable nature, that's why I fell in love with her so easily, in just a few weeks time. I didnt even know her well enough to decide whether if she is the right person for me at all. However, she made me gaze deep into my life to see my emotional nature and unstable life condition that I need to change.Our environment is a reflection of our life; certain people draw certain positive or negative qualities from our life. M drew both qualities from my life, compassion to help her and negative emotions like anger and an unhealthy degree of hunger for affection. It is the negative aspect that reflects the negativity in my life that I must strive to turn into apositive aspect.In the midst of this renewed determination, I joined the 1st OceaniaTraining Course held in Sydney. I am truly inspired by the spirit of the members from all over Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands. This is the first time I've seen so many members of the SGI family, coming together from all over the Oceania region. The most valuable lesson I've learned is that Nichiren Daishonin Buddhism is so compassionate. No matter who we are, what kind of person we are now, or what kind of life we lead,the Daishonin's Buddhism embraces us for who we are. It does not seek to impose views on other people nor force them to conform to a predefined way of life. It seeks to make a person become the best person he or she can be just as they are. All their negative habits or patterns will eventuall ybecome an impetus for them to do their human revolution. Using a metaphorical example of fruits, this Buddhism does not force an apple to look like an orange but instead it recognises the unique individuality of being an apple and helps it to be the sweetest apple it can be.Drawing from the inspiration I've gotten during the training course, I made realisations again that I was being intolerant for expecting people to accept my view, not just M but many other people that I've wanted to help. I sincerely chanted about it and discarded my old intolerant attitude. It is by doing so, that I have managed to convince 2 people to give Nam Myoho Renge Kyo a try within 2 weeks. This change in mindset based on sincere prayer, is simply incredible!It is also after the training course and the experience with M that I plunged myself wholeheartedly into the Kosen Rufu movement here, organising activities with the other members and getting the Kosen Rufu engine up and running. Exciting new developments are coming up as we're going to establish university group that is big enough to hold cultural events and exchanges.There are only 5 people in this group so I am hard at work building friendship and trust among my friends and also sharing with them the Daishonin's Buddhism. Together with the members here, we are hoping to see the group expand eventually to 50 people by next year. Taking into accountthe relaxing pace of life here, the aim of achieving a membership of 50 people seems to be an impossible one. That's precisely why I wanted to aimso impossibly high; to draw forth the abilities I never knew I had! In these struggles, I also discovered why E.T kept telling me not to rely onhim for constant support and encouragement and to develop a stand alone spirit. This Buddhism is so empowering because it does not ask us to seek solutions from outside our life, but from within. By constantly relying on E.T for advice, I'm actually developing a tendency to seek solutions from outside my life. Of course that does not mean that we should stop seeking help from our seniors, but what I meant is that we should not rely too much on others to give us advice. Finally I understood what is meant by standing alone, it is the process of renewing my determination each day, studying about Buddhism, chanting as much as possible with a clear goal in mind,showing concrete actual proof, shakubuku and devoting my life to Kosen Rufu.I always picture myself in a situation where there is no one to encourage mebut there are people for me to encourage. Bearing this picture in mind, this became my driving force to develop a strong self-motivated faith.From today onwards, I will learn and grow and advance steadily. I will chant 3 hours daimoku per day to shift my fundamental life condition from my emotional self to a higher life state.Following the suggestion from a member of making one new friend a day to increase the chances of me meeting someone seeking a guiding philosophy, I will talk to new people everyday.Everything that happens to practitioners of the Daishonin's Buddhism canonly serve to make us stronger. The world is waiting for this great philosophy to illuminate the dark nights of the people suffering in despair.People like M, victims of rape, victims of abuse, and victims of all kinds of imaginable and unimaginable circumstances will see a light. I will devote my life to carry this torch of hope into the lives of these people. Those who have been through the greatest suffering deserve to be the happiest people.I saw a recent picture of Sensei; my mentor is greying, yet he is still fighting. I cannot describe the tremendous sense of urgency mixed with immense gratitude I felt towards him. There is a strong urge in me to fight till his final moment with him and beyond. The time is from now onwards. The dark destiny of mankind must be changed. This is the greatest wish of my mentor, and as his disciple, and as a youth, I will exert my utmost towards the realization of this lofty goal, standing firm, standing alone.Postscript:I'm still praying everyday for M's happiness but now I also keep a list of the people I know and pray for their happiness too. The list keeps getting longer because I get to know new friends everyday. I believe it reflects how much my life has expanded since the encounter with M when my life was only concentrated on her. I will continue to expand my life, freely giving and receiving from the universe, every single day.

experience from India

hey peeps!! This is a very good experience fr. India.. thanx Rukmini!! ;) cheers!! Hello friends, I m practicing this wonderful philosophy of Nichiren Daishonin from over a decade now. Looking back nothing looks same as it was specially 3 years ago. Though to anyone externally I would have seemed to be a happy person, with nothing more to ask for in life & strangely even I, myself, was not sure of what do I want in life. But today apart from all kinds of benefits I have received while struggling on basis of faith the greatest thing I have got is a purpose & dignity in my life. The struggles of the last 3 years have made me a more confident person. And with each passing day I feel my happiness growing independent irrespective of my circumstances. It all started with the process of searching a correct career path. After my class XII I was in a complete dilemma, standing on cross roads to opt for a correct career path. Coming from a Science background, I appeared for various Engineering colleges & Hotel Management entrance exams. Even though I cleared some exams but somehow, I didn’t feel inclined for any of the usual courses. Then all of sudden, I got interested in Merchant Navy. Being totally alien to this career, I faced severe restrictions for this job. On a frank self-assessment, I discovered that on scale of 10, I was not even 1. I was grossly over wt. - weighing around 95kgs. my eyesight was 6/18 as compared to 6/6 which is required for the job, I had no passport & no one in my family or friends had any knowledge to guide me about such a career. Surprisingly inspite of all these odds, I still took the risk. With strong daimoku as my constant strength and Sensei’s guidance as my roadmap, I started my journey. I increased my activities & did shakubuku. Soon I was able to overcome my first hurdle. My eyesight was corrected to 6/6 from 6/18 by a successful lasik operation. For this I deeply thank the Gohonzon. My next challenge was to reduce my wt. though I reduced a couple of Kgs with strong will power but that was infact not enough. The Shipping Co.s came & went, but I was not even eligible to apply. As a matter of fact, I had to drop a very crucial year, but, I kept my spirits high, I was given a chance to be the MC for YMD annual general meeting & For May 3rd General Meeting. I took this opportunity by chanting for both 10 hours in a day. This was the turning point in my life. By now I had become eligible to apply and the shipping companies again came for recruiting. But to my utter shock, I could not clear a single exam. It was a major setback. At that juncture our family was going through severe financial crisis and I was staying in Hotels at Bombay to appear in exams which proved harsh & soon realizing this & undergoing my human revolution. Soon I shifted from luxurious hotel to a dormitory, learning to live, fulfilling my daily needs, I stopped traveling by cabs & shifted to local trains and sometimes even walked several Kms to save money. All this was my training as a youth. I kept my life condition high by chanting abundant daimoku. As the Gosho says “Unseen virtue brings visible rewards”, soon I was rewarded of my struggles. I was selected in not one but two of the leading shipping companies of the world. Very soon I realised that being a mamma’s boy, now would I have to undergo for a prior ship joining training for 4 months. I took the challenge keeping my faith in the Gohonzon. My tenacity was tested as I had to study 23 totally alien subjects while undergoing rigorous physical work, with getting up early morning and for a non-swimmer to pass the swimming test all looked like a nightmare but once again I discovered the inherent power within my life by doubt free faith & continuing daily practices rhythmically. The result was as wonderful, I was ranked 6th out of 80 cadets of my batch – making me standing 4th in my company, which was a big achievement. Mystically around this time all my shakubuku also reported major breakthroughs in their lives. Most of them are emerging as very strong pillars of Gakkai. I am overjoyed as we are in rhythm with Sensei. It is not one person going 100 steps forward but 100 persons going one step forward.My struggle was not over yet. As Before joining the ship it was mandatory from my company to get a US visa. The situation was not easy as after 9/11attack the seamen were being rejected the US Visa. I had no doubt in my mind that I would get the Visa and my confidence emerged out of my faith, and to prove the benefit of practicing sincerely I alone got Visa for 5 years And within 48 hours I got my other required visas , necessary documents & was on board my ship all within 48 hours. This was a truly big experience. Now, things were as I wanted, where I wanted, how I wanted, were exactly there but soon I realized that I would be all alone for the next 9 months, Away from family, BSG friends and my leaders to guide me. I gave a talk to myself that Yatin, now the test of 5 letter word faith has begun. Instead of feeling alone I decided to rely upon my Omamori Gohonzon & my Gosho book. Gradually, On the ship, soon the glamour of the Navy vanished, by encountering the daily tough & hard routine, hardly getting sufficient time to catch up sleep with somtimes even working for days without any sleep. Living away from land, during long voyages for months the Sea crew members develop a sense of frustration. I being the junior most faced absurd verbal abuse from senior crew without any reason or provocation.At such a testing time I reminded myself of the following Sensei’s Guidance“Wherever you go, Be a pillar of strength who brings peace of mind to all, Be a person of magnanimous character who inspires hope” I decided to face this situation on basis of daimoku and treat this period as my training period on the ship. From packed daily routine, I never compromised on my daily practice. On some of the days I did not have the energy to pick my blanket & sleep, but I never missed my (M) & (E) gongyo. Since I could not seek guidance, I extracted my encouragement from the Gosho, constantly reminding myself the words of a senior leader that I should try and make my environment a happy place through my practice. As I practiced these guidances in my daily life, I tried to develop a self that is not defeated by the environment. I began appreciating my crew members as they brought out a self reliance in me. I m happy to report that instead of 9 months, I completed 11 months of successful training on the ship, gaining good reputation & excellent remarks from my seniors. On reflecting back today my journey from a mamma’s boy to a lean hardcore Captain’s cadet has become a reality only because of my realization of my identity as disciple of Ikeda Sensei. Nichiren Daishonin states, “A Bird’s egg contains nothing but liquid, yet by itself this develops into a beak, two eyes and all the other parts and the bird soars into the sky. We too are the eggs of ignorance, which are pitiful things, but when nurtured by chanting of Nam-myoho-renge-kyo & we develop the beak of thirty two features and the feathers of the eighty characteristics and are free to soar into the sky”. To end, on the great occasion of may 3rd, I with the spirit of mentor-disciple determine, to become a strong pillar financially of BSG. Thru my trade, travel across the globe as the ambassador of my mentor –Daisaku Ikeda, spreading the message of peace, culture & education throughout. To struggle along with my co-members & leaders to make this Vikas Chapter the Kansai of India, hence welcoming Sensei with absolute victory.

At Home...

Came back to P.D today. Tomorrow not working, so, I came back to see my mum, dad and sister. Anyway, I'll be back again to Kajang tomorrow morning at 8 or 9am. Crazy? ..... Perhaps... Have to go back to Tadika Seri Soka to prepare Tuesday's Thematic activity. Since we are learning about fruits, we have decided to make fruits banner and hang it all the way at the corridor. Also, later after snack, we'll have a race of fruits among the children. I'll prepare fruit drawing on a piece of paper and have the children to color it and after that the picture will be clipped on the a paper hat. The children will put on the paper hat and race among their friends in a 30 meter run... Hehehhe... Cool? Anyway, I'm still coughing. It is getting better, I think... I hope... But, for my friends, they still think that I'm coughing quite badly. I'm drinking a lot of water and hopefully, the cough will subside gradually. I hate coughing, bacause normally, I'll cough for quite a long time (with or without taking medicine)... I don't know why... My juniors will come to P.D in the month of July after Citrawarna. So, I'm going to help them survey the place and also try to fix them a budget. I might not join them... working mah... cannot take off day just like that. It will cause lot of trouble to the teachers. My sister will be helping them. Hope they will have a great time here in P.D. I had a small short talk with Teacher Liaw. She is a double bass player in GCO. We happened to have breakfast together at Kaikan canteen. Soon, we found ourself talking about TSS... and also about GCO. I have a lot of questions in mind about TSS... But, we managed to talk very briefly about it. I feel much better after the talk and I have a better mind to tackle my problems in TSS. At this time, I have to learn alot of new things... I mean A LOT! It will be 2 months since I have started my work in TSS... Hopefully I'll be able to continue to srtive here at TSS. I just founf out that I have missed the Women Peace Conference meeting today... I didn't check my mail and thus I missed it! I felt bad about not attending the meeting. Have to meet up Yin Kwan to get the details tomorrow... There are many things to be done this week... TSS, WPC, GCO, YWD Discussion Meet, Youth Rendezvous NIght... It will be indeed a busy week ahead... Hopefully I'll still be breathing after next week... Take care!


今早凌晨三点才入眠。为什么?嗯,就心血来潮,写了封信给一个朋友。内容都说出了自己的感受。很久没有写信了,那,就趁写信感觉的到来,把它紧紧握在手里,将一切心声填满空白的纸张。真得很久没有写华文了!所以,要把握时机!嘿嘿!我的咳嗽还没好。对,最近又生病了,但也没有去看医生或拿休假。感觉到御本尊的强大守护。工作了一个月半,生病两次,但还可以像一般的人去上班。挑战每一天。这些力量,精神,都是我不曾想像过自己也存在的力量。完全是御本尊的守护。 工作的环境果然不一样。觉得自己在创价幼儿园得到莫大的守护。真的是很大的守护。工作环境也不会向外面那么的黑暗。继续加油吧!

Sensei Guidance

Yesterday I was quite down. Don't know why and don't know how to make the feeling go away. I went to my car for a quiet moment and I managed to get hold of FLOW magazine from SGM. FLOW 304. Then I automatically turned to page 27 which happens to be the centre page. Instantly I was having a session with My mentor - Ikeda Sensei. The whole guidance is for Youth Division. I was thrilled and really feel that Sensei is here just beside me. The guidance is in Chinese. Anyway if you guys happen to get hold of this copy of FLOW, do read it and share with all of us. I'll do it later today or tomorrow. See you!


Today is Fruits day here in my class. We had 10 big watermelons and only managed to finish 3 of it. Also we have water apple, mango, green apple, red apple, pineapple, ciku... I'm full of fruits now. Today is quite a weird day for me. Just feel like something is wrong... Anyway, I hope I can survive...

Monday Bright Day...

Monday... A bright day. Normally people will say Monday is definitely a blue day. Well... I would have a different idea about Monday. Sunday was Mother's Day. I went back to P.D at around 5PM. Initially I wanted to go out for dinner at night to treat my mum a nice dinner, but, my mum happened to cook dinner already and she proposed that we will have the dinner later next week or the week after. Anyway, I took her words and was o.k about it. Later having not check my e-mails for the past few weeks, I managed to clear it that night. Also to have called my "to-be" violin teacher - Gerald Ng. Thanks to Shu Tyug for the contact. Shu Tyug has been my shoten zenjin all the while in my quest in hunting for a violin teacher. I did not consider any of the members in GCO to be my violin teacher. I just don't want to have anything to do with them in terms of money and service. Anyway, if there are no problem, I will begin class with Mr. Gerald Ng. I woke up at 5.05am next morning. Took my bath and my mum's best breakfast and off to work at TSS. Whole day in TSS has been great ass the children are looking forward to Tuesday. Why? We are having water play!!! The children in my class are told to wear their swim-suits and also to bring their water gun if they have one. Primarily, all the teachers are their prime target for them to shoot at!! After sending all the children back home, the five of us - Teacher Liaw, Teacher Debbie, Teacher Aoi Aoi, Teacher Ti Ying and me had a meeting for the music class lesson plan. I have to leave the meeting at around 6.25pm bacause I have to sweep and mop the floor at home and off to fetch HSD to chanting meet. I was incharge of the sharing part. It was a pack day for me. I really rush from the begining until the end. I shall continue later.... have to go off for dinner now. TSS

Galaxy Chamber Orchestra Concert 2005

We had a concert two weeks ago at Kaikan Female Dormitory. The total amount of people who turn up was 625. Our initial target was a full house concert. We gave out around 700 tickets and 625 came to the concert. It was a big success. I was the emcee of the event and I had a real test on that particular event. Everything was last minute... Initially I wanted to converse in English, but my senior told me if I can do it in Cantonese it will be the best. I thought about it and just half an hour before the concert, I revamp my whole script into Cantonese. I chanted while waiting for the time to start. It was a great experience for me. My mum called me for dinner already. Guess I have to continue later.

Glossary of Buddhist Terms

Cause and effect - Buddhism expounds the law of cause and effect that operates in life, ranging over past, present, and future existences. This causality underlies the doctrine of karma. From this viewpoint, causes formed in the past are manifested as effects in the present. Causes formed in the present will be manifested as effects in the future. Buddhism emphasizes the causes one creates and accumulates in the present, because these will determine one's future. Nichiren taught that ordinary persons could manifest their innate Buddhahood (effect) through faith and practice, and then, based on Buddhahood, go out among the people of the nine worlds (cause) to lead them to Buddhahood. Daisaku Ikeda - The third and current president of the Soka Gakkai International (SGI), is a Buddhist thinker, author and educator who believes that only through personal interaction and dialogue across cultural and philosophical boundaries can human beings nurture the trust and understanding that is necessary for lasting peace. To date, he has traveled to more than fifty countries in pursuit of this ideal, holding discussions with many distinguished political, cultural and educational figures. Topics include a range of issues crucial to humanity such as the transformative value of religion, the universality of life, social responsibility, and sustainable progress and development. Eternity of Life - Buddhism's view of eternal life posits that one's life or essence has no real beginning or end. We live many lifetimes, repeating the cycle of birth and death. Like going to sleep at night, we refresh our bodies and wake up anew in circumstances that correspond to our karma (see Karma). It is extremely fortunate to be born as a human being with the potential to improve our own life while contributing to the happiness of those around us. Gohonzon - Nichiren Daishonin inscribed the fundamental object of respect, the Gohonzon, on October 12, 1279. This object, in the form of a scroll, depicts, in Chinese characters, Nam-myoho-renge-kyo (the law) and the life of Nichiren (the person), as well as protective influences. Down the center of the Gohonzon are the characters Nam-myoho-renge-kyo and Nichiren's signature. This indicates the oneness of person and law - that the condition of Buddhahood is a potential within and can be manifested by all people. SGI members enshrine a replica of the original Gohonzon in their homes as a focal point for their daily practice. The Gohonzon's power comes from the worshipper's faith - the Gohonzon functions as a spiritual mirror. Sitting in front of the Gohonzon and chanting, a person is able to recognize and reveal his or her own Buddha nature, the creative essence of life. Gongyo (daily practice) - The Japanese word gongyo literally means to exert oneself in practice. The fundamental practice of Nichiren's Buddhism is to recite Nam-myoho-renge-kyo and parts of the Expedient Means (second) chapter and the Life Span (sixteenth) chapter of the Lotus Sutra with faith in the object of devotion called the Gohonzon each morning and evening. Chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo constitutes the fundamental or primary practice. Recitation of the Expedient Means and Life Span chapters help bring forth the benefit of the primary practice and therefore are called the supporting practice. Gosho (writings of Nichiren) - The individual and collected writings of Nichiren Daishonin are often referred to as the Gosho. Nichiren was persecuted throughout his life by the Japanese government and by religious powers who considered his revolutionary teachings a grave threat to their continued authority. Nevertheless, the letters he wrote to his followers, often under very harsh conditions, illustrate that even in the midst of the greatest challenge, he was able to realize the great beauty of life and feel joy and compassion for others. These letters and treatises, more than four hundred of which remain today, are collected in English as The Major Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, and are the primary study material for SGI members. The Gosho may be divided into four groups: (1) treatises setting forth doctrine, (2) writings remonstrating with government authorities, (3) letters offering advice, encouragement, or consolation to believers. Also, those written in answer to questions or to express appreciation for offerings and support received, and (4) written records of Nichiren's oral teachings, including his lectures on the Lotus Sutra. Human revolution - Human revolution was a term used by Josei Toda, second president of the Soka Gakkai, to describe the process by which individuals gradually expand their lives, conquer their negative and destructive tendencies, and ultimately make the state of Buddhahood their dominant life-condition. SGI President Daisaku Ikeda wrote the following words in the foreword to his novel The Human Revolution, "A great revolution in just a single individual will help achieve a change in the destiny of a society and further, will enable a change in the destiny of humankind." It is with this spirit that members of the SGI pursue their own individual human revolution through their daily Buddhist practice and activities for world peace. Karma - Karma is the accumulation of effects from the good and bad causes that we bring with us from our former lives, as well as from the good and bad causes we have made in this lifetime, which shapes our future. Karma is a Sanskrit word that means action. Karma is created by actions-our thoughts, words and deeds-and manifests itself in our appearance, behavior, attitudes, good and bad fortune, and where we are born or live. In short-everything about us. It is all the positive and negative influences or causes that make up our complete reality in this world. This law of karmic causality operates in perpetuity, carrying over from one lifetime to the next and remaining with one in the latent state between death and rebirth. Shakyamuni maintained that what makes a person noble or humble is not birth but one's actions. Therefore the Buddhist doctrine of karma is not fatalistic. Rather, karma is viewed not only as a means to explain the present, but also as the potential force through which to influence one's future. Buddhism therefore encourages people to create the best possible karma in the present in order to ensure the best possible outcome in the future. Nichiren Buddhism does not consider one's karma or destiny to be fixed since our minds change from moment to moment, even the habitual and destructive tendencies we all possess to varying degrees can be altered. In other words, Buddhism teaches that individuals have within themselves the potential to change their own karma. Lotus Sutra - This is the twenty-eight-chapter oral teachings, recorded in writing after the death of Shakyamuni, that benefited people during Shakyamuni's lifetime and during the former day of the Law. Whereas Shakyamuni expressed it as the "twenty-eight-chapter Lotus Sutra," Nichiren, to enable all human beings of the Latter Day to attain Buddhahood, revealed the ultimate principle of the Lotus Sutra as Nam-myoho-renge-kyo. The five characters of Myoho-renge-kyo, which constitute the Lotus Sutra's essence-that is Nam-myoho-renge-kyo-are the Lotus Sutra appropriate to this age of the Latter Day of the Law. The SGI's second president, Josei Toda, therefore termed the Daishonin's teaching the Lotus Sutra of the Latter Day. Since the Lotus Sutra was the central scriptural influence on Nichiren, it is worth mentioning one specific element in it that he thought was crucial. Adopting Chih-i's interpretation, he taught that the Lotus Sutra proclaims that there is an inherent Buddha nature in all human beings. From this comes the idea that all people can attain Buddhahood "as they are," as ordinary people in the phenomenal world. This rather revolutionary notion of the essential equality of men and women is central to Nichiren's understanding of the Lotus Sutra and was quite a radical thought at that time in history and in many places in the world even today. Nam myoho renge kyo - This is the ultimate law or truth of the universe, according to Nichiren's teaching. Nichiren taught that the essence, all of the benefits of the wisdom contained, in the Lotus Sutra could be realized by chanting its title: [Nam]-myoho-renge-kyo. Chanting these words and excerpts from the Lotus Sutra is the core of this Buddhist practice, supported by study and the sharing of Buddhist teachings. Namu derives from the Sanskrit word namas and is translated as devotion or as dedicating one's life. Myo stands for the Dharma nature, or enlightenment, while ho represents darkness, or ignorance. Together as myoho, they express the idea that ignorance and the Dharma nature are a single entity, or one in essence. Renge stands for the two elements of cause and effect. Cause and effect are also a single entity. Kyo represents the words and voices of all living beings. Kyo may also be defined as that which is constant and unchanging in the three existences of past, present, and future.

President Ikeda's Guidance

Many things happen in life. There are joyous days and times of suffering. Sometimes unpleasant things occur. But that's what makes life so interesting. The dramas we encounter are part and parcel of being human. If we experienced no change or drama in our lives, if nothing unexpected ever happened, we would merely be like automatons, our lives unbearably monotonous and dull. Therefore, please develop a strong self so that you can enact the drama of your life with confidence and poise in the face of whatever vicissitudes you may encounter.

I Am a Buddha – A Woman of Unlimited Self Esteem

By Leah Bryant Before I started practicing Nichiren Daishonin’s Buddhism in 1990, I lived a very hungry and angry lifestyle. I was working illegally in the U.S. after completing my studies there. The pay was low because I was illegal. I lived from paycheck to paycheck. I didn’t save the money I earned. I was depressed and angry. I went to movies, discos, shopped, drank beers, and smoked many cigarettes to fill the emotional pain. By mid-month, I never had money left to pay the utility bills or buy groceries. My mother had drummed into me that I was stupid and naïve and would never amount to anything. I believed her and had no self-esteem. Whenever I had a problem at work I was too scared to speak to the boss — my tongue would dry up and I would cry because I couldn’t express or articulate my needs. In 1990 I spoke about this to my travel agent in Miami, Heather Adir, and she suggested I chant Nam Myoho Renge Kyo three times before I talk to my boss. Suddenly I had power and conviction in myself. I got the raise and the terms I needed. I never looked back. Chanting gave me a new sense of self-worth and self-respect. From then on I have had many wonderful experiences, humongous obstacles, but tremendous growth as a human being. I managed two record companies and worked with many world-renowned artists and actors, mostly because of my training as a Byakuren and other responsibilities I held in SGI-USA. I always had a beautiful place to live, especially since it was usually the district or chapter meeting place. As a foreigner living abroad in the United States, I had continuous protection from the Gohonzon. With the help of U.S. Immigration, I even managed to overturn my illegal status by getting continual business visas. I returned to Kenya as a single mother to raise my young daughter and fulfill the determination I made to Sensei that in the 21st Century that I would be a leader for African kosen-rufu. Living with my mother brought back all my old fears and I began to lose my self-esteem all over again. Daily fighting made me wish I could leave her, but I felt guilty at the same time. My life condition wavered as did my practice. My boss was also shouting at me and I decided I had had enough and quit a well-paying job with no idea how I would live, but I knew that I must become happy. My fellow member Angelika and I decided to set up a mini-kaikan [Buddhist Community Center] so that we could make the cause to have many members in Mombasa. I made a fresh determination on January 1, 2004, that by December 31st, I would have total victory in my career, my home, and my relationships with my family. I also determined that my daughter and I would become happy, and that I would do my utmost for kosen rufu in Kenya. I started chanting consistently again, studying the Gosho and Sensei’s guidance. I threw myself into activities. Out of the blue in April, I was called to Nairobi and informed by SGI Japan and our Africa affairs leader Mr. Minai that I would be appointed as Vice National Women’s leader, Chapter leader, Treasurer, and on the Executive Committee Board for SGI Kenya. I was shocked and scared, but my training reminded me to accept with courage and joy. Now I had to really had to show actual proof of this faith not only to my family and friends but also to my fellow members. How could I do that with no job, very little income from my farming, and living with my mother at my age and with a young daughter who would need to go to school soon? Somehow I knew that I needed to take my self-esteem back and that it would mean digging deep into myself to eradicate all the negative and destructive feelings I held on to from childhood. Mystically I started finding articles about women and self-esteem. The guidance was to chant to have unlimited self-esteem, to awaken your own greatness, to manifest the extraordinary side of you, to be outrageously successful, to display your Buddhahood, to consistently manifest your Buddha nature, and to finally really respect, appreciate, and value yourself because you are a Buddha. It was so difficult and painful in the beginning. I realized I no longer believed in myself and my Buddhahood. I made goals half-heartedly and the results were equally minimal. Slowly but surely, I started seeing concrete tangible benefits. We helped organize a Women and Young Women’s training seminar in Mombasa in September. The topic was “Peace Begins With Me.” The focus of the open, honest, gut-wrenching, emotional, and passionate discussions was “Self-Esteem and Believing You Are a Buddha”. We all grew that weekend. I know that I did. When Mr. Minai, our SGI African Affairs leader came from London in October for a leadership training course we organized, I asked him for guidance regarding attaining benefits. He said we must make sure we are practicing correctly, making concrete goals with deadlines, and that we must have pure faith. I read from the Gosho “Reply to the Lay Nun Nichigon”: “Whether or not your prayer is answered will depend on your faith; (if it is not) I will be in no way to blame… When water is clear, the moon is reflected. Our minds are like the water. Faith that is weak is like muddy water, while faith that is brave is like clear water.”I determined to muster up all my faith, and to engage the power of the mystic law to show actual proof of Nichiren Daishonin’s Buddhism. I knew that I had to have a stable job again so that I could be independent, give my daughter the education and opportunities she deserved to have, and move to a wonderful home for kosen rufu. With my WD leader Masumi Odari’s encouragement, I set a goal that I would have my job for kosen rufu by November 18th with a certain salary figure. I also wrote the guidance that my best friend in the U.S., Judie Macalino, had been given by Sensei: chant for a job that would use my talents and skills, be financially rewarding, and still have time for activities. The day before Mr. Minai came down to Mombasa, my ex-boss called my District Leader to enquire about me because he had a project in mind for me. I was shocked. I didn’t want to work for him again in that position of strictly clearing and forwarding. And I had left his job without proper notice! I used to even hide if I saw him at the supermarket. I chanted and realized I am a Buddha, a Lion King! I read in “The Drum at the Gate of Thunder”: “A woman who embraces the Lion King of the Lotus Sutra never fears any of the beasts of hell or of the realms of hungry spirits and animals. All the offenses committed by a woman in her lifetime are like dry grass, and the single character myo of the Lotus Sutra is like a small spark. When a small spark is set to a large expanse of grass, not only the grass but also the big trees and large stones will all be consumed. Such is the power of the fire of wisdom in the single character myo. Not only will all offenses vanish, but they will become sources of benefit. This is what changing poison into amrita means.”I realized this might be the answer to my prayers and I should put my trust in the Gohonzon instead of having fears. The least it would do would be to change poison into medicine. I made the call. By November 15th after a bit of very courageous, firm, and confident negotiation, I was employed as the Business Development Manager for Spedag International, with my first account being clearing and forwarding for Lafarge Kenya and Uganda (cement factories). I got the salary I wrote down — even after taxes! I have my own office and my own staff and am now a senior manager in the company. In February I will receive my company car which will help me get to Chapter activities. Now at work I get to do what I enjoy doing — pushing, organizing, communicating and keeping all the VIP’s happy — all traits learned from my training as Byakuren. The boss that I used to have so many problems with, whose happiness I chanted sincerely for last year, has changed his character and is now my greatest ally in the company. He comes to me for advice about personnel problems because he says that, as a Buddhist, I see through people and get the truth. My job will be flying me to Nairobi a few times a month so that I can continue to perform my duties as a SGI National leader for board meetings, etc. My relationship with my mother has improved and we have been able to have heart to heart discussions. I have learned not to fight back, but to appreciate her for everything she sacrificed for me, as well as being my zenshishiki [good friend]. My daughter is enrolled in a good nursery school and has learned how to chant. Again with Masumi’s encouragement, I made another goal to have my house for kosen rufu, near the beach, at a certain rent by December 31st. I have just signed the lease — the cottage is beautiful, on a compound right next to the beach, and the rent is exactly what I determined! My daughter and I will start moving our belongings in on Christmas Day! I am so excited as this will be the first time I have ever rented my own place in Kenya! I have renewed my faith and am filled with incredible joy that I had the courage, determination, and wisdom to believe in the Gohonzon, which meant I had to believe in myself. I AM a BUDDHA! I AM manifesting the extraordinary side of me. I AM a woman of unlimited self-esteem!!!