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.

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