Last evening I sifted through the pages of my World Tribune in search for much needed encouragement. The World Tribune is a weekly newspaper devoted to the practice of Nichiren Buddhism, the SGI organization, and world peace. I love this newspaper because I get to read all about the amazing accomplishments my fellow Buddhist members are conducting around the United States. Daisaku Ikeda, President of the SGI, also provides guidance and support for leading happy lives with no regrets. In this week’s World Tribune, I came across bundles of wonderful wisdom from President Ikeda that really brightened my day about how to create value in our lives. I’m not going to share all of it, but I will share my favorite parts that I highlighted. By the way, what you are about to read is taken from The New Human Revolution which is a series of novels that President Ikeda has written about SGI and the kosen-rufu movement to share this practice with others for the sake of world peace.
Daisaku Ikeda writes…
“It’s important to be optimistic and to look on the bright side, constantly moving forward. There are times when, even though you’ve been chanting [Nam-myoho-renge-kyo] for something, the situation doesn’t go as you wish. But remember, there’s always a reason. In the end, you will genuinely feel that things worked out for the best.”
“Buddhism is a teaching of value creation, and value creation begins with having the wisdom to appreciate every situation we face and transform it into joy, hope, and victory…Let’s imagine, for example, that it starts to snow. If you react negatively, thinking about how cold and slippery it is outside, then you will have a terrible day. But if instead you think to yourself: ‘What a rare chance it is to see such beautiful snow! I’ll show the kids how to build a snowman and create a wonderful memory with them!–then from that moment everything will be a joy.”
“The key to value creation is to find joy and meaning in whatever happens, to courageously rise to the challenge. To do that, we need a philosophy of life, we need wisdom, and we need life force. In fact, that is the purpose of our faith.”
“Our personal philosophy determines how we look at things. Whether we see events from a pessimistic or optimistic point of view, whether we take things positively or negatively, makes all the difference in the world.”
[Buddhism] is…”a philosophy of transforming the negative into the positive. As long as we base ourselves on such a forward looking approach, we will never be deadlocked.”
“How we perceive events is also intimately related to the strength of our life force. When we are weak-spirited and apathetic, we end up falling into a negative mindset in spite of our best efforts to remain positive. Our mental attitude is inseparable from our state of life. Chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo is the source of powerful unflagging vitality.”
This guidance is absolutely amazing. I love it, and in my own personal experience I find that it really is true. When it comes to how we interact with others and experience the world, if our mind is set in darkness, if we look at the world through a negative lens then what we experience will most definitely be negative. If that negativity is taken a step further, and one reacts out of anger then we harm not only our relationships, but ourselves as well. After all, anger is poison and it is the gateway to hatred. It can cause you to lose control of your ability to think and act in a rational way. The good news is that poison can be changed into medicine. That is the power of Nam-myoho-renge-kyo! Tapping into the power of our lives or Nam-myoho-renge-kyo provides a way to channel anger into something positive thereby creating value in society. For example, someone who has been the victim of violence can channel their anger and energy into fighting for justice and world peace. It really all comes down to one’s mindset. Every human being is capable of greatness, of contributing to the world, society, and the community in a positive way.
Try it out! Pay close attention to the experience you have today and remember if the mind is shrouded in negativity then negativity becomes part of your daily life. It becomes your experience. However, if the mind is positive then you are able to look on the bright side and experience the joy life brings!