Find True Happiness
Speak the language of the universe.
Nichiren Buddhism is the belief that we all have the power to reach unconditional happiness (enlightenment) just like Shakyamuni Buddha.
A person can attain true happiness in this life time.The potential for true happiness is within everyone. I was introduced to Nichiren Buddhism and it changed my life. The Intro to Buddhism book gives insight and wisdom that will change a person’s perspective. A person can learn how to find joy in the journey of life. Nichiren Buddhism is the faith in reciting, Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, to bring forth one’s Buddha-nature, compassion, wisdom, and love. The faith that the Gohonzon is a means to strengthen one’s will and Buddha-nature. A person must have faith that all the power they need to attain their dreams is within themselves and chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo to the Gohonzon strengthens their will to reach their dreams.
I was searching for answers, purpose, and happiness. I was on the Meetup app to find ways that I could add value to my life. I participated in different activities such as planting trees and feeding the homeless. I saw this one group that said, “Find your happiness” I thought I would try it out. I arrived at the SGI-USA Buddhist Center in Oakland, CA. All the people sat around in a circle. Some people talked about what brought them there, and others talked about what events had happened that kept them there. They said that chanting manifested their dreams and desires. I met some other young women who reached out to me and befriended me. I thought I would keep going and see what happened. I learned to chant, I studied and passed a test, and I participated in group meetings. Definitely at the time, I was searching for self-growth and healing of my anxiety and depression. I was hoping to elevate myself by creating positive actions. Chanting was a time to self-reflect, focus on my goals, and connect with others. I was able to control my anxiety better. When I started feeling anxiety I would chant in my head and tell myself that I am strong enough. I did a lot of self-reflection and became more aware of what I was feeling and why I was feeling this way. The Intro to Buddhism book helped me so much with understanding why I was thinking the way I was. I was able to work through a lot of my anxiety and depression. I was able to manifest some things I desired. Finding Buddhism helped me overcome the overwhelming anxiety and depression that was holding me down. Buddhism can help all people. Buddhism can help you on your path to finding true happiness. There is a Buddha in you that wants to come out.
If you are interested in learning more about Buddhism, read further. I tried to provide the basics. You can see if this makes sense to your life. Maybe this information can help you on your journey to finding happiness. This information is based on the book An Introduction to Buddhismpurchase here
Faith, practice and studying Buddhism
One must have faith that they have all the power within them to overcome all obstacles and to reach true happiness. Chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo to the Gohonzon strengthens one’s will and connection to one’s Buddha-nature.
Nichiren Daishonin, “ I Nichiren have inscribed my life in sumi ink, so believe in the Gohonzon with your whole heart” (Reply to Kyo’o’ WND-1, 412)
One must practice by chanting for the happiness of themselves and others.
Chanting Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo (Daimoku) to the Gohonzon will bring forth a person’s Buddhahood
For self-growth to occur one must practice discipline, devotion, faith, and a connection with others. As a person becomes disciplined in Buddhism by chanting (Daimoku) studying, and attending SGI meetings (to study with others, connect with others, and receive mentorship.
Studying and spreading Buddhism will develop the movement to kosen-rufu (world peace/ the happiness of all people)
A person chants Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo to release all their power within to overcome any challenge with joy and gratitude. A person chants for other people’s happiness and world peace. People have all the strength and power within themselves, but chanting is like singing the song of the universe, to bring forth their power. One should write down their goals and hang them above their Gohonzon (Nichiren Daishonin’s scripture). They chant as they think of their goals and how they will achieve them. One should realize their capability to achieve anything they want. People also chant to overcome obstacles, to become a better person, chant for other people and their happiness. A person chants for world peace which happens through human revolution. One should chant while focusing on their intention and on the Gohonzon (which is the reflection, like a mirror) to bring forth their inner power. When one becomes one with the universe by speaking the language of the universe their life will improve.
The translation of Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo
Nam- to dedicate
Nam-myoho-renge-kyo “ to dedicate one’s self to the Lotus Sutra. (Shakyamuni’s teachings)
Myoho-mystic law (the inherent Buddha nature)
Renge- lotus flower
The lotus flower blossoms in the muddy murky water. The beauty is untouched by the dirty water such as, a person’s Buddha nature remains pure and untouched by earthly desires and suffering. Also, the Lotus blossoms with a fruit inside it where as other plants produce a fruit after the flower has fallen. This is the simultaneity of cause and effect. Such as, how people live the cause and effect simultaneously.
Kyo- sutra or teaching
(An Introduction to Buddhism, SGI-USA, pg 12-13)
Where did Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo come from?
Buddhism is the belief that all people have the power within to overcome all obstacles in life. The Lotus Sutra is the culmination of Shakyamuni’s teachings on how to become awakened or enlightened and freed from suffering. Myoho-renge-Kyo is Japanese for Lotus Sutra. Nichiren Daishonin (1222-1282) was a Buddhist monk who established the path to become awakened is by reciting myoho-renge-kyo. He added, Nam- meaning, to dedicate one’s self. He wanted to spread this knowledge to lead all people to enlightenment, free from suffering, and attain true happiness. This is the teachings of the Latter Day of the Law, which is about 2,000 years after Buddha’s passing. The three founding presidents of Soka Gakkai Nichiren Buddism are Tsunesaburō Makiguchi, Jōsei Toda and Daisaku Ikeda. (SGI-usa.org) The Soka Gakkai was established on November 18, 1930.
Obstacles of faith
(An Introduction to Buddhism, SGI-USA, pg 46-47)
These are the obstacles that keep people from having faith and reaching happiness.
3 obstacles and 4 devils
- Obstacle of earthly desires-any earthly desire that prevents a person from discipline and practice. Such as a person who says they are too tired, so they go to sleep without practicing.
- Obstacles of karma- obstacles from karma that a person created in this life. Such as a parent who puts barriers in between a person and their practice.
- Obstacles of retribution- negative karma from a previous life. Such as, a car accident that prevents a person from attending a meeting.
- Hindrance of the 5 components (hindrances from yourself)
- The hindrance of earthly desires (greed, anger, foolishness)
- Hindrance of death (death)
- Hindrance of the devil king of the sixth heaven (negative influences that stops a person’s Buddhist faith)
President Ikeda-“Buddhism is a struggle between the Buddha and the devil” pg. 48
2. The 3 Powerful Enemies
(An Introduction to Buddhism, SGI-USA, pg 48)
- Arrogant lay people (people who doubt Buddhism and attack the practitioners)
- Arrogant priests (priests who believe they are superior over others)
- Arrogant false sages who conspire with secular authorities to persecute the sutra’s votaries. (priests who pretend to follow the right teachings of Buddhism but actually seek status and profit)
There are 10 worlds that a person can live in.
(An Introduction to Buddhism, SGI-USA, pg 16-26)
A person can live in multiple worlds simultaneously. There are good and bad traits of the 6 lower worlds.
The 10 Worlds are:
World of Hell
World of Hungry spirits
World of Animals
World of Asuras-anger
World of Human beings
World of Heavenly beings
World of Voice hearers (learning)
World of Cause-awakened ones (realization)
World of Bodhisattvas
World of Buddhas (buddhahood)
The 6 lower worlds are:
The 4 noble worlds are:
Cause awakened ones
The world of hell
is when a person has suffering, rage, desperation, resentment, misery, no hope, and torment.
The World of hunger
is when a person suffers from desires and greed, But desire is also what motivates a person to have self improvement. People always want more, the desire for more and better and this keeps us from staying stagnant and complacent and not reaching higher.
The World of animals
is when a person has foolishness and acts on instinct impulse. Like an animal, acting on natural instinct without a deeper thought process. Our natural instincts keep us alive. So we need our natural instincts but we shouldn’t always act on impulse, we need to think about consequences and have mindfulness. Be aware of why we are reacting the way we are.
The World of asuras
is when a person has anger, arrogance, and jealousy.
The World of human beings
is when a person is experiencing tranquility. The person can distinguish right from wrong and has self control. But if a person is calm and complacent all the time, the person is not reaching for more. So the growth stops.
World of heavenly beings
is when a person experiences circumstantial happiness. The person’s desires have been filled. This is temporary happiness. The person may have bought the house she always dreamed of. She will be happy for a moment but this will not bring everlasting happiness.
attain partial awakening through listening to Buddha’s teachings
Cause awakened ones
achieve partial enlightenment through various phenomena
The world of Bodhisattvas
is to follow Buddha’s teachings and work towards enlightenment. The belief that everyone can attain Buddhahood and teach others how to find true happiness.
World of Buddha
is a person who is enlightened, like, Shakyamuni Buddha.
Buddhism is to find the joy in overcoming obstacles and in gratitude of the strength gained by the difficulties. Overcoming difficulties is like going to the gym and lifting weights. The weights are heavy and it’s difficult to lift but the person gets stronger and it becomes easier. The person wants the weights to be heavy. The person wants the challenge because that is the way a person becomes stronger. The same concept is in life.can The more challenging the obstacles build strength, wisdom, compassion, and unconditional love for people. This growth is needed to reach enlightenment (unconditional happiness) Shakyamuni Buddha wanted all people to be freed of suffering and find true happiness. Enlightenment is possible for all people. Following Buddhism is what will help people reach enlightenment.
Buddhism is to find compassion when a person doesn’t like them. They chant for their happiness because as a person becomes happier, they become a nicer person. Instead of being angry at the awful way this person treats people, be compassionate and understanding. This person is unhappy and hurting on the inside. They’re pain inside comes out as aggression. One should not take another person’s internal anger personally. One should chant for their happiness.
Nichiren inscribed the Gohonzon. The Gohonzon is like a mirror. As a person looks at the mirror, they see their strength come out and may see certain traits that needs to be improved. One has all the power within to improve those faults. Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo is the rhythm of the universe, the universe gives everyone everything they need to conquer and grow. Call the power forth by chanting the language of the universe.
Life is a continuum of past present and future “the 3 existences of life” (An Introduction to Buddhism, SGI-USA, pg 40)
Karma can be good or bad. A person may suffer today from an action from a previous life. One may do some wrong action toward someone today and suffer for it some time in the future, in this life or may be in the next life. People can make positive actions like practicing Buddhism, chanting for others, helping others, and this will give a positive effect or good karma. The actions from the past, what one does today, and what they will do in the future has an effect on today. The actions of the past, present and future effects a person simultaneously.
Life is full of challenges. One has the strength to overcome those challenges. They can Chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo to bring out their Buddha nature of strength, wisdom, compassion, and love. When a person overcomes a challenge, that person will be stronger from it. One should have joy and gratitude with each challenge that they are confronted with. Rejoice to the universe. Rejoice in the challenges. Have faith in Buddhism, the Gohonzon, the inherent Buddha nature and potential to reach true happiness. When a person has this knowledge it should be shared with others to help them find true happiness. If all people’s pain is replaced by happiness there will be no desire for violence and war. Chanting for all people’s happiness is chanting for world peace. This becomes a much bigger path than just trying to find one’s own happiness. It’s also about helping the world, everyone and everything. A person can find true happiness, help others find happiness and create world peace. Buddhism can create true happiness for all and create world peace.
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