A bit of inspiration for the new year.
1. Buddhism is not a fear-based,controlling religion. It’s a lovebased,empowering way of life.
2. No one can save you but yourself –in concert with the Gohonzon.
3. Even though you’re perfect just the way you are, by chanting you will continue to achieve higher levels of perfection, as the natural outcome of increased happiness.
4. Yeah, life is eternal and you have all the so-called “time” in the universe,but do you really want to come back in your next life with the same karmic agenda?
5. To get real benefits – not lower-ego benefits. Lower-ego benefits (I have something that makes me better than you) are not benefits at all.
There is no ego in enlightenment.All prayers to the Gohonzon should have a higher purpose.
6. Nam-myoho-renge-kyo is not the magic phrase you say to make something happen. Nam-myoho-renge-kyo is creation itself, and
whatever manifestation you attach to it becomes reality.
7. Chanting connects you with nature,with whom we are all indisputably and intricately a part. For example trees understand Nam-myohorenge-kyo – perhaps better than you and I do.
8. Sometime in the infinite past you promised to come to this world in this Saha era and chant daimoku, in order to raise human consciousness and bring about world peace. It’s a bad cause to renege on a promise.
9. The protection of the shoten zenjin – the benevolent forces in the universe summoned by chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo – gives you
a warm feeling of security in this crazy world.
10. The more you can feel the depths of pain, the more you can transform that pain into joy and ecstasy with the magic of daimoku.
11. Buddhist practice puts you in a higher life-condition and a high life condition is really the only benefit that has lasting value.
12. Every cell of your body responds to your commands, so you can heal yourself by sending the golden light of Nam-myoho-renge-kyo to every cell in your body.
13. Power ends where fear begins, and Sensei said that faith is to fear nothing.
14. So you can awaken to a higher purpose in life, rather than simply playing out the clock.
15. Your life and your happiness are essential to the attainment of kosen-rufu. You are here for a reason.

Prayer is the key to unleash human potential to the fullest

Ms Kumi Noguchi (vice chapter Women Division leader) residing in Toyama City used to be a healthy and vibrant teenager who even participated in a gymnastic competition during her secondary school days.
After her graduation in 1958, Ms Noguchi becomes a primary school teacher but one month later, she was diagnosed to have contracted an incurable disease – Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA), a chronic, inflammatory autoimmune disorder that causes the immune system to attack the joints. It is a disabling and painful inflammatory condition, which can lead to substantial loss of mobility due to pain and joint destruction. She was constantly overwhelmed by the fear of dying, and the intense physical pain that attacked her entire body.
In November 1965, Ms Noguchi was introduced to Nichiren Buddhism by her aunt. Six months after taking up faith, Ms Noguchi could sit on the floor with her legs folded and could even ride a bicycle. As she savoured the wondrous beneficial power of the Mystic Law, she renewed her determination to overcome her illness fully. She prayed single-mindedly and exerted herself in propagation activities. In spring 1969, when seven of her friends joyfully received their Gohonzon, the excruciating rheumatic pain that had plagued her for the past seven years stopped abruptly.
However, that did not mark the end of her suffering. Her life continued to be mercilessly attacked by her “storms of karma”. Her RA relapsed and her condition deteriorated so much she was bedridden at home. The only thing that she could move in her body was her eyeballs. In June 1970, her doctor told her, “Your bones have become so fragile that it is impossible to operate on them. Consider yourself lucky that you have been able to work till recently. I’m sorry but you have to spend the rest of your life quietly in bed.”
Over the following one year and three months where she spent her days in the hospital, Ms Noguchi continued to chant daimoku on her hospital bed with an unwavering resolve, “I’m going to transform this karma no matter what, through my prayers to the Gohonzon I will make the impossible possible!”
After her discharge, she continued to be attacked by various illnesss, including severe side effects from her medication, acute hepatitis (liver inflammation), gastric ulcer and the throes of death. Amidst such circumstances, she continued chanting daimoku single-mindedly every moment of her life except when she was having her meals.
When she completed her first million times of daimoku in October 1971 (since she began keeping count from May 1971), she was able to work, something that was deemed impossible by medical science. From that day onwards, she continued to work for the next 30 years till her retirement in 2003.
Filled with profound gratitude for the good health she now enjoys, she continues to exert herself in kosen-rufu activities for the happiness of others.
No matter who we are, as long as we are human, during moments of life’s great adversities such as death or illness, it is only natural that we are overwhelmed by negative tendencies in our lives such as fear, cowardice, lament, insecurity, doubt, anger or resentment. During such moments, it is most critical that we continue offering sincere prayers to the Gohonzon with persevering faith. By tenaciously offering prayers without giving up till the end, we will surely be able to surmount all obstacles, no matter how harsh they may be, by summoning forth immense courage, wisdom and life force from the depths of our lives.
President Ikeda said in his guidance, “Prayer is the key to opening the multiple doors to innate human potential.” With this words deeply engraved in our lives, let us achieve great victories in our lives and for the kosen-rufu movement.
Translated and adapted from an article written by Hokuriku WD Study Chief Momoko Baba published in the January 2006 issue of The Daibyakurenge, the Soka Gakkai’s monthly study journal.

Monday, 19th April

HONEST and continuing dialogue with a single person is important. In these efforts, requiring perseverance and courage, there lies the brilliant possibility of kosen-rufu's unlimited expansion.

FROM the standpoint of our practice, an attitude of wishing to live long so that one may work that much more for the sake of others could be considered a vivid expression of faith.

IT all comes down to you. Not others. You must build a solid foundation within your own life. And as you grapple to overcome various problems and sufferings along the ways, you must strive to accomplish all that you have set out to achieve. This suffering is the flesh and bones of a leader. It will become the treasure of your life.

NOTHING is wasted in faith. One never loses out. Please be confident that all your efforts to help others and to promote Buddhism are accumulating immense treasures of good fortune in your life. This is what is meant by inconspicuous benefit.

ADVANCE preparation is very important. Whether you are heading out for a discussion meeting or to introduce Buddhism to others, or whether you are going to work, it is the person who prepares in advance who succeeds. The most important and fundamental preparation is gongyo and daimoku. Chanting to the Gohonzon with a strong determination to succeed is the best preparation of all.

Thursday 15th April

BUDDHISM is reason, and even though you may embrace faith in the Gohonzon, you cannot progress without making effort. Rather, because you practise this faith you should redouble your effort.
WITH regards to the method of spreading the Buddhist teaching, I can see that teaching and transmitting Buddhist ideas to a wide audience through the media may indeed be one method, but to really engage each person’s heart and mind I am convinced that one-to-one dialogue is the only method. And in fact, the propagation efforts of our movement have been based on the method of personal, one-to-one contact, which has resulted in the spread of the teachings across the globe.
ONLY when you make positive efforts to develop and cultivate yourself is the true practice of the Law possible. What matters most are people. What matters is doing your human revolution. Only when you constantly struggle to achieve your own human revolution can you become a leader for a religion dedicated to the welfare of humanity.A stone wall that seems infinitely high when seen from the ground appears no more than a slightly raised boundary line when viewed from an airplane. Similarly, if your life-condition changes for the better, so will the way you view and respond to things. You will find yourself surmounting every adversity and hardship with composure, and thoroughly enjoying the drama of life.
DIALOGUE must be conducted in a spirit of equality, with the parties involved respecting each other as equals. It must be a mutual exchange where the parties speak the truth and actual fact, and not just spout one-sided propaganda. In any event, such truly genuine dialogue is to be found in our efforts to talk to others about Buddhism and share with them our practice.