Creativity fueled by determination

Yesterday morning, my friend chanted with me in alliance from Melbourne. I felt so exhausted that I was 40 minutes late to the one hour long session. Without begrudging or berating me, she chanted and I could feel her daimoku lifting me out and bringing me in front of the Gohonzon to chant. I feel deep gratitude for her support and daimoku. Her kind gesture reminded me that I could extend this same kindness to others.

First I started with looking for other members I could chant in the morning with. People were ok to chant, but I felt something was lacking. I reached out to my cousin Diya in Florida that I introduced to the practice a few years ago, who has been undergoing deep struggle and hasn’t been able to really get into chanting. With time zones offering a short common time slot, I offered her to chant with her in alliance. Meanwhile I also realised I had another person I could ask in California, my sister’s close friend – Swarn.

This morning I chanted while Swarn was on the other end of a phone call for half an hour. She probably listened to Gongyo for the first time. She was so open and embracing. Chanting with her was a real joy.

Diya couldn’t join in until much later and I missed her message. I continued to send her my daimoku and gratitude and I hope we can break through it tomorrow!

I realised that I wasn’t supporting them by asking to chant with them. They were supporting me. It was the only reason for me to get out of bed at 6.30 am! For the last few weeks, I had a prayer to be able to chant with another member everyday and now I find a creative way to accomplish this feat! Yay!!!

As I chanted this morning, I determined to share my experiences with Buddhism in the hope of helping someone else find happiness or connection to the Mystic Law. I ended up talking about my conviction to my team lead over lunch. Another friend from a professional women’s group reached out to me in response to my whatsapp status that had some of Sensei Ikeda’s writing on there from my post yesterday.

When I chanted this morning, I knew I had a big day ahead of me. I had to work on a big presentation. I chanted to somehow do an awesome job of it. After a day of meetings until 2 pm, I struggled to string words together let alone do a whole presentation. I let myself be, I read and went to the post office to send the liturgy book to my other cousin Naina. I had been trying to get Naina to get the book for nearly 3-4 years and just today I realised I can just send my spare book to her, it won’t cost that much and it cost only $3.35. So silly to not have thought of this before. This afternoon as I let my brain recharge, I just breathed easy, not knowing how I would get the presentation done but trusting in my morning prayer.

I started working on it after 4 pm when I reminded myself of my determination for the day, that it was not an option for me to postpone it to tomorrow, when my brain could function again. My negativity started to berate me that I was going to miss my walk and I didn’t do well enough and I shouldn’t work late. I didn’t give into it and worked efficiently and joyfully until after 7.30 pm and got home at 8.30 pm. The presentation shaped well, I kept trying to check my perfectionism and focused on making progress.

In the end, I was happy with what I got to. I reckon I will work from home tomorrow because I am too tired to get organised for food. What a great benefit I have to be able to contribute in such a supportive work environment!

I chanted for my manager’s success and she extended her support in connecting me to women who had been to a leadership course in the past, this after her seemingly frustrated remarks at me seeming too demanding. I chanted for me to deeply respect her and for her to respect my dignity.

These are “small things” and I almost feel like I am rambling as I write this post /negativity. These are significant things.

I also found another magnificent determination for my health – I want to have and share an experience that is powerful enough to encourage at least 100 people to connect to this practice, that I share my experience at SQI HQ in Japan this year.

Time to go chant for my dream with steely determination to accomplish it.

As President Ikeda says

When your determination changes, everything will begin to move in the direction you desire. The moment you resolve to be 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.

There were times in my day where I started to go into, this is too difficult. I reminded myself that I choose to make my life light and easy, everything seems to be less burdensome with that perspective. I strove to remind myself to embrace my uniqueness, if I wanted to chit chat while someone else was quieter, it was ok. I didn’t have to beat myself up for being too chatty.

As another famous quote from President Ikeda is,

Just as cherry, plum, peach and damson blossoms all possess their own unique qualities, each person is unique. We cannot become someone else. The important thing is that we live true to ourselves and cause the great flower of our lives to blossom.

And also,

We have both a weak self and a strong self; the two are completely different. If we allow our weak side to dominate, we will surely be defeated.

The battle between my weak self and strong self continues. My strong self manifests powerfully only when I chant.

Time to go chant.

 

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