Moving Mountains

Today was a gigantic mammoth magnificent milestone in my practice. I got up on the stage and shared my experience with 400 people. I shared about my abuse and almost open sourced this information. It is no longer privileged and secret information. I can no longer keep track of or control who knows about it. This information has been set free in the wild and in turn I’ve set myself free.

When I was asked to share my experience, I was going to share the same experience as what I sent to the Indigo magazine. However, my leader nudged me slightly and when I chanted I realised I was missing a huge opportunity. How many times in my life would I have the opportunity to share two unique experiences within a span of a month! Usually the experiences from the meeting are published in the magazine, not the other way around.

As I started to chant to write this experience, I realised it has to be very powerful and courageous. More so than the experience I had already shared. My leaders advised me of the differences between written and spoken experiences, how having too much detail is hard for people to follow in 10 minutes. I still didn’t know what the content would be, just that it would be about my work.

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Return from Hiatus and Win!

Since I wrote this post, my life has been insanely busy. Everything was devoted to making the utmost effort for my interviews, chanting, engaging with others and going to Buddhist meetings. I struggled so much that I needed all this to keep fighting my tendencies and put in my greatest effort. The more effort I put to contribute to others, the more I found I could do towards my life and prep. Strange how this works.

It was as though this period has been one of deep learning and understanding about myself and my life. This understanding in turn has led to a deep inner transformation and awareness in my life.

After being bullied at work for the last 4 years, I have finally started to find my voice again. I am learning to better identify and speak up when I find something offensive. I am learning to set boundaries and stand up for myself. I am learning to be more in charge of how I want to respond, rather than reacting to someone’s disrespectful behaviour.

It’s like finding myself again, only a new improved version.

Oh and in other news, I got the dream job. Still waiting for everything to be finalised before I can put a stamp on it. But almost there!

Changing My Work Environment

My vow for kosen-rufu continues to provide me with a reliable steering wheel to determine the best direction for my life. - Ananda Gautami https://mynewhumanrevolution.wordpress.com

Last Sunday I went to the SGI General Director’s lecture. He spoke about his work situation, how last year he found himself in an increasingly toxic work environment with rampant bullying and back-stabbing. He started to pray to somehow be able to use his beliefs, abilities and values to contribute at work in the best way, somehow, whether it was this job or another one.

Earlier this week I went to a new group meeting. A new member, a young woman, was asking questions about how she wants to grow in her career and finds that she’s stagnated in her current job in what she can learn and where she can go. She had been praying to find a new job but hadn’t found it yet, how should she pray about it.

Her words and attitude reminded me of my old self – that saw a ladder to be climbed and how I had a path in my mind and if my life or my career didn’t match that path, I was somehow not doing my best or failing.

No, I didn’t burst her bubble. I tried to relate from my own experience. I saw she was stuck in the mindset of what the job is giving her rather than what she is contributing.

This conversation flowed into a self-reflection for me. I realised that I had not been praying about my job situation. When I asked myself whether I was able to contribute from my best self and whether I was expanding my contribution in the best way, or had I become complacent and was going along with the status quo? Funnily enough all of this coincided with events at work.

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Victorious Day!

Today has turned out to be a fabulous day. I want to chronicle it here and in my memory for the next time I doubt or question the infinite potential of my Buddha nature and my practice’s ability to bring it forth within my life.

I woke up at 5.30 am, while it was still dark.

Usually this is a herculean and impossible task for me, I even avoid catching morning flights for this reason. In the past, if I had a morning flight, I would even find it hard to function through the day. I got some training to do this last year amidst my frequent work travel.

I showered and sat to chant at 6.30 am.

Usually this is another impossible task. I can’t get myself going unless I chant, I would also find hundred reasons to neither shower nor chant. Not today though.

I chanted for one hour.

Initially I felt very sleepy and tired. I judged how I was chanting. At about the half hour mark, I felt only one daimoku carrying me through to the next. It was chanting in the state of Flow. Then my leader joined me in chanting and the alliance kept me going. At some point I realised I need to start heating my breakfast while chanting if I want to make my train, so I did that without judgement. This is really working to quiet down the voice of my inner devil/negativity/fundamental darkness – whatever you want to call it.

I was 7 minutes early to catch my train. My train got delayed by over 10 minutes and I started chanting in my heart in the train. Any delays could’ve been catastrophic to my tight schedule. I made it to the doctor’s right at 9 am. I was calm and relaxed.

This is not my usual state when I am delayed. I almost went out of the wrong exit from the train station but had the good sense to correct myself quickly as I realised which I direction I was meant to go in. Usually this kind of events would make me a wreck.

When I saw the doctor, and recounted my story of how I got the appointment within 24 hours, she said that strangely nobody wanted this appointment slot – not even anybody on their appointment cancellation waiting list. It was as though the appointment was meant for me.

In my life, I have not been at the receiving end of such syncronicity often before starting the practice. I was the person who if on the road, whether driving or going as a passenger would meet all red signals. This is a 360 degree turnaround brought forth by the mystic law.

The doctor’s appointment was really good. In the morning, I chanted for the doctor to know what to ask me and not rely on my poor recollection of things. Mystically, the doctor was focussed on getting useful information in the hour. She would cut me off or navigate the information to extract what she needed to know and defer the other details to later. At the end of my appointment, she arrived at the answer I thought was the right one. When she made an incorrect conclusion, I was able to assert for myself and advocate for myself rather than think that she knows better.

Usually my doctor’s appointments can be long winded where nothing useful comes out of them. This is a refreshing change. I also could change my usual view of thinking that the doctor knows best or not being able to know what to say and how to assert myself.

At the end of the appointment, the doctor recommended a path which has long been my belief is the right path. She asked to see me for a follow-up before she prescribes any treatment. She promised to get me in soon in the next few weeks as soon as someone cancels.

I did not hesitate in declaring that I will be available for whatever time slot that becomes free. That I will make the time. Usually I would go in fear mode, would want to check with my manager or my calendar. Today I just said, these are the dates I am away, other than that I will make everything else work.

This afternoon I got a call from them already and have a follow-up appointment next Wednesday. I blocked my calendar on top of a client meeting, emailed my manager and my team informing and explaining honestly.

Usually I would be knotted up in anxiety thinking, only I won’t ever get the follow-up on time. In this case, I was confident I will get the follow-up asap. I was confident in how I presented what I needed to my team and offered all the assistance in working around it.

I respected the dignity of my life. Fearlessly.

Such a refreshing change from thinking and behaving as though I don’t deserve to have space to look after myself that my work would do me a favour if they let me see the doctor and from believing I don’t deserve to exist.

I have changed my karma today.

Life is responding back.

And I passed the Citizenship test as the cherry on the cake!

Fighting is starting to turn into victory…

Now to continue fighting for the victory of my friend who has similar health struggles but hasn’t found the right answer for her. I trust in her Buddha nature to lead her to the right answer for her. I am determined that she will recover too somehow.

We will win together!

As Sensei 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.

https://www.ikedaquotes.org/attitude/attitude104?quotes_start=14

Also:

“The commitment to the happiness of all people is at the heart of Buddhism. But it is through the relationship of mentor and disciple, through life-to-life connections, one person’s aspiration igniting another’s, that this ideal is brought out of the realm of abstract theory and made a reality in people’s lives.”

https://www.sgi.org/about-us/buddhist-concepts/the-oneness-of-mentor-and-disciple.htm

The commitment to the happiness of all people is at the heart of Buddhism. But it is through the relationship of mentor and disciple, through life-to-life connections, one person’s aspiration igniting another’s, that this ideal is brought out of the realm of abstract theory and made a reality in people’s lives.

https://www.sgi.org/about-us/buddhist-concepts/the-oneness-of-mentor-and-disciple.html

Time to live and embody the spirit of my mentor.

Thank you Sensei.

Faith is the basis of everything

I found this in my study today:

Faith in the Mystic Law is the basis for victory. Those who continue to chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo through all are admirable and strong without compare. When we resolutely bring forth the power of faith and practice, we can manifest the boundless power of the Buddha and the Law in our lives.

No matter what the situation, first chant. Chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo is the ultimate driving force that enables us to break through all obstacles, undefeated by any problem or suffering.

– Living the Gosho, location 403

I read Louise Hay’s ‘You Can Heal Your Life’ years ago but could never put it into practice. Affirmations are not quite my thing.

Today I had the bright idea to write them as my prayers and apply the strategy of the Lotus Sutra to change my consciousness patterns that haven’t been able to release my illness yet. For the first time, I know what to do about my knowledge of patterns. Funny how it didn’t occur to me before.

In other news, a massive victory today. This afternoon I learned that my uncle was very angry and explosive with his suffering, abusing my aunty as usual. I became very stressed and asked my friends for their daimoku. He has a lifetime of suffering and just venting it in front of who’s in front of him. I kept thinking what my prayer should be and how to change his behavior, strategizing with my brain and feeling helpless and inadequate.

All this while my friends chanted for him. A few hours later I learned that the doctor talked to him and explained the whole situation and what he had been through and how he got a new life almost. The word is, since then his panic has calmed down and he’s more reconciled with the reality of the situation.

It still amazes me how daimoku works every single time!!!!!

No matter what the situation, first chant.

As much as I know it, so hard to do. Learning to be better!!!!