Experience shared at Zadankai 8/7/’93
It was a momentous and auspicious day in Dec ’91 that Ramesh introduced me to our practice .Since then I have grown steadily in faith and gained many benefits.
From the very first day I was moved by the cordial and warm atmosphere at our meetings and found in each meeting a lot that would help me improve as a person and deepen faith.
One very memorable meeting was with the Chubu delegation last year at the Kaikan.I was moved by the experiences we heard and the sincerity and depth of faith of the visiting members .I grew conscious of y own lack of deep faith and chanted that I would overcome this weakness.
In the months that followed, I sought to remove several doubts I had about our faith and practice through discussions and guidance with our Senior Leaders and through study. I had a tight schedule of touring across the country but managed to study thanks to the long waiting hours at the airports, during flights and at the Hotels. I struggled through the Gosho “Opening of the Eyes” and found direct answers to several of my doubts .It was almost as if the Gosho was aimed at me.
During this period, I also studied Sensei’s guidance’s and the Human Revolution which influenced me a great deal and made me shift away from excessive pre-occupation with my own self development towards happiness and concern for the welfare of others. I tried my best to live by Sensei’s guidance, I quote “Strive not to get caught up solely in your own concerns but, opening your heart wide, make efforts for the sake of others for, for your fellow members and for kosen rufu .Such efforts will cause you to overcome your lesser self and cultivate a state of mind where your greater self predominates.”
Our senior leaders gave me the opportunity to carry out various activities and to take care of member’s .I grabbed each of these opportunities although I had a tight schedule at office. I began to understand our faith more deeply than before .The focus of my prayers shifted away from my own immediate concerns and those of my family, towards the happiness of a wider family, and for BSG activities and campaigns. I also increased daimoku to one hour each day.
But even as I grew in understanding, I kept feeling that I was insincere and lacking in faith. I knew what was good and right and attempted to follow the guidance’s to the best of my ability .Yet there was something missing. I was dis-satisfied with the level of sincerity I was bringing into my relations with others. I seemed to be deep down as self centred as before .I seemed to be swayed far to easily by the goods events and not so good events at the office and was over sensitive to anything that I thought was a slight on my position or authority in the office.
During the recent campaigns for the Youth Division meetings I set up targets for daimoku, study and activities as per the advice of our senior leaders. I was also determined to seek the wisdom to understand in what ways I could open the doors for my own human revolution.
A few weeks before the Youth Division meeting, I received the bad news that my sister was seriously ill with cancer .I took guidance from our senior leaders and rushed down to Coimbatore to be with my sister .During the week I was with her I spent most of the time chanting daimoku and studying very deeply Sensei’s book “Dialogue on Life vol 2 “.My prayers and study helped me find the wisdom to speak to my sister and help her face up to her illness. Each day I studied her eyes, for they told me whether her spirits were rising or sinking. I would check her life force from the energy she mustered each day .I was immensely happy to see that she suffered no pain or after effects from the operation. She also stood up remarkably well to the first round of chemotherapy, and did not display any side effects.
I was confident that, through the mercy of the Gohonzon, she would be free of pain and will lead a full and happy life for at least a few more years to come. It was just as Sensei had said it was not necessary for all members of a family to practice our faith; just one person’s sincere prayers are enough for the family’s protection.
Sensei had said that whenever we are faced with something sad, something trying or something distasteful, we should have the inner fortitude to view it as a source of nourishment and as an opportunity to expand and enrich our lives.
My sister’s illness gave me an opportunity to take care of her and give her strength. I also had the opportunity to chant daimoku for over two hours every day , and to study deeply the book “Dialogue on Life “ .This book helped me understand the much more clearly the meaning of the ten worlds and the mutual possession of the ten worlds. I understood and accepted the meaning of the “Eternal Self ‘. Suddenly the significance of life took on for me a newer and richer meaning .I learnt about the central tendency in our lives and how we inherit this central tendency from our past karma .I realized that the central tendency of my life was in the world of Hunger, Anger and Animality .I realized and appreciated now that when I am reactive to the environment, my office colleagues and family members, it is usually from these lower life conditions.
In the weeks since I got back from Coimbatore, the Gohonzon had a very special test awaiting me .I was plunged into a hectic schedule at office and frequent travel that kept me away from almost all activities for the Youth Division meetings and the current Zadankai .My daimoku dropped to just 10 minutes on several days and the Devil of the Sixth Heaven took over with great delight .I felt low in spirits and un happy at the office. However all the training that BSG has instilled in us to pray and pray no matter what happens, helped me pull back and defeat the devilish forces.
Through conscious effort and determined daimoku I am slowly but surely reacting to people and events from a stand point that is much broader and compassionate than before .I am determined to continue the struggle and report victory a the forth coming MD’s training programme .I am also determined to put in outstanding effort along with our Group members towards welcoming Sensei to the Bodhi Tree Gardens.