You Make Your Dreams Come True

Wisdom, Courage and CompassionThere are some things in life that are worth the suffering involved in attaining them. Your dreams are included, if not top of that list.

It has been said that the things that come easily are never worth as much as those that take time and effort. Think back to your own achievements, I’m sure you will see that the things that bring the most pride and enjoyment are the ones that took the most work to come to fruition.

So let’s examine just what qualities we will need in order to succeed.

In the first place it may well take a great deal of Courage. The Courage to persist under difficult conditions, to make difficult decisions. Often we have to make sacrifices to achieve the greater goal and that also takes Courage. Sometimes we might be tempted to give in, when the pain seems to be too great. The Courage to go on, to reach that goal, will repay us many times over when we succeed.

To ensure that you are making the right decisions along the way will take Wisdom. Maybe we make mistakes and Wisdom is exhibited in the way we learn from those mistakes. At other times the Wisdom is apparent in the way we take the hardest option for the right reason.

Finally we need to have Compassion. There will be times when we have to live through short term pain for long term gain, and Compassion for ourselves and for the others involved will make the process so much easier for everyone to bear.

I don’t need to cite any examples, we have all got life experiences that illuminate the process very clearly. I wish you all the Wisdom, Courage and Compassion to aim for, and attain your own dreams. Remember it can all be made easier by following the Buddhist principle of Kyo Chi Gyo I, it is the recipe for success.

Nam Myoho Renge Kyo.

Look Backwards, To Move Forward

Looking Backwards, To Move ForwardThere are situations and challenges in life, when the almost overwhelming tendency is to look inwards, to examine repeatedly, the reasons and causes that have brought us to this point in time.

We may have certain regrets about things we did, or indeed didn’t do, but the fact of the matter is that the past is set in stone.

Of course, making sense of situations, and the events that brought them about, can be very useful if we are to avoid making repeated mistakes or errors of judgement. But a continuous process of navel gazing is never going to get us back out into the big wide world. Imagine what you would miss, if you were to sit and stare at your hands, neatly folded in your lap, every time you went on a train, a plane, or a car journey.

So whilst we must take care to learn from the lessons in life. We must also look forward to using those lessons as we move forward towards a brighter and happier future, buoyed by the knowledge that we are better prepared to meet whatever we might encounter around the next exciting corner.


One Hundred Per CentThe true victors in life are those who, having endured repeated challenges and setbacks, have sent the roots of their spiritual being to such a depth, that nothing can ever shake them loose.

By practicing Nichiren Buddhism, with all our heart and mind, on a daily basis, can allow us to grow our own spiritual roots to a great depth. Whilst our practice takes us along the road to enlightenment, this is a powerful side-effect that makes us able to defeat anything that life throws at us.

On Observation

TranquillityThe advent of each day brings us joys and challenges, each of which have the ability to alter our life-state in some way. Joys tend to raise our life-state, challenges may lower it if we let them, and therein lies the conundrum. We need to be vigilant, to observe our life-state from moment to moment, but in doing so, we affect that life-state.

Just as in quantum physics, the mere act of observation affects the phenomenon being observed, self observation of our life-state can, and most likely will affect it too. Imagine a situation where you become angry because something has not gone the way you would like. Initially you may be reacting instinctively, in an animalistic fashion. But as soon as you realise that you are reacting in such a manner, in other words, you observe your life-state, there is a large chance that you will change to that of a more calm and reflective mood, even into a state of tranquility.

So we have this little test for ourselves. We must be, as far as possible, aware of our life-state. Ideally we want to be in one of the higher states, not grubbing around in the worlds of Hell, Hunger, Animality or Anger, but in Learning, Realisation, Bodhisattva or even Buddhahood. The act of testing can help us raise our life-state through awareness, which is a good thing. But be warned, when the results come back, and you find you are in one of the lower worlds, that can be a sobering moment, when you realise that you are not as far along the path to enlightenment as you would like to be.

Life Can Be Proper Tricky

Life Can Be Proper TrickySorting out our life can be a bit like solving a Rubik’s cube, each part is like one of the faces, separate but all connected.

We work to get one face, let’s say Blue sorted out.

On it’s own that task is pretty easy and we complete it quite quickly. So we move on to to the Red face, again it’s pretty easy, in isolation, so we get it sorted and we feel a satisfaction in that.

But then we turn the cube back to the Blue side, and it’s all messed up again, because it is connected to the Red side.

Life is like that. Every aspect of life is connected, to our family, our friends, our work, every other aspect. Just like Rubik’s cube, unless you know the rules for arranging the sides, it can be pretty impossible. The only way to get our lives sorted, is to learn the rules governing how they fit together. I say rules, but there’s nothing written down anywhere that will teach you. So it’s a case of trial and error, to some degree. Hopefully our parents teach us the ground rules, but every situation is different, so it’s necessary to modify or adapt the rules so they fit.

There are two big differences between life and Rubik’s cube. The first is that unlike the cube, life is no game, obviously, and second, life is nowhere as simple as getting six coloured faces sorted out. So whether you are playing with a Rubik’s cube, or trying to sort your life out, I wish you good fortune. Wisdom, courage and compassion in huge and equal measure will go a long way in many respects. From my point of view, the news is mixed. I’m getting better, but still learning to do both.

On Grabbing A Bargain?

Boxing Day SalesNearly everyone I know has been rushing out to the Boxing Day sales today, determined to grab that ‘must have’ bargain.

But is it a ‘must have’, is it even a ‘bargain’, is it, really?

All over Christmas, at every commercial break, we get bombarded with ‘Bargain Offers’ for buy now, pay later ‘Must Haves’ … Rubbish.

Happiness stems from who you are, and not from what you own. That nice new iPad Mini 3 or iPhone 6 that you have been showing off, will very soon be yesterdays toy, and the next big ‘must have’ thing will come along to take its place.

Look around you, see how much you really have, family, friends and all manner of comforts in life. You don’t need that ‘must have’ gizmo, and if it really were such a ‘bargain’, why would the company be selling it at that price? Because they are just ripping you off by a little less than before.

Retail therapy is only therapy for the companies selling the goods. Tell me, honestly, that you have never been out, bought a ‘bargain’, and regretted it, maybe even before you got home. Think before you spend that hard earned cash, think even harder before you pay with your credit card or take a loan. Do you really need it?

Merry Christmas Everyone

Seasons Greetings

Merry Christmas to all my Christian readers, may you all have a wonderfully peaceful day.

To all other denominations, enjoy the holiday and be nice to one another.

My deepest wish for this holiday, and for the coming year, is that we all learn to live together in peace and harmony. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if, in 2015, there were no more reports of war, and that governments got together to wipe out disharmony, poverty, famine and injustice. Just imagine what that would mean for mankind.

Nam Myoho Renge Kyo

On Being Fearless

In The Fullness Of TimeSometimes, we may have to  summon the courage to speak out against injustice.

Nichiren Daishonin illustrated why we should do just that, most eloquently …

“To speak out without fearing others and without flinching before society—this is what the sutra means when it says, “We care nothing for our bodies or lives but are anxious only for the unsurpassed way.”

It is not that one does not recall the calumny, the staves and stones that were suffered by Bodhisattva Never Disparaging. It is not that one is unafraid of the world. It is just that the censure of the Lotus Sutra is even more severe.”

In other words, to speak out may cause one pain, but to not speak out will be even more painful in the fullness of time.

Is Karma Fate, God’s Will Or Your Responsibility?

Poison Into MedicineSometimes in life we find ourselves in difficult or disappointing circumstances. But the laws of Karma are universal, and we get what we deserve, whether we recognise the causes or not, the effects speak for themselves.

We might feel sorry for ourselves, we may think it’s unfair, but we make the causes for the effects we experience day in, day out. Now you may be saying that it’s destiny, or coincidence, but that simply means you are delegating responsibility for your life to fate or a mystical figure whose existence can never be proven.

Why do we allow ourselves to be fooled? When we know the reason for events, we accept the situation and move on. When we don’t know (or remember) why something has happened, we waft it away with airy fairy excuses, like fate or God’s will.

I’ve been through the mill in the last year. Failed relationships, serious illness and deaths in the family. More than enough to make me feel, at times, enough is enough. But when I sit and think things through, at the bottom of every disaster, is a cause of my own making.

So I hold my hands up, I’m culpable, in part at the very least, and my chanting, prayer and meditation are the tools I am using to start to put things right. You might be thinking this doesn’t apply in your case, but you are wrong. Accept your own responsibility and start making the causes to get the effects you would like to see.

On My Responsibility …

Ripples In A PondAt some point during the last 24 hours, the number of visits to my blog passed the 100,000 mark, which I find amazing, but which also illustrates the burden of responsibility I have for the topics I post about.

Each topic will be, however small, a source for potential change in those who read it.

One of the principles of Nichiren Buddhism is that of the Oneness of Self and the Environment.

If you drop a pebble, no matter how small, into a pond, the ripples spread out in all directions and interact with everything in their path.

This principle states that there is a connection between the person and others around him or her. It is therefore clear that changes in our life-state, the way we relate or react to others and changes due to our Practice will affect those whose lives we interact with.

Some of these effects are very obvious. If we walk around with a happy demeanour, we find that people are more likely to be pleasant towards us. If, on the other hand, we walk around in a bad mood, with a scowl on our face, we find that people are less friendly and may try to avoid us completely.

Ok, so no rocket science there then, but there are more subtle ways in which changes can be felt. In my own case, my Practice has allowed me to stabilise my life-state, generally I am now more often in the higher Worlds than lower ones. The result of that is that I am better placed to create value, for myself and those around me.

My Practice has changed me and those changes are affecting others. That’s why it is so important for me to ensure that as these changes take place, my Wisdom, Courage and Compassion increases too, so I can make sure the changes are all good ones.

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