Each of us is subject to our emotions. Given the present state of the world, it would be easy for us to lose hope. What difference will our small action make in light of the enormity of the evil and selfishness we witness daily in our newspapers, on our TV screens and hear on our radios?
I happen to believe that together we can make a difference. I believe in the power of prayer, and I have experienced what I would call, ‘actual proof’ that my practice works. I will perhaps relate some of these experiences in future posts.
My spiritual journey took me to SGI Buddhism. Others seek deities through the Christian church, Islam, Hinduism Judaism, fill in what you will. Some people reject the idea of religion entirely and lean towards alternative spiritual beliefs. I think the fact that people are searching for meaning can give us hope for humanity. Those who are not searching, may become overwhelmed by their circumstances and respond with anger, hopelessness, greed, indifference or another of the lower six states of life that exist in what I have learned to call the ten worlds. To understand the Buddhist concept of the ten worlds please visit the SGI-UK website.
My Buddhist faith leads to a sense of personal responsibility. I would not expect a deity to answer my prayers. My prayers focus on me – my inner highest state; my inate Buddhahood. Chanting Nam Myoho Renge Kyo leads me to take wise action – mostly. I’m only human after all, which is fabulous in itself. Buddhism teaches that a change in me for the better (this, we call human revolution) will make a difference to the world, one that I cannot always know. It also causes change in my personal circumstances, and of this, I am very much aware. My chanting of Nam Myoho Renge Kyo with gratitude, compassion, a warm hearted belief in society, even in Putin, will send a message throughout the universe for change that is good. The greater the number of voices chanting this ‘lion’s roar’, the greater the impact.
Chanting is a vocal form of meditation. I imagine, although I’ve never tried (I couldn’t concentrate enough) that silent meditation might bring personal calm and serenity. But chanting out loud is sending my voice into the universe, laden with determination to change the unchangeable. Through this, I can alter my tendencies (karma), and via that change comes a change in others. If you follow this thought to its conclusion, I have the power change in the world and so do you. But not overnight. We are talking many years, here. There will be more awful things to witness. Much suffering, much conflict, much anger and hatred. The only way to change this is one person at a time. By chanting for, respecting and communicating with the person in front of me now, I do make a difference. If I can change the heart of one person and that person changes the hearts of two friends and so on, growth will be exponential and world peace can be achieved. Just not in this lifetime.
I’ll be back, though.