Jan 18, 2010

Breaking Through Our Limitations

Culled from General Lecture by Linda Johnson,
SGI-USA 21.3.98

Nothing is impossible with Nam-myoho-renge-kyo. That is the spirit with which we have to learn to live everyday in order to live our lives to the fullest.
Too often we limit ourselves, we settle too frequently for less than what we want. We all started practicing because we wanted to achieve something beyond what we currently had. We have to reawaken to that fact and re-inspire and remind each other of the power of Nam-myoho-renge-kyo.

In the gosho "On Attaining Buddhahood", Nichiren Daishonin says: If you wish to free yourself, from the sufferings of birth and death you have endured through eternity and attain supreme enlightenment in this lifetime, you must awaken to the mystic truth which has always been within your life. This truth is Myohorenge-kyo (MW,Vol. 1, pg.3)

Nichiren Daishonin says the only difference between Buddha and common mortal is that a common mortal is still deluded. Too often we spend our days denying our potential. We only see our weakness and allow them to frustrate us. We are always looking for answer outside ourselves. But if we're looking outside ourselves, we're looking in the wrong place. We already have the answer. We already possess everything that we need. The solution to our problems is in the wisdom that is already inside of ourselves. We tap it every time we chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo with the knowledge and the expectations that "I have the answer. I just need to chant to pull out."

It is very important that we start practicing aggressively. Whatever you need each moment of your life, you already have it with Nam-myoho-renge-kyo you can connect to it. You are no longer at the mercy of your environment unless you choose to be.

In the gosho, Reply to Kyo-O, Nichiren Daishonin says: Nam-myoho-renge-kyo is like the roar of a lion. What sickness can therefore be an obstacle? (MW, Vol.l, pg.119) In this gosho, Nichiren Daishonin is not just referring to physical illness. He is talking about any problem, any obstacle. It is no mistake that he chose to refer to the lion, which is known as the king of the jungle. A lion uses the same energy to attack any prey, no matter what its size. Nichiren Daishonin goes on in that same gosho to say: "A sword will be useless in the hands of a coward." (MW,Vol.pg.120)

The Lion King

We limit our happiness every single day. We have conditioned ourselves to limits and we limit ourselves. As soon as things get difficult we decide and we convince ourselves that "reality" is telling us that we cannot have it and we retreat. We change our goals and give in to our limitations.

President Ikeda says: When your determination changes, everything else begins to move in the direction you desire. The moment you resolve to be victorious, every nerve and fiber in your being immediately orient themselves toward your success. On the other hand, if you think, "this is never going to work out," at that instant, every cell in your being will be deflated, giving up the fight. Everything then will move in the direction of failure. I want you to understand the subtle workings of the mind. How you orient your mind, the kind of attitude you have, greatly influence both yourself and your environment.

The Buddhist principle of a single life-moment possessing 3,000 realms completely elucidates the true aspect of life's inner workings. Through the power of strong inner resolve, we can transform ourselves, those around us and the land where we live. Each of us has this tool, this "secret weapon." There is no greater treasure. (World Tribune. July 11, 1997 pg.14)

Many times we've been chanting and give up when things don't move. But with what attitude have we been chanting? We must go for our dreams 100%! Never do anything half-hearted. If in your heart you don't believe it will happen, it will not happen. It matters what you do in front of and away from the Gohonzon. Your attitude always matters.

The solution is always daimoku and if you don’t believe that, then chant to believe it. Chant to have the courage to take action. Chant to pullout of your life what you need and when you need it. The moment you feel weak,fight back. President Ikeda says even if you get knocked down five times, get up six. Always have the spirit to get up. We can change anything in the moment. We can change this moment and tomorrow. We must be courageous; we must challenge those things that we do not believe we can achieve. If we never challenge the impossible, we can never, ever know the full power of Nam-myoho-renge-kyo.

Marilyn Monroe

The only person who can achieve our dreams is ourselves. We have to rely on ourselves to achieve it, to do it. Nothing in life brings greater joy than achieving a goal through your own effort. If you are not a coward who quits, you can achieve anything. President Ikeda has been writing a lot to the youth lately, but I tell you he's talking to all of us. He says youth isn't just age. It is spiritual strength. Youth means not to be resistant to
change, to never settle for mediocrity and to continually seek growth.

Making constant effort over our lifetime is the key to our happiness. Always be on guard: look at yourself and ask: Am I limiting myself? It is human nature to want to take the path of least resistance. But the path of least resistance is the path of little change, little growth and a lifetime of unhappiness and frustration.

Chanting abundant daimoku is the key to everything. It puts our lives in rhythm so that we can accomplish everything we need to do. It is important to enjoy morning and evening gongyo and daimoku. It is a very mystical experience when you put your practice first, which in effect is putting your life first. You'd be amazed how much you will get done and enjoy doing it. Chanting lots of daimoku is the gift we give ourselves; it is the key to enjoy life.

Aren't we worth it?
We have to encourage each other to stop settling for less and really test this practice. It means a lot of hard work. When we challenge ourselves, a lot of inner resistance comes out. It's about what we do to ourselves to sabotage ourselves. In reality, there are those who demonstrate exception to every rule. Why can't you be the exception all the time? You have the power within you to do that. Faith is to believe in yourself. Stop denying
that you are a Buddha. All you have to do is manifest it from within. Chant to believe you can manifest it. With the right attitude, you can go forward wholeheartedly. Our reality changes from moment to moment. Do not give in to one perception and let it totally take control over your life.

We have the ability to be completely happy, totally victorious, regardless of what another person says or does: irrespective of what's going on in our environment. But if we don't take charge, we won't achieve it. Every time you find yourself putting limitations on yourself, use it as an opportunity to prove that what you can achieve with Nam-myoho-renge-kyo.

Our mission is to show the greatness of the law. Nothing is a problem unless we allow it to be. You must use your Buddha nature. Inspire each other to remember from today onward to go for big dreams and big goals. It's time to go for the impossible so that you can really express yourself. It will be the best possible gift you could ever give yourself.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Upon the clatter of a broken tile
All I had learnt was at once forgotten.
Amending my nature is needless.
Pursuing the task of everyday life
I walk along the ancient path.
I am not disheartened in the mindless void.
Wheresoever I go I leave no footprint
For I am not within colour or sound.
Enlightened ones everywhere have said:
'Such as this is the attainment.'