May 2, 2013

An Experience by José Avila

I would like to talk about my own experience practicing the Nichiren Daishonin Buddhism, and how that process has been.

I was born in Caracas-Venezuela 57 years ago. I had a good education thanks to the effort of my parents. I became a musician, a pianist. I began to play music and work professionally. I also did teach artistic education in children's schools. During that time I met Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, but shortly.

In 1980 when I was 25, I got an offer to come to Brussels-Belgium to play "Latin music." I started working and touring successfully. During that time I also started using and abusing drugs and alcohol. After a few years I got married and soon after we had our daughter Nathalie.

Because of my addiction and bad habits, I became very irresponsible, egoistic, and very arrogant. Then because I was so unreliable I lost my wife and my family. At this point my life went down hill. I lost my dignity, my integrity, self-respect, the respect from my friends and my colleagues. I found myself spending a lot of money, sad, depress, lonely, and with empty pockets. 

I was lost.! .. I knew I needed to change my life, and I didn't know how. I did try all kind of treatments but that didn't work properly.

Suddenly, one day in 2007, I met an old friend on the street. She invited me to her house and introduced me to the wonderful world of Nichiren Daishonin Buddism and to chant 
Nam-myoho-renge-kyo. I recognized it from my early days in Caracas. So I did embraced it immediately.

Little by little I started to change and see the beauty of life from a different perspective. My process of "Human Revolution" started then. It has been a long and a very difficult process because of my self-destructive habits, and my negative attitude that had affected my character seriously not being able to see the true nature of my weaknesses. Everybody, the entire world was wrong, except me! ..

A few months ago, I had a serious confrontation with my daughter, it was a crucial moment that did show me clearly how deep my karma was taken place and how that was manifesting in my family and my environment. I invited her to have a deep and positive conversation about our problems, and we had a very wise and constructive dialogue face to face, heart to heart. And for the first time I was really listening to what she had to tell me, her point of view as a grown up person, and not as a child as I used to see her. At this point the quality of our relation did change radically.

I realized how much selfish and irresponsible I was being to her, to the others, and to myself. So I learned that the problems and the solutions are within us. What we think, what we say, and what we do, create causes and effects. I started chanting earnestly every morning and every night to break and transform my karma. And with the deep purpose to become a better person with great values, I wanted to get back my dignity and respect, and to win and overcome my problems. That became my fundamental priority. I started then to claim the hill, to claim 
the mountain.

We all have the potential within us to change our life, it's all about attitude and determination. Nam-myoho-renge-kyo provide us with the fuel to bring out the necessary force, 

the wisdom,and the courage to take action. When we change, the world changes too.

To end, I would like to read a short paragraph from a Gosho "Reply to Nichigon-ama”:

"When water is clear, the moon is reflected,
when faith is strong, is like clear water."

Thank you.

José Avila,
Amsterdam, February, 28th, 2013.
District Amsterdam Centrum Noord Holland

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