May 27, 2013

Mr. Hand Shakabuku

Film: Fast Times at Ridgemont High

May 23, 2013

Genuine Friendship

You cannot judge the quality of another's friendship by superficial appearances, especially when things are going smoothly. It is only when we have experienced the worst, most crushing of times --- when we have plumbed the depths of life---that we can experience the joys of genuine friendship. Only a man of principle, a woman of resolve---a person who stays true to their chosen path---can be a trusted and true friend, and have real friends in turn.

Daisaku Ikeda -Wisdom for Modern Life, January 25th

May 18, 2013

Compassion: Solidarity of the Heart

by ~jakulik


 "Compassion is often thought of as akin to pity, but whereas pity may be condescending, compassion springs from a sense of the equality and interconnectedness of life. Genuine compassion is about empowering others, helping them unlock strength and courage from within their lives in order to overcome their problems."


The most basic wish of all people is to live happily. Yet human society is shaped by forces that work powerfully against this basic desire: from pervasive violence, to wanton environmental destruction, to the exploitation that structures such deep inequalities between people.

Buddhism sheds light on the inner dynamics of human life that lead us to create such an undesirable reality. One of the most pernicious and powerful desires inherent in human life, according to Buddhist thought, is the desire for power over others, the urge to subjugate other people to our will. In this condition, the ego finds its most unrestrained and destructive expression, regarding others simply as a means to satisfy its selfish objectives.

Buddhism symbolically personifies this exploitative, authoritarian impulse as the Devil King of the Sixth Heaven. Its imprint is evident everywhere in our world. Recognizing the rampancy of this impulse, Nichiren, the 13th-century founder of the Buddhism practiced by the SGI, described the world as the domain of the devil king, and all people as being under the rule of this devil.

But if human nature is the cause of our most dire global problems, it is also the source of the fundamental solution. The countervailing force to the destructive aspect to human nature and the suffering it engenders is compassion. Compassion, a sense of solidarity with others--with all life--arising from a wish for mutual happiness and growth, is the heart and origin of Buddhism.

In the original Sanskrit Buddhist texts, the concept of compassion is described by the words maitri and anukampa. Maitri indicates a sense of fellowship with others; anukampa describes a deep empathy that arises in the encounter with suffering and which gives rise to action. Buddhist compassion could be succinctly described then as the desire to relieve suffering and to give joy.
Compassion is often thought of as akin to pity, but whereas pity may be condescending, compassion springs from a sense of the equality and interconnectedness of life. 

Compassion is rooted in respect for the inherent dignity of life--our own and others'--and a desire to see that dignity triumph. As SGI President Daisaku Ikeda writes, "True Buddhist compassion has nothing to do with sentimentality or mere pity. This is because sentimentality or mere pity cannot help the other person achieve victory in life; it cannot truly relieve suffering and impart joy."

Because genuine compassion is about empowering others, helping them unlock strength and courage from within their lives in order to overcome their problems, it may sometimes appear stern or contradictory. For example, although resolving a difficult situation for someone may seem compassionate, if this ends up making them weaker and less self-reliant, this will not contribute to their actual happiness in life. The essence of compassion is empowerment.

The effort to offer others effective encouragement for their specific circumstances is what gives rise to wisdom. Compassion and wisdom are thus closely related. Furthermore, even small acts of kindness require a degree of courage.

Nichiren established the practice of chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo as a practical means for people to bring forth the strength and rich potential of their humanity and live with confidence and joy. Sharing this practice with others is therefore the most essential act of compassion for practitioners of Nichiren Buddhism.

The transformation of society can only occur through a transformation of people's hearts. A life based on compassion means a staunch belief in the unrealized potential of others and ourselves. It is easy to give up on ourselves and others in the face of our failure and foolishness; such loss of faith in humanity is characteristic of our troubled world today. To continue to believe in and encourage the innate goodness and potential of our own and others' lives is the core of the philosophy of Nichiren Buddhism. It is also the bedrock of a firm optimism upon which all people can base their actions to bring about positive change in our world.

Source:  SGI Quarterly 2010



May 14, 2013

Building Blocks of Happiness


We all have roles to play in our lives – whether parents or partners, workers or students. Faith in Nichiren Daishonin’s teachings enables us to fulfill those roles and realize the human potential unique to each of us. The more we strive to apply the Buddhist practice, we uncover its validity and thus further deepen our faith. Nichiren Buddhism is rooted in reality and stresses the inseparability of faith and daily life. We are not Buddhist only when praying or attending meetings. As we utilize the inner strength, wisdom and compassion from our practice at home or work, we can truly experience the value of Buddhism. Therefore, if we neglect the responsibilities and challenges we find in our families, communities or society, we cannot be said to have a proper understanding of faith. Faith permeates daily activities, and our homes and offices are the very places to show the Daishonin’s teaching of humanism and compassion. 

We all have many challenges in life. Sometimes we use our faith as an excuse for inaction or as an escape from harsh realities. If we take the easy-going attitude, "The Gohonzon will take care of all my problems for me," we are being irresponsible and disguising it as faith. Or, if we use our practice as a license to cause suffering – whether to Buddhist or non-Buddhists, thinking, "I can do whatever I please because I chant," then such an attitude must be considered arrogant. As we pray to the Gohonzon we should take concrete action, challenging ourselves each step of the way. As we know more about the Daishonin's teachings, we should practice what we learn. Action without prayer is like a spinning wheel, but prayer without action is merely wishful thinking. 

When we pray to the Gohonzon "as earnestly as though to produce fire from damp wood, or to obtain water from parched ground," (WND, pg 444), we can definitely make possible what previously seemed impossible. Buddhism flourishes only when it takes deep root in the midst of reality.

(From the March 200 issue of Living Buddhism, the SGI-USA's monthly publication)

May 11, 2013

Mother and Child

"The influence of a mother on her child is like the air around him, invisible, but supreme in its power and importance. Even without words, a mother's outlook on life will naturally be communicated to her child and influence him."


by ~dloraas

The mothers of this world deserve the greatest respect because they have the greatest power and responsibility- that of bringing forth and nurturing new life. The well-being of each family member, every society or nation, even the entire world, ultimately lies on their shoulders. I wish to congratulate all mothers struggling to raise children- your precious work is actually creating the greatest possible value. I hope you take great pride in what you are doing.

Through contact with their mothers, children can learn how to bear up under difficult circumstance. They also develop the ability to tell right from wrong and the courage to stand up fo what is right. Children watch everything their mother does. If a child sees her mother telling a lie, and thinking nothing of it, that becomes his/her first lesson in how to be a skillful liar. On the other hand, if their mother is a always forward-looking and lively, though they may never win material wealth or social status, children will inherit the most valuable treasure- a spiritual strength that can never be broken, Such inner fortitude is what determines whether a child will lead a life of happiness or unhappiness.

And generally speaking, the more difficult her family's circumstances become, the stronger the mother is. If the mother is strong, her family will invincible, regardless of the hardships they face.

In The Grapes of of Wrath, John Steinbeck's famous novel about a family who travel westward across the United States in search of work during the Great Depression of the 19030s, the author describes the indestructible strength of  "Ma," the mother of the family. father asks of the move to the west, "can we, Ma?" She replies firmly, "It ain't 'can we?"- it's "will we?' As far as  'can', we can't do nothin', not go to California or nothin'; but as far as 'will,' why we'll do what we will."

The Grapes of Wrath

The land of their dreams turns out to be overcrowded with families desperate for jobs, and the family suffers a series of tragedies. Steinbeck describes ma's refusal to give up as follows: "Her hazel eyes seemed to have experiences all possible tragedy and to have mounted pain and suffering likes steps into a high calm and superhuman understanding." She let her soul shine though, like the sun high above dark clouds of suffering. "and since old Tom and the children could not know  hurt or fear unless she acknowledged hurt and fear she practiced  denying them in herself." So she conquered herself first, never being  impatient or complaining.

When the sun is obscured, so is the whole world. But when the sun smiles, the whole world sighs with relief. A mother is truly like the sun warning everyone, often suffering on behalf of others and even regarding doing so as a joy.

However, I do not feel it is always right to praise the showering of a mother's selfless, sometimes overpowering love on a child. Some mothers, because of their strong, blind love, indulge their children's wishes too much and in the end spoil them. What was originally meant for the child's happiness may actually make him/her miserable later on, as he/she will struggle to adjust once he/she interacts with other people, realizing that he/she is not the center of the world. Sometimes gentleness needs to be paired with discipline of a mother is to teach her child how to be truly human.

My Mom and I

An ancient Chinese tale describes how the mother of a powerful general scolded her son who had come home in triumph from battle. She refused to let him int her home. Through a messenger she scolded him. saying, "What have you done? Your soldiers were poorly fed while you were eating luxurious dinners. You sent people to die in battle while you sat in comfort in the General's chair. You may have won the battle, but your leadership was false. You are not my son.. I will not let you enter my house." Fortunately he listened to his mother's powerful words and developed into a stronger and wiser leader who cared for his people.

No matter how busy a woman is with work, household chores and parenting, it is also important never to neglect one's own growth as a human being. Children are looking for examples in parents, people they can respect and look up to. Hence, a mother's own inner development is a lifelong process that should not be forgotten. Effective mothers are not mothers who gain satisfaction from having sacrificed their lives for their children. Effective mothers are those who continue to polish and improve themselves.

A woman who has lost awareness of herself as an individual and has no desire to grow may be thanked for all she's dine, but her ability to inspire respect from her children will be limited. A mother's way of living- her character- is the most treasure she can give her children.

Almost every mother has loving arms and a brave heart, but what counts is how broad her outlook is. Only a woman who has love of justice and a desire for peace will have the courage and confidence to treat everyone with affection, and be able to raise children with a strong spirit, creativity and broad-mindedness. 

And when women extend their motherly love, not only to heir own children but also to the whole society, and they unite with others mothers to speak out against the wrongs in society, I believe they will start to change the world,

i would like to share some lines from a poem of mine, called 'Salute to Mothers'

Salute to Mothers

you are sublime
noble, indomitable.

You are gentle
yet stronger than anyone.
Always smiling,
you can be engaging or

And while you
may appear child-like
you are a perceptive student of live
with a doctoral degree
in daily living

Through suffering, joy or sadness,
you always create a realm
of ease and comfort.

You are a brilliant physician in
healing the heart's wounds.

Your own heart
is deeper than the ocean,
with your open, truth-seeing eyes, your warm, familiar smile.

Forging bonds of joy
with everyone you meet,
you engage in compassionate
fight for human rights, for peace,
always advancing
one further step towards a better world.
no one can match or better you-
not the famous
not the politically powerful.

Completely unconcerned
by your lack of wealth,
your smile, serene and unperturbed.

You prepare your simple fare,
laughing, praising yourself,
'Better then the best restaurant!"
You celebrate cramped housing as
more efficient and easier to clean!'

When people slander, you know
who is a liar
who is a hypocrite
who is driven by jealously.
Your powers of perception
are unrivaled by
any prosecuting attorney.

never submitting
to the power of authority
or malicious lies,
you are a mother
of truth and justice.

To you, my gratitude.
To you, my most
profound respect.

Daisaku Ikeda
Mirror Weekly

May 4, 2013

The Way We See Ourselves

Enlightenment or human revolution is to change the way we see ourselves. 

by ~Basistka

An important aspect of what we call enlightenment or human revolution is to change the way we see ourselves to see the unconditional value of life within us, which neither requires comparison with others nor depends upon our transient appearance. It is a simple idea yet requires a difficult change of perspective since we have been trained for most of our lives to judge ourselves by how well we fulfill our socially prescribed roles in comparison with others. Those roles are often related to status or gender but rarely to our individual uniqueness.

As early as our social life begins, we start learning to judge ourselves in terms of others: I'm not as smart as other kids or I'm not as slim as other girls. Later in life, we still judge our worth in the same way: I'm a loser because I don't make as much money as most successful men do or I'm miserable because I'm not married as all happy women should be. With subtle yet repeated reinforcement and censure from society and media, we learn to live our lives through the eyes of others, to think of our happiness in terms of the ideas borrowed from or imposed upon us by others. In America, people are free to express their thoughts, but not many seem to have thoughts or even feelings of their own.

Nichiren Daishonin explains our innate Buddhahood as an absolute value of goodness, often describing it with expressions such as unmade (Jpn musa), originally endowed (Jpn hon'nu) or eternally dwelling (Jpn joju). Buddhahood, in other words, is good in and of itself, not because of exter- nal conditions or circumstances. To awaken to this treasure within us is happiness while our ignorance of it spells suffering. As the Daishonin states, When deluded, one is called an ordinary being, but when enlightened, one is called a Buddha (The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, p. 4).

The sad irony of modern men and women who have lost touch with their own lives is echoed in the Daishonin's following words: If you seek enlightenment outside yourself, then your performing...even ten thousand good deeds will be in vain. It is like the case of a poor man who spends night and day counting his neighbor's wealth but gains not even half a coin (WND, 3). All the hard work we do for our success and happiness would be wasted if those ideas were simply imposed on us from the outside and naively accepted without critical thinking and reflection.

Deriving self-worth by comparing ourselves with others is one of our most destructive habits. It may be even described as a form of self-inflicted violence since it weakens us by de-centering our existence in the sense that it shifts the center of power to decide the meaning of our lives to the outside. We let others decide what our happiness is, instead of deciding for ourselves. With the power of self-determination lost to external authority, we are no longer free nor independent. Since we live in a competitive society where this sort of comparison is encouraged and often unavoidable, it is a difficult habit to break, but to do so is crucial to our genuine happiness and freedom.

It is ironic that the original meaning of the word compete derives from the Latin com- together and petere seek or strive. Competition did not originally connote comparison; it meant strive together after shared goals. Just as the Daishonin characterizes the state of Anger with contention and strife (WND, 100), competition in society often gives rise to anger, overt or suppressed.

To judge self-worth by comparing oneself with others is essentially an authoritarian way of life in which one seeks comfort and security in the approval of an external power. To unlearn such an authoritarian orientation and build a society in which people may live true to their unique identities is certainly an aspiration of our multifaceted Soka Spirit movement, which aims for the liberation of individuals from all forms of authoritarianism, both within and without.

One way to overcome our tendency to compare ourselves with others is through learning how to praise ourselves for our unique, intrinsic value. A common concern about self-praise is that it may cause arrogance, probably due to our Judeo-Christian tradition in which self-humiliation is often regarded as a necessary virtue to praise God, while self-praise is deemed as a sign of pride, which is one of the seven deadly sins. It should be noted, however, that arrogance is a defensive posture caused by a tendency to assume a sense of superiority or inferiority by comparing oneself with others. 

Therefore, so long as we praise ourselves solely for who we are and for our innate Buddhahood, we will never become arrogant, though we may at times seem arrogant to arrogant people. Indeed, the greatest way to praise ourselves is prayer that sincerely affirms our supreme potential as the Daishonin states, When you chant myoho and recite renge, you must summon up deep faith that Myoho-renge-kyo is your life itself (WND, 3). As we praise ourselves in this way, we will grow confident yet humble because we start to recognize the same quality of Buddhahood in others as well. Appreciation for oneself leads to appreciation for others, which further strengthens self-esteem. The way we see ourselves is not only the way we live our lives, but also the way we relate to others.

(Originally published in the World Tribune, Nov. 9, 2001)

May 3, 2013

SGI President Ikeda’s Message for May 3, 2013

(Scroll down after English version for translations in Japanese, Chinese and Spanish)

I would like to congratulate all of you, my dear friends of SGI-USA, on this glorious May 3—which is not only Soka Gakkai Day, but also Soka Gakkai Mothers Day, an occasion when we express our appreciation to all our wonderful women’s division members, the mothers of kosen-rufu.

I am delighted to be celebrating this May 3 in great victory with all of you, the
members of our Soka family around the world, and I would like to sincerely praise and thank you for your noble, dedicated efforts.

Inheriting the spirit of Nichiren Daishonin, the three founding presidents of the
Soka Gakkai have each made a vow to accomplish kosen-rufu and devoted their lives to realizing that goal. And May 3 is the eternal prime point of this shared vow of mentor and disciple. 

With the dawn of each May 3, let us—as SGI members joined by the bonds of
mentor and disciple—make the original and inherent brilliance of our lives shine forth even more strongly to illuminate the world and those around us.
On November 18 of this year, the long-awaited new citadel of worldwide
kosen-rufu, the Soka Gakkai’s central headquarters, will be completed. This will mark a new phase for the SGI as a world religious movement that offers hope to all humanity.

While in exile on Sado Island, Nichiren Daishonin declared:

There should be no discrimination among those who propagate the five
characters of Myoho-renge-kyo in the Latter Day of the Law, be they
men or women. Were they not Bodhisattvas of the Earth, they could not
chant the daimoku. At first only Nichiren chanted Nam-myoho-renge-kyo,
but then two, three, and a hundred followed, chanting and teaching others.
Propagation will unfold this way in the future as well. Does this not
signify “emerging from the earth”? (WND-1, 385)

It is the presence of our towering network of members in 192 countries and
territories—Bodhisattvas of the Earth who have appeared just as the Daishonin
predicted—that will make our new central headquarters shine with incomparable

Please remember that all of you here today are people of great mission who share profound and wondrous karmic ties and have a direct connection to Nichiren Daishonin.

With confidence in our mission as Bodhisattvas of the Earth, let’s set forth afresh on the great adventure of kosen-rufu, promoting our movement with pride, joy, energy and a youthful spirit!

The SGI is a “pillar” of peace—imparting hope and reassurance to the world. It is a “great ship” of culture—fostering a rich spirit of peace in the hearts of people everywhere. And it is the “eyes” of education—nurturing humanistic values centered on respect for the dignity of life.

When we chant and take action for kosen-rufu, we can manifest the same life-state as the Buddha. We can tap the same wisdom and strength as the Buddha. We can carry out the same work as the Buddha. There is no life more victorious or noble than this.

Please continue to advance together with me and all our members around the
world, brimming with courage and hope! As good citizens, please be active in your communities and societies and continue to forge bonds of trust and friendship with those around you. 

I offer this message with sincere prayers for the health, long life, happiness, and victory of all of you, my most dear and precious fellow members.

May 3, 2013 

Daisaku Ikeda  
President, Soka Gakkai International 


(Japanese ) SGI President Ikeda’s Message for May 3, 2013


敬愛するSGI-USAの皆様、栄光輝く「創価学会の日」、そして、創価の偉大な母に感謝し、讃える「創価学会母の日」、誠におめでとうございます。 全世界の創価家族と共に、晴れやかに大勝利の「五月三日」を迎えることができました。全同志の尊いご健闘を讃えるとともに、心より感謝申し上げます。





この御予言通りに出現した、一九二カ国・地域の地涌の同志の林立をもって、総本部を荘厳してまいりたい。 今、ここに集った、皆様お一人おひとりは、誠に不思議な縁深き、大聖人直結の使命の人です。

我がSGIは、世界にとって、希望と安心の「平和の柱」です。 豊かな平和の心育む、人類の「文化の大船」です。 そして、生命尊厳の人間主義を担い立つ「教育の眼目」です。


どうか、これからも、私と共に、全世界の同志と共々に、希望に燃えて、勇気凛々と、進んでまいりましょう! そして、良き市民として、それぞれの地域、社会で活躍し、信頼と友情の輪を更に大きく広げていって下さい。 大切な大切な、皆様方の益々の御健康と御長寿、そして幸福勝利を、心よりお祈り申し上げ、お祝いのメッセージと致します。

創価学会インタナショナル会長 池 田 大 作


(Chinese) SGI President Ikeda’s Message for May 3, 2013

SGI會長5·3賀詞 [Chinese]

敬愛的SGI-USA 的每一位同志,衷心祝賀光輝燦爛的「創價學會日」、及為感謝和讚揚創價偉大母親的「創價學會母親節」。









SGI會長 池田大作 1


(Spanish) SGI President Ikeda’s Message for May 3, 2013

Mensaje del presidente Ikeda alusivo al 3 de mayo de 2013

Permítanme felicitarlos a todos, mis queridos amigos de SGI-USA en este glorioso 3 de mayo, cuando no solo celebramos el Día de la Soka Gakkai sino también el Día de las Madres de la Soka Gakkai y expresamos nuestra gratitud a las magníficas miembros de la División Femenina, madres del kosen-rufu.
No puedo ocultar mi inmensa dicha al festejar este 3 de mayo coronado de victorias junto a todos ustedes, mis camaradas de la familia Soka mundial, a quienes deseo elogiar de todo corazón y agradecerles por sus dedicados y nobles esfuerzos.

Los tres presidentes de la Soka Gakkai, herederos del espíritu de Nichiren Daishonin, han hecho el juramento de lograr el kosen-rufu y han consagrado su vida a hacer realidad esta aspiración. Y el 3 de mayo es el eterno punto de partida del juramento compartido por el mentor y sus discípulos.

Cada amanecer de un nuevo 3 de mayo, como compañeros de la SGI unidos por los lazos de maestro y discípulo, hagamos brillar más aún la luz primigenia inherente a nuestra vida para iluminar con mayor intensidad el mundo y a todos los seres que nos rodean.

El 18 de noviembre de este año, terminará de construirse el anhelado nuevo castillo del kosen-rufu mundial, la sede central principal de la Soka Gakkai. Esto marcará una nueva fase para la SGI, como movimiento religioso global capaz de infundir esperanza a toda la humanidad.

Durante su exilio en la isla de Sado, Nichiren Daishonin declaró:
“[E]ntre aquellos que propagan los cinco caracteres de Myoho-renge-kyo en el Último Día de la Ley, sean hombres o mujeres, no debería existir ningún tipo de discriminación. Si no fueran Bodhisattvas de la Tierra, no podrían entonar el daimoku. 

Al principio, sólo Nichiren recitó Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, pero luego lo siguieron dos, tres y cien más, que lo entonaron y enseñaron a otros. Así, de este mismo modo, se llevará a cabo la propagación en el futuro. ¿Acaso no es lo que significa «irrumpir de la tierra» [en referencia a los bodhisattvas]?1
La presencia de nuestra red colosal de miembros en 192 países y territorios,
1 Los escritos de Nichiren Daishonin, Tokio: Soka Gakkai, 2008, pág. 406.
--los Bodhisattvas de la Tierra surgidos en respuesta a la predicción visionaria de Nichiren Daishonin-- hará brillar la nueva sede central con majestuoso e incomparable esplendor.

Por favor, recuerden que todos los que hoy están aquí son personas de inmensa misión, unidas entre sí por místicos y profundos lazos del karma, cuya vida mantiene un vínculo directo con el Daishonin.

¡Con confianza en nuestra misión como Bodhisattvas de la Tierra, iniciemos una nueva partida en esta gran aventura del kosen-rufu, impulsando nuestro movimiento con orgullo, alegría, fuerza y espíritu juvenil!

La SGI es un “pilar” de la paz que imparte esperanza y tranquilidad al mundo. Es un “gran navío” de cultura que siembra en el corazón de todos los pueblos una firme devoción hacia la paz. Y representa los “ojos” de una educación que nutre valores humanísticos, centrados en el respeto a la dignidad de la vida.
Cuando entonamos daimoku y actuamos en aras del kosen-rufu, podemos manifestar el mismo estado de vida que el Buda. Podemos desplegar la misma sabiduría y fortaleza que el Buda. Y podemos llevar a cabo su misma labor. ¿Podría haber una forma de vivir más noble o triunfal que esta?

¡Por favor, sigan avanzando junto a mí y a todos nuestros miembros del orbe, con valentía y esperanza vibrantes! Participen activamente en la sociedad y en su comunidad como buenos ciudadanos, y continúen creando vínculos de amistad y de confianza con las personas que los rodean.

Les envío este mensaje con mis sinceras oraciones por la salud, la longevidad, la dicha y la victoria de todos ustedes, mis queridos y preciados compañeros de fe.

3 de mayo de 2013

Daisaku Ikeda
Presidente de la Soka Gakkai Internacional

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