A Day to Life Post- 38!

23rd February will mostly be my last Zadankai (stands for monthly meetings for members practicing Nichiren Daishonin’s Buddhism) in my current district and will be transferred after the March 16 campaign. Since I was introduced to this practice by my BFF, so I was in the same district as her’s, but now it’s time for me to move on. In my 14 months of practice I never cribbed or begrudged anything, relating to the practice, taking part in activities and so on except for being transferred. All the senior leaders kept telling my BFF to prepare me mentally that I am going to be transferred and whenever she would tell me that I would give her a grief. I had become so comfortable with all the members, they have become like my extended practicing family in faith. Sharing any problems with them was so easy. I am surely going to miss all of them.
Just couple of days back I met one of the senior leader and she explained me why the transfer is good for me. She explained that my mission in this district is over and it’s time for me to take on another mission in my own district (= means an entire area or a street or locality where one resides). She explained that there’s where my real mission resides and that they have nurtured me a lot into becoming a true member. In my own district there are chances of me to grow more and maybe become a leader one day. And that this is how I will propagate the law. This law is meant for everyone and not just for selected people. She also explained that since we are practicing, we are the Bodhisattvas of the Earth, so with that spirit and with an open heart I should welcome everyone in my new district. This one line made me think a lot. It made me think that I cannot be selfish, and need to move on to my real mission in life, that is kosen-rufu in my own district. Letting go off something has always been a problem for me, but I guess after this it won’t be an issue at all. By end of the activity, I told her I am ready to be transferred so which will be after the March 16 campaign. 

The concept of the study in which I am a part of is 3 Obstacles and 4 Devils, in short it means good and evil. During the planning meeting we were deciding on the concept and a conversation started about negativity and positivity, good and evil. We all came to a conclusion that this will be the best concept and since I am fighting the negativity out from my life, I immediately gave my name to be a part of the study group once again. Coincidentally this will be my last study in my present district, the best study till now. 
The 3 Obstacles and 4 Devils are various obstacles and hindrances to the practice of Buddhism. They are listed in the Nirvana Sutra and The Treatise on the Great Perfection of Wisdom. The three obstacles are: (1) the obstacle of earthly desires, or obstacles arising from the three poisons of greed, anger, and foolishness; (2) the obstacle of karma, obstacles due to bad karma created by committing any of the five cardinal sins or ten evil acts; and (3) the obstacle of retribution, obstacles caused by the negative karmic effects of actions in the three evil paths. The obstacle of earthly desires is the impediments to one’s practice that arise from greed, anger, foolishness, and the like; the obstacle of karma is the hindrances presented by one’s wife or children; and the obstacle of retribution is the hindrances caused by one’s sovereign or parents. 
The four devils are: (1) the hindrance of the five components, obstructions caused by one’s physical and mental functions; (2) the hindrance of earthly desires, obstructions arising from the three poisons; (3) the hindrance of death, meaning one’s own untimely death obstructing one’s practice of Buddhism, or the premature death of another practitioner causing one to doubt; and (4) the hindrance of the devil king, who is said to assume various forms or take possession of others in order to cause one to discard one’s Buddhist practice.
In short, anything that comes in the way of one’s practice in any form is regarded as obstacles. We call them the devil attacks, because where there’s good, evil is also present. All the members chant and practice for happiness, not just for themselves but for everyone around the world. We all have the wisdom to understand such devil attacks, some win over them and some give into the evil, like I did a month back. These attacks could come from anywhere, it could be a tiff in a relationship, or work place, or too much compassion from parents and so on. Few give into situation and stop practicing at all. And this happens when you are getting enlighten, then to start all over again becomes a struggle. My chanting has not been up to the mark lately. I have the wisdom and I know I am facing such attacks since over a month now, but I gave into the evil and let it win over me to such an extent that my relationship with whom I love has got affected in a very bad way. I have been struggling really hard to let this negativity go and it doesn’t seem to be happening so easily. 
The solution to all this is chanting Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo and pouring a lot of daimoku’s. Chanting not only enlightens you but it also takes you to a high life condition and once you are in high life condition you never let these attacks affect you at all. You get the courage to face such challenging situations with more ease and react in a different way. I am going to do the same, chant and chant a lot. 
From the entire study I understood that good and evil are two sides of the same coin, they exist in all of us. It’s upto us which side we pick. Picking evil is always going to be an easy choice and picking good will be a tough journey but an amazing and a worthwhile journey. I am picking good from today, not hoping for any miracle but a good learning experience. 

Have a wonderful weekend!

Namaste!

A Day To Life Post- 37!

It’s been a long time since I have posted anything from my buddhism practice. I started chanting and practicing in December 2012 and have completed 14 months now. Every month during our Zadankai’s (monthly meetings) I have been a consistence part of the study group which has given me a chance to know the practice in deep. But there’s a lot of study material relating to the practice which I need to read. Now we ywd’s (young women’s division) are looking forward for the March 16 campaign and have started working towards it by following the guidelines provided to us. We have to chant for one hour daily, read at least 5 pages from a book called the Human Revolution Vol. 1, have at least one home visit in a week, and so on. Initially when I had joined the practice, chanting for even 2 minutes was a struggle for me. Slowly and steadily with time I kept increasing my minutes of daimoku’s (chanting). Today, I can comfortably chant for half hour or 45 minutes at a stretch and sometimes when I am in a low life condition have chanted for an hour even.
March 16,  is a symbolic day for Soka Gakkai and the SGI Members, commemorating the occasion on March 16, 1958. On this day, the second president of Soka Gakkai, Mr. Josei Toda, passed the responsibility of Kosen-rufu to the youth. March 16 is now viewed within the Soka Gakkai and the SGI as a day of new departures, “of eternal beginnings and perpetual hope.” It is also an occasion for focusing on fostering capable youth. Every year around the world, SGI members celebrate March 16 by holding commemorative meetings led by youth members. This spirit is also carried on by the youth members of SGI through various peace-related initiatives and renew our vow for Kosen-rufu.
I will just share couple of beautiful quotes by our Sensei Ikeda:
– “Kosen-rufu is the path to attaining universe peace and prosperity. It is our great vow from time without beginning for the enlightenment of all people.”
– Sensei says, “No matter what bitter adversity we may face, we will never be defeated. Through the power of chanting Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo, we can transform even the most painful sorrow, transmuting it into compassion to encourage and help others who are suffering, and keep moving forward joyfully and positively.”
– Sensei says, “We have all been born into this world with our own unique mission. When we are able to deeply recognize that mission, our lives will gain greater spiritual depth. And when we earnestly devote ourselves to fulfilling our mission, we will develop greater life force.”

Have a wonderful Sunday Everyone!

Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo

A Day to Life Post- 36!

Another weekend is here and with the way my life has been lately I don’t get excited for the weekend anymore. Even my weekends have become non exciting like my weekdays, spending them at home. At the moment there’s nothing exciting going on in life, like mentioned in my last post this year started on a bad note and bad luck doesn’t seem to leave me alone. Friday night was at home and I am pretty much sure so will be the Saturday night. It feels like life has suddenly stopped. The only excitement currently in my life are my yoga classes. I have been going for artistic yoga since 3 months now, three times a week and they are so relaxing. For that one hour I forget everything, I forget the world.
Artistic yoga is a bit different from the normal yoga. Yes, we do all the asanas, along with power surya namaskar (that’s what I call it). Some even call it power yoga and our classes are a mix of flexibility training, strength training and toning the body. Prior to joining this, for 2 months I went to this oldest institute of yoga here in Mumbai itself and for some reason didn’t enjoy my classes. I have practiced yoga many years back too, so was aware of the basic asanas. I wanted to go beyond that, push my body out of my comfort zone, learn all the difficult asanas, and guess what I found it in this artistic yoga classes. Right from surya namaskars to ardha chandrasana(half moon pose) to garudasana(eagle pose) to full chakrasana to natarajasana to all the pranayama, we do it all here.
I realized how important it is to have a very good instructor, like the one in my class. My batch is a high intensity batch and he really pushes you to finish all the 10/15/20 counts and go beyond your comfort zone. There have been couple of people who were interested in joining, come and see our class and I am pretty much sure that they were frighten and never joined. My instructor has a rule, (that’s actually how we tease him) he will be nice to you on your trial class. But once someone joins in, you are left with no other choice other than the workout, which we actually find it very fun.
The way I have been feeling lately, low, sad and depressed, yoga has been my saving grace. The more I practice, the more I am getting close to my own self and I am sure very soon small things are not going to bother me at all. I do meditate at home even after my chanting. I guess very soon the issues around me, small and big won’t effect me. In some way I am again trying to disconnect from the outside world to connect to my inner world and find inner peace and happiness within me. Because I think with work and other things around, somewhere I lost the connection to my inner self and all the peace and happiness. Like my life has become imbalanced, I realize it now. It’s very difficult to find a balance within you being in balance with the outside world, but not impossible. I even plan to go for a one month yoga course near the foothills of Himalayas, hope it happens soon, maybe this year.

Happy Weekend Everyone!

A Day to Life Post- 35!

My year started by falling sick and the entire month passed by being on medication. Along with that, lately I have been feeling very low, sad, disappointed again. Everything and anything around me has made me feel sad and almost everyday caught myself crying on the smallest of reasons. I even fought and stopped talking to one of my goof friend to the extent of leaving my chat groups on whats app as well. This has even brought a halt on my new project since few days. There’s nothing which was bringing a smile on my face and in turn it’s obvious brought a lot of negativity in me and around me. Unhappy and on the verge of leading to depression I kept thinking why am I feeling like this all of a sudden. Kept thinking inspite of me being a practicing member of Nichiren Daishonin’s Buddhism and chanting for almost one hour daily, why am I going through the pain, sadness which has made me so unhappy and miserable?
Worst month ever, January 2014. Guess being at home and working from home really got onto me in a bad way which I am realizing it now and trying to change it. I guess the other reason for all this is even expectation from someone and everyone around me. I have always believed in keeping no expectations from anyone but I think when we love someone dearly, there are times you are bound to have certain expectations relating to anything. There’s a beautiful quote by William Shakespear:

“I always feel happy.
You know why?
Because I don’t expect anything from anyone.
Expectations always hurt!”

Expectations really hurt all the time.
Yesterday, I realized that you cannot just keep expecting from someone all the time. People go through their own sets of issues on daily basis. It’s unfair for me to behave this way and be irrational. I cannot rely my happiness on outward things or people. My happiness resides within me. Since few days I kept thinking I am so unhappy from within, how will I spread happiness. Because of the negativity, my relationships with everyone, my work, my inner peace, my health was getting affected. That’s not who I am. I have always been a fun loving person, full of life, smiling and laughing, full of excitement kind of a person and last month I was exactly the opposite of all this.
Tired of all this, today, I just did a simple thing, stood in front of a mirror and looked into my own eyes with a smile and said, “My happiness is not going to rely on the outside things from now on, nor on how people behave or talk. My happiness resides inside me and I have all the rights to be happy and look after my own happiness. And I won’t have any expectations from anyone or anything and no more self pity.” After doing this there seems to be some kind of miracle, suddenly I felt so much better, I feel light headed and started to feel my old self a bit. I knew all this but guess just had to remind myself. Maybe I was focussing a lot on keeping others happy, somewhere forgetting that there’s one more person who deserves happiness and that’s me. Hope it stays forever! 🙂