Wednesday, June 10, 2009

This aint music. It's not even jazz! (Redact one, second draft)

My name is subho and I am a practitioner of Nichiren Buddhism. I like to sit in silence. Chapter 7, Burton Watsons translation, "Because the Buddha knew that the time had not yet come, though entreated by others, he sat in silence." When the time came he taught the lotus sutra. For me and in a different context, i think i have sat enough, and it is time to stand up and be counted.

I was introduced to this wonderful life philosophy by my mother. She had to struggle 8 years before she could get me to agree to meet a fellow practitioner. I am grateful to her and humbled by her ichinen.

I had sought answers to my questions all my life, starting early, and was familiar with most religious texts by the time i was twenty.

i am a medical transcriptionist by profession, on the right side of forty, have a wonderful 3-year-old son, and a life that i have little regrets for. As a person growing up in a liberal atmosphere, i feel awkward as i stand here to admit that i set out chanting at a particularly low point of my life. Guilty because i used to look down on people who use religion or forms of spirituality as a crutch, or on social clubs and multilevel direct sales. I viewed the gakkai as something like that, and kept my distance.

When I decided to start chanting to realize my greater potential, i was in an eight year old marriage that was breaking up, in spite of having a son on his way. My job was challenging, these were the days before the recession, but we knew it was coming, we struggled to find ways of retaining jobs for my team as we decided to eliminate cost. I started drinking and taking drugs after a span of 12-13 years, and with a vengeance.

The evening that I met with the person who explained life to me, for some reason, I kept an open mind and agreed to seek out my bodhisattva nature.

I was asked to chant, and to apply the three pillars of buddhism, faith, practice and study. I spent most of my first year trying to apply what i understood in my daily life. my daily life consisted mainly of my job and home. I had always sought to create value at my place of work all through my life, but now i had a new perspective.

the reason i chose training medical transcription was because here i was able to take 500 people at a time off the streets, in a chair with headsets on, listening and typing, nine or ten hours of their waking hours, no violence, no slander, no corruption. as i grew in my career and was able to take larger decisions, i found that apart from the beauty of what i was doing, i was also creating benefit, people with higher educational qualification than me find it difficult to earn a comfortable living in each and every part of my country. i found ways of enabling people like me to earn much beyond what they could have dreamt of, even at the lowest end of the BPO food chain.

In my first year of practice, i made an effort to do gongyo (which i learnt initially from my mother and then later from sitting at the back of large meetings) and daimoku every day, and if i had twenty minutes done, i was satisfied. i also put myself out to say yes to every opportunity to participate in activities. I was encouraged and energized as i looked at life afresh. from a point where i was bankrupt, destitute, and friendless, i started clawing my way back. i enforced the strictest financial discipline on myself, keeping all my commitments intact as best as i could. i borrowed heavily but cautiously. I invested as and when i could. I worked extra hours but did not give up on home visits and studying with members. when not at work, i wrote, compered, acted, sang at zadankai's with total abandon and enjoyed myself thoroughly. However, i was still drinking myself to sleep almost every night.

At the start of the second year, i found my addictions under control, and my determination to understand the practice much stronger. I resolved to do gongyo with understanding and to polish my daimoku. I also increased my chanting and set out on a million daimoku campaign for total resolution of all my challenges. In discussion with my leaders, i realized that if i wanted to be acknowledged as a disciple of sensei ikeda, i would need to make my life shine like a diamond.

My personal challenges persisted, often testing my resolve and sometimes my good cheer. I shared my life openly with all, in the gakkai and outside of it. i strove to explain the practice in secular terms. I faced life squarely, did not blame, did not resent, and applied the guidance, Though worldly troubles may arise, never let them disturb you. No one can avoid problems, not even sages or worthies. Drink sake only at home with your wife, and chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo. Suffer what there is to suffer, enjoy what there is to enjoy. Regard both suffering and joy as facts of life, and continue chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, no matter what happens. How could this be anything other than the boundless joy of the Law? Strengthen your power of faith more than ever.

In this third year, after seeking guidance and doing all i could to put it into practice, I started studying the gosho and increased my involvement in activities, after a wait of two years, i recently set in motion legal proceeding to bring closure to our marriage, i visited my son every week as i could manage, spending quality time with him, and trying to imbibe the qualities of parent, sovereign and teacher.

1. three years back, i was convinced that my life was over, i didnt need to pay taxes any more, i was neck deep in debt, and was spending and borrowing recklessly. through daimoku, i was able to see my relationship with money and material welfare, and i was able to seek and find financial discipline in my life. i studied finances, not just to salvage my situation but also as my job was demanding a greater understanding of economics. I am still neck deep in debt, but i have managed my situation and sleep much more comfortably without having to worry too much. i survived this tax season, i can survive anything. i determine to attract the finances i need to ensure that all stakeholders in my financial condition are happy and taken care of so that they are unable to create negative causes by envying or feeling uncared for.

job. i am luckier than many in that i still have a job, i am recognized for what i bring to my work, and have the love and respect of my colleagues. over the last 12 years, i have been able to bring value to over 6000 people's lives. in the last three years, we have braced ourselves and are survivors in a segment where today we are actively pursuing buyouts and acquisitions. i am involved in this work as well and i do my work with the focus of creating value. i recently reported victory after achieving success at work by leading through example when i worked the night shift for three months, finally going crazy since i couldnt take it any more, chanted for health breakthrough and was able to return to the day shift on march 16, the campaign i had tied my health to.

marriage. my wife and i share a civil and friendly relationship today, something that is totally mystic. our son Parth is the apple of our eye. I also look forward to a happy life with my partner who is loving and understanding. ending a marriage is very painful especially when the relationship remains one of love and respect. i determine to make my practice the bedrock on which the happiness of my loved ones will grow.

health. it is mystic that i am alive. i will skip the horror stories that you can surely imagine 26 years of substance abuse and reckless living leaves behind. i discovered that every time i took on a campaign, i was attacked by severe ill health. i carried on with my responsibilities, work, gakkai, home, parth, no matter what, without begrudging my life since my life was the consequence of my past karma. i still smoke, like my drink but cant hold it, and my diet and exercise are poor. my neighbors check on me if they dont hear me cough for a day. i am quick to notice sensei and mrs. ikeda's advice on health, but poor at applying it. i am determined however to live and enjoy a long and healthy life where i can dedicate myself with greater energy to kosenrufu.

enshrinement. the gohonzon decided to move in early this year as i was preparing for my exam. it changed a lot of things for me. the struggle to enshrine it, to have my parents visit for the enshrinement in spite of not having room to offer them to stay in, the repeated questioning of my self whether i deserved to share space with this amazing inscription of the highest state that one can aim for. also, it changed my pattern of chanting. earlier i would be happy chanting anywhere. i am happy to chant anywhere today too, but when i come home, or when i am leaving home in the morning, and i sit to chant, the sense of connectedness is different.

parents long life. i saw what the birth of our son did to my parents. they are 70 and 75 but they were enthused and energized beyond belief. this is a common experience, but seeing that, i have determined that they should live to see their grandchildren settle down and find success in their adult lives.

i often go into a test mode with the law, where i end up saying to myself, you think this will happen? lets see? however, with time i have been able to understand that it is not chanting and leaving it to the wind, but actually following it up with action. i determine to make AP area the kansai of BSG by working with each member in the district to become all that he or she is capable of, to chant for the emergence of all the resources needed to spread the understanding of the law, to encourage the youth and to share with them the vision of sensei. on a personal level, i determine to show with my life the actual proof of the validity of the law. I have no clue what it means but i determine to become a true disciple of my mentor, sensei ikeda.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous3:50 AM

    i WAS TEMPTED TO POST this poem written by a 19-year-old blogger from USA...............

    these walls are grey...cold slabs of concrete

    dark and deep catacombs that fill my aging mind

    with an everlasting sense of not being able

    to withstand all the deep and dark secrets

    that have held me a willing captive for so long

    nineteen years of imprisionment

    have I served out the full sentence

    required for victims of senseless child abuse

    required for the years of nightmares,

    the bruises, the harsh words, the blood, the tears

    that all mean nothing to anyone

    but mean everything to me

    unashamed, unafraid I stand up

    to speak out, to be heard

    to let my voice speak nothing in the night

    no more shallow lines of red x's and o's

    keeping a scorecard on my body

    no more empty bottles of pills long taken

    no more reverse psychology

    in an attempt to make it all better

    no more risks, no more temptation

    no more demons to haunt me at night

    no more thrashing and jumping at every sound

    If I face the shadows that have a grip on my heart

    will I come out alive and as one whole person?

    fragmented in crimson seas of shallow thoughts

    for so long, oh so long

    did I let that blade get the best of me

    year after year I would cut in silence

    I would cut in tears, I would slash my arms in anger

    and I would bleed and bleed out my soul...all the vial hatred...

    hoping to wash away all the fear with my tears

    I cry no more now, I feel no more now on that subject

    nineteen years is enough to serve a empty promise

    nineteen years is good enough for me

    I just have one more thing to write about now

    I have to put it down on paper

    I have to speak it outloud

    and tell her how he hurt me.

    tell her its not my fault

    that he was sick inside and hated me for it.

    maybe then we can love one another

    as mother and daughter should.

    nineteen years? im done with it now.

    peace flows into these veins no long cut open to bleed

    but to breathe in love and beauty

    to breathe in redemption in the eyes of myself.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...