An email from Ms Sandra Liew:
Mr. Kawai's guidance in faith, conveyed by Mr. Noro, based on President Ikeda's guidance.
We practice this faith not for mere exertion, that is, not for the sake of practice, but for change and progress and as quickly as possible.
Members may say, I'm doing many SGI activities, but so what? The real question is how much have I changed my life, my environment, and my livelihood? How much benefit have I received? There are many members who are doing lots of daimoku, but there is no change in their lives.
Something is wrong. Buddhism is not the Law of Cause and Effect in Action. It is the Law of cause and effect in ichinen (determined prayer). For example, faith is not "feeling refreshed" after prayers and activities. Faith exists for us to change our lives.
When we wish to travel somewhere, first we decide on the destination, then we plan on the action (route/ mode of transport) and then we travel and reach that destination. Faith is the same.
In faith, we must first have
1. clear targets
It is important to pray strongly and then take action and we will see the results without fail. It is important to determine to change. That is to pray "I want to change", and then take necessary action.
It is absolutely no use to ask the Gohonzon, "What should I do?" There will be no answer. YOU must decide what you want to accomplish, not the Gohonzon. Once we decide / determine on some goal, there may seem no solution. But that is precisely why we pray.
If it were possible, we would not need the Gohonzon. If there is a way out, then there really is no need to chant. But we pray to change the impossible to possible. Do not engage in "what shall I do..." daimoku, that is, while chanting to think of strategies / look for options in your mind.
There is absolutely no need to think of methodology, because there is no way out! We should simply pray like this "I want to accomplish this. I will accomplish this."
If, while chanting, we think that our desires are unattainable / impossible, then that is the prayer that will be reflected onto the universe. And that is exactly the answer we will get back from the gohonzon... impossible/no solution.
We must pray with 100% confidence in the Gohonzon. I believe in the Gohonzon, my prayer will definitely be answered, just as the Gosho states "no prayer to the Gohonzon will go unanswered". This is the Buddhist formula, which is 100% correct.
It is our doubts that get in the way. While chanting, we always try to find ways out of our problem. Therefore, our ichinen is not directed towards the Gohonzon, but directed elsewhere. Thus it follows, that there is no real joy in daimoku and activities.
We just keep doing what were told to do.
There was a young lady (student division) who wanted to go to USA from Japan to study. It was impossible, as she had no money etc. So she prayed, not chanted, but deeply prayed "I want to go to USA to study - I will go" One year later, she reported positive results.
There had seemed no solution, but a "bridge" was formed through her sincere daimoku. This is the Mystic Law. It is beyond our understanding, which is why it is called Mystic. So there is no need to think, just trust and pray...
There was a WD who came for guidance. Her husband had terminal cancer and doctors said he would not live longer than 3 months. Her question was "can he be cured?" The answer was "I don't know".
The leader went on to say that President Toda's guidance was that when we determine that the only one thing we can trust is the gohonzon, then the body begins to recover from sickness.
This means to cure ones own illness by oneself, through faith. The human body is capable of producing 700 types of medicines. But when our life force is weak, then nothing is produced. When our life philosophy is polluted by slander, and impurities then our life cannot produce its healing power.
Buddhism is great. Our life is great! It is supreme. It is Divine. It is the life of the Buddha. So through faith we can always manifest this supreme state of the Buddha, this power of the Gohonzon.
People call Buddhism great, but actually it teaches us that our own lives are great. With determination, great life force and wisdom can be manifested from our lives and bodies to overcome sickness which is one's negative karma -the source of which is slander.
So the real question is not whether the illness is curable, rather, the question is whether i can determine it is curable. The woman told her husband about this guidance and together both corrected their ichinen and prayed and he was cured.
A Woman's Division leader in Japan could not walk due to pain in her legs caused by rheumatism. She was asked "do you think that your disease can be cured?"
She replied "No!"
"So then that is your desire. Your state of mind and that is why the answer from the Gohonzon is - - no cure!" replied the senior leader. The leader continued by saying that if the medical doctor has given up, if he says there is no cure for your condition, then that is the time to summon up your determination to change the impossible to possible.
The very next day, the woman called the leader to report that when she determined, the pain disappeared from her legs and 2 weeks later she was completely cured. Her suffering had been caused by her thinking that it was impossible to be cured, that she would have to live with this life condition.
But the moment she determined (ichinen) to overcome through faith in the gohonzon, the power of the mystic law was manifested through her life.
There are 3 kinds of directions:
1. Forward "Gear". Forward Gear practice consists of: having a clear and specified target and determination to accomplish it through prayer and action, for example: I want a white cat. She must be of Persian species, 3 yrs old, with blue eyes, female.
And I want her in 2 weeks. I will get it. In other words, doing a lot of activities and daimoku with no targets and clear goals is no use, as it will not produce any changes in your life.
2. Neutral "Gear" Neutral Gear Practice is chanting out of duty, with no joy. A habitual practice. E.g.: I am a leader, I have responsibilities, so I'm doing activities. But there is no effect. Its like the car analogy... the engine is full and ready to go... but nothing happens.
3. Reverse "Gear" Reverse Gear Practice is when the more activities and daimoku one is doing, one is still going backwards, rather than forward in one's life. In other words, one may be making a lot of seemingly good causes, but one is also complaining. There is slander and grudges against others. Or one might be Complaining about ones' own situation on not seeing immediate results. This is dangerous practice.
Just like in automatic transmission car, there is very little difference between Forward and Reverse Gears, from outward appearance it is difficult to tell where one's ichinen is. But one's life will ultimately clearly manifest it.
Even if you commit slander without realizing it, it is still slander. One should never criticize leaders. Right or wrong, one should not complain at all. Instead, one can chant for them to grow and one will benefit from that too. Similarly, never do "onshitsu" in your family.
That is do not complain, criticize or carry a negative feeling towards husband /wife, children or parents. This is your karma. You chose your spouse / partner / children.
Chant for their growth.
Further, do not depend / rely on others. Do not complain that they don't do this or that. Criticism will bring no benefit. But it will certainly bring negative effects.
We must eradicate the following types of prayer:
1. Out of habit or ritual (that is without any target or determination)
2. Out of delusion (that is while chanting, trying to find solutions to your problems)
3. Out of disbelief (that is thinking that this is impossible and will not happen / change)
Instead, pray with your entire heart, your entire being that I am going to build a bridge towards my happiness and those of others by myself, by using the Supreme wisdom of Nam Myoho Renge Kyo.
One needs to have the experience of benefits / breakthroughs, so as to encourage others. "I have so many benefits through this practice... what about you?" Especially, senior members must receive many benefits. Buddhism is reason. Otherwise what is the use of practicing this faith? If they don't witness changes/ benefits then their faith has become habitual.
There was a Men's Division Chapter Chief in Japan, which had a small trading company, which was almost bankrupt. The sales had dropped by half. At that time he prayed deeply that the sales should climb to $3 million. And it became so. The next year, his target was $5 million and the year later $7million. So it is important to determine first, then chant.
An owner of a barber-shop reported drop of sales due to lack of customers. He was advised to determine and pray concretely and in specific detail e.g. exact number of customers for haircuts, for blow dry etc. - detailed prayer, with a deadline.
One member prayed to sell his car. He did, but with no profit at all. Because he did not pray for it.
One woman had severe economic / financial problems. She prayed 3 hours daily in the morning - I want this amount of benefit today. I need it. And she received it.
We need to experience benefits through faith and prayer to show power of Gohonzon and encourage others. President Toda and President Ikeda said there are 10 reasons why no change or benefits occur in senior leaders' lives, even though they have been practicing for a long time.
1. Unclear determination
2. No concrete targets in faith
3. Doing regular Gongyo but no concrete prayer
4. Passive gongyo and activities from a sense of obligation
5. A complaining and begrudging attitude about faith
6. Seeking spirit for senior leaders/ guidance has become weaker
7. Not working hard in office or home
8. Depressed because of various sufferings in life
9. Weak of sense of mission for Kosen Rufu
10. Sense of responsibility as leader is weaker
Even if one of the above is missing, then faith has become habitual and there is no benefit. We must have dreams, which lead to hope and finally become reality when we chant! Therefore, we must have big dreams!
The President of a Fisheries Co was very concerned about the drop in catch of fish as it was affecting his sales, so he went for guidance. The leader asked him
"You say that you can't get lots of salmon fish. Does this mean that there is no salmon or are you unable to catch them?"
"I can't get any," he replied.
"Why can't you call them to your net? Did you pray like that?" The leader encouraged.
"No I didn't".
"There is no natural boundary in the ocean. So why don't you pray like that?"
The leader encouraged. So he did. His catch went up from 20 fish to 300 in one day. His company went from deficit to surplus. This is no miracle. This is the Law. This is reason.
What is amazing is when you don't get benefits even though you do chant.