Posted by: sistermom1 | March 4, 2010

Changing my karma into my mission

This is one of the goals that many practitioners of Nichiren Buddhism seek to accomplish.  Changing the sufferings and problems that we encounter in our daily lives into the reason for living and continuing is an important component of our practice.  Instead of suffering due to the challenges that I encounter every day, I am encouraged to welcome the struggles and accept them as a way for me to show others (and myself!) how to become happy during the struggle – not instead of the struggle.  The “gift” of MS has given me a real opportunity to put this teaching to the test.  It continues to be a real challenge for me, as up until now, I had always believed that a happy life was a problem-free life.  I am learning that this is so not true….

Nichiren Daishonin, a 12th century Japanese Priest who studied the Lotus Sutra and first chanted Nam Myoho Renge Kyo, wrote to his many followers several encouraging letters that directly addressed this point:

“No one can avoid problems, even saints and sages.”

“Although I and my disciples may encounter various difficulties, if we do not harbor doubt in our hearts, we will as a matter of course  attain Buddahood.”

I am learning through my studies that I am on this Earth specifically to have the kinds of problems that I do have to be able to show others how to overcome their own struggles and be happy while doing it.  My illness is a manifestation of my karma and absolutely reflects my mission in life.  I am praying every day to be able to win in every aspect of my life, and accept my karma as my mission.  It is difficult, but I am encouraged by many of the speech  es made by Daisaku Ikeda quoted below:

There is no happiness without hardship. So often, we strive to reach the destination of happiness without walking the road of struggles and challenges which leads us there.

As long as we are alive we will experience sufferings. But that does not mean we have to be unhappy. Unhappiness comes from allowing ourselves to be controlled by life’s ups and downs-from feeling defeated, from losing hope, losing courage, losing the will to advance.

True happiness means forging a strong spirit that is undefeated, no matter how trying our circumstances.

MS has been very trying — especially these past two years — but I remain determined to use it as a tool to deepen my faith and to become an example of turning the negative parts of this experience into a medicine that will not only make me stronger and more compassionate, but much happier.

Here’s to continuing this journey….

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