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My Favorite Gosho

"Never seek this Gohonzon outside yourself. The Gohonzon exists only within the mortal flesh of us ordinary people who embrace the Lotus Sutra and chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo. The body is the palace of the ninth consciousness, the unchanging reality that reigns over all of life's functions. "

The Real Aspect of the Gohonzon

Jesse Henderson, USA

I was born in Tennessee in 1948 and grew up in Memphis. As a young man, I was consumed with feelings of hopelessness, anger and despair. I watched my father and many other men in my community turn to alcohol and drugs, defeated by the crushing effects of segregation and prejudice. I assumed this would be my fate as well.

This reality destroyed all my ambitions. The crowd I ran with as a teenager rebelled against all authority, including family, school and government. We blamed all our problems on a world over which we had no say. Eventually, my life began to spiral out of control.

When I started chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, I began to have hope and feel real joy for the first time in my life. Through studying Nichiren's writings on a consistent basis, I began to realize that, as I fortified my Buddha nature, I could create a life strong enough to overcome any suffering. My destructive behavior and negativity no longer controlled me after that.

SGI President Ikeda says: "Nam-myoho-renge-kyo is the Law of time without beginning. When we chant and practice that Law, the life state of the Buddha of time without beginning shines brightly in our hearts."

Each and every person has the potential to become a Buddha, to lead an absolutely happy and fulfilled life. Yet we still have the potential to be defeated by our circumstances, just as I was convinced I would be as a young man.

By living these words from Nichiren, I now understand that I can create value out of any situation by activating the power within.

Every day, my Buddhist practice reminds me that I am responsible for my life and my interactions with others. While the negative forces within me constantly attempt to prevail and create doubt, I always have the power to put the Buddha's words into action, and when I do that, the possibilities are limitless and being defeated is impossible.

[Courtesy of World Tribune, SGI-USA, May 2008]

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