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My Favorite Gosho

"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?"

Happiness in This World

Vinessa Shaw, USA

In the winter of 1996, I received a postcard containing only this passage. It was from my dad who was intent on encouraging me during my first year of college in New York. I was lonely and depressed, and I had so many questions about life. I called my dad every night crying, saying that I wanted to go home. This postcard came at the perfect time.

I was born into a family that practices Nichiren Buddhism. I had chanted Nam-myoho-renge-kyo and studied SGI President Ikeda's encouragement from the time I was 12, but I had never delved into The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin.

As I read my father's postcard, I felt something shift in my life. Until this point, I thought chanting was intended for accomplishing a goal, but it never occurred to me that it was the means to develop a happy life.

This passage gave me confidence, for the first time, that chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo is the key to happiness, no matter what was going on in my life.

I put the passage on my altar in my dorm room and chanted for an extended period to the Gohonzon for the first time in my life. From that day forward, I chanted abundantly with the determination that I was creating a life of "boundless joy." By the end of my first year of college, I had broken through my internal impasse. Although I had a long way to go in my practice before I experienced true joy, I definitely felt lighter.

Now I can say that I'm a truly happy person. Reading this passage on that postcard marked the beginning of my human revolution and building a Buddhist practice based on faith.

For years, I have kept the postcard in my prayer bead case and I still have it. It will always be a reminder that chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo is happiness.

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

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