I find it hard to empty my mind. Can I still be a Buddhist?

Yes. To have many things on our minds, even during our Buddhist practice, is human. The goal of practice in the SGI is to strengthen our positive qualities and create value in life. Through chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, we naturally develop the ability to focus and to see ourselves and our own minds more clearly. We are then better able to direct them in the most constructive direction. Nichiren speaks of the need to “Become the master of your mind rather than let your mind master you.” Calming the mind may come as one benefit from chanting but it is not a prerequisite and it is not the goal of the practice. The aim is to tap the vitality, wisdom and compassion innate within us, and apply those qualities to how we live. The goal of Buddhism is to win in life and contribute to the happiness of others—both pursuits needing constructive thought and action.

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