Doubt Transformers

"As practice progresses and understanding grows, the three obstacles and four devils will emerge...", this group discusses how to transform doubt in the power of daimoku to answer our prayers, into faith in the power of daimoku to answer our prayers.

Members: 53
Latest Activity: Sep 4, 2017

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Comment by Isme on April 4, 2011 at 5:59pm

My biggest doubts have always been self-doubts. And my self-doubts were determined to be my enemies.  And I was set to conquer these monsters that always got in my way.  And then, one day, we began to make friends.

You see, I may not distrust you despite your promises that go poof with your proof and I may continue to believe in the bigger, bolder bild beyond us all, but it has often not taken much for me to doubt me right in front of my face.

I see my short-comings looming into view long before I lose faith in principles such as fairness or fidelity.  Instead of recognizing the betrayal of bosses and beloveds, I stand accused and aquiescent.  I am shocked by cruelty and mocked by the sneer of those who resent my good cheer.

My mission was always to beat this self-doubt into sub-mission, to turn my misgivings about me into a strident confidence. And that has been a self-defeating struggle which only seemed to feed more self-doubt.

Recently, a new approach from an old style has begun to come to my aid.  I have just now and for a long time sought answers in the seeking itself and I continue to do so.  I can't say I know the turning point, but it was then and it is now.

I find myself learning to learn from my doubt, to rest with its discomfort, to be blessed by my dismay.  It may be that I grew weary of the struggle.  Some my say I gave up the fight for my right.

But, if this be surrender, it is one to a sweetness where struggle is senseless and counter-productive.  When I began to see the sword slip away, there remained no more means to slice away at my doubt.

And as I sat with her here, she began to teach me a tenderness that has treated me to a new kind of self-caring and a self-confidence.

It is as if I dared to embrace the demon of my self-doubt rather than insist on that exhausting continuation of battling her.  And Doubt has shown me a glimpse of a way home without her.  I don't need my self-doubt as much as I did when I fought it (her, myself, my self-doubt) tooth and nail.

Doubt can be a lantern if we keep looking for the details caught in its glow. I have been learning to heed doubt and rather than flail against my own, to own my own.

It is through this process I have begun to feel a freedom, a transformation which firms up my faith. To make friends with my Self, I had to befriend my self-doubt, so that my doubt could begin to release me. 

Comment by Kelly McGowan on November 14, 2010 at 8:34am
Phewww it has been a struggle to believe in my prayer. My Dad is in the hospital for surgery where my sister works. He has been having many complications and is now in intensive care. It's been difficult for me to believe in the power of NMRK when facing medical terminology, expertise and the emotions of seeing my Dad less than he has been. I think turned the corner last night chanting in the hospital. I had a feeling of confidence that he will be ok. I will continue chanting until I see the result. So glad to have that insight for I was feeling very confused. I believe now I must keep going!
Comment by Cindy Woodland on November 14, 2010 at 6:06am
I'm happy to share Kim, as so many other members have done with me over the years. Its such a great simple guidance.
Comment by Kim Piot on November 12, 2010 at 3:22pm
Thanks, CIndy! As always...!

Comment by Cindy Woodland on November 12, 2010 at 11:30am
Hi Vikash,

Here it is.

How to Chant-Ted Morino
How to Chant, Ted Morino,


*- Ted Morino, SGI-USA*

First of all, before you begin – *relax, clear your head, clear your

But especially your head, your mind, relax emotionally, mentally,
physically. It is important to be very natural.

Second, when you chant, you really need to use your eyes. *Focus on
The Gohonzon. *Then listen to your voice. Focus on the ‘myoho’
character [about one fifth of the way down, in the middle] which means
‘mystical’. You have to use your eyes. This is extremely important. When
you use your eyes, your mind stops. Clear your mind by strongly focusing
your eyes. Let your thoughts rest by using your eyes. When you’re busy
thinking all the time, your brain is sucking energy. This means your
brain is getting stronger (which is not healthy), but your core isn’t
changing because the energy isn’t being directed there.

What you really have to do is look at the Gohonzon with power and let
Your mind relax. The Gohonzon in your life already knows your worries
and desires. Keep everything in your heart – *just chant with your eyes
locked on the Gohonzon. *Then when Nam Myoho Renge Kyo comes into tune
with the core of your life, it will melt away and dissolve karma. It
will change into strength so you can become strong and clear-minded
enough to accomplish your desires.

In this way you should come to enjoy the act of chanting because
you’re feeling the core of your life. You’re fusing with the highest
potential in your life, represented by the Gohonzon. *When you’re
thinking strategies, you’re not changing your karma. *

* *
*Q. When I chant I often imagine what I want. I picture it in my mind.
I see it happening in my mind. Is that OK?*

A: Positive imaginations are a good thing, but not strategies. If you
get to imagining how to make it happen, instead of the images of it,
then you are strategizing.

Prayer should come from the heart! The Gohonzon knows your worries and
desires. Keep them in your heart, focus on the Gohonzon and simply
chant. If you can do simple, good daimoku and gongyo, Nam Myoho Renge
Kyo goes stronger, deeper, to expand you, dissolve difficult karma and
generate positive results. Daimoku should come from your core. If it
comes from the brain, the brain becomes stronger and so does the

When you close your eyes or avert them from the Gohonzon, the power to
fuse the core of your life with the Gohonzon weakens and the mind plays
around. Chant clearly, confidently, comfortably.

*Don’t read while you chant! Don’t do anything while you chant.
Just chant.
*When you read, read. When you chant, chant. After good daimoku you may
read or your schedule may require you to get right to work or do things
you need to do. You may have a busy life, but don’t have busy daimoku.
Don’t be busy,focus! Through focused daimoku, you can melt away negative
karma. Chanting is a time to cultivate your life, not think about your

is the time to enrich your Buddha nature, not the time to have a
Planning meeting for your life or day.

In my head: positive imaginations

In my heart: deep prayer

In my mouth: clear chanting

Nam Myoho Renge Kyo

Comment by Cindy Woodland on October 6, 2010 at 10:15pm
Ted Marino's guidance on chanting is great Margie. It has helped me learn to focus much better when I chant.

Encouraging you also encourages me. We all need it. Don't ever hesitate to reach out when you need it again Margie. Like I said,transforming negativity is a real process and it takes time, which is why we are so lucky to have the Soka Gakkai. I don't know where I would be without all of the support and warm encouragement I have received from all of the members and leaders over the 22 years of my practice. I am so very grateful.

Enjoy the guidances.

Comment by Margie McKinney on October 6, 2010 at 9:05pm
Shipa and Cindy, thanks so much. I am reading the guidances and they are helping. I also chanted one hour daimoku with three other district members this morning.. Trying to chant correctly as stated my Ted Marino. I am feeling better already. Thanks so much for your encouragement.
Comment by shilpa iyer on October 6, 2010 at 12:50am
indeed yes..hv been trying to do this since ystrdy..can realy feel a ragin war wit my fundamntal darkness of belittleing yes i m feeling much more nicer & lighter , thorough;y enjoied my daimoku ...
Cindy is so correct in mentionin we need keep appreciating ourslf no matter wat & keep pushing forwrd wit a determination to win
Comment by Cindy Woodland on October 5, 2010 at 9:13pm
Hi Margie,

Transforming negativity is a tremendous process that is ongoing. But you don't have to be discouraged about that, instead appreciate all that you are doing to change it. You have to be kind with yourself and really praise yourself that you are doing all that you can. for myself, every time I would see my ego, or negativity in any form, I would be so judgemental of myself and cause myself incredible pain. I had to learn to embrace myself completely, especially when my negativity was strong. I love what President Toda said about what a battle it is that we fight..."Buddhism is a deadly serious win-or-lose struggle". I remind myself of what he said as much as possible.

Actually, you are starting to really break through if you are becoming more and more aware of your negativity are waking up to it and learning to identify it. I have found that simply focusing on saying Nam Myoho Renge Kyo either in my head, or aloud if possible, wherever I am when my negativity arises, definitely helps. really trust your daimoku... that is faith. If you read what the guidance that I posted to Shilpa below says Margie, especially the one on conquering self-doubt, this will really help you. The most important thing that you have to do is to truly embrace yourself, don't judge yourself, no matter how negative you get. You must remind yourself continually how you are fighting with all that you have to change your karma, for the sake of kosen rufu. There really is no nobler path in life. Think about it...what greater gift can you give people, than the gift of showing them actual proof of the power of the mystic law to completely transform your life so that you are absolutely happy. I know that this is what happens Margie, if you really learn to embrace yourself. I read so many guidances for many years about this and I have finally understood it in the depths of my life. Now, when I do or say things that are negative, I dont put myself down, I simply recognize that I am still working on my human revolution. If we were perfect we would have no need to practice this Buddhism Margie. Its so important that you put this into practice. If you slander yourself, you cannot win.

So, I hope that you will read the guidances and strive to really embrace yourself first and foremost. Then, the pain will start to dissipate and you will realize that you are a woman...a human being who is fighting with all of her life to win and be happy....

Comment by Margie McKinney on October 5, 2010 at 7:17pm
I have not transformed my negativity yet and I very much want to. I am just becoming aware of how very negative my thinking is, it's no wonder I fight depression too. Seeing the worst in people and situations is really defeating. It takes all the determination I can muster sometimes just to put one foot in front of the other and keep going. I am ashamed to admit this, but it is true. I am committed to not leaving this practice, no matter what. Any suggestions will be very much appreciated.

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