I have two friends it very critical crossroads in their lives. Both often would ask if they could sit-in on my Gongyo. Of course, I always suggested that they try it themselves. I think most of us have had the experience of non-Buddhist friends asking to be chanted for. As if the blessings of the Sutra came from outside of themselves, and even weirder, from me. It presents me with interesting challenges to help them see the true nature of Buddhist practice where it relates to them. Patience, compassion and a powerful desire to help others become happy seem to be the necessary reagents for effective shakabuku.

One of these friends really has begun in earnest making courageous powerful efforts having tried daimoku to help him with a powerful and scary obstacle that was immediate and needed him to come at it from a position of confidence and happiness. When he returned from his little trip, it went far better than he had expected. That in its self was a fantastic benefit but it went far further. From our discussions since, I learned that he really understood the true nature of that benefit as a result of earnest practice and study. He told me that he could see the connection between activating his Buddha nature and allowing that to be his interface with the world and the positive result. I am amazed at how well he picked that somewhat heady topic.

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