I've been practicing for about 4-5 years. Got introduced by a college friend. I didn't face any huge challenge during my practice; neither I had great faith when I started to join the meetings at my area. I decided to participate because I wanted to enlarge my social network besides thinking that SGI seems to be a great society in fostering people into becoming capable.

My faith level was okay throughout the years, chanting was okay, on and off sometimes, and I chanted more only when I have problems.

I still keep chanting now, and attend meetings occasionally. I seem to have come to 'dead corner' where I find myself being stagnant in my life, and  in my practice - my faith. 

Everything changes since I lost my dad 8 months ago, I have to come home to be with my mum. I am the only one practicing in the family and they know about it. I try to bring my mother out to meeting occasionally but it seems that she's not "feeling" the spirit of the meetings. And to be frank, neither am I. I get lazy sometimes when I was asked to attend meeting and I'd find excuses not to go. Sometimes I even think of quitting, somehow I don't have the courage to do it knowing deep down the SGI has been with me all these years and I have my own Gohonzon already.

I wonder why my prayers aren't answered yet, although some are. Yet I have doubts that it might not entirely came from the power of the Gohonzon. Yes, I have doubts in Nichiren Buddhism. And that's probably why my prayers aren't answered. I just feel that I am not convinced enough.

I thought about joining more activities which I try to now and I thought of joining Byakuren. I wish to do more and contribute using whatever I have and can.

The loss of my father made me have a second thought about life. It seems meaningless in a way, as we will eventually die. So why bother? Another side of me (from the Nichiren Buddhism that I've learned) told me that life is about struggle and overcoming it and victory.

I find myself torn in facing my life that I consider stagnant now. And I don't know what to do with it. I feel helpless. I know I need to strengthen my faith yet it seems that I don't bother to. I'm struggling. I try to read books, but it seems not helping. I try to attend meetings, but I don't feel "connected" to the meeting at some points, or the people there. I also haven't felt the 'mentor and disciple relationship' with sensei since I've been practicing all these years. I think I might have lost faith and passion both in the practice and my life.

Has any of you experienced similar things in your practice too? I'd appreciate if you could share some thoughts or shed some lights on this. Thank you..

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Comment by shilpa iyer on January 17, 2012 at 12:08am

We all should remember striving in faith bring good fortune directly into my life . So by striving to do gongyo , daimoku & attending meeting will bring fortune  not into sumbody else but MY own life. And everything in life needs practise & perseverance .. I cant become a refined baseball player if i dnt practise each day  & challenging my laziness & if we give up half way can i ??Sumdays i mite not perform well but if i continue to not give up & challenging One day i surely will make it wont i ?? 

If i need to drink Hot piping water I will  need to wait for atlst 2 min till it gets warm so perseverance is imprtant in anytask of life .. And here we are dealing with our life & karma shud i then not persevere till i get the desired result  ??

The best way to understand Faith to delve deeper into our own lives!! Like Nicherin says that Gohonzon exists in the 5 foot body .. you asking this question shows u have a Pure heart.. Take this question to the Gohonzon & pray sincerely to feel connected to the gohonzon which is Ur life..U r MRK Its essential we understand this from our lives .. and staying in the orbit SGI will help you achieve this ..

COntinue chanting NMRK , continue encouraging Urself & ur mother ..Continue to pray to understand what ur mentor wants from U ...and trust me without ur own knowledge you will soon realize that ur life is on correct path & each and  every desire of ur life is answered !!!You will soon enjoy doing daimoku , attending meeting 

Continue In Faith & U will Win for sure !!!

Comment by Dan on December 26, 2011 at 12:37am

Please keep connected to the youth division and definitely would encourage you to follow through on Byakuren training.  Many dialogues & incredible people you will meet for even as simple as manning the reception desk at your SGI buddhist community center.

Comment by Dan on December 20, 2011 at 9:19am

Rene, you're manifesting such tremendous courage even just writing about it and opening up about it with us.  I feel honored.  By your words it seems that you're attempting to grapple with it as best as you can and you will find your own Buddha wisdom somewhere in this.  Thank you.  We will be chanting for you and your mother.

Comment by Kelly McGowan on December 20, 2011 at 5:43am

We are all born with a mission and only through this practice does it change our destiny. (I don't know about any others). One member from our district said at our meeting last week that after facing bipolar illness as a young man that through his years of practice he can say each day he is happy to be alive and feels the joy of his life. I think we all have that potential and our prayers, study and actions for kosenrufu can open our lives to its amazing benefit. Sometimes I chant to be encouraged when I attend a meeting. It keeps me going when I'd rather sit on the couch! Keep us posted!

Comment by James Todd on December 20, 2011 at 1:00am

I am truly sorry for your loss. I never got to know my father and he passed away before I could change that. I lost my mom at a time when my life was already in a very fragile state. Please accept my deepest sympathy.I found myself feeling very much like you and realized that I needed to change the way I thought in front of the Gohonzon.I start by chanting appreciation for the wonderful people and things in my life (several minutes). Then I chant "I am an eternal being, the manifestation of the mystic law, a Buddha"(again,several minutes). I then remind myself that all things (including suffering) are temporary and the result of my deluded thinking. I calm my mind and remind myself again that I am a Buddha. From this calmed state I express my desires in front of (not to)the Gohonzon. I finish my daimokku by chanting to bring out my Buddha nature  for my own sake and for the sake of everyone in my environment. It also really helps to keep a very close eye on the thoughts we allow our minds to dwell on and steer our thoughts in a more "Buddhist" direction. That's why studying Nichiren Daishonin's writings is so important. It takes effort but you will become gradually happier and happier if you keep going and don't give up.


Comment by Rene on December 19, 2011 at 11:59pm


I still dare not confront thinking about my dad cause every time I think deeply of him or come across things that remind me of him will trigger the pain inside. I couldn't bear living my life with the pain everyday as it is too painful to live. So I try to move on thinking what I could do with my current life for me and my family. I just hope that he could find peace and be reborn in a life that he would get a chance to challenge and change his own karma. I always chant for him this way.

It was a difficult moment for me and my family 8 months ago as right after the sudden loss of my dad, all kinds of problems just appeared and poured out on us. I did overcome some of those with chanting and yet there are long-term issues in my family that requires time I think. I could only be strong for my mother at that moment, and now that she is better. Everyone has their own karma. And people who don't chant probably wouldn't realise that I guess. I just wish that my mum could see her own karma and change it for her own happiness, but I don't think she has the wisdom yet to see that or she's just setting aside the problems. I never intend to force her into anything but I just her to understand that. I guess her timing in truly understanding Nichiren Buddhism hasn't yet arrived. Or it could be just me being not influential enough due to the faith-lacking situation I am in now.

We all need a reason to live, or a goal. Honestly I've been asking myself lately and find no other reason but contributing, either to yourself, or to the society depending on your self-interest I guess. And in SGI, I think we need to be contributing to both so as to come to the actual proof that we can show to the non-members/the society that this buddhism is correct and for real.

Comment by Rene on December 19, 2011 at 11:35pm


Yes I do have a couple of friends from YWD who take care of me here. They constantly encourage me to go meeting. My favourite quote: "Our lives are our own. It is not for someone else to dictate to us how we should live them. All that awaits those who allow themselves to be continually swayed by what other people say or do is unhappiness. We simply need to have the self-belief to be able to say: "This is right. This is the path I will follow. I am content." Happiness is born from such inner fortitude." ~ Daisaku Ikeda~

Sometimes I just don't know what this path is going to lead me to and I dare not think of it again since nothing is predictable.

Comment by Dan on December 19, 2011 at 9:44pm

Please ignore that last sentence of my last reply.  I wasn't thinking clearly.  I remember the poignant moments of loss whenever I thought of my mother long after she died; sometimes triggered by something as mundane as cooking a dish she taught me or a memory of a tune of a song she used to sing with me as a child.  I think I was best able to deal with them when I dared to remember them as I chanted in front of the gohonzon.  I held onto the encouragement taught me by a leader - when a person dies, they're in a state of 'rest', unable to 'chant or create causes for themselves, and that with my buddhist practice, with every daimoku I chanted for my mother was a cause I was contributing for her and her future life.  That gave me impetus to keep my practice consistent and I vowed that I would somehow repay my debt of gratitude to her in some way.  That came about when I was finally able to 'reply' when I took on the mission of taking care of my mentally ill father 8 years later.  It took 5-6 years before I could finally gain his 'trust' and help him find the right combination of medicines & doctor to overcome his schizophrenia.  I ended up living with him for 11 years and until he passed away at 83 with me chanting by his bedside at the hospital.  Somehow, in this, what I'm saying is that you have some kind of mission, from your karma of having lost your father, and together with your mother you have to find a way or reason to live a great life.

Comment by Kelly McGowan on December 19, 2011 at 5:10am


 Do you have a friend in the SGI you could meet with and talk, chant? We all need some TLC after going through a major life change like losing your father and it is when doubts come and motivation lessens. So you have any favorite gosho quotes?  They can be encouraging. Grief seems to come in its own pace and form for each person. Keep us posted!

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