Shakabukuing Connecting to the Spirit of Nichiren Daishonin!

June 7, 1984 I joined Nichiren Daishonin True Buddhism. It was easy to accept this new philosophy, but was difficult to follow the teaching , coming from another religion, but due to my quest for knowledge, I purchased the third volume of the Major Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, thinking that I was going to advance quickly by reading the advanced book (smile). I was unable to sit for long periods at a time facing the gohonzon due to my level of frustration and burnt out syndrome. In reading the teaching of Nichiren Daishonin, I was always able to run across a gosho passage that validated my current state of being. I ran across a passage during my daily reading of the Gosho that said, "even if you offer mere flowers or incense, all your virtuous will invite benefits:(forgive me for not having the exact wording, I am writing from memory). Wow! I was relieved of the guilt, and was able to keep practicing, and not stop out of the lack of discipline and concentration. Three months into my offering the best ever green leaves, candle and incense daily, even though I only faced the Gohonzon and chanted three times, my life began to receive benefits. I was given a weekend trip to Montreal Canada; I was spared from contracting HIV from my husband who had left us and returned five years later and attended my enshrinement ceremony. The two men's division leader who had came all the way to Coney Island to enshrine my Gohonzon, gave me guidance to "get him out of your life". As a whole , I am a stand alone spirit, who tends to learn from my own bad or good advises, but this time, I was able to be open to heed the warning or advise of these two strange men (the late, Ron Nelson & Ed. Vega). Three weeks after enshrining my gohonzon and adhering the their guidance, my late husband called me to tell me that he was HIV infected and that I must go and get tested. On the 19th of September 1994, a dead women came to me in my dream with a warning to me, that "if you do not stop living the life that you are living you will have a very short life!". I got up the next morning overwhelmed with fear. As I was headed downstairs to have breadfast, another voice came to me, challenging me, saying "look at you, you are so wise and smart, yet you cannot sit in front of the altar for ten minutes". I responded , yes I can, and I did just that. I sat in front of the Gohonzon and did Gongyo for the first time, struggling to pronouce those strange words with a heavy southern accent, for a period of 2.5 hours. It was as though I was truly emerging from the earth, so to speak. When I completed my first determined Gongyo, something in my reproductive separated, dilating as though I was giving birth. I began hemoraging, which lasted four months. I was told that I had cancer and no medical proceedure would stop the bleeding. I got angry at the doctor and told him that "you just met me, how do you know what I have without during test. At the time I was practicing alone, for I did not trust organized religions or social groups, for I am not a groupee! Well, I called my sponsor and told her what I had experienced, and what was going on- She referred me to the district leader who had had a similar experience, who told me so casually that, "you are sooooooo fortune, you are changing your karma right away"!. She then challenged me to come to the November study meetings, I did. I learned about how to "change poison into medicine" though propogating this great buddhism. I followed her guidance to the best of my ability, and sure enough, everything the leader told me, came to past. January of 1995 , I had the courage to go to the emergency and tell them what I had been going through. I was admitted to the hospital for tests, and biospsy, and a medical procedure that would stop the bleeding, but when the doctor examined me and the test result came back, all my vital signs were normal, as though I had not bled for one day. I was so happy to be able to start anew, that I set out on a one woman mission, to tell everybody that would look my way about the power of Nam-Myoho- Renge Kyo! I guess you could say I became a shakabuku fanatic, addictive to doing Shakabuku for the first five years of my new journey! (smile). I made a vow to the Buddha, that if I do not die, or have to have have a hysterectomy, I will practice this buddhism as though it was the last moment of my life. I dropped all friends that were not good for me, many dropped me because they thought I was practicing black majic, and did not want their children around my house any longer to visit my children. I ceased dating and wasting my time with losers, and I stop looking outside myself for approval and happiness. I would leave home with one thing on my mind, how to get in the position to meet someone to accept this Buddhism. I traveled alone, so not to be distracted. I took 25 pamplets each day and waited like a hooker , for my next John (smile) to accept this great buddhism and fight for world peace with me! My children, are all Buddhist now, but they were so ashamed of me, that they made a song out of shakabuku! Betty

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Comment by Kelli Lynn on January 1, 2010 at 7:45am
Very Encouraging! Thanks for sharing! Happy New Year!
Comment by Betty J. Smith on April 7, 2009 at 12:18pm
Good Day Bob; Thanks for your encouragement and wisdom! Betty
Comment by Bob Mann on April 7, 2009 at 5:53am

Betty, you epitomize the life of inspiration and compassion. Like the lotus, you are the cause and effect of much happiness. Best always to you and yours....
Comment by Jeanne Phoenix on April 6, 2009 at 9:48pm
Well, that was certainly a success story if I ever heard one. And I have been a Nichiren Buddhist for eight years, and a member for nine. I have more mental health issues than physical issues, but I have found recently that I have come to the conclusion that for me to make progress in my life that I have to accept myself the way I am even if prior to this decision I did not like the way I lived parts of my life. It seemed to me that I was having an extraordinarily hard time changing or getting the motivation to change and it was making me miserable. So I just decided that trying to change myself was not working and the best route to where I wanted to go was to accept where I was with those issues and that it did not really bother me enough being the way I was to change what I was or was not doing. Once I did accept myself for not really caring whether I made those changes or not I realized that it was okay to be what I already was and that I could accept that. It took some time to realize it is okay for me to do what I do. I really wasn't harming anyone, and that I could actually like myself, and not feel guilty for not being particularly ambitious about goals in my life and that I have a lot of things I like to do some of the time, but not all of the time. You know what? that's okay about me. Jeanne

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