EXPERIENCE ( 1 YEAR INTO MY PRACTICE):
Last month was my #1 Buddhist Birthday, and I realized how much my life have changed since the day I decided to take full responsibility for my life and received my Gohonzon.
I came to Los Angeles three years ago, by myself, in pursue of my artistic dreams and wanting to explore life, which I have definitely done, in many levels.
When I received my Gohonzon, I was probably in one of the most challenging points of my life; I was in a very dependent, violent and toxic relationship, I was also jumping around from couch to couch to have a roof while I was working on nightclubs to pay for my college tuition that my family couldn’t afford, my life inside and outside was surrounded by a series of unfortunate events and people, my body and mental health were in a bad state, and my social life was more than a mess, full with jealousy, greed and anger, and very unhealthy competition and disunion. The American dream was becoming the broken dream.
To expand a little bit more, I also come from a background of drugs, danger, sexual abuse, violence, danger, an unstable family relationship, where even my mom and I would get into extreme fights,. I was unable to come back up from the lower worlds. I suffered from anxiety and anger attacks; from depression, and a lot of unhappiness. It was almost impossible for me to not feel completely overwhelmed by any situation, and of course take all my anger towards others, blaming everything outside myself.
When moved out here I had to face so many of my fears, like severe poverty and homelessness, also my college years where very difficult, people really hated me and did everything they could to make me stumble and fall. It was a whole cycle of negativity that I had to deal with, by myself. However, among all the midst I’ve always been an spiritual person, and one of my strongest characteristics is my Faith. So, when I found this Buddhism, everything made even more sense for me. I started chanting and adding this new practice to my life, with the determination to change my karma and become absolutely happy, which at the moment seemed very far away. Effectively, my chanting started activating the Universe forces within me, and yes, everything started moving around, but not necessarily in the expected direction. (…)
Even though I had received immediate benefit such as finding a house for an incredible low rent price from a friend, and I was also able to complete my almost impossible College Tuition and Graduated with an Associates Degree; I also found a more decent job right after, as well as artistic representation with my manager, with whom I have an excellent relationship now, etc, etc.. At the moment, I saw my life, with whom I also introduced to this practice, my ex boyfriend. We were both practicing as told by our Leaders and were very determined to transform our living circumstances. Not too long after, we went through a domestic violence event in which I had to experience almost death in order to learn the most valuable lessons of my life, and in order to transform the big karma that me and my family, has been carrying generation after generation. I had severe injuries in my body after the incident, and of course, all the plans where once again over. During the same week, I was also told to leave the room where I was staying, which made the situation even more devastating and hard to deal with.
With no place to go, I ended up living two hours away from the city, in a house that a friend gave me to recover from all the physical, emotional and mental pain I was going through, situation that didn’t allow me to continue working and having an stable income. Even once I was back to meetings, I had to face multiple panic attacks knowing that he was around. During this extremely dark times, all I had was my Gohonzon. I didn’t have any contact with people, including friends or family. I decided to chant three to four hours a day, sometimes more, to really try to see something positive out of all of this nightmare. I was determined to build a higher life state and transform the deepest roots of my karma. During this long and painful process of recovery and self cleansing, I found myself.
I was convinced that there was something bigger coming after this terrible transition. My chanting process gave me incredible insights of my patterns, I would have to have a face to face conversation with myself, but even the worst moments had a positive and deeper outcome. This rhythm allowed me to have different perceptions, and stronger conviction. Everyday I would feel even a little bit better. I was able to instead of choosing hate and anger to settle in my life, I chose “Gratitude” for all that happened. I was able to let go, forgive, accept and move forward with no feelings of revenge or any resentment at all. I didn’t blame my environment or anyone else for the circumstances. I took full responsibility for my chosen Karma and kept moving forward knowing that all poison can be turned into medicine. I started to be more connected with who I really am and with the person I wanted to become, which made me realize my mission for others. I also knew what I didn’t want to experience ever again, and that this was a big opportunity for transformation and expansion in my own life. My struggle and suffering became the fuel to my wisdom, and my courage. Today, I am thankful for my struggles, because they were the ones that led me to be happy no matter what, and more important, to WIN everyday.
Victory is a matter of the heart, of how you feel everyday when you wakeup. As president Ikeda says “Those who suffer the most, have the right to become the happiest”, and also “What is most important is to remain undefeated under any circumstances”. The concepts explained in this Buddhism have helped rediscover my essence as a Human being, and my practice has helped me to maintain an attitude full of courage, wisdom, compassion, determination and love for myself and everyone around me. A true journey of SELF DEVELOPMENT and SELF CREATION. I have learned how to see my problems as opportunities for growth and I’m not afraid of anything or anyone. I deeply respect my body and the dignity of life; therefore I also respect others, which for me, is the bottom-line of Nam Myoho Renge Kyo.
Today, I am able to enjoy a life free of fear, free of doubt and free of violence. I work alongside with the Universe to achieve my goals, with patience, determination and Faith. I know it sounds cliche, but it really feels this way when all the concepts that we learn, start becoming actual experiences. The perception and believe in your unlimited power start growing and expanding, making you fully aware and responsible for your life.