I'm finding it hard to make positive changes in my life

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bcol01
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I'm finding it hard to make positive changes in my life

Post by bcol01 » Fri Jun 14, 2019 6:39 pm

I chant but it seems like I keep throwing myself in my own way. Is this because I just expect chanting to make my life better rather than also taking concrete steps to move in a positive direction? In other words, say you're looking for employment but you don't put in applications. We can't expect the power of Daimoku to just grant us a job if we're not also focusing on making good causes. Right?

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明安 Myoan
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Re: I'm finding it hard to make positive changes in my life

Post by 明安 Myoan » Fri Jun 14, 2019 7:07 pm

Some things take longer than others.
An aspiration is always the beginning. If it takes you 1,000 aspirations to finally make a positive change, then it would be a shame if you stopped at 999.

I'm sorry there are things that seem stuck, I'm familiar with that situation.
It really does just take time and continued effort, of using this challenge as an opportunity to reflect on our remaining delusion.
I've been able to catch some bad habits earlier and earlier in their formation, like putting out a spark instead of a fire.

You can also reflect on the kindness of the Buddhas, who know all about our situation in Samsara, about our flaws as ordinary beings, yet they want to help us anyway.
It's due to this kindness of the Buddhas and our teachers that we have Dharma teachings and methods at all.

narhwal90
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Re: I'm finding it hard to make positive changes in my life

Post by narhwal90 » Sat Jun 15, 2019 3:19 am

The way I was encouraged was that chanting is not going to be a magic fix, that the chanting gradually leads to more awareness of making better choices. Or put another way, to get results you have to make the causes, and you chant to make better causes. Thats something of a reductionist argument which I think is only part of the story. There are many examples of transformation seemingly happening out of nowhere but typically associated with determined practice for oneself and others over a period of time. I never had any obvious luck chanting for this or that, but when I chant for the benefit of all beings and do the things that help me observe and quiet the mind, then I am less perturbed by circumstance, less prone to attachment & aversion and able to act more constructively.

dude
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Re: I'm finding it hard to make positive changes in my life

Post by dude » Sat Jun 15, 2019 6:32 am

There could be a number of reasons you're not seeing benefits. Let's work on this together until you see some results.
First, keep in mind that the Gohonzon is the Buddha, and the Buddha's desire is to see all living beings become happy, starting with you. Chant with appreciation, even when things look discouraging. Second, know what you want, imagine it happening exactly the way you want. Also keep in mind that the gohonzon is not outside yourself. Chanting to the gohonzon stimulates the Buddha nature dormant in your life, wakes it up.
As mentioned above, make all the cause you can so that you will get what you want.
Working on it together we can't lose.

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Minobu
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Re: I'm finding it hard to make positive changes in my life

Post by Minobu » Sat Jun 15, 2019 1:57 pm

bcol01 wrote:
Fri Jun 14, 2019 6:39 pm
In other words, say you're looking for employment but you don't put in applications. We can't expect the power of Daimoku to just grant us a job if we're not also focusing on making good causes. Right?
Why would you question about getting employment even if you don't put in an application for a job.

You could end up waiting for several lives as a human to get a job magically.

tkp67
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Re: I'm finding it hard to make positive changes in my life

Post by tkp67 » Sat Jun 15, 2019 4:01 pm

I found the notion of poison to medicine is very powerful. There was no change in external circumstance but rather I was able to perceive the challenges in my life as opportunities and the problems as solutions.

In my practice the same realizations where what I see as Buddhist wisdom into my own life condition and the cause and effect I had ownership of and the potential to change my behavior in such a way it changed cause and effect. It drove me to learn and practice gongyo which was very self empowering for me.

And while I am still an absolute neophyte and offer no claim to mastery the fruit it has born is life transforming for me.

IMHO this is the practice at work opening your eyes and I encourage you to continue and will keep you in my thoughts as I participate in my own.

bcol01
Posts: 205
Joined: Mon Dec 05, 2016 10:20 pm

Re: I'm finding it hard to make positive changes in my life

Post by bcol01 » Sat Jun 15, 2019 7:11 pm

"This is the practice at work opening your eyes". You hit the nail on the head. I concur. Ty for your encouragement. It is most greatly appreciated.
tkp67 wrote:
Sat Jun 15, 2019 4:01 pm
I found the notion of poison to medicine is very powerful. There was no change in external circumstance but rather I was able to perceive the challenges in my life as opportunities and the problems as solutions.

In my practice the same realizations where what I see as Buddhist wisdom into my own life condition and the cause and effect I had ownership of and the potential to change my behavior in such a way it changed cause and effect. It drove me to learn and practice gongyo which was very self empowering for me.

And while I am still an absolute neophyte and offer no claim to mastery the fruit it has born is life transforming for me.

IMHO this is the practice at work opening your eyes and I encourage you to continue and will keep you in my thoughts as I participate in my own.

bcol01
Posts: 205
Joined: Mon Dec 05, 2016 10:20 pm

Re: I'm finding it hard to make positive changes in my life

Post by bcol01 » Sat Jun 15, 2019 7:12 pm

I'm not sure I understand what you are saying exactly.
Minobu wrote:
Sat Jun 15, 2019 1:57 pm
bcol01 wrote:
Fri Jun 14, 2019 6:39 pm
In other words, say you're looking for employment but you don't put in applications. We can't expect the power of Daimoku to just grant us a job if we're not also focusing on making good causes. Right?
Why would you question about getting employment even if you don't put in an application for a job.

You could end up waiting for several lives as a human to get a job magically.

bcol01
Posts: 205
Joined: Mon Dec 05, 2016 10:20 pm

Re: I'm finding it hard to make positive changes in my life

Post by bcol01 » Sat Jun 15, 2019 7:16 pm

Ty for your help and your encouragement. This is a very supportive community.
dude wrote:
Sat Jun 15, 2019 6:32 am
There could be a number of reasons you're not seeing benefits. Let's work on this together until you see some results.
First, keep in mind that the Gohonzon is the Buddha, and the Buddha's desire is to see all living beings become happy, starting with you. Chant with appreciation, even when things look discouraging. Second, know what you want, imagine it happening exactly the way you want. Also keep in mind that the gohonzon is not outside yourself. Chanting to the gohonzon stimulates the Buddha nature dormant in your life, wakes it up.
As mentioned above, make all the cause you can so that you will get what you want.
Working on it together we can't lose.

bcol01
Posts: 205
Joined: Mon Dec 05, 2016 10:20 pm

Re: I'm finding it hard to make positive changes in my life

Post by bcol01 » Sat Jun 15, 2019 7:18 pm

Thank you for this. I completely agree. Reminds me of a book by William Woolard. I think his way of viewing the daimoku is quite similar in terms of "benefits". Thanks again my friend.
narhwal90 wrote:
Sat Jun 15, 2019 3:19 am
The way I was encouraged was that chanting is not going to be a magic fix, that the chanting gradually leads to more awareness of making better choices. Or put another way, to get results you have to make the causes, and you chant to make better causes. Thats something of a reductionist argument which I think is only part of the story. There are many examples of transformation seemingly happening out of nowhere but typically associated with determined practice for oneself and others over a period of time. I never had any obvious luck chanting for this or that, but when I chant for the benefit of all beings and do the things that help me observe and quiet the mind, then I am less perturbed by circumstance, less prone to attachment & aversion and able to act more constructively.

bcol01
Posts: 205
Joined: Mon Dec 05, 2016 10:20 pm

Re: I'm finding it hard to make positive changes in my life

Post by bcol01 » Sat Jun 15, 2019 7:23 pm

I agree, the aspiration is the beginning. It's very true! I am deeply grateful for all of the encouragement and support. I know that things will take time and determination. It's so easy to become discouraged but having the right perspective will help too. Thank you, really.
Mönlam Tharchin wrote:
Fri Jun 14, 2019 7:07 pm
Some things take longer than others.
An aspiration is always the beginning. If it takes you 1,000 aspirations to finally make a positive change, then it would be a shame if you stopped at 999.

I'm sorry there are things that seem stuck, I'm familiar with that situation.
It really does just take time and continued effort, of using this challenge as an opportunity to reflect on our remaining delusion.
I've been able to catch some bad habits earlier and earlier in their formation, like putting out a spark instead of a fire.

You can also reflect on the kindness of the Buddhas, who know all about our situation in Samsara, about our flaws as ordinary beings, yet they want to help us anyway.
It's due to this kindness of the Buddhas and our teachers that we have Dharma teachings and methods at all.

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Queequeg
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Re: I'm finding it hard to make positive changes in my life

Post by Queequeg » Wed Jun 19, 2019 1:20 pm

Fortuna audaces iuvat.

or

"The mighty sword of the Lotus Sutra must be wielded by one courageous in faith."
-Reply to Kyo'o

Cause and effect still applies.

No cause, no effect. But that's not quite true. Making no cause is still a cause; you just get whatever someone else gives you, and most don't have your interests in mind.
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.
-Ayacana Sutta

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