Friday, October 02, 2009

I Want To Believe

You can tell somebody something a millions times and it makes sense; they nod their head in agreement - they hear your words, but they don't hear what you are SAYING. They listen, but they do not hear.

So many times Guro has given us common sense points about our personal health. These are usually not incredible insights beyond our understanding; they are common sense ideas about how to be healthy and live longer, fuller lives. Most of us have heard these before. The ideas are not new to us. So...why don't we embrace them?

Some years ago, a Japanese girl I was dating took me to see the Soka Gakkai International meeting nearby. Her family are very much into it, and she even graduated Soka college in Hachioji. There were lots of friendly people there. We chatted, we had refreshments, we even chanted "Namyoho renge gyo" for a while as we meditated. People told stories to the audience of how their lives were changed by chanting every day.

None of what they were talking about seemed odd or wrong. Soka Gakkai promotes universal kindness and understanding, world peace, education for children, charity for the poor, and a host of other ideas that are very Buddhist and also cornerstones of any healthy and mature society.

I read Ikeda Daisaku's books and enjoyed them. He is a great man. However, I couldn't join. Why not? I agreed with their principles.

The reality is, that when it came down to believing, truly believing heart and soul, with every fiber of my body, that Nichiren Daishonin was enlightened and that by following his path I would also attain enlightenment, I didn't BELIEVE IT. This doesn't make it wrong, only wrong for ME. How would I know? What I did know is that pretending I believed in something I didn't was not the right way to achieve enlightenment.

Belief comes from met expectations. We expect a predictable result from our actions, and experiencing this causes us to believe such a causal relationship exists. It is important to set up events that will show us the effect that lifestyle changes can have on our well-being, so that step by step we begin to intuitively believe what our logic tells us is correct. It is only then that we can make permanent changes that will benefit us.

I want to believe. You should, too.

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