Birth and Renewal
From 1988 through 2002 I practiced Nichiren Shoshu Buddhism. I chanted nam myoho renge kyo for up to 5 hours a day. I had some trouble with the rite of kneeling before my budsedan with the Gohonzon inside and focussing on the Japanese characters that encased the venerablel phrase. I saw things in my Gohonzon as I focussed into the center of the scroll. I had visions and heard new thought as they passed through my mind, and, as promised, I saw myself in the mirror of my own consciousness. I discovered traits within myself that I did not like and I would stumble upon old memories and incidents that brought these truths to my attention. Sometimes, they came as a relief and an “ah-ha!” I understood something that had long puzzled me. Other times I would feel great remorse and shame for my behavior or way of thinking. But no matter what, I came away from my chanting with a sound clearing, a renewed energy. I often stripped away those layers of regret and self-denigration. I matured. I accepted my own culpability and responsibility and forgave myself. I also healed and grew wise.
I still chant, though I returned my Gonhonzon to the Sokka Gai Kai(NSA). I never quite made peace with my Christianity as I practiced Nicherin Shoshu because of my old training from the ten commandments “Thou Shalt Have No Other God Before Me!” But the truth was, I got a great deal from the practice; I just had problems with the form. So I gave up the form and kept the practice. This day I have chanted for 30 minutes before doing my normal silent meditation and prayers for the world and all –including you. It is a balanced action of sound purification, focus, supplication and gratitude, and inner reflection. This tells me I have transformed my spiritual upbringing and training into a practice that fulfills and directs me. In having done so or shall I say, in having arrived at this recognition, I feel new and aware of where I have come from, and what I am bringing with me. Today I accept my own wholeness. May all your spiritual journeys bring you to yourself time and again,feeling more empowered for the travel. Here’s your Daily Word from Unity.
Friday, April 11, 2014
With each new insight, I am born anew.
Our physical birth is the beginning of our time on Earth, yet it also marks the end of a period of gestation or development. Whether a newborn emerging from its mother’s womb or a butterfly emerging from its cocoon, every being experiences this process of development and birth.
While my physical body was born only once, my spiritual nature continuously seeks fuller expression. With each new insight or revelation, with each new period of growth, I am born anew.
I am a spiritual being. I am the love of God in expression. In times of growth, challenge, or change, Spirit expands in me. My time on Earth may be limited, but my spiritual Self is eternal and ever-renewing.
What is born of the flesh is flesh, and what is born of the Spirit is spirit.—John 3:6