(Photo above by Giovanni Calia / Pexels)
Today we’re addressing a feeling that can be experienced universally: feeling disconnected from yourself. Sometimes, our life looks pretty good on paper and we’re lucky enough to have meaningful work and relationships, but still, deep inside, we feel…nothing.
Our guest is Rodrigo Carvalhedo, an animator and writer based in Los Angeles who started practicing SGI Nichiren Buddhism a few years ago, when he moved to the U.S. from Brazil to pursue an artistic career.
Ever since then, he has been taking steps forward in his career, but halfway through the pandemic, he started to feel a deep sense of inertia. You know, that feeling that you’re going through the motions, and while you look okay, inside, you’re really struggling?
We discuss how chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, the essential practice of SGI Nichiren Buddhism, can help you reconnect with yourself and find a sense of purpose again.
2:40 How Rodrigo discovered Buddhism through Instagram
4:40 What motivated him to dive into the practice
7:27 How he saw himself change once he started chanting
10:45 The roots of his dream to become a writer and animator
15:06 How the daily practice of chanting affected his work, both internally and externally
20:32 When the inertia and emptiness set in during the pandemic
23:23 What he did to address his feelings
26:27 What happiness means in Buddhism
30:32 How he reconnected with his practice
35:36 A Buddhist quote that captures his experience
37:12 How making an internal shift translated to a shift in his environment
39:28 Advice for anyone who is feeling disconnected or empty right now