(Photo above by Tophee Marquez / Pexels)
If you’ve lost sight of your Buddhability, it’s possible to reclaim it.
Everyone goes through periods where they feel immobilized. One of the most common causes of this feeling is forgetting that your Buddhability is within.
Nichiren Daishonin once wrote, “Even though you chant and believe in Myoho-renge-kyo, if you think the Law is outside yourself, you are embracing an inferior teaching” (The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, vol. 1, p. 3).
Even though you chant and believe in Myoho-renge-kyo, if you think the Law is outside yourself, you are embracing an inferior teaching
- Nichiren Daishonin
This means that it’s possible for a person to go through the motions within their Buddhist practice, but never change on a fundamental level. We need to focus on cultivating an inner attitude shift in order for our practice to positively impact our lives.
The Daishonin elaborates on this fact by saying: “Your practice of the Buddhist teachings will not relieve you of the sufferings of birth and death in the least unless you perceive the true nature of your life” (WND-1, 3–4).
If you feel as if your Buddhability is waning, there are specific techniques you can use to remind yourself of it again.
1. Make a pledge
A breakthrough practice begins by pledging to become absolutely happy and help others do the same. In other words, we need to zoom out and think about why we want achieve our breakthrough. Is it only for ourselves or do we want to inspire others as well? Putting things in perspective will allow us to find deeper motivation.
Just think: I’m manifesting my greatest potential to take action in the real world, so I can live a great life and demonstrate to others they can, too. This shift in attitude is the fastest way to break through stagnation.
2. Look for answers inside yourself.
When we reach a standstill, it’s easy to look for answers outside ourselves. We might try to change our job, relationship or home in an attempt to set our lives back in motion. Yet, chanting allows us to tap into our unlimited, inner reserve of compassion, wisdom and bravery. If you’re unsure where you are currently drawing your strength from, here are some warning signs outlined by the Buddhist philosopher and educator Daisaku Ikeda in his lecture series, On Attaining Buddhahood in This Lifetime (p. 31):
- Blaming other people or our environment for our circumstances.
- Petitioning to a divine, higher power who has the ability to answer our prayers.
- Holding on to ambiguous, elusive doubt and disbelief in ourselves or our goals.
- Complaining about our circumstances instead of taking action to change them.
Ikeda writes: “Should such behavior become habitual, it will act as a constant brake and cause us to forget about advancing and improving ourselves. We will then effectively close off our own potential, falling into the path of seeking the Law outside of us” (p. 32).
3. Stubbornly work to achieve your own happiness.
Nichiren claims that it takes ample strength to find absolute happiness within. He states: “If in a single moment of life, we exhaust the pains and trials of millions of kalpas, then instant after instant there will arise in us the three Buddha bodies with which we are eternally endowed” (The Record of the Orally Transmitted Teachings, p. 214).
In practical terms, this means we need to chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo with determination, note what solutions come up as a result of our chanting and move forward with these wise next steps.
To that end, Ikeda states:
When facing any challenge, it is important to attack it with all our might. Focusing all our efforts on this challenge is the way to victory. The basic strategy in any struggle is to tackle it with all-out effort ... Let’s also advance with the determination to actively take on all challenges and experience the joy of achieving one exhilarating victory after another.
(June 2, 2017, World Tribune, p. 3)
It’s a lot of hard work, but our happiness is worth the effort.