While waiting impatiently for this seemingly endless nightmare to conclude, I try to use my time productively and appreciate everything in my life. In Nichiren Daishonin’s Buddhism, we learn to appreciate our struggles, although this is often much more difficult than it sounds. The Living Buddhism encouragement I read this morning offers good advice: “make the most of each day.” Daisaku Ikeda states:
Today will never come again, so each day must be treasured, lived mindfully, with complete commitment…we must not waste this precious existence…we must not live in such a way that we are left with eternal regret.
Living Buddhism, March 2016 p. 42-43
Many people do not see the value of their own lives, much less the value of any one else’s life. Yet the passage written by Nichiren Daishonin that I’ve always found the most profound has primarily to do with our own behavior. Nichiren Daishonin writes:
The purpose of the appearance in this world of Shakyamuni Buddha, the lord of teachings, lies in his behavior as a human being.
The Three Kinds of Treasure, WND-1 p. 852
How did Shakyamuni Buddha (the historical Buddha who lived in India) behave? Was he rude and insulting? Was he fearful and cowardly? Did he deceive other people or steal their belongings? Of course not. He acted with compassion and treated every person he encountered with the utmost respect. What kind of behavior leads to a life of happiness and wisdom? Sometimes the answer is not so easy. Yet Buddhism does not lie in a life of quiet isolation and solitude. Instead, our Buddhist practice challenges us to demonstrate courage rather than fear, compassion rather than arrogance, hope instead of despair, enthusiasm over anger, and the desire to fight against our own weaknesses rather than criticizing others.
In order to make the most of each day, I have to constantly challenge myself, even just to get out of bed in the morning! It’s easy to give in to despair, but persisting in my Buddhist practice and daily chanting keeps me going. SundanceKid Press and my writing are also my primary motivators for being active and not dwelling on the crazy people around me. My husband, my family and my dog Savannah also offer love and companionship.
I look forward to the day when all the insane, crazy people who have been harassing me all these years are finally out of the picture. Until then, I will make the most of each day.