I have 20 days left of my Pubslush campaign for my upcoming memoir Never Give Up: Buddhism, Family & Schizophrenia. I haven’t raised much money so far, but there’s still time! I put quite a bit of time into creating my memoir profile on Pubslush, so even if I’m not entirely successful, I’m still proud of my profile and the information I’ve put out there. My mom came for a 12 day visit and she left yesterday. We had a great time together. We found lots of fun stuff to do in and around San Francisco, including dinner at Sam’s Chowderhouse in Half Moon Bay and a live performance of Camelot at the SF Playhouse near Union Square. My mom is very cheerful and friendly and I always treasure the time we spend together.
I drove to the Buddhist center early this morning after taking some time off while my mom was here. It was great to arrive early and be able to chant for a couple of hours to start my day. Chanting always puts me on the right track and in the direction I want to go. I believe that I am fulfilling my mission in this lifetime. Perhaps when I was younger, I had a different career path, a different lifestyle, a different mission in mind. Now I better understand what has happened and where I am headed. President Daisaku Ikeda states in the October 2013 Living Buddhism:
We have all been born into this world with our own unique and irreplaceable mission. When we are able to deeply recognize that mission, our lives will gain greater spiritual depth. And when we earnestly devote ourselves to fulfilling our mission, we will develop greater life force.
In Buddhism, our “mission” is something we refer to that is similar to someone’s “calling” in life. Every individual is unique, therefore, every individual has their own unique role or mission to fulfill during the course of their lifetime. It is up to each person to discover for him or herself what that mission is going to be. Recognizing our mission in life may not be easy. Encountering problems and obstacles along the way can confuse and discourage us, but ultimately we must determine for ourselves what we were put on this Earth to achieve.
When I was in college, I believed my mission was to work for the United Nations Environment Program, studying, researching and analyzing policy. This was what I wanted, but I never achieved it. I’ve always wondered why this never happened after all the preparation I had done, but over the past few years I’ve realized that I might have an even more important mission than saving the planet. I believe that my experiences and my Buddhist practice have led me to where I am at right now, and that my mission is to write about it in order to share with and encourage other people. As simple as this may sound, it is actually very profound. My writing skills are going to need strengthening!