I went to a Buddhist study meeting last night and we finished up our study guide in preparation for our upcoming exam. Studying about Nichiren Daishonin’s Buddhism is important for us because we really need to understand what we’re practicing. This way we won’t be easily discouraged and we will be able to explain this Buddhism to other people. I continue to work on challenging my anger as well as my fear of talking. The more I practice my conversational skills, the more I get used to talking out loud as opposed to thinking to myself in my head. Still, I tend to be overly concerned about what other people think of me, although I know this is pretty much pointless. Yet, the more effort I make to speak to other people and be less self-conscious, the easier it gets. I’m sure this will always be one of my biggest challenges. I really liked Daisaku Ikeda’s March 13th encouragement from Buddhism Day by Day.
In the face of rejection, you must learn to be courageous. It is important to believe in yourself. Be like the sun, which shines on serenely even though not all the heavenly bodies reflect back its light and even though some of its brilliance seems to radiate only into empty space. While those who reject your friendship may sometimes fade out of your life, the more you shine your light, the more brilliant your life will become.
Everyone faces rejection in life. I’ve always been easily influenced by other peoples’ lives and other peoples’ opinions of me that I’ve never had much confidence in myself. I’m always questioning myself and comparing myself to friends and family, believing that I’m not successful or not smart enough. But, as President Ikeda also says, “We can only compare ourselves to ourselves, measuring our progress from one day to the next.” We cannot compare ourselves to other people because everyone is different. Everyone is a unique individual. Even if other people scoff at a wonderful dream we might have for our own life, we can’t listen to those who would discourage us. That’s why I like this quote, “be like the sun, which shines on serenely even though not all the heavenly bodies reflect back its light.” By challenging my fears and becoming strong enough to influence the people in my environment, rather than allowing myself to be influenced them, I will succeed.