President Ikeda writes, “Through faith we can establish a state of life, where no matter what happens, we experience joy, hope and confidence in the depth of our being.” Throughout his writings, Nichiren Daishonin expresses great joy despite the intense challenges and circumstances he faces.
“The Benefits of Responding with Joy,” Living Buddhism, Jan 2016 p.8
Without a doubt, establishing a state of life where I experience joy, hope, and confidence despite the challenging circumstances I am facing has been the most difficult part of my Buddhist practice over these past several years. I am able to chant daily, attend discussion meetings on a regular basis, and visit with fellow members, but when it comes to “expressing great joy despite the intense challenges I face,” I’m afraid I often find myself lacking enthusiasm. Yet I persevere and happily look forward to the day when these people will be gone, and my life will change dramatically for the better.
I believe, based on the Buddhist teachings of Nichiren Daishonin, that the deeper cause behind this nightmare is karmic. There is virtually nothing which directly links me to the people who constantly surround me. Karma from a previous lifetime, or perhaps karma from many previous lifetimes, is what binds us in this lifetime. This is why it is so important for me to persevere in my Buddhist practice, so that we win. I will win.