“It's all about taking action, taking that first step. If your aim is to swim across a vast ocean, it will do you no good to get cold feet before you even take the plunge. Rather, you've got to make a move, keeping your sights on your distant goal. Hindsight can be valuable toward one's growth, but it is self-defeating to set oneself up for failure before even trying ”.

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Why I Practise - Buddhism - Nottingham, Derby, Leicester, Lincoln  - SGI-UK East Midlands HQ - The Buddhism of Nichiren Daishonin

Peter ...

PeterWhy do I practise? Simple. Its my toolbox for happiness in the 21st Century

I was brought up as a Christian, but I felt no connection or resonance with it.

Intrigued by non-western philosophies based on complete accountability for your own actions, resulting in the causes and effects in your own life, (or to put it another way, how you are is what you’ll get!) I enrolled in a Transcendental Meditation course, which taught that it is possible to achieve inner peace, enlightenment and happiness by looking within, not from 'somewhere else'.

This led to The Friends of the Western Buddhist Order where I learnt meditations about mindfulness and the cultivation of good thoughts towards those people or circumstances I found difficult, and the final link in the chain came via Tina Turner’s autobiography 'What’s Love Got To Do With It', the opening titles of which read, "Nam Myoho Renge Kyo – The Lotus is a flower that grows in the mud. The deeper the mud, the more beautiful the flower."

Everyone knows what it feels like to be in the mud, I wanted to find that Lotus flower!

Empowered by the realisation that it is not your own circumstances or the actions of others that causes you to suffer, it is your own thoughts about them, I learnt that even though it might not be possible to immediately change the things perceived to be causing the problems, it is definitely possible to change how you feel about them! Chanting Nam Myoho Renge Kyo was the tool by which I started (and continue) to make a huge change.

Chanting enables you to bring forth your innate Buddhahood or ultimate life-force, not at some time in the future, but right here and right now, thus enabling you to forge a path through life’s challenges, rather than being overwhelmed by them. The difference between a stumbling block and a stepping stone is how you use it.

So does it work? Most definitely! My happiness is robust, and am completely confident that I can deal more effectively with whatever life throws at me.

Bring it on!