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    Don'tcha just love synchronicities?!

    I just has been driving me crazy wanting to get on here to update everyone, but the volume of shit my fingers are typing is running against the laws of nature. There is only so much you can say in a day through your fingers. In that way this all kind of sucks, 'cause my voice is the great gift I was born with. Words conveying thoughts is my great treasure and the difference of my life, in the living (of it). So I just have to get this out there before I set off to see the wizard.

    The drum circle, the rhythms, the synchronicities, these are the basis of buddhist reality as it pertains to the Law. Amsterdame, you are running in parallel. You are talking about buddhism whether you want to, care to, or know that you are doing it. Chanting is nothing more than putting your life into play to be in rythm with your environment.

    The power of your life, your Buddha Nature, is activated and has great influence on this manifestation of rhythm. It is the process by which your desires are fulfilled. We have no concept of a "god" answering our prayers.

    The reality, in my opinion, is that these "prayers" are answered via the power of our lives becoming manifest through the invocation of the Daimoku which contains acknowledgement and praise and a desire for all suffering to end and all beings becoming equal. This is what you are doing and conveying when you chant Nam Myoho Renge Kyo. It occurs in exact moment to moment parallel with your prayer for more mundane desires to be fulfilled. This is expedient means.

    I wanted to share all of the synchronicities of last weekend, but the flow was so cosmic, that that will have to wait for another day. There is just too much to share and not enought time to type it all. However here is a quick one from just last evening.

    I am here living in the US with my sister-in-law who goes to community college here locally. Our real home is in Asia (I am going home again next week! Yea!). She came back from her summer visit home thinking she would just finish off two courses and bail at the end of the semester. She will get her certificate with the addition of these two courses and qualify for critical training here in the US.

    A week or so ago, she was disheartened and ready to give up because she found out, to get into the critical training program, she would have to take a full course load, (not just the two classes) and that only 40% of the applicants get in. Not encouraging odds or requirements for her; and she pays for all of her classes herself. She was ready to give up.

    She is a grown up, so rather that tell her what to do, I said chant about it. She is not one to reflect a daily practice of Buddhism, but she does do Daimoku from time to time. She says she chanted, but admitted it was while sitting in her room listening to me. She finally said, "Please Tong Mu (me), tell me what to do."

    I said, " I can't. That decision has to come from your life. I tell you to sit in front of the Gohonzon and have respect and make efforts and cause and you don't listen. Now you want me to make an important decision for you. I won't! If you can't chant, then I suggest you go get on your knees and pray to Jesus or Allah or whatever it is you are thinking is your higher power, because you need to pray!"

    She started laughing her ass off. She is from a buddhist cluture, but oddly the addition of the white boy from America is the basis that virtually all of my Asian family now chant Nam Myoho Renge Kyo. She started to do as I suggested! All I did was encurage her to follow her heart and not be afraid, and that I would support whatever decision she made. So last night she says, "I have made my decision!"

    She then tells me she has decided to go for it. But the PS is that she doesn't have the money for all of the extra courses she is going to take to qualify with a full load. They were never in her thinking or planning, and tuition costs have sky rocketed in the last couple of years. She asks, "Can I borrow the money?'

    WELL!!!! Now what have I gotten myself into here! I was encouraging her to follow her dreams but now my compliance with her request might be the difference in it happening. She had done an excell spreadsheet showing that she needed to borrow $1800, and repay it at a rate of $500 a month. I said, "Ask Your sister (my wife)!"

    We are stretched to the limit right now. Four kids have been born within 15 months. The expense of a US residence. Two mortgages in asia, one for where we live now and another on a place we got in forclosure (but a seven figure forclosure) that we are renovating this month and next into the eight bedroom, four bath home of our future. We have three maids, live-in full time. Etc, Etc, Etc. We don't have a lot of spare change.

    She called the wife, and then said the wife said for me to call her back. My wife said she wanted to help but had found herself in a cash flow crisis and was looking to scurry up 30 G's herself to pay a vendor. Ok, I thought, I'll just have to not pay some bills like the rent for a couple of months out, and juggle this thing to help her (I usually advance pay the rent here, my landlord has become a good friend, and works within the constraints of our cashflow).

    So I go back to my lil sis, and say, "OK. Let me figure out how to do this. I have to move some things around. Let me figure it out tomorrow. I don't have that much cash here, and I'll have to transfer some more into checking tomorrow to cover what I need to give you." She asks, "Can you do it tonight?" "No! I told you I don't have that kind of cash." "Would it be more convenient to use a credit card?" "Wow, we can do it on a CC? Cool! Let me make sure I have enough of an open line on a card to do it that way."

    I went back to my cluttered desk to think and remembered an offer that I had opened that afternoon from B of A. I had paid it no attention, as it was just another balance transfer offer, but I thought maybe it would allow me to pay one card down enough to free up what she needed. "No interest until February. No balance transfer or check fees" I had seen that part, but now I noticed a custom message to me on the left side of the page. "Since you are such a valued customer we have increased your credit line by $2000, so you can get the most out of this special offer." "use these checks to pay...or college tuition...!

    "Hah! Fuck an A! Yes! Yes! Yes!" Free money, in exactly the right amount, at exactly the right time! Being in rythm with my environment, from making good causes and changing my KARMA!

    Happy , Happy , Happy Boy! Synchronicities?!

    I call it NAM MYOHO RENGE KYO! I am off to see the wizard.

    love you all!




      And while I was taking the time and responsibility to share that story of the Law, I just won my last auction! HA HA!

      You all better watch out for the seed lottery!
      I'm feeling lucky folks!


        You Go Boy!

        Go Tommy!
        I too will be going home next week. And I will have plenty of time to chant, for I will be painting 1600sq ft of walls, replacing mailboxes, digging up flower beds, putting up a fence. Yeah! That has definitely got to change something.
        Seriously, good job. The old Tommy is coming alive! SG


          I went off to see the wizard.....

          ...and ended up finding out he was really YODA! Shit, if I keep having such piles of sychronicities to discuss, I will never have the time to type them all out. I had the best time! We really conntected life to life in a dynamic way that leads to hours and days and weeks and years of caring and sharing. I have seldom been as impressed with someone, in my whole life, as I was this weekend! How often do you meet someone that you smile at and they smile back at you the whole time you are together. From the first moment to the last moment; we smiled (more like beamed), and looked each other in the eye and communicated from our hearts. There was genuine joy. It was cosmic. I have come back a better and more humble person. I am so very fortunate to have this friend in my life. My own arrogance has given way to deep appreciation and humility.

          I fucking met YODA!!!

          May the FORCE be with us all!



            You Got Mail!

            OBI ONE KENOBI!

            You got a pm!


              I wish!

              I think obi wan kenobi would have shown more wisdom than me!

              Maybe more like an ageless (and VERY well preserved) Luke Sky Walker, because now if I should ever find anyone trying to fuck with Yoda, it's out with the light saber and time to kick some ass!



                a wise man yoda was....

                What a mindblowing weekend! enjoyed all the time with Vegas and PTD. wish it coulda been longer.
                Did some hanging, went to listen to some great live classic rock. I hadn't stayed up tht late having a good time in ages. Thx again doobie for making the effort coming here and glad again things are on the positive with u n vegas.

                Gotta be amazed how things allways work for the best even tho when things looked really f***ed up u never know how things could possibly end in a postive way. Buddhism is so cool as I have found you don't have a wait a long time to get a result. There is always some 'pain' involved but time an time again we always win. Isn't that what Buddhism is all about? Win or lose???
                It's not about 'just getting by' or the ability to avoid and not confront problems, its all about facing whatever problems or challenges we are facing, overcoming them and winning! What also is happening at the same time is having the most positive and incredible high-life condition with the results being more confidence, energy and more wisdom to thereby take the correct actions to solve other challenges or problems we are facing. What this means to me is we can never escape our problems but we can find the means to win over them. Buddhism answers that question over an over again and never allows you to stray from your happiness as long as you are chanting.

                yes...Yoda a wise man he was. Definetley showed some of a Buddha's attributes.....

                Yoda says: "Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering."

                "The dark side clouds everything. Impossible to see the future is."

                "Do or do not... there is no try."

                and a fav....."I do, yes, I do. Sick have I become. Old and weak. When nine hundred years old you reach, look as good you will not. Hmm?"



                  Pls don't go nattynatty gurl

                  I myself and alot of your friends here at IC would really miss all your positive spirit and insites into life and that would be a shame. yes, there are people here that I believe you could call ignorant, but then how can these ppl change with out encountering such a positive person in their lifes
                  (tht is YOU! natty)

                  again, this i believe is the 1 neg abt this kind of interaction among ppl....but as we persevere for truth and understanding, it all works out in the end.


                    Sweet Gurrl!


                    Such an honor that you would consider this place a refuge! How we perceive anything, I think, has to do with our condition of life. Your life condition can be torn down or built up by exactly the same circumstance. Maintaining compassion and wisdom is extremely difficult.

                    It is usually manifest when we are enjoying our high life condition and becomes obscured when we are in a low one. That is the primary use of Nam-myoho-renge-kyo. It raises your life condition. I am not asking you to do so, just reminding you of all of the conversations we have had so far.

                    I do love you. You are one of the most special people I know. The Rasta manner of communication can easily become a target to people in low life conditions and sometimes even be misunderstood by those in higher ones, ignorant by no fault of their own, save lack of the opportunity to have this manner of communication made clear to them.

                    I hurt when you hurt. What I saw when I reread what you forwarded for review, was some miscommuincation more so than malice (at least that was clearly the case in the second thread). Everyone that knows you understands what a sweet and sensitive person you are. Like a beautiful but rare and fragile flower. Those that have not had the good fortune or life condition to perceive your true entity, are less likely to "get it" right away. You know that!

                    Or at least you do when your life condition is high. I have seen and felt your compasion for others. The site is changing, but so is everything around us continually. We will never find the perfect place where everthing stays just as we like it, because everything is always changing and nothing is ever standing still.

                    So we can make it better or let it get worse. It is our choice. It is nothing more and nothing less! When our life condition is high, we "get it"! We have courage and confidence to make things and maintain things in a manner to our liking. The struggle to do so is a task of joy. When our life condition is low, it is usually more of a (for me anyway), "Fuck it!" I am so honored to know you because I have never seen that life condition come form you. I am so lucky to know you, sunshine gurrl.

                    But part of what makes the earth inhabiltable is the formation and reality of clouds. Sometimes they make rain, but always they serve a purpose. Calm down, talk to Jah, and you will see these very things that have been written, in a completely different light. I am sure of that.

                    Anytime you get into a conversation with people where there are strong feelings present, someone without the life condition to perceive the the true nature of what is being said, will say something that reflects their life condition. How those words effect us, is not up to them or even reflective of the words

                    More people love you than dislike you or don't understand you. I read them saying that all of the time, in all of the places you have posted on this site. After all, that is how we know each other, and why I sent you that first PM that started our friendship in the first place.

                    If you get your life condition back up to where it usually is, everything will be fine. I am sure of that.

                    If not, I will whip out my light saber and kick some ass for you! LOL




                      And one more thing!

                      Any and all Bullshit that polutes this thread is the fertilizer of life and the thing that makes us grow. Bullshit in life is the nutes we need to reflect HUGE and STICKY BUDS OF HAPPINESS!


                      OR MAYBE CALM-POSTING?

                      <winks and laughter>



                        I just got an email from Yoda (VegasBuddha)

                        This is to all of us, even though the salutation is to PDT (I called Pat and clarified that point personally):


                        As in all things, they are no more than transient, nothing is eternal except
                        our happiness and the causes and effects we each make throughout our

                        So ma(n)y shared with me, exactly what I needed for my own success. I offer
                        in turn, what I understand my life to be. I hope each of you feel the trade
                        was as fair as I do. I have found success in my efforts, due in totality to
                        each and every one of you. I thank-you! I hope each and every one of you
                        can experience the same success in all you do. In parting I would like to
                        share my most important thoughts that lead to my understanding of my
                        practice of Nichiren Daishonin's Buddhism.


                        Lotus Sutra - "Single-mindedly desiring to see the Buddha, not hesitating,
                        even if it costs them their lives" (LS 16-230)

                        In response the Buddha appears! (WND p.389)

                        Single-mindedly (WND p.389-390)

                        - Observing the Buddha.

                        - Concentrating one's mind on seeing the Buddha.

                        - When looking at one's mind perceiving that it is the Buddha.

                        An ordinary mind becomes the mind of the Buddha, with either selfless
                        devotion or a seeking spirit. Daisaku Ikeda, Wisdom of the Lotus Sutra V.4

                        "The heart is what really matters. One simply cannot understand Buddhism
                        without a pure and seeking spirit, stemming from the depth's of one's heart.
                        When we practice with the awareness that we might only encounter the
                        Gohonzon once in a hundred, million, or ten billion years, a profound sense
                        of appreciation fills our heart each time we perform gongyo." Daisaku Ikeda,
                        Wisdom of the Lotus Sutra V.4 (p.286)



                          Going home on Wednesday

                          I sure hope someone will keep posting so the thread doesn't fall off of the first page of the directory. I'll be going from there (asia), to europe, back to asia and back to here by the 4th. I'll do my best but courld sure use some help! Amsterdame's b-day is Thursday, and I'll be in the air over the Pacific, so A-dame! Happy Birthday girl! Southern girl's house is smack dab in the middle of where they are predicting land fall for Ivan. Everyone please chant and pray for her too. SoCal, it is up to you for the next three days starting tomorrow. CAN YOU DO IT? Don't you think so? How about dat? Congratulations! Sank you verry muuch!


                            Hey there, PTD, that's mighty kind of ya! Thanks so much for the b-day wishes.

                            I'm not at all surprised that rhythm/vibration has a central place in the heart of buddhism, dear doob. I know from personal experience that some pretty fantastic stuff happens when we attune ourselves to the rhythms of the universe.

                            Along with my signature, another notable quote that has provided much guidance in my life, comes from the late Babtunde Olatunji, great ambassador of the drum:

                            "When you fall out of rhythm with yourself, your family, your community, the earth or with spirit, disease is sure to follow."

                            Chanting can definitely bring you back into rhythm, as well as drumming and dancing....

                            Have a wonderful trip home, PTD. May it all go well and your baggage stay connected to your flights.

                            Combat terrorism -- grow your own.


                              my prayers are with you SouthGirl and everyone in the south soon to be hit by Ivan. and I heard last night another one is coming in behind it. many daimoku are needed now and I will contribute my share. PTD, have a safe trip and i'm looking forward to seeing your little munchkins and wife over the holidays. also, it was great to see some more of vegas's imput thru ure email from him. always very thought provoking.

                              I wanted to share something I recv'd by email from my x, which was a copied from a magazine article. I do this because even tho Nichiren's Buddhism has been established in the 13th century, it wasn't until 1960 when it was introduced to the states and at that time the only ppl chanting were japanese warbrides; many who didn't spk english. anyway, because now we have like 3rd generation Nichiren Buddhists and I have 3 children in this group. ages 21, 20 and 18; 2 are away at college (and I started when I was 19) this article really hit home with me and I hope others will enjoy it. so here it is:

                              Chanting for Happiness from an Utne Magazine Article

                              September / October 2004

                              By Eliza Thomas

                              I was born to parents whose good intentions change the world. That's why they call me a "fortune baby," a child born into the practice of Nichiren Buddhism. Among fellow Buddhists, fortune babies like me are regarded with awe and affection. By virtue of my discerning taste in parents, my very existence has been fortified by prayer, millions of chanted repetitions of the phrase Nam-myoho-renge-kyo.

                              Nam-myoho-renge-kyo was undoubtedly the sound track at the scene of my birth. It was certainly the white noise of my childhood, and when I went off to college I left the phrase resonating in my wake. As my folks insist, should my sister and I choose to use the power of the practice, there is no end to what we could accomplish. But even without doing all that hard work, our parents' chanting entitles us to a certain amount of karmic nepotism, a virtual goodie bag of cosmic returns.

                              Asking my parents to define Nam-myoho-renge-kyo (Nah-m MEE-yo-ho RAIN-gay KEE-yo) can provoke more questions than answers. Devotees understand it to mean "devotion to the mystic law of cause and effect through sound/vibration," and, simply put, my mother and father believe that chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo allows them to tap into the "rhythm of the universe." As a child looking for attention, I would do the running
                              man or the robot to the rhythm of the universe, trying to get my parents to crack a smile during evening prayer.

                              I grew up on New York City's Lower East Side, where nothing is more unfashionable than enthusiasm. And yet, in my family's apartment at least, enthusiasm was inescapable. My parents had discovered the secret to creating "ultimate happiness" in this lifetime and, naturally, they were excited about it. Even worse, they were determined to share the news with the babysitter, the postman, the supermarket checkout attendant, the crazy cat lady in 3C, and every hapless cabbie who gave us a ride. Later, many of these people arrived at our doorstep, tentatively hopeful, drawn by my parents' invitation to stop by for the weekly chance to see their promise of happiness put to the test. It would be hard to imagine a more earnest gathering of strangers, at least
                              in lower Manhattan.

                              When I was old enough to recognize America's inexhaustible
                              fascination with Eastern religion, I began indulging in the thrill of casually letting it drop among friends that my parents were Buddhist. I enjoyed cultivating the image of my parents doing hip, mystical Buddhist things, like sitting for hours in zazen on a tatami mat or something, perhaps every now and then turning to give me a contemplative smile. Not quite.
                              The awkward reality of my parents' Buddhist practice -- the
                              fund-raisers and phone trees, the fervent affirmations, the bagels and cream cheese and hysterical effervescence shared at district meetings -- was, at the time, so dorky it hurt.

                              I can remember staging rebellions as early as age 6, when I refused to sing along with the now defunct Buddhist jingle "Have a Gohonzon!" A gohonzon is the object of devotion before which Nichiren Buddhists like my parents pray. The tune was borrowed from "Hava Nagila" (apparently my mother was not the only Jew-Bu in the bunch). Despite my strike, the lyrics, perhaps waiting for this very chance at immortality, are burned into my brain: Have a gohonzon / Have a gohonzon / Have a gohonzon /
                              Chant for a while / You'll find that you will be / Full of vitality /
                              Watching your benefits grow in a pile!

                              That song is a less graceful example of the long-standing tradition of incorporating intercultural elements into Nichiren Buddhist faith.

                              The founder and namesake of the practice, Nichiren Daishonin, was a 13th-century radical Japanese priest who asserted, in a time of clerical corruption, that every living being had a Buddha nature and could therefore attain enlightenment without the help of an ordained intermediary. Nichiren drew his teachings from the Lotus Sutra, one of the final sutras delivered by the Buddha. As the story goes, in order to make the liturgy accessible to everyone in the world, he completed a translation fusing all the known languages of the time. To this day,from New Jersey to Ghana, Nichiren's disciples chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, a combination of ancient Chinese and Sanskrit,pronounced with a Japanese accent.

                              Unlike their Zen counterparts, Nichiren Buddhists embrace their
                              earthly desires as a means to achieve happiness in this lifetime. My parents have an index card next to the gohonzon on their altar, listing an ever-evolving list of their wishes for themselves, their loved ones,and the world. By forming a direct alliance between their life condition and the rhythm of the universe, my parents believe they are augmenting their purest intentions with universal assistance. They call this process "human revolution" and have faith that it will lead them to "become absolutely happy in this lifetime, help others to do the same, and, person by person, create world peace."

                              As Nichiren Buddhists, my parents are members of a global
                              organization called Soka Gakkai International (SGI). In the spirit of engaged Buddhism, members of SGI, one of the world's most ethnically and socially diverse Buddhist groups, base their faith in action. To this end, SGI works closely with a long list of peace, education, and environmental protection groups like the Boston Research Center, the Pacific Basin Research Center, and the Earth Charter. In addition to their community work, twice a day every day, in their homes and at local "culture centers," all the world's 12 million SGI members sit down and chant in prayer for kosen rufu (the spread of the teachings), understood as the promotion of world peace.

                              The older I get, the harder it becomes to dismiss the pursuit of
                              world peace as dorky. But kosen rufu is composed of millions of
                              individuals' hopes, desires, and intentions, many of which are much easier to make fun of. Because my parents have resolved to see evidence of their prayers wherever they look, they do. In Buddhist speak, this evidence is called "actual proof"
                              or "benefits," and recognizing benefits is a way to maintain an energetic practice. My parents and I agree that some
                              benefits -- such as their successful marriage, the impulsive
                              beginnings of which have now become the stuff of family legend --truly do indicate larger forces at work. My father decided he wanted to get married, so he asked two girls to a Buddhist meeting and proposed to the one who was moved to tears. My mother prudently told him she needed at least a week to decide, dreamed prophetically that my father would be a good match,
                              and now, 30 years later, they are happily married, living in the
                              suburbs, with two kids, two cars, a golden retriever, and many
                              reasons to be thankful. Other declared benefits, like when the guy at the doughnut shop runs out to the parking lot to give my father the eyeglasses he forgot on the counter, are not so clear-cut.

                              Now that I am reaching the quarter-century mark, though, I have less energy to rebel against my parents' resolute benefit-spotting and blessing-counting. Being obstinate and obnoxious was age-appropriate behavior at 13, but at 24, and struggling to cobble my way in the world, I am not about to turn up my nose at a dose of self-empowering optimism. Nor am I willing to sacrifice my happiness for the satisfaction of proving my parents wrong. I realize now that there are worse parental vices than enthusiasm. My parents gave me the key to creating positive change in the world, and believe me, when I am driving on a windy, icy
                              mountain road in a snowstorm, I am chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, and I am not smirking.

                              The first 18 years of my life were framed by my parents' prayers, and since I left home I have felt buoyed by the power of their intention. As idealistic as it may be, I would not deny that there is something encouraging about being included in my parents' wish to "wrap the world in shoten zenjin" (protective forces). And, admittedly, my life, from my conception on that fateful day on Martha's Vineyard (too rainy for the beach), has been good. As a fortune baby, cradled in the arms of my parents' focused intent, I had the luxury to take good fortune for granted. But as my adult path becomes less certain, I find myself drawing confidence from the navigation techniques I've inherited, and I am grateful. Undoubtedly, this is a benefit my mother and father have
                              been chanting for all along.

                              Eliza Thomas is an editorial intern at Utne.



                                Fucking tears rolling down my face. Thanks SoCal! Somebody out there reading this, please try it. Please! When I started, the person that first introduced me to Nam-myoho-renge kyo, wouldn't tell me what it meant or what it was. I had no idea it was even buddhism. I had no more information than, "Say these words and think about what you want to have happen, and it will happen!"

                                A perfect example of when being the most desparate is the greatest of all fortunes!