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Do you believe that it is possible to be happy in this lifetime?

Do you believe that such happiness is not bestowed by some outside force or nebulous “higher power”?

Do you believe that you have within yourself both the potential and the power necessary to create a happy life?

Have you ever tried (or thought about trying) meditation but your mind is just too busy to be “emptied” of thoughts?

If you have answered yes to these four questions, then read on.

In “The Sutra of Meditation on the Bodhisattva Universal-Virtue” (the closing Sutra of the Threefold Lotus Sutra), it says: “His organ of thought is like (that of) a monkey, never resting even for a little while.” And in several of his letters to his followers, the 13th century Buddhist Sage Nichiren says “… become the master of your mind rather than let your mind master you.” For more than 48 years I have offered a twice-daily Buddhist practice and seen just how important and possible it is to “master” one's mind. And if I can do it, anyone can do it.

There is a common misconception that Buddhist meditation only means silently sitting and either stilling one’s mind in order to train it to concentrate or focusing entirely on one’s breath and, as other thoughts distract, to mindfully recognize them and then put them aside. The monkey in my mind simply wouldn't cooperate. And that is where the school with which I practice gave me a way to quiet that hyperactive simian.

The Nichiren School, which is a “devotional” Buddhist school, has created a practice that is both deeply profound and powerful and is also easily accessible to everyone. That practice, designed by Archbishop Nichijun Yukawa in the 1950’s is called, “Shodaigyo,” literally meaning the “practice” (gyo) of “chanting the Sacred Title of the Lotus Sutra” (shodai).

I am very interested in connecting with others here in the San Francisco Bay Area who are open to and curious about this "Power Chanting" practice. There are periodic training sessions in this region and with enough interested people we can find a place to learn and practice together. This practice lends itself to practicing on one’s own at home as well as practicing with others, which creates a very powerful synergy.

Would you care to join me to discuss and learn about Lotus Sutra Buddhism and this practice?

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