My First Days of Practice: Sean & Brian

Sean Lanegan and Brian Schooling share their first experiences practicing Soka Gakkai Nichiren Buddhism.

MyFirstDay_SeanSean Lanegan
Tacoma, Wash.

Joined: April 5 2016

Last month, I was forced to leave my home. I had already begun chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo at the local center, and this was the thing that finally made me determine to receive the Gohonzon. After praying to find a new home, a good friend offered me a place to stay, and I joined the practice.

At 28 years old, I’m a disabled veteran with two children and various family challenges. With this practice, I’ve been able to rise above them every day.

I recently introduced my friend Brian Schooling to the practice, and he received the Gohonzon on April 30! Members of my immediate family have also begun chanting, and my wish is that my children will practice in the future as well. Nichiren Buddhism is about the power within you, within your own heart. Now I see the Buddha in everybody, and I just want to help them bring that out!


MyFirstDay_BrianBrian Schooling
Tacoma, Wash.

Joined: April 30, 2016

I come from a dysfunctional background, filled with violence and drugs, and I saw that I had the potential to live that same lifestyle. I started reading about different types of Buddhism and philosophies, but I never felt they were right for me. Then, my friend Sean invited me to an SGI meeting.

The members were so positive, and the teachings deeply intrigued me. I decided to receive the Gohonzon, but I was struggling financially. Understanding the importance of the Gohonzon to change my life, I decided to sell my guitar to a friend, and she paid me the exact amount I needed. Interestingly, I realized afterward that I had all the professional musical equipment I needed to play in two separate bands with my two favorite instruments. I attribute all these new developments in my life to Buddhism, and I look forward to even more.