My First Days of Practice: Mona & Henry

Mono Solanki and Henry Amberg share their first experiences practicing Soka Gakkai Nichiren Buddhism.

MyFirstDay_MonaFMona Solanki
Centennial, Colo.

Joined: April 2016

A friend introduced me to Buddhism in 2011 in India. I lost touch with the practice until my husband and I moved to the U.S. last year. Being in a new country, I felt out of place and had nothing to do. I felt that my life had stopped growing.

This April, I finally reconnected with S GI members, who warmly embraced me like family, and on April 28, I received the Gohonzon. After chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo to be able to clearly see that things were moving in my life, I immediately received acknowledgment about my work permit—I had been waiting 50 days, even though the mandatory waiting period is 90 days. On June 15, I started working at a bank.

This practice is about making things happen, and in the process, I’m becoming a confident person ready to take on challenges.

MyFirstDay_HenryFHenry Amberg
Weston, Mass.

Joined: April 2016

Two weeks prior to attending my first intro-to-Buddhism meeting in April, I had stopped using drugs and was desperate for a spiritual practice that would give purpose and meaning to my life. I felt connected to the chanting of Nam-myoho-renge-kyo and the positivity of the members. They taught me how to chant and do gongyo at my home, helping me develop a consistent practice. I received the Gohonzon soon after and acquired a humbling job at a retirement home after being unemployed for some time.

My biggest benefit has been meeting good friends in the SGI; they are challenging me in a healthy way and getting me outside my comfort zone, which for people who have struggled with substance abuse can be extremely difficult. Today, I support others as a young men’s unit leader, and I also helped my brother receive the Gohonzon.

By chanting morning and evening, I’ve been able to clearly set my intentions, put a strategy forth and take action. I feel an urge to keep moving ahead!

(p. 8)