I Am the Embodiment of Nam-myoho-renge-kyo
Studying the Writings of Nichiren Daishonin helps Miki Ishikawa at the crucial moment.
by Miki Ishikawa
Earlier last year, I got a new part-time job to support my acting career, made new friends and was financially secure. But I felt that something was still missing. I finally admitted to myself that I was genuinely unhappy. I was attracting the wrong people into my life, and nothing was happening with my acting career, not a single audition. I was also having problems with my boyfriend, and I had become complacent about everything.
With the encouragement of my young women’s leader, I went on a “Miki Campaign” all through the month of May. I challenged myself to chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo abundantly and to study Nichiren Daishonin’s writings on a daily basis to uncover the root of my fundamental darkness. Why did I feel so empty? Why was I letting people walk all over me? Why did I feel the need to constantly please others?
I came across the following passage from “Reply to Kyo’o”: “But your faith alone will determine all these things. A sword is useless in the hands of a coward. The mighty sword of the Lotus Sutra must be wielded by one courageous in faith . . . I, Nichiren, have inscribed my life in sumi ink, so believe in the Gohonzon with your whole heart. The Buddha’s will is the Lotus Sutra, but the soul of Nichiren is nothing other than Nam-myoho-renge-kyo . . . Kyo’o’s misfortune will change into fortune. Muster your faith, and pray to this Gohonzon. Then what is there that cannot be achieved?” (The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, vol. 1, p. 412).
I felt as if Nichiren were speaking directly to me. I didn’t believe in the Gohonzon with my whole heart. I didn’t believe I was the embodiment of Nam-myoho-renge-kyo. I shifted my prayer with this passage in mind, and for the first time, I felt an overwhelming sense of supreme confidence that everything would be OK.
Then more obstacles came my way: People who I thought were my friends disappeared, my job cut my hours to the point of me working once a week, my boyfriend couldn’t get work, and our financial situation suddenly plummeted. But amid all this, I wasn’t distraught like I normally would have been. I felt that no matter what happened, I still had the Gohonzon, my practice and faith.
Through this process, I learned that challenging my obstacles head-on is happiness. Now I have conviction in my life itself—that I can turn any obstacle around based on faith, so long as I continue to wield the mighty sword of the Lotus Sutra and believe in the Gohonzon with my whole heart.
In the spirit of the second eternal guideline for the young women’s division, “Study the World’s Foremost Life Philosophy,” SGI President Ikeda in 2011 selected 30 letters from The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin to be studied by young women.
In The Vow of the Ikeda Kayo-kai, he cites a guiding principle articulated by his mentor, second Soka Gakkai President Josei Toda: “The members of the young women’s division must make study their foundation!” (p. 22).
Toward Nov. 18, 2018, young women across the nation are challenging themselves to study all 30 letters.