My First Days of Practice: Rebecca & Nick
Rebecca Dombrowski and Nick Goulding share their first experiences practicing Soka Gakkai Nichiren Buddhism.
Joined: May 7, 2016
In March 2016, my mother was battling stage 4 breast cancer, and I hadn’t seen her in months. I was deeply suffering, even considering suicide, and resented my mother for my abusive father. I was then invited to an SGI meeting over Facebook. Little did that friend know that I had chanted Nam-myoho-renge-kyo and attended meetings the previous year. I reconnected with the SGI and received the Gohonzon on May 7, 2016.
Two weeks later, I found the strength to live and threw out a bottle of pills I had kept in preparation to end my life. SGI members gave me reasons to appreciate my life on a daily basis. With this spirit, I’ve even helped four friends receive the Gohonzon!
As I began to respect myself, I let go of my resentment toward my mother. In the last few months of her life, I took care of her and even chanted with her. Last September, she peacefully passed away. Chanting gave my mother inner peace at the end of her life and enabled me to develop unconditional love.
Joined: Sept. 20, 2016
For much of my life, I’ve suffered from spina bi da and associated scoliosis, which affects my ability to walk and stand. My illness has taught me that all people suffer but also want to be happy. These realizations drew me to the philosophy of Buddhism. Thanks to my uncle and cousin who are SGI members, I was introduced to Nichiren Buddhism and received the Gohonzon on Sept. 20, 2016.
I’ve made many friends in the SGI, who encourage me to overcome my doubts. I also don’t bury my emotions anymore because through chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, I can face all obstacles and overcome them. In the past, I would give up when things would not go the way I expected them to, but now I’m developing the never-give-up attitude as I pursue my dream to become a licensed computer technician. Regarding my illness, I am sincerely chanting that it will not limit me from what I want to do.
Today, I am a group young men’s leader supporting others in faith while joyfully sharing Buddhism with my friends and family!