Experience

My Life Has No Limits

Micaela Castellotti’s journey to becoming an artist for kosen-rufu.

Limitless—Micaela Castellotti says chanting awakened in her courage, strength and direction. Micaela debuts in her first music video. Photo: Victor Golden.


by Micaela Castellotti
MIAMI

 

Nichiren Buddhism came to my life at a time when I felt there was no way out of my suffering. My partner had just left me, and I was filled with insecurities. I had plenty of dreams yet no idea of how to even begin working toward them.

That’s when a friend talked to me about Buddhism, and just a few days later, I attended an SGI meeting in my home country of Argentina. Chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo for the first time, I felt relieved and empowered, and knew that this was exactly what I needed in my life.

I dreamed of launching a career as a singer with my own songs, videos and shows, something I thought was impossible. But chanting awakened the true Micaela, full of courage, strength and direction. My environment responded with friends, relatives and some great artists in Argentina who helped me produce and release my first music video on Valentine’s Day 2015. It was a huge success.

I gratefully received the Gohonzon on April 19 that year. I challenged myself to chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo more and deepen my study of Buddhism, especially reading SGI President Ikeda’s A Youthful Diary, which filled me with courage and confidence. Later, my music video was shown on MTV, and I performed in many great venues in Argentina.

I determined, in a letter to SGI President Ikeda, that I would be an artist for kosen-rufu and take responsibility for touching the hearts of many youth through my songs. My wish was to convey that the development of an artist is a process, and I wanted to show proof of how I made my dreams a reality through focusing on my human revolution.

And so, I grabbed my bag and, with lots of courage, I started my journey.

My first stop was Bogota, Colombia, where I had the wonderful opportunity to promote my music. My next destination was Miami, where I arrived on Dec. 21, 2015. Originally I came to spend the holidays but decided to stay. From the moment I determined in front of the Gohonzon that this was my place, that’s when my human revolution began in earnest. For one thing, I had to quickly come up with a place to live, a car, a job and legal status.

I chanted abundantly, determining that I would make the impossible possible. I never gave up in the face of obstacles and supported SGI activities 100 percent. Through such determined efforts, my environment began to reflect the changes happening within. As I took on responsibility as the Edgewater District young women’s leader and wholeheartedly encouraged the members, I found a place to live, got a job related to the arts and bought a car. Most important, I managed to start processing my residence visa as an artist.

My wish was to convey that the development of an artist is a process, and I wanted to show proof of how I made my dreams a reality through focusing on my human revolution.

While my friendships with the young women’s division members were growing, I found myself in need of a new place to live. Just weeks before having to move out, a wave of negativity, doubt and fear overwhelmed me. I looked to Nichiren Daishonin’s writings for inspiration: “Suffer what there is to suffer, enjoy what there is to enjoy. Regard both suffering and joy as facts of life, and continue chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, no matter what happens” (“Happiness in This World,” The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, vol. 1, p. 681).

Over the next few days, I got up at 5 a.m. and chanted with a neighbor and fellow SGI member. As a result of my prayers, I found the perfect listing, but with one catch: about 20 people were competing for the place.

I determined it was going to be my kosen-rufu home, and I wrote to the owners, introducing myself and my situation. I also promised to take care of their apartment with all my love and spoke about my mission as a Bodhisattva of the Earth.

The next day, I received confirmation that I got the apartment! Again I saw great actual proof of this wonderful Law and of how to manifest wisdom at every crucial moment of my life. Soon after, I was asked to take responsibility as a vice young women’s leader in East Miami Chapter, an incredible opportunity to continue growing in my life.

Today, I continue to expand my life for kosen-rufu as a vice young women’s region leader. I never hesitate to share with others how I’m able to triumph in a society clouded by suffering and insecurities, and have already helped nine people receive the Gohonzon.

A month ago, an investor who believes in my capacity as an artist appeared, and will now sponsor my music. I’m going to record an EP, my mini album in a coveted Miami studio with the best team of music professionals. It has five tracks that talk about love and my cause as an artist, but above all, they convey the message of how my Buddhist practice helps me in my daily life to be a humanistic and unique individual.

Today, I’m living my dream as an artist for kosen-rufu and am celebrating the approval of my permit to stay in the U.S. With tears of appreciation and my heart filled with happiness, I feel immense gratitude for my practice, for Sensei and for being able to use my life to inspire other youth to believe in themselves, reconfirming that our lives have no limits.

 

(p.5)