Many Treasures Member Profile: Bernice Griffin

Stephanie Araiza

An Eternally Youthful Spirit Through Propagation

Many Treasures Member Profiles

Shining Like a Diamond
Bernice Griffin
Washington Age: 71
Length of practice: 36 years

I was a 35-year-old single parent, raising four children on my own when I encountered Buddhism. I was working two jobs and trying to make ends meet. I felt like I was on a treadmill, going fast, but going nowhere. A young woman at my work befriended me and invited me to a meeting. I joined immediately.

Soon after becoming an SGI member, the pioneer women taught me that chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo and doing shakubuku were the quickest ways to transform my karma. Seven days a week, I would go with them to do shakubuku. This is how I learned how to introduce others to Buddhism.
As a result, my life is nothing like it used to be. I’ve overcome an incurable lung disease, had amazing career opportunities that transformed my financial karma, and all 25 of my grandchildren are SGI members.

For me, the keys to staying young in faith are:
1) centering on the mentor-and-disciple relationship and always striving to follow SGI President Ikeda’s guidance; 2) the three Ps: prayer, propagation and perseverance. I pray every day to be able to fulfill my vow and Sensei’s expectations, and become a magnet for those who are seeking this Buddhism.

If you feel too shy to share your practice with others, set a goal for yourself and pray sincerely to touch somebody’s life and never give up. I make a personal goal every year to introduce someone to the practice. Last year, I helped a couple receive the Gohonzon and just the other day, my grandson’s friend told me he wanted to become Buddhist.

We’ve only got this time with Sensei. Every moment is so important to make a difference in the lives of others. I ask myself each day how I can shine like a diamond and shine the light for others.