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Fortune Is Created Through a Fighting Spirit

Moonjung Cho with her husband, Ram, and daughter, Mira, in Norfolk, Virginia. Through transforming her self-doubt into hope by chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, Moonjung gains confi dence that she and her family can accomplish anything with faith. Photo by LAWRENCE BARCLAY.

How my prayer to advance kosen-rufu “set the universe in motion” for my victory.

by Moonjung Cho

In fall 2016, when I first heard the announcement about the 50,000 Lions of Justice Festival,[1]my husband, Ram, and I determined to go all out to support the youth of Virginia South Region, while achieving our own revolution with respect to our family, work and finances. But as soon as we set our goals, Ram’s architectural firm faced a harsh setback. As his income was vastly reduced and became highly irregular, we felt stretched keeping up with our financial commitments and supporting our family of three (which includes our daughter, Mira, now 5).

I sought guidance from a senior in faith, who strongly encouraged me that it was time to transform my financial karma and not wait any longer. I educated myself on ways to manage our finances and recognized that much of our problems stemmed from bad spending habits. I learned how to budget successfully, and without compromising our monthly Sustaining Contributions. But in this process of transforming our relationship with money, I found myself complaining and placing blame on my environment.

I was reminded that everything boils down to my own human revolution.
So I chanted Nam-myoho-renge-kyo about what I needed to change. This prayer helped me see that for the past 15 years, I had been holding on to a deep sense of self-doubt and sadness. Although outwardly I appeared joyful, internally I was stuck and didn’t believe I could transform my negativity

I was reminded that everything boils down to my own human revolution. So I chanted Nam-myoho-renge-kyo about what I needed to change.

I had been relying on the strategy of my mind versus the strategy of the Lotus Sutra to transform these tendencies. For instance, previously, when May Contribution came around, I would make a goal based on what I had in my bank account. While I was sincere, I lacked a fighting spirit and was not using faith to push past boundaries.

This time, I determined to use my prayer. As I chanted to transform myself, I began developing appreciation for my husband. Together, we decided to make all-out faith-based efforts in last year’s May Contribution campaign. Although Ram’s business was still struggling to break even, we set our highest contribution goal ever.

Without any ideas of how we would accomplish this, Ram and I chanted fervently to have the fortune to be able to contribute as an expression of our appreciation to the SGI and SGI President Ikeda. We also continued to chant based on Sensei’s guidance: “Prayers directed toward kosen-rufu are the prayers of Buddhas and bodhisattvas. Chanting earnestly in this spirit will set the universe in motion” (May 2018 Living Buddhism, p. 49).

Through his prayer, my husband realized that he had always quoted less than a standard fee for his work projects out of fear of not being good enough.

After determining to crush this fear with strong prayer, he signed a contract for two high-end projects at a standard fee. We completely trusted the power of the Gohonzon while taking all possible actions to create a victory that would match the magnitude of our kosen-rufu movement.

On the first day of the May Contribution campaign last year, Ram’s uncle called him out of the blue. My husband and his sister had helped him receive the Gohonzon in 2017. Mystically, having no idea about our financial situation, he reached out to share that he wanted to gift us a substantial portion of his unexpected insurance settlement. It was the exact amount of our contribution goal.

Although we respectfully declined the offer, he repeatedly insisted. After chanting about it, we gladly accepted and, with deep appreciation, made a contribution to the SGI. We victoriously accomplished 110 percent of our contribution goal!

In the end, Ram overcame his fear, and I transformed my self-doubt and sadness into strong hope. Virginia South Region also proudly took nearly 300 youth to the 50K Festival, another goal we thought was impossible!

Our family is so excited to continue developing our bonds of faith and contribute to Sensei’s movement for peace. We will challenge ourselves once more in this Year of Soka Victory, confident that we will conquer all obstacles along the way. It is just as Sensei says: “The benefit of making offerings to the Lotus Sutra is boundless. Through that benefit, we can triumph over any obstacle and devilish function. And nothing is stronger than a person whose life is instilled with this confidence” (Learning From the Writings: The Hope-filled Teachings of Nichiren Daishonin, p. 4). WT


  1. On Sept. 23, 2018, 50,000 young people gathered
    for SGI-USA’s 50,000 Lions of Justice Festival, held across nine U.S. cities. Ushering in an era of hope and respect, the youth took a stand for the dignity of life. ↩︎

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