Creating Hope Amid COVID-19

It’s Time to Deepen My Faith Even More


by Larry Singer
Hudson Heights District
Men’s Leader New York

When I was a youth, I heard so much encouragement from SGI President Ikeda about Nichiren Daishonin’s treatise “On Establishing the Correct Teaching for the Peace of the Land”—a key point being that it’s not the land that is impure but rather the hearts and minds of the people.

So, when I think about what it means to be a disciple of Sensei, I know it’s my mission to propagate the Mystic Law. And as I turned 65 this year, I felt it was time to deepen my faith even more.

I’m a professor teaching acting classes at a Pennsylvania college. I also have a private acting studio in New York. With the spread of COVID-19, however, classes transitioned online.

I can feel overwhelmed by all the tragedy surrounding this pandemic, but I chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo for several hours each day, thinking about my students who may be struggling the most. I reached out to one of them, who has an autoimmune disorder. She had contracted the coronavirus, and I encouraged her to start chanting. She is doing 15 minutes in the morning and is recovering.

Recently, the head of public relations at my school contacted me about continuing my Buddhist introductory meetings, which I used to hold on campus for my students. I now hold them every day at 5 p.m. via videoconference.

In addition, the assistant director of multicultural life asked me to host several online Buddhist sessions open to the whole college, and for the first one, held on April 5, over a dozen students joined. I encourage each of these students to chant for their mental and physical well-being, and for the happiness of others.

I can feel myself gathering tremendous fortune from making these causes for kosen-rufu. My wife and I are strengthening our marriage, and I am healthy and doing well financially.

I am so grateful to be a member of the SGI-USA at this time, and I have gained the confidence to challenge myself to live to 2050!