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Q: I feel like I’m working hard in my life and Buddhist practice, but I’m not breaking through.

Young woman student looking through window and holding in hands notebooks
Elitsa Deykova / Getty Images

A: Don’t worry! The times when you are suffering and struggling in that way, chanting [Nam-myoho-renge-kyo], taking action and working really hard, are the greatest opportunities for you to do your human revolution and make headway in changing your karma.

There’s no need to be anxious or impatient. This is the time to surely and steadily create the causes for your future victory—to sow seeds that will bear fruit later. [In planting a forest,] some of the seeds might be carried away by birds.

If that happens, just plant some more. Some of the young shoots that emerge may be destroyed by the elements. Again, just plant some more. As you repeat this process again and again, eventually you will create a vast forest. This is a principle of Buddhism.

Morning always follows night. Having faith that a new day will arrive is the spirit of Nichiren Buddhism. The important thing is not to quit, not to give up. Always keep taking some positive action. As long as you keep trying, you will be able to move forward. The fact that you are challenging yourself is itself a victory. To win means to never succumb to self-defeat. (Ikeda Sensei, The Wisdom for Creating Happiness and Peace, part 2, pp. 51–52.)

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