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Seeking Spirit

The New Human Revolution, “Seeking Spirit” Chapter, Installment 8

Volume 27, Chapter 4

By Daisaku Ikeda

Taoka always chanted daimoku [Nam-myoho-renge-kyo] earnestly before going out to encourage members. She chanted with great energy and focus and would not stop until she brimmed with strong life force.

When she visited women’s division members, she spoke with a warm, embracing smile and found out what was troubling them. She listened intently and nodded with empathy, tears sometimes welling in her eyes.

Then she spoke calmly and reasonably about the greatness of Nichiren Buddhism and the absolute power of the Gohonzon. If she felt something amiss in their attitude with regard to faith, she told them honestly and plainly, without mincing her words. Taoka’s approach came from her great conviction in faith and her compassion for others.

Finally, she offered concrete suggestions about what actions they might take, such as chanting more daimoku or sharing Nichiren Buddhism with others, and promised to visit them again.

Taoka brought Saima along on some of her follow-up visits. Saima found that the initial visits had been remarkably effective, with nearly everyone having overcome their problems.

At first, she was amazed that the members were so willing to share their deeply personal, serious and complicated problems with Taoka. But as she continued to go along on these visits, she noticed that Taoka’s genuine empathy touched each person’s life profoundly.

She also came to understand that offering personal guidance was an intense life-to-life exchange, a great spiritual struggle aimed at awakening the other person’s joy and conviction in faith.

In working together with seniors in faith, younger members can learn how to give guidance in faith and share Buddhism with others. This joint struggle is indispensable to fostering people who can genuinely contribute to kosen-rufu.

Saima wanted to become like Taoka. Learning from Taoka’s example, she chanted a lot and threw herself into encouraging and offering personal guidance to her members.

She made a practice of doing home visits each day, and as she continued, her fear of giving guidance and feelings of inadequacy gradually disappeared.

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