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Q: How can I create a strong daily rhythm now that I am no longer in the workforce?

Members attend a Kosen-rufu Gongyo meeting at the reopening of the Chicago Culture Center, Chicago, Aug. 1, 2021. Photo by Susan Forner.

A: It requires a new level of self-discipline when we don’t have to report to a job at a certain time every day. Although we may need to walk the dog or feed the cat, we can still find ourselves without a regular schedule, muddling through the day with no particular objective.

Ikeda Sensei’s guidance emphasizes the importance of how we start our day: “Winning in the morning, getting off to a good start, leads to a productive day and puts you on a path to solid progress, ultimately culminating in a life of fulfillment and victory” (The Wisdom for Creating Happiness and Peace, part 2, p. 236).

It’s easy for us to become habitual in our life activities—including in our Buddhist practice—so we need to maintain a clear perspective and constantly refresh our determination.

Sensei writes: “I would ask that you pay attention to your daily lives. Faith manifests itself in daily life. Daily life, in turn, is the stage upon which we show proof of faith. True human victory and happiness are attained through the earnest and steady day-to-day efforts we make in our lives.

“The sun silently follows a set course every day. Today, and again tomorrow, never resting, never pausing, the sun will rise brightly and illuminate the Earth before setting once again with magnificent splendor. This rhythm never changes.

“The pattern of our lives, like that of the sun, may seem monotonous and routine, but there is nothing more profound than our daily endeavors. Achieving brilliant victory in our daily lives is what being victorious in faith is all about.” (My Dear Friends in America, third edition, pp. 353–54)

The Tale of the Dragon Gate

Q: Why do I need a mentor in Buddhism?