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Q: How should I view my health from the perspective of faith?

Couple riding bicycles
Ariel Skelley / Getty Images

A: Ikeda Sensei stresses the importance of taking care of one’s health based on the principle “faith equals daily life.” For example, he writes in volume 25 of The New Human Revolution:

Basically, we all need to look after our own health. In the end, it’s our personal responsibility. We know our own body better than anyone else.

Creating good health is linked to creating value in life.

But even if we try to take good care of our health, we’re only flesh and blood, after all. After a certain age, we are bound to start having problems of one kind or another. When that happens, we need to concentrate harder on managing our health, get plenty of rest, and try to live as long as we can.

We must never allow ourselves to think that because we’re practicing Buddhism we can be casual about our health, overdo things, follow an irregular or stressful regimen, upset the normal, healthy rhythm of life, or do anything else that could compromise our health. (p. 293)

Emphasizing that the path toward kosen-rufu is long, Sensei shared these words out of concern for members’ health as they exert themselves in faith activities. He also expressed the importance of developing a sound routine that supports a healthy lifestyle:

To reinforce your health, make a conscious determination to strive to be healthy, chant resonantly every day, manifest exuberant life force and participate vigorously in activities. …

Paying careful attention to your diet, amount of sleep, and exercise are all indispensable for promoting health. Naturally, you shouldn’t overindulge in food or alcohol, or eat too late at night. Make sure you get enough sleep, and that it is sound and restful.

It’s also essential to find creative ways to incorporate exercise into your daily life to stay strong. (NHR-25, 292)

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