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Daily Life

Developing Dauntless Fortitude

A strong inner self is the key to happiness.

Photo by Johannes Plenio / Pexels.

Our Buddhist practice teaches us that the single most important factor in determining our happiness is our life state. A life in which we are merely thrown about by our external circumstances and conditions is a life of suffering. But a life impervious to the winds of suffering is one of true freedom.

In the following excerpts from a March 3, 1993 speech in São Paulo, Brazil, Ikeda Sensei affirms the ultimate practice to forge a strong self—chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo with a firm commitment to kosen-rufu.

We live in the saha world—a world requiring forbearance and endurance.[1] There are always things in this life that we have to endure and persevere through. Nichiren Buddhism and faith as taught and practiced in the SGI enable us to calmly overcome every form of sadness, suffering and karma, and attain a state of supreme happiness.

Life is filled with all sorts of struggles and sufferings—our own illness or that of loved ones, death, financial hardship, relationship problems, the frustration of not being able to have what we want, and the list goes on. Problems are unavoidable. They are an inescapable reality of life.

Practicing Nichiren Buddhism, chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, enables us to positively transform all of those sufferings, in accord with the principle of changing poison into medicine.[2] The poison of suffering is transformed into the medicine of joy. 

Because of the principle that earthly desires lead to enlightenment, suffering becomes enlightenment and happiness. The greater our problem or sorrow, the greater the happiness we can change it into. This is the power of Nam-myoho-renge-kyo. That’s why those who chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo do not fear anything. There is no need to.

Young saplings are buffeted easily by the slightest wind, but when they grow into sturdy, tall trees, they stand unshaken by even the fiercest storm. People, similarly, when their life force is weak, are easily disturbed by the “winds” of even minor problems or worries. 

Living in this saha world, it is impossible to stop the winds of suffering from blowing. Our only alternative is to become strong. When we develop dauntless fortitude, like mighty trees, we will be untroubled by even the most powerful gales. In fact, we can even find them exhilarating. The aim of our Buddhist practice is to carry out our human revolution so that we can lead such lives and develop such inner strength.

Though we may not notice it, a tree grows every day. In the same indiscernible way, our chanting day after day nurtures our growth into people of unshakable strength who abound with good fortune. After 10 or 20 years of practicing with the SGI, the great benefit we have accumulated becomes clearly visible. … 

We will definitely attain an indestructible state of absolute happiness brimming with good fortune and benefit. We will then enjoy whatever happens. We will be content, even if we do not have fame or fortune. Each moment will be deeply satisfying. Joy will fill our hearts, and everything will appear beautiful to us. We will be able to swiftly discern right and wrong, the true essence of all things. Whatever our own circumstances, we will be able to give thought to the welfare of others. That’s the kind of people we will become.

The way to happiness is not complicated. Those who chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo consistently in the realm of kosen-rufu triumph in the end. They are certain to attain a state of absolute happiness—in other words, the life state of Buddhahood. If you remember this single important point, your life will always be solid and secure. 

To access the full text of this speech, visit

Voices of Youth

Throughout the country, young people are standing up, using their Nichiren Buddhist practice to overcome their hardships. The World Tribune spoke with two youth members about how they have developed inner strength by applying Buddhism to their lives.

illustrations by  ngedit_vector/Fiverr

Walking Forward in Faith

by Christina Moran
El Paso, Texas

World Tribune: We understand that you have recently gone through a hardship that helped you develop a more solid self. Can you tell us about your experience?

Christina Moran: I was introduced to Buddhism in 2012, but I received the Gohonzon in August 2017. Looking back, although I was practicing Buddhism, I was still searching for answers outside of myself. Last year, I faced a significant challenge in my marriage. 

All of a sudden, I was up against the prospect of a second divorce, and I had to make a choice. My world was crumbling around me. I had to decide whether I would crumble with it or use everything that I had learned through my Buddhist practice to take responsibility for my relationship for the sake of my family and children. 

WT: What was the catalyst for making that decision?

Moran: There was a moment when I felt like I could turn into the darkness or walk forward in faith, and I chose the latter. Although I have always had a tendency to give up, I felt the gravity of the situation. If I had any power over the outcome, I had to take it. I was encouraged by the experience of a fellow district member, and I began chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo more consistently. I started planting seeds of Buddhahood in others’ lives and receiving guidance from seniors in faith. 

WT: What was the outcome?

Moran: Having struggled with mental health for years, I never considered myself to be a happy person. But amid this struggle, I began to pray to change myself, to transform my life and environment, and I felt stronger, happier and more resilient than I ever had before. 

Rather than pray for a specific outcome in our marriage, I prayed to bring forth the life state of Buddhahood. I began to feel confident that everything would be OK regardless of the outcome of my situation. 

WT: What has been your greatest benefit?

Moran: I have developed a sense of self that I’ve never had before, a sense of worth and mission. Facing life from this place has been transformative. I have always been influenced by external things, and I never felt stable. But now I feel unshakable. 

Because I decided to take full responsibility for my life and relationship, I no longer harbor resentment toward my husband, and our relationship has completely transformed. But the greatest benefit is that I am no longer fearful of or at the mercy of hardships. Now, I am confident that I can transform anything through chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo. 

Illustration by ngedit_vector/Fiverr

Appreciation for the Process

by Nikhel Taurani
New York

World Tribune: How do you navigate difficult times?

Nikhel Taurani: The discipline of having my daily Nichiren Buddhist practice really helps me. I once asked a senior in faith about how to deal with my recurring struggle of feeling bogged down by inner negativity. Whenever I managed to pick myself up, my negativity brought me down again. He told me, “As soon as you get up, do gongyo. It doesn’t matter how long it is, but do focused chanting in the morning. Then, before you sleep at the end of the day, chant with gratitude for how the day went regardless of how it was.” My chanting was inconsistent at that time. But after that guidance, I began to start and end my day chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo.  

WT: What impact has Buddhism had on you?

Taurani: Daily challenges are never ending. But Nichiren Buddhism reminds me that every time a challenge comes, it’s an opportunity for human revolution. I can chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo and find a lesson in any challenge. 

WT: Can you share an example?

Taurani: One example was my job-search journey. It wasn’t smooth. I was in school and doing well academically but not getting any full-time offers. I started questioning: Why am I not getting job offers when my friends are? Is my Buddhist practice not working? 

There was no clear solution, so I sought advice from my leaders. “Facing a deadlock means you’re close to a breakthrough!” they would tell me. This helped me stay consistent when I felt like nothing was moving. In the final months of my job hunt, I went back to the basics, chanted my heart out to the Gohonzon and threw myself into SGI activities. I knew I needed to remove this negativity from my life. I started becoming more resilient.

WT: What did this process look like?

Taurani: It was a back-and-forth process of questioning, chanting, seeking and participating in SGI activities. This allowed me to go deeper into my practice and identify a core issue: I didn’t believe in myself. All of the rejection led me to doubt myself and my practice, which stopped me from putting in the effort required to break through. So I shifted my energy toward job applications and applied what I learned in SGI activities in my interviews. As a result, I received a job offer six months before graduating. 

Instead of celebrating my victory, I was anxious about what would come next. I chanted about this and realized that it isn’t just the destination that matters but the journey too. I started appreciating what I had in my life—being able to study at my dream school in my dream program.

My human revolution lies in having appreciation for the process. I know now that if I have a problem and there’s nothing I feel I can do, I can always go back to the Gohonzon. When I chant, even unideal situations lead to something great. 


  1. In The Record of the Orally Transmitted Teachings, Nichiren Daishonin says, “Saha means a world in which one must exercise forbearance and learn to endure” (p. 169). ↩︎
  2. Changing poison into medicine: The principle that earthly desires and suffering can be transformed into benefit and enlightenment by virtue of the power of the Mystic Law. This phrase is found in a passage from Nagarjuna’s The Treatise on the Great Perfection of Wisdom, which mentions “a great physician who can change poison into medicine.” ↩︎

Redefining Joy Amid the Times

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