Skip to main content


Fulfilling My Mission

Happiness—Heather (right) and her cousin Sierra (left), Sundance, Utah, 2021. Heather introduced Sierra to Nichiren Buddhism in 2020, and she has since been chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo.

by Heather Angell
Salt Lake City

I was introduced to Nichiren Buddhism in 2020 by a co-worker in New Orleans. Shortly after, the pandemic began, and I moved back home to Salt Lake City.

Growing up, I didn’t feel worthy or that there was a place I belonged. So I feared going back to my hometown and my former job at a bar there.

But after moving back, I ended up going back to my old job; I felt lost. SGI members encouraged me, and I chanted Nam-myoho-renge-kyo to understand my mission. I decided that I was exactly where I needed to be.

At an SGI meeting, I heard that propagating Buddhism was the fastest way to change your karma, so I determined to plant seeds of Buddhahood. I felt it was my mission to change the karma of my workplace and community.

I now talk to at least five people every week about Nam-myoho-renge-kyo. Since moving back to Utah, I have shared this Buddhism with over 100 people. These are all organic, heart-to-heart conversations, and people have started chanting. Our Salt Lake Buddhist Center just opened for the first time since the pandemic, and I was able to bring a friend to a meeting there.

Although I lacked confidence in sharing Buddhism as a new member, I chanted to have the opportunity to share Nam-myoho-renge-kyo with others. That same day, I ran into a neighbor while I was walking my dog. She told me all about her struggles, and we spent almost an hour talking about Buddhism and how she can start practicing, too. I opened up and shared my story with her and how I’m constantly working on changing my karma. I left feeling confident that she would accomplish her human revolution and that I was doing mine.

At work, too, people often talk to me about their problems. I tell them that I practice Buddhism, and it has changed my life. People really want to know more, so I started buying copies of The Winning Life and An Introduction to Buddhism in bulk, keeping at least eight of each in my car. Planting seeds has made a big difference for me at my job. Last year, I became the bar manager and have since been doing my best to create positive change there.

Every person I talk to, whether an old friend or family member, tells me that I seem much healthier, lighter and happier. This is the best entry way to tell them I am chanting! Planting seeds of Buddhahood reminds me of the reason why I chant. Each time I see someone struggling and I share about Nam-myoho-renge-kyo with them, I remember that I have a mission and the power to change my life too.

Nichiren cautions us about erroneous teachings. Am I making negative causes by joining in other religious holidays or events?

We Are Sowing the Seeds of Buddhahood (Part 2)