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HOPE Champion

My Life Is Actual Proof of Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo

Photo by Dina Steiner.

by Brian Hammer
La Quinta, Calif. 

Two years ago, I struggled with a lot of stress. I was going through a divorce, and the pandemic made many things feel uncertain. During one session, my therapist mentioned that, despite the challenges, my mindset was very Buddhist. Intrigued, I ended up talking to my mother, who has a friend in the SGI. I spoke with her, wanting to learn more. She connected me to other SGI members, and we started doing Zoom calls every week, where we discussed faith and studied articles in the World Tribune

Since that time, my life has proven that chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo works. When I started chanting, I wanted to feel empowered and grateful. Now, even if there are obstacles, I look forward to each day and feel grounded. I can also help many of my friends. Even though they are not chanting, I refer to Buddhism a lot when they go through tough times. 

Our weekly meetings and discussions confirmed for me that I wanted the SGI to be a part of my life forever. Over the last two years, the members in my district shared similar struggles and achievements, and I could see how chanting was working in their lives. As someone who has been chanting only a short time, it was really helpful to have my questions answered from members who had been practicing longer than I.

On Aug. 24, 2022, I received the Gohonzon! It was very emotional for me. Chanting to the Gohonzon has made a big difference and cemented where I am in my Buddhist practice. 

I strongly believe that if everyone had this Buddhist practice in their lives, we would have a more peaceful world. That is one big takeaway for me. 

Practicing Buddhism with the SGI is a wonderful way to live, and I will continue using Buddhism to improve my own life and the lives of those around me. 

What is a good friend in Buddhism and how do I find one?

Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona