At the end of 2012 when I met the person who was to become my future elder, I immediately noticed the fervour with which he was reciting the sutra. At that time I was looking for a spiritual path to share with others and I very rapidly asked him to discover this practice.
What attracted me most was the spiritual friendship, the benevolent spirit I could perceive and the link to our ancestors which already touched me. As I was eager to discover what the Reiyukai teaching offered, I asked to put a family posthumous name as well as a registry of posthumous names in my house. Immediately afterwards, my oldest son who had not seen his grandmother on his father’s side for 34 years, went to visit her!
Helped by a daily recitation of the sutra and a close link with my elders, I rapidly experienced what being benevolent and respectuous in relationships produced. During a group trip this enabled me to accept an intrusive person without judgment. The expression « developing a bodhisattva’s heart » came back to me and each time I felt critical towards this person, I would see the shape of a heart on a pebble or in the folding of a curtain, which felt like an encouragement.
Thanks to the warm and enlightened link with an elder who comes to stay every year in the town where I live, for her treatment, I heard: “nobody knows”, “let’s not add our ideas”, “discovering without comparing”. I was able to challenge my fears, to question my conceptions and thus full of confidence, to open my house to many people in order to read the sutra and help them discover our practice. These actions fed my determination to progress and to enable others to do the same.
The curiosity spirit I developed enabled me to perceive I was full of expectations when I invited people and I began to receive companions. Thanks to them I became conscious of the aspects I had to make evolve such as the acceptation of others, patience, benevolence but also confidence in myself and the consciousness of my ignorance. With a deep wish to learn I attended numerous meetings, took a role in the organisation of practice events. I received new companions among whom someone who was really motivated to discover this practice and with great joy I became a family leader.
The aim of the 2017 seminary was for all members to come with a new person. I really subscribed to this proposition and attended it with a new companion. An elder’s intervention made me realize that I was considered a sort of sunshine in my family, a role that I had rejected so far. I was driven to express this in front of the assembly. I felt soothed and strongly determined to discover and make room to the Teaching in my life.
I was given the opportunity to do so again: a few days ago my daughter, in tears, asked me for help on the phone. She didn’t feel courageous enough to appear before a potential employer. I stood in front of my altar, asked to be guided and was able to listen to her calmly without taking on the weight of her problems as I had often done. I told her there was nothing I could concretely do but that I could invite her to practise. I added that I was going to recite the sutra for our families to wipe out our karmic influences. She wished to listen to the recitation on the phone. Then I suggested that my companions and my direct elder recite the sutra at the same time wherever they were. My daughter was moved by the words « Namu Myo Ho Renge Kyo » that she chanted at the same time as me and she heard “without arrogance” in the chapter called Never-Disparaging. In the evening she called me back to say she had gone to her interview with “an open heart” and “without arrogance” and that she had immediately been offered a job.
Quite recently, as I was conscious that everything could change every minute, I realized with gratitude, that my relatives were in good health. However, I learnt on that very same day that my elder sister had developed lung cancer. Immediately an elder’s words about everyone’s common potential came to my mind. He had advised us to be careful not to let our minds interfere with the meaning of this word but to consider it from a larger point of view. I stood in front of my altar with this question: What is this potential?
I immediately felt the need to broaden the scope of my practice, to progress, to practise for my family, my ancestors with the consciousness that I could act while being connected to the Teachings. I called an elder to share what I was living and once again I heard there were causes to our life circumstances. I rapidly phoned cousins and met them to look for our common ancestors’ names and dates of death to complete my registry of posthumous names. I found about ten (in 2 days’ time). I recited the sutra with gratefulness. On the very same day I had started these actions, 2 people, whom I had already offered to discover the practice, contacted me! I invited them again as well as a third person.
I would say that when I heard about my sister’s disease, I was not overcome with my usual emotional tendencies, I left it up to the Teachings and I noticed that my elder was doing the same thing at the same time in his own life circumstances.