Trusting my daimoku
Updated: Jan 3
In January I was presented with an opportunity to be part of a creative project. It came totally out of the blue but was the chance I had been waiting for. In the lead up to this I had bought lots of books and materials to do with art and design but I hadn’t dared to use any of them because of fear. I’m not sure fear of what but I definitely had resistance. I would see the materials every day and look happily at them but couldn’t pick up a paintbrush or allow myself to be fully absorbed in the books.
Anyway, back to the opportunity.
So, I was asked to be part of the project and I was extremely excited. I didn’t know how I would do my part of it but I put that to the back of my mind; so far into the back of my mind that I let myself get consumed with other things that weren’t as soul-enriching. Then I fell ill for three weeks with a virus (I still haven’t fully recovered, hence the absence in posts) and couldn’t do anything towards the project.
Nearly a month had passed since I first got the brief and then the organisers of the project got in touch saying they wanted to meet up to discuss what I had done. Their message was incredibly supportive saying that they hope I wasn’t stressing myself with the work. I replied to say all was okay and that I would be happy to meet them the following week. In truth, I was in panic mode when I got that message. I’d done next to nothing the whole time; how was I going to meet to deliver nothing?
Normally when I’m in a situation like this where I have to deliver in a short space of time I would cram lots of research in and stay up late until I had something worth showing. However, this opportunity was well out of my comfort zone and skill level. I also knew that I had lots of other things that were equally as important to do in that week, plus late nights aren’t good for my health, so, what could I do?
That’s when I decided to chant. Whenever I don’t know what to do I know the best way to start is to chant. Rather than using my head to work out what would be best for the brief, I decided to chant to connect to the project organisers. I gave myself a target goal of how much to chant daily but each day I failed that. I didn’t care though. The important thing was the quality of the chanting and if after 30 mins I felt tired, I would stop.
On day four a part of me was thinking “you really need to start doing some sketches or coming up with ideas” but I was in the rhythm of chanting. Each day that week I’d finish my day job and go to chant. There was no panic in my mind; I wanted to connect to the hearts of the organisers. I wanted to be in rhythm with them. It’s like that gosho, Many In Body, One In Mind.
It was now two days before the meeting and I still had no ideas. I was at work when all of a sudden I remembered there was an app I could use to help me, so I used it during my lunch break. After work I went to chant at one of our Buddhist centres and upon leaving, I bumped into a designer friend of mine. I told her what I was trying to do and she gave me some pointers of what to ask in my meeting.
The day of the meeting came and I felt incredibly calm and confident. I showed them what I’d done on the app and went through the questions. They were impressed by what I had produced in that time and I got a clearer understanding of what they want from me in the future. I felt like such a professional in that meeting, like I’d had hundreds of meetings with clients before.
This experience has taught me that going straight to the Gohonzon and chanting with a strong determination always gives the best outcome. I fully trusted, chanting from the heart. I hope I can remember this in future, employing the Strategy of The Lotus Sutra.