What does community mean to you?
Updated: Mar 18
That was the theme at my discussion meeting.
When I first started practising, I was quiet in meetings because I didn’t prepare. I hardly ever gave myself enough time to really chant and reflect on the theme so I wouldn’t have much to say. I’ve changed since then. Now before discussion meetings I chant with the determination to have something to contribute because I don't like the attitude of going somewhere only to take, I want to give.
A couple of days before the meeting I made a determination and asked the gohonzon what human revolution I needed to do to make the determination, this goal realised; I want to be living it. What came up through my daimoku was that I needed to change my heart. However, when I chant to change my heart my mind wonders. Instead of focusing on the sound of the phrase nam-myoho-renge-kyo, other thoughts come into my head. This is because instead of allowing the mystic law to work for me my mind is caught up in thinking about how it will happen.
I went to the discussion meeting and guess what happened? A lady shared how she was able to change her heart and this resulted in a positive change in her environment! I could not believe it. She has just been on the human revolution journey that I was about to embark on. Hearing her speak gave me more confidence that I was on the right track and belief that my actual proof is guaranteed once I do my human revolution.
On the topic of community, I shared how I had recently been avoiding conversing with a woman who regularly asks people for money on the streets. I know her personally and she is a lovely young woman but I’ve noticed that I find myself bumping into her when I am stressed so I don’t even give her the time of day. At the meeting it dawned on me how my recent behaviour may affect her. She must have people regularly not giving her the time of day, but I’m someone who knows her. It’s one thing for strangers to treat her like that but for someone who actually knows her to do that, what is that doing to her? I need to change that and stop to say hello, regardless of how she looks and that she’s asking for money. I need to see her Buddhahood and treat her like a human being.
Update: I saw her not long afterwards. Our conversation was brief as I didn’t have any change to give her but I hope if anything, through our interaction she had at least one person she can recall took time to stop and acknowledge her.