The 90-Day Double Your Karma Back Guarantee:
A 90-Day Free Trial of Buddhist Practice
Welcome to the way. As it is said, "The longest journey begins with a single step." It helps
if that first step is in the right direction. To start you on the rest of your journey, let me add my five-cents
worth (you know how inflation is ;-)
First an anecdote. In 1921, in Utah, Philo Taylor Farnsworth, a 15 y/o boy, told his high school sweetheart that he had figured out how he was going to support them after they would be married. While plowing his uncle's field it occurred to him how to send pictures by radio? He invented the television, all at once! In great detail he wrote the theory on the blackboard. She understood not a word. She only knew her boyfriend was very smart. That boy's name was Philpot. He is the founder of Philco television, and the absolute inventor of television.
How he was cheated of the immense wealth from his invention is another story which highlights karma, but that's for another time. For now, what is important is that Phil wrote down his invention. He had a written proof. Those that understood the physics of electro-magnetism understood that, although brought together by a mere teen, the written proof was supported by known theory. That would be an actual proof. However, neither Phil, nor his girlfriend, nor General Sarnoff of the RCA empire knew if Phil's idea would work until someone actually built a TV and tested it. Of course, we know now that it worked. The fact is that 99% of the population that sit down to watch Janet Jackson's costume malfunction have not the slightest idea how her image arrived on their flat plasma screen. I sure don't. Yet, I know how to push the buttons on my remote control. I have more practical benefit than Phil did in that schoolhouse.
How does this relate to Buddhism, I sure you're asking. Lotus Sutra Buddhism, the Buddhism that instructs the chanting of Nam Myoho Renge Kyo, is validated by what is called the Three Proofs: A written proof of what to expect. A theoretical proof that doesn't violate other known laws of the universe and physics, chemistry or mathematics, even though it is hard to comprehend. And most importantly, an actual proof. It works whether, or not, you believe in its truth; whether, and best of all, or not you understand why it ought to work. Daimoku, is the remote control of the ultimate law of the universe.
I say this without reservation after 32 years of experimentation.
I will even give you the 90 day double your karma back guarantee.
Create your own written proof. Make a list of 3D occurrences you'd like to see in your life. I say 3D because, in the beginning, I don't want you to have to subjectively guess if they occurred. The things on the list should be events that are possible for someone to achieve, but unlikely to occur in your life, as you have so far experienced it. That will be the theoretic proof. Finally, at the end of 90 days, go down your list to see how many things manifested! If you are unconvinced a significant number of events, if not all, have manifested, STOP CHANTING. It's bogus. It will not be your lack of faith.
On the other hand. When things start to pop up, don't stop practicing. I have given this advice to hundreds of people over the years. Not one came back to say daimoku didn't work. Many hundreds have said they refuse to use it, BECAUSE IT DID WORK! In their confused poisoned state, because of exposure to religious praying that didn't have the predictibility of daimoku, their only conclusion was it must be Satanic!
Far from being Satanic, the mystic (hard to understand) law of cause and effect manifested by sound vibrations is being understood in greater detail in advanced physics labs everyday. It's kind of like Columbus discovering a new land with 10 million inhabitants. The Lotus Sutra revealed thousands of years ago the theory and practical use of a law, "discovered" about twenty-five years ago. A discovery which only hints at the truth of myoho, but does not even begin to equal the depth of the sutra.
So, my basic advice to you is, as it has been from others, chant, chant, and then chant some more. Employ the principle of PRACTICE (Chant), STUDY (read the Lotus Sutra, Threefold Lotus Sutra, translation by Bunno Kato; ISBN: 4333002087 most recommended), FAITH (as is translated in Japanese, that is, believe it, after all your questions have been honestly answered and theory has proven itself to work. Not the Western religious concept of believe it no matter how fantastic the stretch of the imagination, and especially when it doesn't work.)
Lastly, believe in the Law, not the personality of the messenger. The three proofs are guideposts for arriving at conclusions about Buddhism, and any other important decisions in life. Namaste.