Perhaps the biggest devil for me among the 3O&4D (three obstacles and four devils) is the feeling that, because I’m not seeing most, if any, of the benefit I have been avidly chanting for and because almost none of the guests I am fervently chanting for are coming to meetings, my practice must be insufficient despite all my hard work, and therefore, the world won’t avoid the horror and nightmare most of us in it are creating every day. But seeing my fellow SGI members somehow having in their prayer the one thing that I am lacking gives me hope. Maybe my being born in this world was a total waste but at least I can take comfort that others’ more effective prayers will save the human race. And maybe my prayer won’t have been in vain after all. Who knows how many lives my chanting has saved? After all, Susana is standing up for kosen-rufu in her little corner of the Philippines because of me.

Marc Ginsburg, April 7, 2016


I guess the ultimate actual proof is not getting the girl but being bereft and empty of love and someone to hold close yet feeling completely satisfied with life. I am still hoping not to have to go through this to prove that one can be happy no matter what but to do whatever I can to create a world in which everyone can have their cake of the conspicuous benefit of the absolute happiness of being alone yet fulfilled and eat it too, the cake with the icing and cherry of the conspicuous benefit of love and the relative happiness of rapture adding so much zest to the baked solid sweet foundation of the cake of inner happiness and fulfillment, because to have to choose between one and the other is as austere or hedonistic as choosing between practice for oneself and practice for others. Nuh-uh! Suffering of any kind is not Nichiren Buddhism except the suffering that is inevitable anyway that he enjoins us to suffer (Writings of Nichiren Daishonin-I , p.681, “Happiness in This World”) Buddhism is not an easy practice for two reasons; It requires you to give up both the logic of conventional binary black or white thinking plus centuries of established spiritual practices of Christianity and atheistic science which are provisional and incomplete.