Changing karma by Dr. Kawada – SGI Vice President – with gratitude to Vrinda Taneja, YWD District Leader for Euston District for bringing this to our attention
Karma is in the subconscious, specifically in the unconscious part of the subconscious.
The subconscious is all of our dormant potential.Happiness and unhappiness arise from there. All our images of life are collected there. It is a broad and expansive place. All our past is packed in there, everything. All the images from our previous lives are stored there; all our experiences, feelings, and sounds,everything. They are in our life and in our brain cells.
Everything from the moment you were born; from when you were in the womb even, all the sounds such as your mother singing, and experiences around you are images stored in the unconscious part of your subconscious. This also includes the images stored by your ancestors thousands of years ago, these images and experiences are carried into yourself. It is your inheritance. It continues on into your offspring, etc. These images become your life and they are what you are now experiencing. For example, if you tend to get into car accidents you can naturally assume that your ancestors were prone to accidents as well. Likewise, if you experience longevity, many of your ancestors also experienced longevity or illness runs in your family, this will probably occur in your life. This is family karma and it is stored in your subconscious. Because of the connectedness of you and your family, you share this karma with them.
When you chant to the Gohonzon you are changing not just your karma,but your whole family’s karma at the same time.When one person changes, their whole family can change. Because you carry these images, you carry the same problems; illness,the way you die, poor finances, bad relationships, etc. Unless you change these images, they persist in your life and in that of your offspring. These images come out even if you aren’t conscious of them. You are not deciding, but the unconscious image is in control; who you meet, what you do, when you die, if you get sick, etc. These are all results of the images you carry. All these unconscious images have led you to where you are right now. The scientific community is just starting to recognize this. Your unconscious images are your karma.
The right side of the brain has a huge impact on how we alter these images. Appreciation has a huge impact on how we alter that image.Using the words “Thank you” has an enormous impact on changing karma.The right side of the brain is happy to hear the words “Thank You” and responds accordingly. The words Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo in Indian Sanskrit are Namu Sada Ruma Fundareka Sotalon (this is the phonetic spelling) and are translated as “Thank You So Much!”.
So then what is the correct way to pray? It is not “Please let this happen to me”. It is not begging and not asking for anything. But because we are saying “thank you so much” whenever we recite Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo, we should always be chanting with appreciation. Our minds/emotions need to match out words. The most basic human
feeling or emotion is gratitude. It is the first emotion we learn as an infant. Beyond the subconscious and unconscious is a very joyful life condition or world.
When we use the right side of our brain it is much easier to chant. We find that we can chant longer using the imagination side of our brain.Never say “please” when chanting. So many other religious practices teach asking for help, etc., not Nichiren Buddhism.
You have to appreciate everything in your life, including everything from your past. You need to make a conscious effort to recall as much as you can from your past and appreciate it. Even the things that you don’t think you can appreciate you have to find gratitude for them.Then you have to appreciate your current circumstances as well, even if you are in the midst of a huge obstacle, such as cancer, financial ruin, a divorce, whatever the situation; you still have to appreciate it. You have to thank the Gohonzon (your life) for giving you this problem, because this is your chance to change negative karma to fortune.
What is the correct way to chant when you have a problem? You have to chant with the spirit of “Thank you so much for giving me this problem. Because of this I can change my negative karma and that of my family’s. Pray sincerely from the bottom of your heart to appreciate your present circumstances. Because of this you can disconnect or alter your family’s karma; you break it and begin to project a new image. You should also set a specific date that you will no longer have this problem.
Dr. Kawada treated fourteen people with stage four cancer. Some were not even SGI members. Their doctors had given up on all of them. One even had to be brought in on a stretcher. All fourteen people joined the SGI. They all learned to chant following this guidance of using the right side of their brain to project an image of no cancer intheir bodies. In the U.S., last-stage cancer patients are encouraged to draw a white cell eating a cancer cell. Though this has been shown to help, practicing Buddhism has an even bigger impact. In two months the person on the stretcher overcame thier cancer. Then his doctor joined. Eventually all fourteen overcame their cancer.