Konnichiwa こんにちは Senpai 先輩 ,
Dear Sensie,I hardly know where to begin there have been so many wonderful changes in my life since I became a practicing Nichiren Buddhist.First let me say I hope this message reaches you and Mrs. Ikeda in good health and spirits,something I chant for every night.
I have a very long story about how I came to SGI and the practice but I must leave it for another time . In short I encountered Nichiren Buddhism through a proposal to teach peace education during President Obama's campaign .
I think this part of my story is the unique part: We are one of only 4 families here in Israel who has a child married to a Muslim,something much worse than being a white woman married to a Black man in pre-civil rights America.I am therefore in a position to personally see and understand both sides of the story and thanks to Nichiren Buddhism I have been able to respectfully do this. It is only through my strong practice I was able to not only understand and accept my daughter's choice but be proud of them too. I think ,although I have been a peace and human rights activist all my life I was able to stand behind my talk fully and bravely only because of my practice.When I agreed to the marriage I lost my family and when the Sheik arrived at my door for the ceremony I lost my neighbors.I never gave up and I still think being able to accept my daughter and new son-in-law was the best piece of mothering I have ever done .Unfortunately my family ,including my husband does not agree and can not understand why I am not ashamed ,while I can understand why they are but do not agree.I have put the non-judgemental aspect of the practice to the test and it worked.I have begun an honest and sincere dialogue with my religious son-in-law and while he no longer calls me a" Buddhist Stone Thrower",he does not accept my Buddhism at all. He does now say I am an angel no matter what I believe,which is very unlike a Muslim man.Ironically the very practice that allowed my daughter and her husband to freely marry and be accepted by me is now a source of anger and resentment on her part especially as it is not one of the three Abrahamic religions. Slowly and respectfully I am making inroads in their understanding of Buddhism. The tolerance and patience through your examples, I have gained have given me the strength and compassion to persevere in the face of all their criticism to continue and open and honest dialogue albeit very gently.
Our guidance for Israel is, we are not supposed to actively talk or spread Koshen Rufu but spreading it is my life. I have found acting within the principles of Nichiren Buddhism in everyday life people come to naturally admire you and there are many chances to spread kindness ,compassion and sincerity even if we can not connect them with our practice. I believe I am spreading Kosen Rufu in the best possible way like this.
If I live a million kalpas I will never be able to give back to the practice all it has given me and I could write a book about it. I will say just this little bit more,I am ready at any time to go anywhere for SGI to spread peace and happiness and Kosen Rufu,went to Australia to do just that. I also wanted to say although we are few and far between here in Israel, we are strong and vibrant and some of the warmest most compassionate people I have ever known.Many more years of joy and happiness Sensie,Lynn Fux (North group,Israel)
Kosen Rufu means to spread peace and happiness in the world by teaching as many people as you can this form of Buddhism
SGI is the lay organization of Buddhists who work towards nuclear disarmament and peace,especially among youth.
The picture is my daughter's wedding(part of it) with the Shiek in our house.