the Depths of My Life
By Nina Lee
I was probably about six or seven years old when my cousin first molested me. The first time it happened I thought it was an accident and didn't tell any one.
Then it happened again and again. I tried to tell my parents in indirect ways, hoping they would understand and do something to stop it. I was too embarrassed to talk openly about it. However, my parents thought I was not getting along well with my cousins who lived in our big extended family, and gave me a long discourse on how I should become more tolerant and accommodating.
I felt that even if my parents did understand, they would not take any action that would create disharmony and trouble within the family. My cousin continued to molest me until he moved out of the town to go to the university.
These experiences affected me badly. I became aloof, developed low self-esteem, and lacked confidence in myself. A few years passed and I started to feel better.
Then it began again with another, older cousin. He threatened me with a knife if I told anyone. I lived in hell. I wondered if there was something wrong with me to attract these negative incidences. It was traumatic. I blamed my cousins for doing these horrible things to me, I blamed my parents for not protecting me, and I blamed the system that allowed people to get away with these crimes.
My life condition dwelled in the worlds of hell and anger for the next couple of years until I collected myself and took control of my life. I tried hard not to think about my past.
A few years later, a friend told me about this wonderful Buddhism that he had started to practice and that had changed his life tremendously. I began practicing immediately and could literally see my life change with every Daimoku I chanted.
This practice is so powerful!
Soon after that, I left home to study overseas. Whenever I read reports of sexual molestation in the newspapers, I would be reminded of my own experiences that I tried to bury. I felt anger and hatred towards my cousins. I had a strong urge to bring them to justice. Each time this happened, I went to the Gohonzon and chanted for hours with tears in my eyes.
When I went home to visit my parents, I would keep my trips short and avoid my cousins, who still live in that house. Though I had been chanting for so many years and had accumulated lots of wonderful benefits, I was unable to reconcile with this past experience.
About two months ago, I had the strong urge to visit my hometown again. I was not sure if the trip would make me happy. Then I read some wonderful guidance from President Ikeda in the September 8, 2000, issue of the World Tribune:
"Pray that instead of devils, or negative, destructive forces infiltrating your being, Brahma, Shakra and the gods of the Sun and the Moon will enter your life! Pray that they will enter the lives of all members in your region and the entire membership of the SGI, as well. If you do this, your strength will multiply a hundredfold, a thousandfold. With such prayer, with such faith, you will realize a fundamental transformation in the very depths of your life. This is the secret to achieving your human revolution."I determined not to be pulled down by the devilish functions that were trying to weaken me from inside. I started to pray for abundant courage, wisdom and compassion. I began to realize that what I had experienced in my childhood may have been the result of the causes I created in previous lives. There was no point in having grudges against my cousins. Moreover, the law of cause and effect is very strict whether or not anyone saw them doing those acts, they will experience the effects of the causes they had made.
I applied the President Ikeda's guidance in my life and chanted for Buddhist gods to enter my life as well as my cousins' lives. I chanted for their Buddhahood to manifest and for them to be happy. They had formed a connection with the Gohonzon through me, and this was my opportunity to pray for them and lead them to Gohonzon and to true happiness. I was able to lift my life condition and feel immense compassion for every one around me, especially those cousins.
My trip home was absolutely wonderful. Every time I saw them, I prayed in my heart for their happiness. I no longer despised or feared them. All I could feel for them was deep compassion. It was an amazing breakthrough.
For the first time in all these years, I feel that I have finally broken the bonds of my own karma. I have broken through that wall of fear and doubt that made me weak. I finally found out the true power of Nam Myoho-renge-kyo.
The wonderful guidance that I quoted above not only helped me win over my karma in this particular case; it has tremendously helped me in other areas of life as well.
The joy that
wells up from inside me is constant and unstoppable. I now appreciate the
agony that I had to go through to get to this point of indestructible happiness.
I have come to realize that the fundamental energy of the universe is compassion
— something I knew theoretically but could not truly feel from my heart.
Since I resolved to manifest a strong life state with a hopeful and vigorous
spirit, life is an enriching and rewarding experience.