"Never be defeated means never be defeated in your heart."
Mr. Saito, SGI North America Bureau Chief, shared this guidance during a youth training course in Japan last month. Daily life is a series of battles – sometimes you win and sometimes you lose. However, we constantly hear guidance that "Buddhism is win or lose" and that we must win. How do we make sense of the seeming disparity? The answer lies in the quote above.
"Though one may fail or lose once or twice, there's no reason for regret. Just look forward and press onward" (President Ikeda, 9/7/2007 WT). It's true, there may be days when we really struggle or we seem not to be advancing as we'd hope. We may get bad news, a bad grade, or fail to follow through on something we promised (again) we'd get done. Our boss may treat us unkindly, the car may break down, or our bank account might be overdrawn for the second time this month.
These are not reasons to belittle yourself or slander your own life. As long as we refresh ourselves, renew our determination and decide to keep looking forward, our hearts are not defeated. And as Nichiren Daishonin says, " It is the heart that is important" (WND-1 p. 1000).
The good news is, all of life is a manifestation of Nam-myoho-renge-kyo. This means that even seemingly negative things have the ability to function positively in our lives. This is true even when things don't go as planned. President Ikeda reminds us, "A person who has known defeat becomes stronger…Every all-out struggle we wage is a cause for becoming an unbeatable champion" (9/7/2007 WT).
We win when we decide to try again. We are victorious when we decide to chant more daimoku. We triumph, when in our hearts, we decide "I am a Buddha of limitless potential and I am determined to show actual proof!"
Buddhism really is win or lose. No matter what, keep your conviction and determination strong, and with that ichinen and heart, win every day!
It Is Accomplished
4 years ago