Overcoming Adversities to Prove the Greatness of the Gohonzon

by: Charito Flores, Mindanao Headquarters 2, Global Chapter

“Adversity is the best source of self-development. Only by experiencing many difficult situations can we develop something great in life. Problems and worries enable us to change our destiny and prove the great benefits of the Gohonzon.”

 

My father was introduced to Nichiren Daishonin’s Buddhism in 1982 when he tried to borrow money from a friend. Instead of lending money to my father, his friend gave him a friendship card that contained information about Nam-myoho-renge-kyo. My father kept the card in his wallet and so did my mother. Aside from our financial difficulties, we did not have a permanent residence as we lived in different places. Because of my family’s hardships, my mother started to chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, hoping to change our living conditions. At the age of 16, I started to chant through the sincere encouragement of my mother. I went with her in Gakkai activities including the Women’s Division chanting every Friday. My father soon landed a job as a service driver, and we were able to have a house of our own—all these benefits, we achieved through the power of chanting.

In 1996, I got married to my husband, Allan. He is a Civil Engineering graduate, but opted to do farming instead. We settled at Mantibugao, Manolo Fortich, Bukidnon. I received my Gohonzon on April 5, 1998. At first, my mother-in-law was against my practice. Due to my determination to continue my practice, I experienced doing gongyo and chanting daimoku beside the river bank, in the land where the cows of my mother-in-law graze, as early as 5:30 in the morning. It was difficult living in this remote area without water and electricity. But with my sincere practice and continuous chanting, we survived. Eventually, my mother-in-law understood and accepted my Buddhist practice.

Farming was our source of income. We started with a three-fourths hectare of land for planting corn and cassava. While waiting for harvest time, we sold peanut products (locally known as tabu) in several markets to support our financial situation and to send our children to school. As I continued with my practice, my benefits started to come one after another. We secured a motorcycle, which we used as a habal-habal, for transporting our peanut business. However, in using the habal-habal, we got wet every time it rained. We then purchased a multicab, but the vehicle’s hot engine triggered my asthma. I wholeheartedly chanted to the Gohonzon for an airconditioned car. We were able to purchase a van which we used not only for our business but also for Gakkai activities as well.

Our farm increased in size to 25 hectares of land. Transporting our products to markets for five kilometers became a problem. The Buddhist functions worked in our favor when a friend offered one unit of an Elf as trucking service. It was so efficient that we later added three more units of Elf trucks. Our financial condition improved a lot through our sincere practice.

In the course of our practice, illness struck my family. In the year 2000, my husband was diagnosed with toxic thyroiditis. While undergoing radiation, a pelvic fracture was discovered. We sincerely chanted for his recovery while he underwent therapy in addition to medications.

My eight-year-old son was also diagnosed with idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura, a bleeding disorder. He was admitted to the hospital because of severe bleeding. I did not falter in my chanting, bearing in mind not to be defeated by this challenge. My son overcame his illness, too.

I also faced the challenge of my asthma. I struggled with it, but I never doubted the power of the Gohonzon. I spent a large amount of money for hospitalization and medications. Within six months, I won over my sickness.

Etched on my mind are these words from Ikeda Sensei: “Adversity is the best source of self-development. Only by experiencing many difficult situations can we develop something great in life. Problems and worries enable us to change our destiny and prove the great benefits of the Gohonzon.”

As human beings, we naturally have desires in our hearts. It was my wish to establish residence in Cagayan de Oro City with my own house and lot. Through my vigorous chanting of Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, I achieved my target, where I can now work on fulfilling my responsibility and my mission.

No words can express my appreciation for my leaders, fellow members, and my Buddhist faith of 17 years. I am grateful and proud that three of my four children—Paul Allan, Stephanie Anne, and Gregory Allan—have finished their studies. I am very happy that my family continues to show actual proof through our faith.