Poetry and Travel: FNCC Arts 4 Peace

Thank you TNT Times for publishing my poem, ‘The Long Way Home’. I am thrilled that my work has not only been published, but was done so in a different country…you can find it at the following link posted below:

http://tnttimes.com/golive/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=140:the-long-way-home&catid=51:back-chat&Itemid=65

Also, this past weekends experience is under construction, I have pages of notes and poetry that I am eager to transcribe and share with you….I have been away from Thursday, to last night at the Florida Nature Culture Center at a Behind the Scenes Conference, themed Soka Justice; it is hard to find the words, so I will be posting the art work that I did this weekend.

From my the depth of my heart, to yours, thank you to all of those who made contributions to my trip exchange for poetry and art. This past weekend was such an honor and vehicle to deepen my life mission as an artist for peace.

I can say for certain, I am not the same person as when I had left. From the depth of my being, I was able to refresh my determination for world-wide peace, in addition to deepening my conviction and revealing my true identity as an Artist for Peace.

Please enjoy this guidance while I gather my head,thoughts and belongings since I have also moved today…

“Buddhism teaches that the lotus flower grows in muddy water. What this means is that our supremely noble lives continue to shine even amid the harshest of life’s realities. Just like the pure white lotus flower that blooms unsoiled by the mud.

Having gone through what you have, there is pain and suffering in others’ hearts that only you can notice. Having suffered what you have, there is true love and affection that only you can find. There are definitely people out there who need you. If you give up on yourself, it is only you who will lose.

Nothing, no matter what happens, can change your inherent worth.  Please have courage.  Please tell yourself that you are not going to let this ordeal defeat you.

Those who have suffered the most, those who have experienced the greatest sadness, have a right to become the happiest of all.  What should the purpose of our Buddhist practice be, if the most miserable could not become happy? The tears you have shed cleanse your life and make it shine.

To live with this conviction and keep moving ever forward is the spirit of Buddhism. It is also the essence of life.

You may not want to tell someone else about your pain and anguish, but I strongly recommend that you consult with someone- even just one person- whom you trust and whose confidentiality you can rely on. You should not suffer all by yourself.

The Daishonin states, “Chanting Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo means to enter the palace of one’s own life” (Gosho Zenshu, p.787). The precious palace of life is nothing other than the life-state of the Buddha. Even an atomic bomb cannot destroy this inner palace. Please use life’s painful experience to open up this palace of happiness within your life.”

~Daisaku Ikeda
The World Tribune, February 25, 2000