- "Through this practice I was able to......."
- "Because of my diligence in practicing my circumstances changed..."
- "Everything started going my way because of this Buddhism...."
Comments and experiences like this are heard frequently at SGI discussion meetings. Unfortunately, my experience of these meetings was often jaded by the leader calling each of the district members to "solicit" accounts of practical experiences, which were often exaggerated or presented in a more favorable light than the reality they represent.
These kinds of testimonies relating to the effects of a particular set of beliefs or practices are found in almost every religion.
What is actually happening, in my humble opinion, are simply practical examples of what Buddhism identifies as "dependent origination," or cause and effect.
So, quite simply, as a universal principle that was not invented by Shakyamuni Buddha, but rather DISCOVERED by him, it works whether we believe in it or not.
To set goals or to focus on a particular outcome with an undefeated mind will, undoubtedly, produce a result that will move a situation in the direction of the focus, or will bring about the fruit of that intention.
So, from the perspective of absolute reality - the maxim "For as he thinks in his heart, so is he." - Proverbs 23:7 - is a universal principle.
Chanting "Nam Myoho Renge Kyo," is not the cause of the determination or intention - but rather feeds the mind to focus on the outcome, so that it becomes one-pointed and sensitive to all related causes that will bring about the desired result.
In this day and age when people are mentally distracted by all kinds of rapid fire communication tools and massive amounts of information. A simple practice like daimoku, that helps focus the mind is invaluable and highly practical.