I want to share with you some encouragement from Daisaku Ikeda that I first read half a lifetime ago, when I began to practise Buddhism. It was written for University students. It is about having a strong sense of purpose, battling against adversity and creating value for yourself and society. I love this article because it encourages us to dream big (“follow the rainbow in your heart”) and yet it is in no way “pink and fluffy”, in fact it is very strict, warning against indolence, indulgence and cowardice.
I have re-read it dozens of times since 1985 and it has kept me on a path that produces ever greater happiness in my life.
The attached photo is by my great friend and artist, Annick Mckenzie, who in more ways than one, has lived a truly creative life and who guided my Buddhist practice when I lived in Scotland.
Let me know what you think of this encouragement:
“The times when I feel most deeply that I have done something creative are the times when I have thrown myself wholeheartedly into a task and fought it through unstintingly to its conclusion. At such times I feel I have won out in the struggle to enlarge myself.
“It is a matter of sweat and tears. You will pass through storms and heavy rains, and at times you may suffer defeat. The essence of the creative life, however, is not to give up in the face of defeat, but to follow the rainbow that exists within your heart. Indulgence and indolence are not creative. Complaints and evasions are cowardly, and they corrupt life’s natural tendency toward creation. ”You must not for one instant give up your effort to build for yourselves new lives.
Creativeness means to push open the heavy, groaning doorway to life. This is not an easy struggle. Indeed, it may be the most difficult task in the world. For opening the door to your own life is in the end more difficult than opening the door to the mysteries of the universe.
“The fight to create a new life is a truly wonderful thing. In it you find for the first time the wisdom that causes your intelligence to shine, the light of intuition that leads to an understanding of the Universe, the strong will and determination that challenge all attacking evils, the compassion that enables you to take upon yourself the sorrows of others…
“As you challenge evil and polish that jewel which is life, you will learn to walk the supreme pathway of true humanity. I myself think of this flowering of the creative life as a human revolution. This human revolution is your mission now as it will be throughout your lives.”
In Buddhism we believe that we can only create a more peaceful world if millions of people commit to doing their own individual human revolutions.