Day 42: Mental Stability / by Sarah Kakusho

I’ve determined that I’m going to complete 500,000 daimoku [based on the chart I’m using, it’s like ~167 hours] before my study abroad is over. I have a 1,000,000 daimoku chart that I got from Heather, and initially I wanted to try to complete 1,000,000 daimoku during my study abroad, but realistically speaking, I’ve never completed any of the [1,000,000] daimoku charts I’ve started. So, instead I’ve decided that I’m going to do half now, and half second semester.

I’ve also determined that the second to the last night of my study abroad here, I’m going to chant 10 hours. Why? My program ends two days before my actual departure day, so I have to leave the apartment and get a hotel or hostel to stay in for 2 days. So, why not just use one day of that time to do a 10-hour daimoku toso since I have the time and place to be loud and vivacious. So, if you want to domei, awesome. Let’s have a worldwide toso. Whoa, that’d be sweet [good call, Angela]. I’ll send out an email when the date gets closer…

Yes, this past week alone has taught me a lot about my mental subconscious state, and how much it affects my physical well-being. Having the worst cases of hives this week to the point where my face was so swollen that I could only half-open my eyes was enough to show me that although I may be consciously calm, subconsciously my emotions are everywhere, and that stressed me out physically. I was searching, waiting for something, and it finally dawned on me.

Stability. Solidarity. Synchrony.

To be consistent and in rhythm, one with myself and the universe. There’s just no other way to be me, except the me I see right now in the mirror before me. I can never forget that.

This week has been one hell of a roller coaster ride. I had many negative encounters with people I didn’t even know, a wave of confusion and misunderstanding in classes, and being physically ill. Some days I just thought this would be my last week here before I got defeated by my fundamental darkness and the environment around me, so defeated that I wouldn’t be able to continue my study abroad here. But, somehow, with a lot of support, I was able to get through it.

From this moment on, it’s only going to get harder, but I think keeping in mind that I need to continue advancing will help me move on, and not get so stuck on the little things. I have a greater purpose now. I will reach 500,000 daimoku before study abroad is over, and I will complete my 10-hour toso. Michael Sasaki told all the YPG and March 22 meeting members to, “Make everything a faith-based activity.”

It starts with faith. If we strengthen our faith and do our best, everything will fall into place. There’s no doubt it will.

Just need to do my best. At this point right now I have to watch 4 movies and read about 150-some pages of material for this coming week. It’s insane. I watched 1 out of the 4 movies today, spending 20 pesos ($6-7) for a ticket. It was…a very boring movie. I can’t believe I spent money on it, but it’s for class so I’m sure it has some pertinence to something we’re learning… I hope…

But, again. I won’t be defeated. No more looking back at the past, and looking to home and SUA for answers. The answers are here…in my head.

Vacation is definitely over, around me, in my mind, in my body. It’s time to get to work.

“Stop and stare // I think I’m moving but I go nowhere // Yeah, I know that everyone gets scared // But I’ve become what I can't be, ohhh // Stop and stare // You start to wonder why you’re here, not there // And you’d give anything to get what’s fair // But fair ain’t what you really need // Oh, can you see what I see” – “Stop and Stare” by OneRepublic

End – Week 6: Vacation is Over