A Mouse Story
. . . By Brittany (age 13)
It is a well-known fact that when you have a pet, you have to
feed it food. Some animals eat pellets while others eat other
animals because that's all a part of life. One of the most
common "feeder animals" (a feeder is an animal that's used for
food) is mice, which is what this story is about.
When Barbara, a
women's division member, got a job at a local pet store, she
loved all of her job except giving away the mice for food. Being
smart, she quickly found a solution.
wanted to buy the mice, she would ask if they were for pets or
feeders. If the person answered feeder, she would chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo
three times to the mice so they could have a better life next
A few months
after Barbara got her job, my sister, Alicia, got a job there as
a cashier. One day, someone brought some mice to the checkout
counter to buy, and my sister commented on how cute the mice
were. Then she asked if they were for pets or feeders. The
person said, "Feeders, and don't be praying over them, because
the last three I got that were prayed over got away!"
So that ends the
story of the true mouse benefit.
[from Aug. 28,
World Tribune, p.
11, col. 4]
By Idonarose . . . Experience 12 years old
friend Ashlee and I are best buddies. It was a
really sad day for us when her Mom decided they
would leave Santa Barbara and go to live in Utah.
met in Elementary School and were both in Junior
High when she left.
kept in contact by email and phone. Her Dad lives in
L. A., so she came back for Summer. Mom said Ashlee
was welcome to spend a week with us.
We were so
excited to see each other and giggled a lot over the phone,
planning all the things we were going to do when she got
arrived on Tuesday afternoon and we all went to the cabin up
in the mountains. The weather was great and in the evening
we went for a swim in the pond. We stayed the night. When
we were sleeping, Ashlee seemed restless.
As it was
Wednesday, Mom woke us up at 5:00 am to come down the
mountains for Future Division morning gongyo. After gongyo,
Ashlee and I went back to sleep and didn’t wake up until
later. Ashlee complained of an earache and when she spoke to
her Dad, they decided that he would come to Santa Barbara
that night, to pick her up and take her home!
apparently Ashlee had an earache since arriving to her Dad's
a week earlier. Her Father took Ashlee to the Doctor and the
Doctor said he couldn’t see anything wrong. The Doctor said
to give her some aspirin and bring her back if it gets
devastated when Ashlee put down the phone because I realized
our time together was going to be cut short. Mom gave Ashlee
some ear drops and pain killers. I was upset and Mom said to
me “all you can do now is go and use the Gohonzon — her
Daddy is concerned and that’s understandable.”
I went and
started chanting. Then I realized, I needed to get Ashlee to
chant and do A & C with me. I was nervous that if I asked
her that she would say “no” because of her own family
I asked her
anyway. I said “Ashlee, would you do something for me?”
“Sure, what?” I explained to her and she agreed!
We sat and
chanted and did A & C. Afterwards we both felt better. Then
we realized that her Dad was coming to pick her up. Ashlee
told Mom and me that she didn’t want to go now and that she
felt much better. Mom said, “if you really want to stay,
then call your Father back and quickly, as he may have
already left.” Los Angeles is 100 miles from Santa
Well, he was
just leaving and he stopped to get the phone. Ashlee spoke
to him. Then Mom spoke to Ashlee’s Dad and he said “OK, you
can stay tonight. Call me tomorrow.”
day, we had a great reunion with school friends and a bunch
of us went along State Street for lunch and shopping. When
we got home, Ashlee was much better. Her Dad still wasn’t
I decided to
do the “Future Division Meeting” on Saturday so that I could
introduce Ashlee to our Community Center and show her about
our World Peace movement. I thought we would gain more
fortune and beat this sickness. Ashlee agreed to read a poem
at the meeting from the “Seize the Day” pull-out from the
World Tribune June 16, 2000.
was getting better. By Friday evening, her Dad said she
could stay as planned.
We were so
happy — and had a great vacation together. I think Ashlee’s
earache happened so that she could learn more about my
Buddhist practice and how chanting changes things so we are
able to accomplish our goals. Now, Ashlee chants too!
very much for allowing me to share my benefit with you
Show & Tell today, I brought my juzu beads," I said
as I raised them up to show the class. Everyone
looked totally stunned. None of them understood what
the things were.
That's interesting, Niki. Is it a necklace?" she
asked, as she put them over her head.
Please don't do that! Never mind, let someone else
Buddhist, and living in a "Western" civilization, I go
through a lot of discrimination, misunderstanding, etc.
When I was
young, I brought my prayer beads to school. No one knew what
they were, not even my teacher! I was very upset. That was
probably my first experience. But, it certainly was not my
As I grew
older, kids in my classes used to always make fun of me. Or
they would ask me stupid questions hoping to demean my
float? Do you know anyone who floats?" — this was a very
common question that kids would ask.
What was I
supposed to say? "Yes, I float. I also fly around on my
broomstick on most Saturday nights!"
misconceptions were only one of my problems. When I started
to get a little older, the kids just decided to just be mean
straight to my face.
gonna go to HELL! What do you mean you don't believe in God?
Do you worship the devil? My mom says that you're gonna go
What a thing
for a child of 9 or 10 to hear! Not only are my peers making
fun of me, but now parents are telling their kids that I am
Now that I
look back on those years and those kids, I thank them for
what they did. I am a MUCH stronger person now. Although
it's easy to say that because I don't hang around with them.
Even though they made me stronger, I still remember the
years of tormenting, and I wonder, "Why do those kids think
that? Why didn't their parents teach them love and
understanding? In Christian churches, do they just tell the
kids to hate everyone that's not of their religion?"
the answers to those questions while I was in middle school.
Seventh grade was "my year of understanding." Now, instead
of kids hearing that I wasn't Christian and then immediately
assuming a whole bunch of things that weren't true, kids
asked me real questions! I was so excited.
I asked them
about their religion. They asked me about mine. It was
One girl (I
don't remember her name) did a Hyper Studio stack about
Japan, and ended up getting a lot of information about
Buddhism. So, when I told her that I was Buddhist, she was
She asked me
real questions like, "Is there a 'temple' or church in
Omaha? How do you pray? Is Buddha your God, or just the
founder or what?"
It was so
nice to have questions that I could actually answer instead
of false accusations and stupid, demeaning questions.
Now that I'm
in high school, I know that all of the torture I was put
through helped me. I learned that society isn't always
right. Those kids didn't know or care about me, my religion,
or my feelings. They just went along with the stereotypes,
and the views of the majority. I also learned to "put
[myself] in others' shoes." If those kids would've done that
for even a second, they could have learned so much!
I learned that life and people are rarely ever fair. If life
were fair all the time, I would never have been hurt so
much. Or those kids would've been made fun of, too. But,
they never were.
I wonder now
about those kids. I wonder if they even remember the torture
and torment they put me through. I wonder if they know how
it feels to always be the one that people point their
fingers at. I wonder if they know how it feels to be
constantly laughed at. But, I mostly wonder if they know
what it feels like to be "damned to hell!!"
The Healing Power of a Child's Daimoku
Robin's mom came up to Massachusetts from New York
to visit. She mostly wanted to see Ana, her 2 and
1/2 year old granddaughter.
Robin's mom is a Holocaust survivor. In the kitchen,
with Ana on her father's lap, Robin's mom spoke of
her experiences in Nazi Germany.
said that one day they replaced her teacher with a
Nazi. The Nazi made her and the other Jewish
children sit in the back of the class. The work they
did was ignored. She begged her mom to keep her home
business was taken and given to a Nazi. He had to take a
train to get to a menial job. The train passed his old
business every day.
On Nov. 9,
1938, Nazis burned the synagogues and went from home to home
beating Jews throughout the night. At 4:00 a.m., the bell
rang — it was the Nazis. They beat her father and left him
for dead in a pool of blood in the middle of the street. He
managed to get back to the apartment. Blood was everywhere.
No ambulance would come for a Jew. They had to take him to a
Nazi doctor, who stitched his head with no anesthesia and
sent him home.
morning the Nazis came again. They took her father to the
Dachau concentration camp.
back her tears. Ana, who was still sitting on her father's
lap, put her little hands together and loudly chanted "Nam-myoho-renge-kyo"
without stopping. Robin and her mom broke into tears.
mother is not a member but she understood. She said, "Now,
look at that — I am telling about this horrible horror that
happened to our family, and it's as if she is trying to say:
'This is the way to heal. This is the way to peace.'"
"Ana's great-grandfather was pulled from his home and beaten
because he was a Jew. Now, almost 60 years later, his
great-granddaughter is chanting the Daimoku of the Lotus
Sutra naturally, the sound bursting from her life like the
rising sun. Thank you, Nichiren Daishonin, and presidents
Ikeda, Toda, and Makiguchi, for making it possible for Ana
to chant the Mystic Law, ensuring the happiness of her
ancestors and the happiness of all mankind to come."
version of this experience is in the Nov. 21, 1997, World
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