Winter always turns into Spring by Veronica
This is a story of my empowerment that happened through my Buddhist practice which helped me to develop my greater self.
By nature I’m not a brave person. And I’ve always, always had a strange trembling before every bigger public appearance. Every time I came to Buddhist seminars I was invited to be an MC, and I have always accepted the challenge. Because this is a challenge, a challenge to go where you are most afraid of. Every time I went to the stage and was in front of people I felt abnormal abdominal pain. I was rattled all the time, and afraid like a rabbit.
The change came when I began to be aware of the relationship with my mentor, which is something we practice in Buddhism. Every time I was an MC, when I did not know what to do, when it hurt in my stomach, I felt more and more encouragement from my mentor and went into the challenge, precisely because of him. Then the change followed.
I remember the moment how I for the first time felt calm when I stood on the stage. I felt myself and saw that I could actually do a lot more with my life than I thought it was possible like I’d become aware of the “little Veronica.” It was no coincidence that it happened during the biggest event that I conducted on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the first visit of Ikeda to Europe. I was an MC in Rome, standing in front of 4,500 people, and at that time I physically felt that ‘Nam Myo Renge’ is bigger than my little ego and how, in fact, with faith, you can move those mountains that are in your head and they will not let you go as long as you don’t let them go.
I have to say that I’ve managed this only with the help and support of other members there. Members of SGI Italy literally accompanied me on the stage with hand in hand. Because of that I did not feel like I have to be perfect, but radiate only the light and the heart, something that I had never experienced before was glowing from me. The moment and experience of the Oneness of mentor and disciple. A million dollars can not replace this experience for me.
Let me also say that by nature I’m not such an “open” person, I am more of an introvert. I use to prefer spending evenings alone with a book in my hand and dreaming. Through the encouraging words of President Ikeda, I felt the desire to connect with other people and to create friendly contacts. I couldn’t imagine, even in my dreams, that it’s possible to have so many genuine friendly contacts in my life as I have today. Every time I came from our seminars, I felt that my heart was actually stretching and giving space to new people and also more space for my life. It stretched over my little closed me, and empowered me.
Looking back at my life, I was single for a long time, unhappy in love, or in a relationship that was not right for me. Today I understand why and how I had to do my part in the human revolution through my practice. It was to transform my heart so that I can completely live as a single woman who has her power in her hands. And to become satisfied with that. With this feeling, a very different partner came into my life from whom I learn and grow alongside him, as a free and whole woman, not as a part of one half or as a victim.
Pain has taught me a lot. And if I had no activity in SGI, it would become a part of my life and my greater truth. However, since I had such a great responsibility and I had to support other members and activities in our organization, I never gave my pain the power to take the main stage in ‘Veronica’s Drama’. The main stage was always Gohonzon (Buddhist mandala) and the support of other members who believed in me.
Let me conclude by quoting Daisaku Ikeda:
“When we live undeterred by suffering, fearlessly challenging our problems and moving forward, this itself attests to the tremendous power of Nichiren Buddhism. In other words, when we dedicate our lives to kosen-rufu, our karma is transformed into our noble mission, and our problems become the unprecedented treasures of the heart. “