Daimoku of Gratitude

Daimoku of Gratitude

Clarissa with her husband and children who have been greatly supporting her as she overcomes the challenges in life.
Clarissa with her husband and children who have been greatly supporting her as she overcomes the challenges in life.

Tung Poh Yee Clarissa
Women Division

 

I am a fortune baby, being the third child with two elder brothers. We took faith in Nichiren Buddhism together with our mother since young. We grew up in the warm Soka family where we polished our lives and spent our most fulfilling youth. This also established my foundation in faith and in life. Developing a never-be-defeated attitude enabled me to face challenges squarely and turn them into springboards for growth. One such springboard was my work experience.

I originally had a rather good job. The managers were very understanding towards employees and we had 20 days of annual leave. Family members could also be compensated for medical expenses such as hospitalisation insurance, dental visits and prescription glasses. Although I did not have a university degree, I earned a higher salary than university graduates because of my hard work. The company also allowed employees to have flexible working hours; when my mother was unable to help me look after my child, I was allowed to work from home for a week. The company also gave me many learning opportunities. I obtained four technical diplomas during my 6.5 years with this company. However, I felt that I was too comfortable with the current situation and had reached a saturation point at work. A few of my close, former colleagues strongly suggested that I try a new position. After chanting daimoku, I decided to take on this challenge, believing that this would allow me to grow further. So, I gave up everything last August and started at a new position.

On my fourth day in my new job, I heard from someone that colleague A was badmouthing me. She talked to others about my work attitude and kept condemning and criticising me behind my back. I did not take the things she said seriously as they were all untrue. I continued to treat her courteously, greeting her every day and asking whether she had had her meal during lunchtime, and she also responded to me likewise, so I thought that the situation would improve.

However, contrary to my belief, she continued to criticise me behind my back and eventually did it right in my face. Soon her behaviour began to affect me and I consoled myself by crying in the toilet. This became quite frequent.

Gradually I became fearful at work, especially when she started stalking me. She would peek at my work and watch my movements. She seemed to resent my being able to work from home and passed undue comments to me. I refused to feel bad about this as not only did I have permission to work from home, I did not slacken in my work, putting in unusual hours.

This harassment eventually affected my health. I developed headaches and chest pains. Sleep became elusive and I resorted to painkillers for my aches. Going to work became a chore and I couldn’t even avoid her, as much as I wanted to, as her seat was right next to me.

Elevating My Life Condition With Daimoku

In spite of the challenges at work, I never neglected any Gakkai activities. In fact, each meeting recharged and spurred me to deepen my resolve to manifest even greater courage and wisdom to overcome the challenges at work. As I offered encouragement during home visits and dialogues with members, I was also encouraging and strengthening myself at the same time.

In the “Pioneers” chapter of Volume 1 of The New Human Revolution, SGI President Ikeda writes: “Our work is the mainstay that supports our lives. Unless we show real evidence of victory in our work, we cannot demonstrate the principle of faith manifests itself in daily life.” So, I cannot be easily defeated because I have the Gohonzon. I had to persevere. I wanted to expand my network of friendship and gain trust in my workplace.

The situation persisted until the end of October. Then, another colleague, B, happened to ask me about my work and I broke down in tears, and told her all about what had happened. This was the first time I was confiding in someone.

Colleague B works in another department. I had met her a few times and only exchanged greetings with her, but when she heard about my situation, she encouraged me to tell my manager about it and to let the manager know what I was experiencing and feeling. As she is also a senior manager, in order to protect me from further unreasonable treatment, she immediately “ordered” me to pack up and go home, with no need to return to work until my manager who was on a business trip returned and gave me a solution. I was really shocked at that time. She even stood beside me while I packed, till I left, ensuring that I was not questioned unnecessarily. That day I sent an email to inform my manager who was overseas. My manager was also very surprised that I was subjected to workplace bullying when I had only joined the company for three short months. Within a week, my manager notified the human resources department and colleague A’s manager to take appropriate measures. I was subsequently transferred to an office upstairs. Apart from my original tasks, I also had to assist other groups in their work. Even though my workload has increased by three times, I gained lots of different knowledge and am constantly growing.

I always bear this encouragement from my mentor, President Ikeda in my mind: “Complaints erase good fortune. Grateful prayer builds happiness for all eternity.” So, I never complained about colleague A and certainly do not hate her. She had actually created an opportunity for me to strive harder in faith, using daimoku to elevate my life condition and develop my potential even further in my workplace. I chanted with gratitude. It was also at this time that one of my friends in the women division was facing a challenge with thyroid cancer. I gave her lots of support and encouragement and chanted every day for her to transform her karma, so that she can continue striving for kosen-rufu. The bodhisattva practice of Nichiren Buddhism, practising for others as well, minified my own problems.

Clarissa (Left from first row) and the district leaders and members enjoying a fruitful discussion meeting. (January 2018)
Clarissa (Left from first row) and the district leaders and members enjoying a fruitful discussion meeting. (January 2018)
Encouragement From My Mentor Spurred Me to Advance

As the sun of the family, I am determined not to bring my emotions from work back home. My child and I also have a daily habit of showing concern for each other and asking each other about our day. When my daughter says that she had had a good day and then asks me in return: “Mummy, was your work okay today?” this simple sentence would bring tears to my eyes, which I hold back as I reply: “Work was very busy and I am a little tired.” She then says, “It’s okay mummy, you can continue tomorrow after resting.” I really feel very gratified and moved hearing these words from my child. Just like reading the Gosho and the guidances in The New Human Revolution written by President Ikeda, it is these words and guidances that constantly encourage me, driving me to renew myself each day, and giving me the motivation to advance. This incident made me realise even more deeply the importance of reading The Human Revolution and The New Human Revolution. It is only by doing so that our bond with our mentor can be strengthened and we can inherit the mentor and disciple spirit.

On December 5, I received an email written to my manager by a colleague from the United States, commending me for my work performance and efficiency. Four days later, a colleague from Indonesia also sent an email of appreciation and gratitude. I also received commendations from colleagues in Singapore and Malaysia on January 3 and February 20 of this year. While heartened to receive these commendations, I also deeply “feel” the incredible workings of the Mystic Law.

Second Soka Gakkai president Mr Toda gave the following guidance: “First decide what you will do and be determined to succeed without fail. The outcome hinges on your commitment.

This is the philosophy for success.” He taught that one must have a clear goal and a strong will in order to succeed in anything, because President Toda believed that “those who experience indescribable hardships and go on to surmount them are true victors.”

As SGI President Ikeda states: “The key to leading a fulfilled life, free of regrets, is to dedicate ourselves to a cause, a goal that is larger than us.” I am determined to achieve absolute victory at work and do my best to share Buddhism with my other colleagues. I will also foster more youth in my district, pray for the growth and happiness of each member in my district, and realise my dream to attend a training course in Japan as soon as possible.

 

(Adapted from April 2019 issue of Creative Life)



ANNOUNCEMENT

Greetings! We are pleased to share that we have changed our name from Singapore Soka Association (SSA) to Soka Gakkai Singapore (SGS) with effect from 18 November 2021. Our Chinese name 新加坡创价学会 remains unchanged.

Corresponding, our website’s new URL will now be sokasingapore.org. During this transition, there will be an auto redirection to our new website till May 2022.

We look forward to your continued support. Thank you.