A Dream to Teach Disadvantaged Children
In this Life Experience Story, Antony from South Africa shares his experience from practicing self-reflection at the autumn 2010 Noble Eightfold Path retreat at Nikko Shoja, Japan. Here is what he had to say.
My experience here at this retreat has been more than I ever expected it to be. It has been a huge eye-opener for me, making me realize that I have much to do. Nonetheless, I feel prepared and ready.
A Lightening Strike Vision…
On day one of the retreat, while we were sitting in meditation, I had a flash of a vision, like a lightning strike. The vision disappeared as quickly as it had come, but it was embedded in my mind. It was really the confirmation of my dream, signaling, “Go out there and do it.”
My dream is to teach children to play golf, specifically children from disadvantaged backgrounds. Children are the future. I always believed that if young children could get into playing golf and grabbing the game, it would do wonders for them because alongside teaching children to play golf is the teaching of life skills. What hadn’t occurred to me before in teaching them life skills, however, was to include spirituality.
With Happy Science now being introduced in South Africa, I believe it is the ideal teaching of spirituality for children because it will give them the opportunity to grow up to understand and be able to do self-reflection. There are all sorts of unpleasant things like corruption happening in the world right now. Everything that is taught at Happy Science is about the giving of love, knowledge, and the Fourfold Path which is what we all need. We need to give love. If the next generation can grow up understanding that there is a God guiding the world with compassion and benevolence, and practicing these teachings of self-reflection and giving love, then they will become better people and the world will be a better place.
Awakening to Giving More Love
I realized for myself that I have a lot of love to give, and that I can give more. I thought that I was giving love, but then I realized that I am in fact more of a taker. I have not given enough especially to those who are close to me.
Looking at my home life, I have a wife who is a professional accountant and works longer hours than I do. I get home earlier than she does, then turn on the television, and chill out. She gets home and within an hour, she will have prepared a really good dinner. This is really one of the things that struck me. I have been home for probably an hour or an hour and a half, but I have done nothing, just sat around, looked at the TV, or maybe read something. On the other hand, after a hard day’s work, my wife prepares dinner almost immediately upon reaching home, with barely time to change into something comfortable. I could have helped her by preparing half of the dinner or at least doing something to ease a bit of her burden. That is taking by not doing anything. That is taking, not giving.
A New Daily Routine
From now on, what I want to try to do is to get up fifteen minutes earlier to be able to recite the prayers and to meditate. Fifteen minutes earlier in the greater scheme of things is not a lot of time. However, reciting the Dharma of the Right Mind sutra, the prayers, especially the Prayer for Husband and Wife*, and meditating even for five minutes will make a huge difference. Moreover, coming home from work, I would like to sit down, reflect on the day and study the teachings, which will help me better appreciate the value of each day.
* A prayer in Prayers Book II for husband and wife to support one another, cultivate harmony and to create family utopia.