What Is a "FORTUNE Baby?"
In Nichiren Buddhism, a fortune baby is born to a woman who practices Buddhism while the child is in the womb. It is thought that through practicing Buddhism while pregnant, your child will inevitably inherit the good fortune accumulated by actively participating in your faith by chanting, doing gongyo (gongyo means to chant the daimoku of Nam-myoho-renge-kyo and recite portions of the "Expedient Means" (second) chapter and the "Life Span" (sixteenth) chapter of the Lotus Sutra with faith in the ob
I have only a handful of friends that are also fortune babies, and one may think that because we were born into this practice that somehow our lives are easier. On the contrary, I think that some of us can honestly say that we tend to come across obstacles just as often, and difficult, as anyone else. The only thing that sets us apart is that we have always had easy access to the Gohonzon, we have been expose to regular daily activites at a very young age, and have been attending meetings and learning about Buddhism our whole lives. We have hit rock bottom, we have been poor, we have suffered imensely like eveyone else, but what sets us apart, is that we know how to address each obstacle head on and whole heartedly because that is what we have been taught, spiritually, our whole lives.
What I love most about SGI is that it is an organization that grooms leaders. Anyone and everyone has an opportunity to lead at some point as long as they want to meet the challenge. One can be practicing their whole life, or for a couple years, and can still receive the training and experience of leading. In my opinion, a good leader leads by example. People don't need to know every detail of your personal life, but when a leader shares an experience that is similar to your own, it can make you feel more connected to them and their example may help you with your own issue.
I have noticed that when I am going through a difficult obstacle, I submerge myself in chanting, doing gongyo, participating in various activities, attend several meetings, while studying AND socializing with other members, my life condition changes dramatically. I could be living in a state of hell, and as long as I continue with the prescription I just described, my life always changes for the better. Although I should be doing this regularly, everyday, the beauty of this organization is that it IS for lay people! Normal people, with jobs, families, and all the miscellaneous things that come up in life.
I find it funny when I am going through a difficult time, both my sister and best friend cannot understand how I can be going through the worst time in my life and still be happy and smiling. I tell them, "Because I chant!" and they just don't get it. My sister doesn't practice and my best friend is Catholic, and during a difficult time in my life, my sister brought me to tears. I almost hated her for not encouraging me, supporting me in the ways I needed her to, it seemed as though she wanted me to be miserable. My best friend turned on me so badly that i thought our friendship is beyond repair. Not only was I hurting inside, but their negative behavior was an additional issue to add to the pile of crap I was going through. When someone I love hurts me, I normally forgive them and move on, but after this experience, i learned that i won't always be able to rely on them for support and I may have to go through a lot on my own. If you really need someone to be there for you, ask yourself some serious questions:
1. Is this person a positive, motivating force in my life? or a negative one?
2. Is this relationship worth the time and energy and will they have what it will take to help me overcome the issues at hand? Can we trust each other?
3. Do we share a loving, healthy relationship, and do we bring out the best in each other?
4. Are we supportive, respectful, and honest with one another during the good times and bad?
These questions really helped me.
Fortune babies go through the same obstacles, problems, issues, and negative influences as everyone else. We either succumb to those devilish influences or we fight them head on towards a victorious, harmonious, and happy little life. When you have strong faith, nothing can keep you from smiling.