Losing faith requires us to find faith. Everyday, I find myself losing faith in myself, in my abilities. My lesser self is constantly challenged by questions of how much longer can I last? How many more times do I have to do this? When can I exercise every aspect of my life, bringing it to fruition?
And yet, the most difficult lens of perception is the one that says that you already do exercise every aspect of your life, as long as you challenge the obstacles in front of you. Overcoming obstacles does not necessarily mean you develop callouses over points of vulnerability, shame, lesser thinking, and apathy. Rather, often these wounds need to be healed not only by the usual means, but also the love and respect for oneself that never existed before. That experience can be truly liberating. Evil karma hurts. But lost faith brings greater pain.
I have more to say about what I've been facing in my academics, but since it's finals season, and I have to go paper topic hunting, I will leave that for the after-semester reflections. So, I leave you with this quote from the gosho. Nichiren states in "The Daimoku of the Lotus Sutra",
"Diamonds are so hard that almost no substance will cut them, and yet
they can be cut by a sheep’s horn or a turtle’s shell. The limbs of the
nyagrodha tree are so stout that the largest birds can perch on them without breaking them, and yet they are vulnerable to the tailorbird,
which is so tiny it could almost build its nest on the eyelashes of a
mosquito. Here, our evil karma is analogous to the diamond or the
nyagrodha tree, and the daimoku of the Lotus Sutra, to the sheep’s horn
or the tailorbird. Amber draws dust, and a magnet attracts iron
particles; here our evil karma is like the dust or iron, and the daimoku
of the Lotus Sutra is like the amber or the magnet. If we consider
these [analogies, we can see why] we should always chant
Oh and Kuni, DD coffee is the "shit" ain't it?