15 December 2013
Thank you to the readers who’ve been asking me when the book of this blog is coming out. I am finalising the manuscript right now and aiming to have the Kindle version published by February 2014. I also have a wonderful literary agent (Susan Feldstein) talking to publishers about launching a paperback in Autumn 2014.
Around 20% of the book is now on this blog and I’m truly grateful to hundreds of people who’ve made comments on my posts and Facebook page. Your words have touched my heart, clarified my thoughts and helped me finish and polish the final version.
The book is of course influenced by great SGI Buddhist teachers and writers such as Josei Toda, Shin Yatomi and, most of all, Daisaku Ikeda. But as a mindset coach I’m also a big fan of personal development and leadership books by the likes of Lance Secretan, David Taylor, Joe Vitale and Byron Katie. I love the way that these gifted authors package up great wisdom in bite-size chunks that are easy to absorb and use. Sometimes I feel they explain Buddhist concepts more eloquently than Buddhists do.
So my book aims to bridge the gap between Buddhism and personal development which is why it will explain Nichiren’s profound teachings using the simple language found in popular psychology books. That’s also why the book contains journal exercises and affirmations for readers who may not want to chant but would nevertheless like to embed some Buddhist wisdom in their lives. And that’s why, for people who are seeking a deeper level of happiness, but have not considered Buddhism, the book explores concepts that are rarely touched on in popular psychology, such as karma, the eternity of life and the law of cause and effect. And, more importantly, how these principles make all the difference to your daily life. So, if people find this book as accessible as the best self-help books and as profound and inclusive as the best books on Nichiren Buddhism, I will feel I have achieved my goal. This book is also written for people who want to change the world, but don’t quite know where to start (the answer’s in the mirror, by the way…).
In the book I will have time and space to explore Buddhist concepts in more detail than I can on here. For example, there’s a whole chapter on the knotty topic of karma which would be difficult to explain in a typical 700-word blog post. The book also has uplifting experiences from people using Buddhist practice to transform their lives and communities. It includes philosophical passages comparing the teachings of Nichiren Daishonin to other philosophies plus several ‘debates’, for example: is morality past its sell-by-date? There are occasional rants about what I feel needs changing in our world, an exploration of how we are damaged by an over-used ‘survival mentality’ and a discussion on why, when the ego succeeds, humanity fails.
I want this book to be inspirational, encouraging and uplifting. My prayer is that after reading it, people will achieve massive breakthroughs in their lives and communities because they feel more hopeful, courageous and powerful. For what I have realised from 28 years of chanting Nam Myoho Renge Kyo is that when the Buddha in you meets the Buddha in me, truly amazing stuff can happen. And that this is how we can start the ‘human revolution’ or the ‘revolution from the inside’ that the world is aching for now.
Love and light,