Happiness doesn’t lie somewhere far away. It is something we must achieve for ourselves through our present struggles in the here and now.

An excerpt from the series “The Wisdom for Creating Happiness and Peace,” which features key selections from SGI President Ikeda’s 150 volumes of collected works, and began in the July 2014 Living Buddhism.

“It is the heart that is important” (“The Strategy of the Lotus Sutra,” The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, vol. 1, p. 1000), writes Nichiren Daishonin.

photo: iStockPhoto

When we do something, do we approach it with a negative attitude, grumbling: “Oh, not again! I hate this!” or a positive attitude, telling ourselves brightly, “All right, here’s a fresh opportunity to gain good fortune!”?

This seemingly small, subtle difference in attitude can make a huge difference in our lives. It can change things 180 degrees. This is what the Lotus Sutra and the doctrine of “three thousand realms in a single moment of life” teach us.

The heart is invisible, and Buddhism provides a comprehensive understanding of the principles governing that invisible heart. It represents the highest form of psychology, neuroscience and psychotherapy.

Appreciation and joy multiply our good fortune. Complaint and negativity erase it.

Happiness doesn’t lie somewhere far away. It is something we must achieve for ourselves through our present struggles in the here and now.

In the endeavor to spread Nichiren Buddhism, actions arising from our sincere wish to help others and teach them the greatness of the Mystic Law bring immense benefit and good fortune to fill our lives.

“It is the heart that is important”—there are no truer words than these.

Human beings are weak and easily susceptible to complaint, resentment, envy and discouragement.

But this is where those who practice Nichiren Buddhism differ. They stop complaining, they stop being dissatisfied and negative. They attain an inner strength that makes them confident and positive. And their hearts overflow with appreciation and gratitude.

We often find that those who live in the city yearn for country life, while those who live in the country long for city life, or that those who are single dream of being married, while those who are married wish they were single again. That is a common tendency of the human heart.

But happiness doesn’t lie somewhere far away. It is something we must achieve for ourselves through our present struggles in the here and now.

When we have a positive and appreciative attitude toward our communities, it will give greater confidence and impetus to our activities. The joy of kosen-rufu will spread. (May 2015 Living Buddhism, p. 53)