Starting this year, Living Buddhism is highlighting representative SGI-USA members applying Buddhist ideals to their workplaces in different regions of the country. This issue features members from Southern California.

Photo by Yvonne Ng

Mardi Tan
Long Beach, California
Profession: Pilot

My Buddhist practice helps me arrive to work with confidence and a positive outlook. Being a pilot can be stressful, knowing that each decision I make affects the safety of my crew and passengers. Each morning, I chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo for everyone’s safety and for unity among the crew.

Whenever I’m having a bad day, I remind myself that I have a unique mission and that my struggles are fuel to fulfill that mission. Recently, I received a promotion from first officer to captain! Personally, as a pilot and chapter young women’s leader, I push through all my challenges based on my vow for kosen-rufu.


Photo by Yvonne Ng

 

Rory Arnaud
San Diego
Profession: Chief Operating Officer at a construction firm

My key to victory has been to chant one hour each morning before work. To do this and be on time for work, I need to be in front of the Gohonzon by 4:15 a.m. By the time I leave the house, I’m ready to take on everything with a sense of mission.

By creating this morning rhythm, I’m able to bring out my full potential on the job, working on residential and commercial construction projects. After a hard day’s work, I also do my best as a region young men’s leader to encourage other young men. With the Gohonzon and Sensei as my mentor, there is no limit to how much I can expand my abilities.


Photo by Yvonne Ng

 

Tae Sang Park
Los Angeles
Profession: Garment warehouse technician

I always keep in mind these words of wisdom: “It is the heart that is important” (“The Strategy of the Lotus Sutra,” The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, vol. 1, p. 1000). Even if I’m having a bad day or not getting the results I want, I think of this passage and determine that as long as I do my best, I will win.

I work with many people in the garment industry who have different opinions and personal interests. By chanting a lot each morning, I have developed a harmonious work environment, where we work as a team. As a district men’s leader, I also try to convey my victories to the members and inspire them to strive in their practice, too.