Towards a Victorious Future as Husband and Wife United in Faith

As life presents various sets of challenges, Han Boon learns the importance of faith with the unwavering support of his wife Seet Mun. Their experiences truly demonstrate the truth in these words of the Gosho: “It is the power of the bow that determines the flight of the arrow, the might of the dragon that controls the movement of the clouds, and the strength of the wife that guides the actions of her husband.”

Han Boon (first from left) with fellow Soka Knight members. He had taken up the mission hoping to contribute to kosen-rufu in any ways possible. (October 2022)

Establishing Indestructible Faith

Chua Han Boon
Men Division

My wife Seet Mun introduced me to Nichiren Buddhism during my youth. I attended discussion meetings with her for several years but did not take up faith until 2005, after participating in the Youth Culture Festival as a Young Lion (Young Men Division behind-the- scenes group) member. At that time, I was facing some personal challenges. I started to chant and was determined to overcome my challenges. I had to chant secretly in the room at first as my parents were not supportive of my Buddhist practice, but I managed to persevere in faith with Seet Mun’s support.

After our marriage, we managed to enshrine the Gohonzon in our new house with my parents’ blessing. However, my faith fluctuated, and my Buddhist practice was inconsistent with the many ups and downs in life. When I experienced the loss of my beloved parents, my faith was affected, and I started to practise haphazardly.

In 2015, I encountered great instability in my job. I was working in a company as the Head of Sales managing business operation. In my third year in the company, my finance manager informed me that the company was not doing well and had run into financial difficulties. As a management staff, my pay was withheld until the company overcame the situation. My only remuneration was commission from closure of sales. This situation lasted for more than two years. My children were very young then, and I had to live with my limited savings. Many a times, I wanted to quit but leaving meant leaving my company and the over 20 staff under me in a lurch, hence I persevered on.

I worked day and night without any rest. I had to manage the company’s operations in the day and supervise the engineers who worked over the night to deliver projects. This went on for almost three years and I slept for barely two hours a day. With little time for sleep, it was needless to say that I couldn’t find time to chant or attend Soka Gakkai activities.

I remember, even during the birth of my second child, I was doing my work remotely outside the delivery ward. At that point in time, I was really at my lowest. Every day was a difficult challenge. Nevertheless, my wife chanted earnestly on a daily basis for me to be able to revitalise my faith and encouraged me to chant again for the wisdom to overcome my situation or find a new job, seeing how that job was adversely affecting me, both physically, and mentally. She even shared with me Sensei’s guidance and testimonies from the SGS publications, Creative Life and Soka Times. I would always hear her chanting whenever she could, as she tried her best to encourage me and bring me back to the prime point of

Physically, I was exhausted due to the long working hours and lack of sleep. Mentally, I was always worrying about the depletion of my limited savings.Then one day, I decided to start chanting again albeit in the hope of proving my wife wrong — that chanting does not work. However, the moment I started chanting, I felt a sense of peace which I had not experienced for the longest time! From that day onwards, I sacrificed my two-hour sleep to chant for a breakthrough in my situation. I told myself that I must not fail my family, especially my wife who had always been supporting me.Finally, I made a decision, updated my resume, and started looking for a new job.

I set specific prayers to be able to find a job that met the three criteria Toda Sensei had mentioned in his guidance to youth namely — beauty (a job you like), benefit (a job that provides financial stability) and good (a job that contributes to society) and chanted wholeheartedly. I also began to attend Soka Gakkai activitiesand read Ikeda Sensei’s guidance to strengthen my faith. Few months later, I managed to find a job that met the criteria I had chanted for, and more importantly allowed me to have time for Soka Gakkai activities. 

At the beginning of 2022, I was experiencing rapid weight loss, fast heart rate and excessive sweating. The doctor did a series of tests for me and diagnosed me with hyperthyroidism. The doctor told me I was fortunate to have discovered it early otherwise it would have been life threatening. I took the doctor’s prescriptions and kept the thyroid in control within a few months.

In mid 2022, my eyes kept tearing and developed pus. I went to a general practitioner and was prescribed eye drops for eye infection. Nevertheless, the symptoms did not subside. I requested to be referred to an eye specialist and was subsequently diagnosed with thyroid eye disease. There was a risk of total blindness if left untreated. I had to undergo 12 weeks of treatment to inject steroids into my bloodstream so that they could effectively supress my immune system and control the overactive muscles behind my eyes. First few treatments were tormenting for me as the nurses had to try several times before they could successfully insert the cannula into my veins. There were even occasions when they had to poke me six to eight times before treatment could start.

In the Gosho, Nichiren Daishonin states, “Suffer what there is to suffer, enjoy what there is to enjoy. Regard both suffering and joy as facts of life, and continue chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, no matter what happens. How could this be anything other than the boundless joy of the Law?” (WND-1, p. 681)

My whole family chanted with me for every single treatment, that the nurses would be my protective functions of the universe and be able to insert thecannula on the first try. Our determined prayers were answered.

Even though I have to run between the hospital and my workplace, I stand firm in my faith and continue to exert myself in kosen-rufu activities. In my latest review, the doctor ruled out the need for eye surgery and prescribed me a six-month oral treatment instead.I always bear in mind this phrase from the Gosho: “winter always turns to spring”. I realised through my years of consistent Buddhist practice and kosen-rufu activities, I no longer harbour doubt in the Gohonzon, even in the face of health challenges. I always fall back on Sensei’s guidance as my compass. Ikeda Sensei says, “Falling ill is not a form of failure or defeat. It doesn’t happen because our faith is weak. When the suffering of illness occurs amid our efforts for kosen-rufu, it is the working of devilish influences trying to obstruct our attainment of Buddhahood. As such, we mustn’t let illness intimidate us. The Daishonin teaches us how to bring forth courage to face illness and attain Buddhahood in this lifetime.” (The Wisdom for Creating Happiness and Peace New Edition Part 1 Happiness p. 272) I am grateful that I have this Buddhist practice and believe if I persevere with courageous faith, I will recover with the right treatment.

Ikeda Sensei says, “No matter how much we’re suffering, we should rouse faith in the Gohonzon and chant with the spirit ‘I won’t be defeated!’ If we can do that, the courage to face our troubles will well up from within. We’ll be invigorated and filled with joy. The way to solving all our problems will open before our eyes. Steadfast Daimoku is the key. Chant intensely every day, whether others are noticing or not — that’s the driving force for everything.” (The New Human Revolution Volume 23, “Bold Struggle” chapter instalment 48) I am determined to read the Gosho daily, chant for at least an hour a day, and demonstrate actual proof of victory in faith; and be the pillar in my district, family, and work, in this Year of Youth and Triumph!

My Secret to success – Praying with All My Might

Alongside Han Boon, Seet Mun (second from right; standing) contributes to kosen-rufu in her own ways too, fostering successors in the Primary Division as a Sunshine Auntie. (November 2018)

Loo Seet Mun
Women Division

I started practising Nichiren Buddhism with my parents when I was three years old. At primary school, my dad enrolled me in the Kotekitai (Young Women Division Fife and Drum Corps), and later I was also active in the Byakuren Group (YWD function group) and the four division activities.

I was a timid person by nature but having received training in the Soka Gakkai during my youth, I built a strong foundation in faith and learned the importance of breaking through one’s weaknesses. Hence, in the hope of overcoming my introverted nature, I decided to take up sales as my career.

After graduating to the Women Division, I wanted to continue contributing to kosen-rufu activities, so I volunteered to become a Sunshine Aunty, taking care of Primary Division members. There were various challenges that I faced at my workplace and family, but I overcame them one after another based on faith.

In 2015, Han Boon’s job was at risk, I was worried that I would become the breadwinner of the family. I persuaded him to find a new job, but he was reluctant and wanted to try out his job on the full commission scheme. As the months passed, the commission scheme was not working. I was not supportive of his idea because there was no stable income. At times, I would nag at him, but it did not change the situation.

I came across this guidance from the book Kaneko Story where Mrs Ikeda shares: “Appreciation and gratitude increase good fortune. Complaint and negativity erase it.” With encouragement from my seniors in faith as well, I started to focus on chanting more for Han Boon. I was determined to do my human revolution by not nagging but being encouraging and positive instead. I chanted an hour a day and set specific prayers for him to overcome his job karma through faith and to realise his mission for kosen-rufu. While striving hard at work, I also dedicated my time after work to Soka Gakkai activities.

In 2016, I was fortunate to receive the top sales achiever award in my department, which allowed me to earn the income to support the family finances. I am most grateful too when my husband started chanting again and awakened to his mission in the Soka Gakkai after two years. He volunteered to join the Soka Knight group, taking care of the meeting venues and greeting members. He chanted daily, determined to overcome his job challenges through faith. Our prayers were answered in January 2018 when he started a new career in a multinational corporation with reasonable monthly income.

In retrospect, I am grateful for the experience as my husband managed to strengthen his faith and commitment to kosen-rufu through it.

Ikeda sensei once said, “Nothing is as strong or as deep as the prayers of our Women Division members. To pray until victory is achieved, to pray with all one’s might — this is the spirit of the Women Division. The shining crown of victory adorns all who have such faith. To pray through every problem, to pray fully with all of your being — this is the secret of success.” (Speech given at the 44th Soka Gakkai Headquarters Leaders Meeting held on March 24, 2000)

I am determined to put this guidance into practice and see through all challenges without retreating a single step, praying with strong faith until victory is achieved. Hence, with Han Boon and our two children, we are praying that Han Boon will fully recover from his thyriod eye disease and demonstate actual proof of faith.

With the motto, “Win Every Day”, I will strive my utmost for kosen-rufu alongside my mentor Ikeda Sensei!

(Adapted from Mar 2023 issue of Creative Life)