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My story is one of Victory over the impossible.
This isn’t to say I have a perfect life right now but compared to what it was like I am living a DREAM!
At the age of 27 I was kidnapped, raped and beaten at the hands of a psychopath.
There was a decisive moment in this horrid experience when this man had 2 high powered shotguns aimed at my chest.
He said he could kill me as easily as if I were a fly and I said to him “Go ahead, I have got nothing to live for!”
This is what saved my life.
He could not get me scared anymore and the fear was what he was feeding on so he let me go.
After he let me go I went home to my boyfriend who then beat me up for my drunkenness, which was one of the causes of my attracting this situation in the first place.
So..From the frying pan into the oven so to speak.
This was not by a long shot the first time I had been kidnapped, beaten and raped.
The very first time was when I was only 13 years old. I started to self medicate myself with alcohol shortly after that. And so at the tender age of 13 I started my own personal road of unspeakable suffering.
I became an active Alcoholic, active drug user and at the age of 19 was diagnosed with an incurable mental illness called paranoid schizophrenia.(*besieged by hallucinations and auditory hallucinations I referred to as “hearing voices”) The fringe benefits from all this was to live a life full of self loathing. To say I had no self confidence or esteem would be a gross understatement. Which was why in the final kidnapping experience of my life I said to my captor “Go ahead, I have got nothing to live for!”
The universe did not forsake me, as I had always thought, because one week after this final abduction my bass player, while I was night club singing, told me about NAM MYO HO RENGE KYO.
I was desperate and would try anything, even mumbling these strange sounding words over and over.
The reason I have stated here in this blog a “my final abduction” is simply this: After chanting these words I have never,ever attracted anything even remotely like this again in my life! I completely changed my Karma!
The organization that supports the practitioners of this Buddhism is called S.G.I.
I was so unstable it truly astounds me as to the compassion, patience and perseverance these Buddhist leaders and friends had for me. You cannot even imagine how unfocused and ill I was.
There were times a fellow Y.W.D. (Young Women’s Division ) would come over and drag me off of my roof, (where I was known to hang out and get drunk) and sober me up and talk hard at me.
She was the first one to get me to chant a long length of time 2 hours.
My Y.W.D. leader was a dynamo and chanted enormous amounts of daimoku (Nam myo ho renge kyo) for me and got me up at 7 a.m. to go to Youth practices every Sunday.
It really did not matter that I was hung over or even still half drunk at 7 am; it was the cause to save my life.
I always felt hope at these activities no matter what my physical condition was.
Just 3 months after starting this practice and chanting consistently every morning and evening, I spoke with my mother on the phone and she asked about how were the “voices”?
(One of the things that happen to people with this ailment of paranoid schizophrenia is that they hear voices, have hallucinations and often act upon the very strange often suicidal or self damaging things that the voices tell us to do.) If you’ve ever seen the movie “A beautiful Mind” you’ll know this condition is incurable, that you must take very strong medicine and that it follows you for the rest of your life!
In that moment my mom asked me, I realized there were no more voices! I completely cured the incurable with this very powerful, all encompassing practice!
They have never returned and that was over 30 years ago!
This is one of the greatest benefits of this practice that it heals the impossible!
I joined the Y.W.D. chorus, even at times showing up at rehearsals with bruises and black eyes due to the drunken fights with my boyfriend.
Later on I joined the Byakuren. (like a Hostess to meet and greet people) I knew that being active in the Youth Division was my only hope to change my life.
I must have really needed the youth activities because they even put me in twice!
When I turned 30 they transferred me to Women’s Division, But after chanting hours and hours of daimoku (Nam Myo Ho Renge Kyo) to go to Japan with the S.G.I. ~ my leaders decided to not only put me back in the Y.W.D. make me a Y.W.D district leader but also to invite me to attend a very special Youth Division Training activity in Japan with President Ikeda. I even had my photo (with all the youth) taken with him, where he told us we all looked like movie stars.. I still have and treasure this photo.
In the Youth division we studied and studied and engraved in our hearts the Gosho (writings of Nichiren Daishonin and Pres. Ikeda’s guidance’s and to this day I still have memorized many Gosho passages which have encouraged me throughout the years in those crucial moments.
Here is one in particular:
There is definitely something extraordinary in the ebb and flow of the tide, the rising and setting of the moon, and the way in which summer, autumn, winter and spring give way to each other. Something uncommon also occurs when an ordinary person attains Buddhahood. At such a time, the three obstacles and four devils will invariably appear, and the wise will rejoice while the foolish will retreat.
The wise will rejoice while the foolish will retreat!
The whole purpose of Buddhism is to change or transform our karma. Somehow, somewhere (perhaps many lifetimes ago)I created the life that I led. Also on the same hand I must have created some extraordinary and wonderful causes to encounter this practice at such a perfect time when I would be open to it, even desperate for it!
I am now a totally changed woman. Joyfully sober for many years now, joyfully married to a gentle and generous man, I own 2 homes. One is on the Beach in Spain! And somehow even in this recession the mortgages just keep getting paid, albeit sometimes slowly!)
My friend Frank calls us the richest poor people he knows. And I get that!
We travel, enjoy our lives and smile a lot. No matter what, we always laugh.
At 60 years old I am healthier than I have ever been in my life. Just turned Vegan and getting my 20 year old body back!!
My second youth!
I owe my life to my Sensei (mentor) and the precious fellow S.G.I. members. I am grateful beyond words and therefore determine to show my gratitude through my actions of doing what others have done for me; for the Youth, for the 80 year old youth and for everyone I meet.
I can most honestly say without a shred of doubt or remorse.
It was an honor to go through every single thing!
I repeat “It was an Honor to go through every single thing!
AND I am determined to continue to reply to Sensei with my triumphant life in the Arts. As we all know being a successful artist in this world is not by any stretch of the imagination easy but with faith and practice and caring for others I will do this!
Thank you so very much!
For a sound bite of the phrase we chant please go to:
Affirmations are a wonderful way to create new positive pathways in our thoughts.
Negative thoughts are simply habit.
As we repeat over and over these lovely and positive statements they to become Habits.
Always use “I”.
State a positive affirmation in the present tense. Example: Every day in every way I am becoming Happier and Happier.
Keep them simple. Short and sweet.
Use words that inspire our imagination. Poetic words like waves or flowing stimulate images as well.
Use words that evoke Feelings. I love money and I love the feeling of having more than enough!
Singing Affirmations or Affirmations with music penetrate our subconscious even deeper.
Rhyming also is helpful for the same reason.
When you are doing your affirmations and resistance occurs: State your Affirmations without causing inner conflict by wording them:
“I am in the process of _______.”
Example: I am in the process of becoming more self confident.”
Another great way to state Affirmations is to express Thankfulness in advance.
Thank you for the Prosperity I am receiving.
Consistency is the Key.
Record your affirmations and listen to them at bedtime.
Exercise to them.
Walk while saying them.
Watch the way you word something. Are you stating it in the negative rather than the positive?
Example: I am now releasing my morning headaches. NOT GOOD
GOOD: I now wake up every morning comfortable and happy.
Free Download of my fun affirmation Book:
More Healing Affirmations;
From old yet timeless guidance from then Vice President Tsuji* to see link bottom of page:
..if you’re doing gongyo and feel this is the happiest moment of your life, then tremendous amount of benefit will come to you.
If you can really chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo with the greatest joy, naturally, that Nam-myoho-renge-kyo will burst forth from within yourself.
You must feel that it gives you the greatest pleasure to do Gongyo and Daimoku.
I am a practicing S.G.I. Buddhist and travel a lot. Many times I have to do my morning and evening prayers ( Gongyo and Daimoku)* while my husband sails along the highways and byways of our Wondrous and Adventurous Gypsy- style life.
There is a road outside of Benton Hot Springs Resort that is like a real and thrilling Roller Coaster ride and I have had the immense pleasure to have been on this road twice while doing my prayers of Gongyo and Daimoku.
While my hubby maneuvers Up and Down on this Carnival ride I am chanting and soon the car transforms and becomes a Wild, Galloping horse with me in the saddle! I chant with a weightless sensation of floating high and low.
It is exhilarating to say the least! It is almost impossible to put into words how much fun and excitement this experience brings to me and how much it reminds me that I can have this great Joy with every single Gongyo.
This is the feeling I want to always have as I chant.
I want to experience being on a Ferris wheel or Whirly ride as I do my prayers, as Vice Pres. Tsuji states that this is the Happiest moment of my life!
Available at: http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/bbberg
I’ve had a request for the original info that came with the hard copy of my C.D. (The hard copy is no longer available only the digital version but I thought it would be nice for anyone to download the original photos and song lyrics etc. I am Yours! ha ha! Barbara Berg B.B. Berg singer, songwriter, actor, performer
Singing Lesson plan by B.B. Berg;
Stretching: We have to get our Singing engine ready to Rock and Roll
Stretch Neck gently from side to side
Raise arms and stretch upwards towards the sky
Stretch arms out in front then towards back ~ Expanding the chest area
Stretch open our mouths as though yawning
Stretch tongue as though sticking out your tongue at someone. (Don’t worry I won’t take offense!)
Stretch on Tip toes
Abdominals: We need to strengthen our motor for singing
I will put a more complete list later but you can basically do any type of abdominal exercise and add your voice. (sing scales or arpeggios or even parts of songs while doing your abs)
Lay on floor and raise tummy (breathing in) Lower tummy while breathing out.
Lay on floor and draw 8’s in the air above you while breathing in and on the out breath let your hand drop directly on tummy area. (don’t put in on your tummy literally Let it Drop.) There will be a rather good thud on your tummy if you do this right.
Relaxing Breath We call this the “Let it go” exercise: Breathe in then tighten all your muscles then breathe out with a loud sigh sound relaxing all the muscles in the same movement.
Breathe in deeply (no chest movement only belly rising!) These are Yogic Prana type breaths.
Breathe out counting out loud as much as you can. Ex: 1,2,3,4,5, etc.
Do the same except instead of counting use the sound SHHHHHHHHHHHHHH
Do the same except instead of counting use the sound FFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFF
Do the same except instead of counting use the sound BRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR this one is complicated as it is using the lips.
Then see how many seconds your BR ,SH, FF last.
You can use the alphabet too.
Laughing ho ho ho we call this the Papa Noel exercise.
Breathe in then as you produce the sounds of laughter your belly will kick inwards.
try ha ha ha
he he he
hi hi hi
Vocalizing and Ear training
With the Piano we will now do:
Now the dessert!
to be continued as I will be more specific in some of the ADVANCED EXERCISE SCALES AND TECHNIQUES