How Buddhism Changed This Young Black Brother’s Life
He has tried Christianity; he has tried Islam, but daimoku (or Nam-myoho-renge-kyo) has kept him together during these parlous, difficult times in the ‘hood.
This video was uploaded in September; as far as I know, he is about to publish a book and is continuing to develop his musical as well as comedic talent. He has uploaded a new video November 7.
This is some of what he says on his You Tube channel (with some grammar corrections):
Mi gentes! My name is AR aka Lord Brilliant. I am a writer, poet, MC. I grew up on the elements of hiphop and art. My musical taste stems from Moms listening to oldies, Pops listening to Jazz, Sister listening to heavy metal, Other Sister introduced me to hiphop real heavy. Public Enemy, Rakim, KRS, etc. The house was very artistic. Everyone like my mother was a painter/sculptor; sister could play piano/sax [while] other sis drew pictures. I drew, wrote stories and songs as a kid. My album Last Hoorah for the Bad Guy is more of a personal album with different vibes of pain, anger, hope, comedy, street, love, political, and just straight lyrical battle shit. I love Wu Tang, Nas, Killarmy, Seven Star, Immortal Technique, Canibus, Killah Priest, Chino XL, My Crew, The Embassy, the Never So Deep Camp (DJ Bless, Donnie Darko, Jim Snooka, etc.) Sean P–basically good fucking hiphop. Love punk music because it is the cousin of hiphop in sorts also. So please support and buy the album on iTunes when it is released…
SGI Buddhists have often been criticized as those who chant for things like jobs, cars, and homes. While these are wonderful and great middle-class benefits, there are also spiritual benefits to be taken from the practice.
In essence, SGI Buddhists are chanting to lift their life condition towards the state of Buddhahood, so that they are open to receiving and gaining value from these and other wonderful, yet transitory things as their due as human beings, and while placing them in perspective to what is really important.
The kinds of benefits that AR is speaking of–inner strength, compassion, a winning outlook, patience, self-reflection–this is the kind of positive transformation that remains long after the cars rust and the jobs are lost. These are the kinds of youth that we need to draw away from negativity, depression, anger and frustration, and towards hope, opportunity, inner development, and achievement. No matter what religious affiliation.