The article recounts the struggle to establish my career, overcome adversity and develop my inner self while making my debut CD titled “A Blue Deeper than the Blue” which won the 1993 Boston Music Award for Best Jazz Recording and numerous Top Ten Best of Year lists. The recording and my experience are both a tribute to the oneness of mentor and disciple as exemplified by Daisaku Ikeda’s poem, “A Blue Deeper than the Blue of the Indigo Plant Itself.”
A quote from Nichiren Daishonin’s writings helps explain this:
“One who practices still more earnestly whenever he hears the teachings of the Lotus Sutra is a true seeker of the Way. When T’ien-t’ai stated, ‘From the indigo, an even deeper blue,’ he meant that something dyed with indigo becomes even bluer than the indigo plant itself. For us the Lotus Sutra is the indigo plant, and the growing intensity of our practice is “an even deeper blue.”
Because of my Buddhist practice as an SGI member and 36 years chanting Nam Myoho Renge Kyo, and my good fortune to have encountered SGI President Daisaku Ikeda in my youth, I have been able to develop and polish my capabilities as an educator, author, composer and jazz guitarist, while encouraging others to strive to accomplish their own dreams.
It’s hard to imagine looking back on that time in 1990-91, that the difficulties and challenges I was facing then would become the causes for victory I now enjoy. Daisaku Ikeda’s visit to Boston and lecture at Harvard University in September of 1991 was an important cause for me to challenge myself and create positive growth for the future. I hope many more youth will have the same opportunity and victory from today onward.