How to Develop Your Will Power
A Compass pointing to the future--World Teacher Message


The Question:

Master has taught that progress is associated with “will power.” Could you tell us what kind of spiritual discipline we should undertake to develop our will power on a daily basis? And are there any important points to bear in mind?
(From Q&A session in Echizen local temple of Happy Science, August 22nd, 2010)


Master Okawa’s Answer:

Will power means “spiritual power of action”

Basically, it is important that you believe that your physical body is not you, but that you are a spiritual being. “Will” refers to thought concentrated in a set direction within the spirit body dwelling in the physical body. After all, will is actually the spiritual power of action. When you decide on a clear, definite goal to achieve and concentrate your thought on it, then your thought becomes will.

In the real world, will power becomes stronger according to the spiritual level of each individual, but it does not get strong without training. Of course, you cannot have strong will power if you have a weak faith.

In terms of spiritual power, there is active power and passive power. The ability to receive the revelation of God is not psychic power but rather passive power. So if you are an aggressive type, you cannot receive a revelation. You have to be passive to receive an inspiration from heaven, so it is necessary to make an effort to maintain inner serenity as much as possible. On the other hand, forceful concentration has something like physical destructive force. It is like boxing or kick boxing. In other words, if you transmit your thought vibes to someone, he or she will suffer considerable damage.

I think that Yin-yang masters in ancient Japan were well aware of this power. It is said that politicians at that time used to hire good Yin-yang masters to defeat their opponents. This means that they did actual damage to their rivals by using the power of focused thought. Will power can exert such a force, so if you are not careful, using this power can make you suffer from attachments. If you fix your thought on something and become too much attached to it, this may create suffering. So it is quite difficult to strike a balance.

Therefore, when you develop will power, it is necessary to make sure that your motive is good and that your heart is pure. If you check these points and believe that you are heading in a right direction, decide on a specific goal and advance steadily toward it. In this way, your will power will become stronger. In this sense, you can strengthen your will power through training.

Furthermore, will power can also be developed through perseverance. Through spiritual training such as enduring various trials, you can have strong will power.


The importance of building your physical strength

In relation to physical body, you can strengthen your will power by building up your muscles. If you think your will power is weak, you may have to consider building up your body. If you train the body and increase muscle strength, your will power becomes strong. As your will power gets stronger, you will become more able to repel negative spiritual influences. Negative spiritual influences can occur due to a decline in physical strength, so it is important to do as much exercise every day as possible and get in shape. They say that as you build up muscle, you will have stronger will power, and this is basically true.

Even if you are a sports-oriented student, you will gradually lose physical strength after you start working. You need to know that you have to keep developing your physical strength all the time.

The monks at Enryakuji temple in Mt. Hiei used to undertake an ascetic practice of walking through the mountains to discipline their mind and body, because reading a huge amount of scriptures called Daizo-kyo sutra required a considerable degree of will power. The religious practice of walking through mountains strengthened the body, and at the same time also helped improve concentration and will power.

As you develop your will power, you become able to use Dharma power to some extent when chanting sutras you have learned. When the result of studying the Truth is added to the will power acquired through such a religious discipline, words that you utter come to have spiritual energy, which can dispel various negative spiritual influences and open up the path to good fortune.

To sum it up, firstly, it is important to check daily what kind of mindset you have. Secondly, you need to check if your your physical strength is waning. I think you have to build up your physical strength to improve your will power. In political activities, too, when it comes to the critical point, it may be physical strength that decides the outcome.


Be resilient to defeats and failures

One more point I want you to bear in mind is that it is important for you to be resilient to defeat. I think it is important that you have the ability to get back on your feet even though you may lose.

You may experience some failures in life, but it is not good for you to become too obsessed with them. It is important to forget your failures, and this is a kind of ability.

I failed to arrive here on time today, so I could not start the lecture as scheduled. Being late is contrary to my philosophy, which really hurts my pride. But I will be forget this lapse tomorrow when I return to Tokyo.

Otherwise, I cannot move forward onto the next task. I cannot forge ahead if I start saying, “I could not stay on schedule in Fukui. I got discouraged because I completely lost face.”

Therefore, once I make an apology on the spot for being late, I stop thinking about it. You sometimes have to learn not to take things so seriously.

I have mentioned several points that you need to be aware of. The conclusion is that anything can be strengthened if you sincerely wish to make it strong. Be it physical body or will power, I think the same holds true. Remember “Will” is the spiritual power of action. To exercise this training is the basis of growth.

How to Develop Your Will Power
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