Shakabukuing correctly- The art of listening and counseling

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How to Shakabuku like a therapist:

Many people shakabuku using techniques like insisting, persuasion and pushing. This not only does not help, but makes other skeptical of the practice as a ritualistic, dogmatic and undesirable philosophy. If one over pursues while trying to shakabuku, they give a desperate vibe which repels the other from the practice even further and ruins the reputation of the organization. I have often had my cousins complain of the same, and this is the reason why they often have such a low opinion of the practice.  It also hurts me immensely when they see this philosophy in such an inaccurate way. 

The best way to shakabuku your friend or family member, is to first compassionately volunteer to listen to their problems. After listening to their problems, one must use the principles from the philosophy of Nichiren Buddhism to counsel the individual. This should be done without the expectation of the individual joining the practice. Principles like forgiveness, wishing for the other’s happiness, courage, compassion, karma or cause and effect, fundamental darknesses etc can be discussed with this person depending on what their problem is.

The individual must also apply the principles in their own daily life to show actual proof by sharing victories and experiences so as to be consistent with the principle they are propagating and not appear hypocritical.

If through consistent efforts to help the friend/relative, when you are successful in helping them get back up and fight their obstacles, the individual will himself/herself seek the practice, on having seen actual proof of applying the philosophy. They would want to know how you got the wisdom, compassion and strength to help them as well. 

Even if they don’t pursue the practice later on, it doesn’t matter. That is their choice. What matters is that you tried to help someone, which is good karma on your part and as a true Boddhisatva, you fulfilled your mission.

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