About Me

©HappyChanter jessica
Jessica McCarthy

From office bot to student bum to beach bum / wannabe spiritual guru.


Chanting all the way…


This is my Journey.



Hello lovely Reader! Welcome to my (hopefully) lovely blog!

The last few years have been a rollercoaster, taking me from desk job atheist to chanting spiritual seeker, from Amsterdam to London to Thailand, to beyond and back again. I now find myself living a dream, bouncing between a few months here, in a gorgeous countryside paradise in the middle of nowhere in Ireland, to a few months there, in a gorgeous beach paradise on a tiny little island in Thailand. This journey of Life is filled, with people and places, fun and fear, music and mourning, laughter and love… All the ups and downs of our human experience that inevitably reveal themselves as part of the greater Journey towards deeper understandings of Spirit and Self.

I’ve certainly got plenty to be Happy about, but as the title says, I am also a Chanter. So what’s that part all about?, I hear you cry in chorus (it’s nice to imagine there are enough readers for a chorus).

Nam Myoho Renge Kyo is a Nichiren Buddhist mantra (although you don’t need to call yourself a Buddhist to use it). When recited regularly (ideally twice daily), these wonderful words can harness the Universal power of the Law of Attraction and result in amazing changes in your life and within yourSelf. I know this because I’m living it, and the purpose of these pages (and upcoming book!) is to tell you all about that, and show you how you can incorporate this transformative and enlightening practice into your own life in ways that can help you to achieve your highest potential as a human being, in whatever roles you are playing in this thing called Life.

Thank you for visiting, go ahead and explore these pages, and please feel free to Connect with me along the way:

Looking forward to sharing this joyful Journey with you 💖

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22 thoughts on “About Me

  1. Madhu

    Namaste Jessika
    Your website was like a breath of fresh air.Not conforming to the beaten old track…leaving scope for improvement as the journey progresses .Which is what it should be..as nothing actually is absolutely constant..even in the Universe.
    One question is I like to chant with closed eyes,most times, hope it’s a non issue..or is it?

    • Jessica

      Hi Madhu, thanks for your comment 🙂 I know that many traditional organizations practice with eyes open, as usually you’d be gazing at the gohonzon while chanting. However, sometimes I close my eyes too and there is no problem with that at all! Feel free to go with whatever resonates in the moment 🙂

  2. David Farmer

    I received my Gohonzon in 1972, and although there’s SGI guidance to exchange it, I can’t. I was sleeping during the years of upheaval, but now practice solo with a beautiful butsudan and the largest bell I could buy…and loving what it does for me. That said, daimoku and gongyo are just as powerful and transformational in empty space, so go with what you have and seek what you want.

  3. Elle Woods

    HI Happy Chanter,
    I am happy to have stumbled across your page. I try to chant everyday, preferably everyday. I use several apps so I can chant along with another chanter. I’d like to grow more with it. When you say ‘twice a day’ can you suggest two parts of the day? I do it in the morning when I get to work. What exactly does one visualize when chanting this? I see Tina Turner chant a full offering besides the words nam myoho renge kyo for 2 hours. What is she saying b/c I’d like to say that too? Those words are calming. I listen to her on YouTube chanting but can’t find the words she is saying. Do you do that whole thing too? I see that just hearing the words energizes you. I always feel I have to say them though just in case LOL

    Thank you for your blog. I’ll be sure to explore a little bit more.

    • Jessica

      Hi Elle, thanks so much for your comment 🙂 I would suggest to chant morning and evening, although there really are no “rules” about this, whatever time and place suits you best. I have some ideas for what to think about or visualise on the “5 Ways To Focus Your Mind…” article (linked under Top Posts), I hope this will help you. The extra words that Tina Turner uses are called “gongyo”, which is part of the more formal practice. These words are exerpts from two chapters in the Lotus Sutra, which Nichiren Buddhism is based upon. I personally don’t recite gongyo, I just chant the NMRK mantra, although I do agree that the words are very calming and beautiful. If you search for gongyo you should be able to find the words and translation guides to try it out. I hope this helps, lots of love and light to you xx

  4. Roy

    Hi Jessica
    How pleased I am to come across your blog, I was diagnosed with terminal cancer in September 2018, since then I have been through all sorts of emotions, but am now at acceptance, I have accepted my fate, I can not change the prognosis, I recently came across shingles and the chant Nam Myoho Renge Kyo, I find it is helping so much and I so desperately want to travel to Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam as soon as the world is back to normal, how wonderful it must be to be on a beach in Ko Lan, thank you so much for a wonderful blog

    • Jessica

      Hi Roy, thank you so much for reaching out. I’m so sorry to hear about your diagnosis but I truly admire your positive attitude of acceptance. I do hope you can make it over to SE Asia if/when we ever get back to normal, it’s such a beautiful part of the world and I would love for you to experience it. I’m in Ireland at the moment myself but also eager to get back to tropical island life whenever it’s safe to travel! Lots of love and light to you, make the most of every day xx

  5. Ricardo Zayas

    Hi Jessica,

    I am also chanting independently. I downloaded a printable Gohonzon from a the Threefold Lotus Kwoon website. I used to practice with SGI many years ago but I left the organization about 30 years ago and just resumed chanting and reciting Gonyo. What is your take on printable Gohonzon? I have been a Buddhist for quite awhile Secular Theravada l. So I still don’t get the significance of chanting to the Gohonzon. I concentrate on the Myo symbol and use it as a Mandala. I’m confused. Does one need a Gohonzon to get the full benefit from the Practice? Any insight is most appreciated. Thanks. Rick Zayas WINSTON SALEM NC

    • Jessica

      Hi Ricardo, thanks so much for your message. I actually don’t use a Gohonzon at all for my practice, it is absolutely not necessary. I prefer to use a picture of a lotus flower as I love the symbolism of that, how it represents effect manifesting simultaneously with cause, and how it signifies the potential for us to flourish and “bloom” in the “muddy waters” of human life. That said, I do think the Gohonzon is beautiful and also rich in profound symbolism, so if you enjoy using it then go for it! I also don’t see any problem at all with a printed Gohonzon, I know that some SGI members might object to this but all versions and copies of the Gohonzon are equally valid and valuable in my view.

    • robbie lopaka maui

      with more than 50 years of practice, I also focus on and extend the character “myo” (meeeeeooooo)

      I have a full size copy (50″ high X 40″ wide) of the Nichiren inscribed “Prayer Gohonzon” (its on the internet, search images for that) on my altar.

      But my primary practice (in addition to reading the Lotus Sutra) is to chant to the stars at night (when its clear enough to see them)



      my practice is described in more detail on the reddit Nichiren and SGI subs under “robbie maui”

    • David Farmer

      I received my Gohonzon in 1972, and although there’s SGI guidance to exchange it, I can’t. I was sleeping during the years of upheaval, but now practice solo with a beautiful butsudan and the largest bell I could buy…and loving what it does for me. That said, daimoku and gongyo are just as powerful and transformational in empty space, so go with what you have and seek what you want.

  6. Renee W

    I received my Gohonzon in San Francisco CA through SGI in the 1980’s in a ceremony with a Buddhist priest and I have to say that it is a really special experience. For those of you who are serious about changing your life, if you have the opportunity, I recommend chanting with an SGI group to truly understand what the practice is about. I’ve been a Buddhist now for over 30 years. Living a positive life in spirit is an incredible practice. Whatever you focus on expands.

    • Jessica

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Renee! SGI members are more than welcome here (I started out with SGI and also have some experience with Nichiren Shu). Chanting in a group is certainly a wonderful experience and SGI groups I’ve attended have always been warm and welcoming. I just want to encourage readers, however, that it is also perfectly possible to change your life through this practice even if you do it alone. Practising with an organisation doesn’t suit everyone, and that’s totally okay. All that matters is Nam Myoho Renge Kyo 🙂

  7. cheri

    hi jessica, do you recite gongyo? or simply just chant in the morning and night? i apologize if this was already addressed. thanks

    • Jessica

      Hi Cheri! I only recite gongyo very very rarely, which is why I don’t mention it much on this site. Most of the time I just chant “nam myoho renge kyo”, that’s all you really need to do. On those rare occasions that I do decide to get a little deeper and include a gongyo session, I actually recite the English translation, I prefer to connect with the meaning behind the words. Hope this helps!

  8. Nehal Matharu

    Hello.. Is it necessary to become a member of sgi.. Or is it OK if I keep chanting..? Please Suggest

    • Jessica

      Hi Nehal, it is absolutely not necessary to join SGI (unless you want to!), you are free to keep chanting independently. I am not a member of any organisation, I chant alone, without any of the “rules” that many organisations follow, and it benefits my life greatly. Feel free to do whatever suits you in your own life, and enjoy the practice!

  9. Ish

    I really don’t know on what or which thing should I concentrate on…while chanting?
    The words…the sound…? But then my mind wanders after a while?
    How to concentrate? I don’t have a gohonzon.

    • Mark Gordon

      You don’t need to be affiliated with any religious association in order to receive a gohonzon.
      There a plenty of gohonzons that are displayed on the internet. Just view some of
      them and if one (or even more) is to your liking, then you can print it out. You could
      use glossy paper and have it framed. Also, if you like, you can purchase s gohonzon(s)
      though eBay. Hope this helps.

  10. Suchona RezaPaul

    Hi Jessica,

    So grateful that I came across your blog after having th worst day. I’m a chanter too but I haven’t been doing it everyday. This will change from today and I will get to it right away.
    Just wanted to say you’re doing a great job with your blog and all the very best for your future 🙂

    Much love,

  11. Sara Abraham

    Hi Jessica when one chanting after how long the prayers will be answered?

    Thank you

  12. Tharaka Madavitawithanage

    Hi Jessika, Happy To Meet You Like This. I’m Doing This Chant And I Believe It. Want To Spread This In My Country. We Are Sri Lankan People. If You Can Help Or Guide Please Contact Me As Soon As Possible.

    Facebook – Tharaka Madavitawithanage
    Contact – +94788811692

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