About me

Jessica McCarthy
Jessica McCarthy


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


Chanting all the way…


This is my journey.




Hello lovely people! 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 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 life. You might even call yourself a Happy Chanter someday!

Thank you for visiting and do let me know your thoughts or questions along the way. Comments are always welcome and you can also join the discussion with other happiness enthusiasts on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

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13 thoughts on “About me

  1. 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

  2. Sara Abraham

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

    Thank you

  3. 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,

  4. 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.

  5. 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!

  6. 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!

  7. 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 🙂

  8. 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.

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