It Begins with you

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Markus Hrdina , New Jersey
Interview by Peggy Chen

DJ Battle in Charge

Markus Hrdina [sic] began practicing Nichiren Buddhism in Spring of 2001 to advance his fledgling deejay career. His mother had told him about a youth festival taking place that summer, in which he could participate as a DJ.

Initially, he had planned to join the festival, and then quit SGI-USA activities as soon as it was over. However, as the rehearsals continued, he began developing friendships with SGI-USA members and seeing concrete results of his Buddhist practice.

During that time, Markus said, “I started getting DJ jobs and [entering] DJ competitions, and I made it to the finals.” By the day of the festival, quitting was no longer an option he considered.

In the nearly five years since that festival, Markus, now 25, has changed his life both in terms of his career and his character. “I have been steadily improving my performance at competitions. I was one of the top DJs in NJ, now I’m number one. I’m going on a national tour, and have built my career up to the point where I own my own DJ business.”

He used to be a shy person, he said, despite performing frequently for large audiences. “Buddhism helped me develop more confidence, from having to speak at [SGI-USA] meetings in front of so many people. It gave me training for when I deejay.”

Based on these positive experiences, Markus wants to introduce two people to Nichiren Buddhism by July 16th, so that they, too, can create positive changes in their own lives. He also wants the youth in his group to create “actual proof in their lives, based on Nichiren Buddhism; to use it as a real springboard for growth.”

His other goal for this festival is to become a finalist in the national DJ competitions.
It would serve as a steppingstone towards becoming the top DJ in the country and eventually, the world.

Asked what the festival’s theme “It All Begins With Me” meant to him, he said, "The greatest way to contribute to kosen-rufu is to do my human revolution. I constantly [strive] to be a better person and bring out my best potential. I’m constantly pushing myself to do more for the members and for my career as well.”

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