Ronald Seaman’s friends know him, affectionately, as Spider, a 24 year Army veteran and native of Glen Cove, Long Island, New York. Spider was probably best known for his career as a real life superman in the Special Operations Unit and for jumping out of planes and helicopters. In 2006 Spider became a Buddhist and began chanting Nam Myoho Renge Kyo in Miami, Florida. Says Spider:
I didn't choose Nam Myoho Renge Kyo, it chose me. In 2006, I was introduced to this practice… It was then that I realized why I lived my life the way I did and why I feel the way I do about certain things…When I went to my first meeting there was no strangeness about it. At that point I felt as if I had just found my way back home. My life suddenly made sense. Once I began practicing I started writing music that very week. I began writing music for World Peace. The music that was coming to me was Buddhist based. I decided that I wanted to use my music to spread peace throughout the world. I have never stopped. My goal was to go global.
Becoming a Buddhist rekindled Spider’s songwriting and awakened his dream of retiring, enabling him to have a way to take care of home and family while pursuing personal goals and dreams he loves…his music. After practicing Buddhism for just two years, Spider’s underlying health issues began to emerge. It’s an analogy which lay Buddhists refer to as running water through a hose that has been sitting dormant. Before the clear water can flow, all the muck, dirt and leaves must be flushed out. Sure enough Spider had some serious health issues which had been dormant for a long time, however, his practicing with Buddhist friends and members in the Soka Gakkai USA in Miami, Florida enabled him to see his obstacles from a Buddhist perspective. As a result of his health issues, at times, Spider would be confined to a wheelchair. As matters progressed his once racy and active life become more and more his immediate environment of chanting and writing music in his home studio. Spider reflects on this change:
I began to see just how the universe was putting things in order to realize my determination. In the last two years I have been hospitalized 9 times and have had 3 operations. I see all of this not as a bad thing but a good thing. I am grateful to be able to have these things taken care of now, so I will be ok to achieve all my determinations for World Peace. I used the time I was healing to further develop my faith. For everything that was happening to me, I realized there was a reason. Each time I made a determination something happened. That was like my compass. I turned poison into medicine. I used my down time to learn all I could about making music and networking. I volunteered for Buddhist activities… When I could not get around, I worked with people via the internet. The more I helped, the more it helped me.
As long as he is able, Spider continues to actively participate in as many Buddhist activities as he can. In the past, he performed as a musician at the 10th anniversary at the SGI’s Florida Nature and Culture Center, a hub for SGI Buddhist conferences and has written songs for New Year’s Day, a major Buddhist holiday. Spider performed and has volunteered in Miami and the West Coast of Florida for roles in the Men’s Division of the lay organization.
Spider’s music about Buddhism and songs for World Peace are becoming popular around the globe, as he envisioned. Some who have never before heard of Buddhism are being introduced to Buddhism through Spider’s music. Says Spider, “As it stands I now have on my page 391 video plays, 2344 songs plays, 3904 visits, 4963 widget hits, and 13,327 fans from 50 countries. I am also getting air play in Germany and Blizz of Rock radio in Norway which has listeners in 50 countries. Spider also has a budding fan page on Facebook which one of his fans set up, much to his surprise. Visit Reverbnation to hear more of Spider's music. Visit Spider's youTube Channel for his library of videos