My Wonderful Life
by Truoc Tran

Hello everyone. I am from Austin, Texas. It’s hot there so I am glad I am here.
My name is Truoc, spell T R U O C, its translation to English is bamboo.
It is a bit tough Vietnamese pronunciation. Here in America, most of people could not say it right, and most of the time the o and the c in my name were dropped.
So make it easy, in the past many years I told people my name is True, like in true/false.
An unknown to me 3 decades earlier that I would join Shinnyo-en someday, and "Shin" translates to English is "True."
Much about the name, one true about me is that I have come to the religious path very late in my life.
And I am glad and grateful that I have come to the Shinnyo-en path.
I have connected to the Shinnyo teaching since 2010 (thankful to my friends and also guiding parents Flynn and Karen).
Shortly after I connected, with my lineage parent guidance, I began calling to my family members and friends and arranged my first home meeting.
It began during the Thanksgiving dinner in 2010 and started out as a challenge: Some of my family members said they would attend my home meeting with a condition that I would cook and serve them our favorite noodle in broth, a home style noodle from Vietnamese cuisine.
I took the challenge.
So here came, to kick off my religious path, I had my first Shinnyo-en home meeting serving noodle soup to others…
Following the first home meeting my husband and I then hosted the 2011 winter training.
My lineage parent almost fell off the chair when I called them and reported the number of attending.
The family room where we set up the Buddha altar was fully packed.
Since then every home meeting we conducted, it has been a great turn out.
And of course, before and after the formal meeting, the island in our kitchen is always the center piece of the gathering.
We are so grateful and thankful to Keisu–sama and the Shinnyo-en office staffs for their support.
The years 2011 and 2012 have been very good for us, started with the 2011 winter training and followed by multiple home meetings attended by the reverends and the commissionaire John Bassounas, Charles Dickey, Jay Gibson, Leo Fan, Paul Valdez and Sandy Yang from the Head Temple and the LA temple, and by my lineage parent Karen from the Bay area.
Beside our guiding children from Austin and Atlanta, we have also received in our house the members from other lineage in Austin and members from San Antonio, Texas, not to miss a member from Philadelphia too.
The part of Shinnyo-en which makes the practice different than other Buddhist practice my husband and I know is the heart to heart training and the spiritual elevation.
For the spiritual elevation, I had attended a few Daijo sitting per the urge of my lineage parent, one time in Oyasono temple in Japan.
During those times, I was not quite sure what to expect out of the meditation.
When I did not make it a pass after a sitting, I thought it’s fair as expected: I was not sure what I was doing.
In my last heart to heart training, the guiding words given was: In the ocean I need to get in a boat and paddle; it will be much faster get in a boat and paddle than swim in the water.
I told my guiding children at the home meeting last June of my spiritual words and they all urged me get on the boat and they all would help me paddling too.
By now I realize that I have quite a large group of guiding children.
That I am lucky I have gained the trust from my guiding children and they have followed me in this path, knowing that I am only a new comer.
Besides providing my house for the meeting, I realize I need to lead by example: practice the teaching and achieve the first spiritual level.
It’s the responsibility, the mission and the determination which I need with me to enter the spiritual path.
For the coming Eza, before going in I already set a clear mind and want to attend it from my heart, not by the urge of my lineage parent; as lineage parents they always urge me to do so anyway.
I had called my lineage parent and asked her to schedule me for the September Daijo and I would make it differently.
I want to sit until it a pass.
I am determined! To make it different, this time I have vowed to practice the chanting.
Now, for the chanting it is another story.
From my first experience with Shinnyo-en, I had said no way I could do this chanting in a langue I never could understand.
My guiding parent then had recorded a short chanting in our cell phone when she visited us.
My husband and I followed her voice in the record for a while.
Well, it’s not all that bad! The last several weeks, I have been practicing from the full chanting CD provided by the temple.
Although not very fluent, today I am able to chant along.
I have read the book The Light in Each Moment by Shinnyo Kyoshu-sama and I like what he wrote a lot.
I keep reading the book again and again, started with a different section each time.
My husband is not a book people, especially book written in English.
I have been asking him to read Shinnyo-en books, such as Walk in the Garden which has easy short essay, but I have not had much luck.
So lately I stopped asking him.
By the time I stopped asking him to read, he got the books out and read! He even read the book The Path of Oneness.
In the evening while he read his book, I read mine too.
I read testimonies of followers recalling their path to Shinnyo-en.
The reading now has helped me more determined to make it a pass to Daijo sitting, even if I may need to come here many more times.
On July 22nd, I had a dream and I wrote it down the next morning.
In the dream, I was sitting in for a Daijo Eza.
I was going in this time with a clear mind: I was sitting not for myself but for my guiding children who have committed to paddle the boat along with me.
I had a clear goal, but I set no expectation of the outcome.
I told myself I would be happy either way.
As I was meditating, I saw vividly Kyoshu-sama standing at a distance in front of me to my left side.
All my surrounding was in color, however the figure of Kyoshu-sama was in black and white.
He wore a short sleeve white shirt with a single pocket on the breast, the shirt was unstuck.
He had a warm smile radiant from his eyes and his face, and casually he was greeting and congratulating the people who had passed to the next Eza level.
Just seeing him there, I felt so good and told myself regardless of the outcome of my sitting, seeing him was a great merit.
At that moment I was taped on my shoulder by an office staff and I was led to the front altar.
I knew I had made it a pass in my sitting.
Not only that, I also was asked by the staff to speak too.
That made my spirit elevated even higher.
I was full of joy and woke up.
In middle of the night, awoke in my bed, I still had a good feeling in my heart.
What you just heard from me I wrote to confirm myself for the upcoming Eza sitting, and I am looking forward to the guidance from the Shinnyo family and Keisu-sama to help me and my gang of family members and friends in our spiritual path.
Last but not least, I would like to thank Ikehara-san and Mr.
Leo Fan for giving me the opportunity standing here, and thank you very much for your time listening to me.
Gassho,
Truoc Tran