Personal Experience
by Yasuo Saito

My name is Yasuo Saito.
I'd like to share my experiences in the past 10 years, especially about how the Shinnyo Teachings had helped myself, my relationship with my brother and relationship with my father.
First, I'd like to talk about how I had connected to Shinnyo-en.
Back in the day when I had resided in Japan, I was a college student dreaming about living in the United States.
After I graduated from college in Japan, I chose not to go job hunting, but instead I was working as a part-timer while I was preparing for coming to the United States.
I was eventually able to enter college in Louisiana and upon graduation from college fortunately I got a job in Kentucky.
Even though my job title was an engineer, I still didn't know what my actual job task was.
Even though I can say that I would have been paid even without doing any work whatsoever with this company, I didn't like the job.
One and half years later, there were reorganization in the company and I got laid off.
One of the reasons I fest I was laid off was because I once told my manager I could not enjoy working there or I did not like my job.
Or something like that.
I should have been more careful what I say.
I did not know back then it was one of my biggest problems that I had encountered.
But at that time, little did I know this problem would become larger and larger.
Anyways, I lost my job and it was hard for me to find another job in a place like Kentucky, so I decided to move to California.
Fortunately, I had a college classmate (actually my friend's friend) in Sacramento, California.
I can see this is like a ray of light of the Buddha guided me and my ancestors' last virtue to help me move to California.
I had stayed in his apartment for two months.
Eventually he told me to get out.
I guess he was sick of me because I could not find a job for two months.
One day I sent my resume to 20 companies for seeking a translator position, I got only one response.
The person who responded my resume is now my guiding parent.
I had visited now-my-guiding-parent and now-my-lineage-parent for getting a job.
They did not offer me a job, but eventually they had found a place for me to stay.
Also they had asked me to visit Shinnyo-en.
On the same day, I had connected to Shinnyo-en.
In fact, in my mind I was hesitated but I just followed along as they had asked me.
I think I may have expected something good would happen if I go to Shinnyo-en.
Next, I'd like to talk about what happened in my working places.
I eventually I found a job.
My job was entering customer information into computer.
I did not like that job.
Even though I did not have enough experience as an engineer, I had a big pride.
I thought the data entry job was for the uneducated people.
I complained about the job to everybody everyday.
I had spoke ill of not only my manager but also my co-workers behind their back.
And even worse, I said a really bad thing about a co-worker behind his back like he had a love affair with someone.
Then he eventually heard it and he said with his anger, "Why did you say that!?" Immediately after he had told me, I realized what I had said.
I apologized to him.
I really regretted what I had said to the people around me.
With advice from my lineage parent, I decided to work without complaints and also try to dedicate myself to the company.
I felt there was nowhere to go besides this company.
A few months later, my manager told me, "Now I can trust you a bit."
One day, the new administrator was hired and she started checking the employee data.
Then suddenly I was laid off from the company.
It wasn't due to my job performance.
Even it wasn't my fault, but it was due to some technical matter -- some immigration issue.
In fact even my manager was surprised my sudden being laid off.
Later, I would realize that the power of the baku-daiju was working on this event.
I heard that the administrator left the company soon after I left.
It was as if she were hired only for laying me off.
It turned out that it was the right time for me to leave the company and seek a new opportunity.
I now realized that working for that company was my training working ethics or attitude in a company.
(Not technical skills) Well, it's a shame that I did not know even basic working ethics back then.
Anyway, I started looking for a new job.
I had several interviews, but I was rejected by all of them.
Quite interestingly, these companies all extinct now.
Even though I did not have income anymore, as lineage parent advised me I continued offering Kangi every month.
I got a job offer from the last company I applied.
It was the last and only chance for my staying in the US.
I now very appreciate the baku-daiju.
I'd like to talk about what happened in the next company.
The company I started working for was relatively big and it supported the cost for my greencard process.
Even though I started attending the daijo-eza then, I started to forget to appreciate every thing I had received (like baku-daiju) and I started to take everything for granted.
I was gradually ignoring my lineage parent's advice .Then I became interested in a female co-worker .She was also a non-US-citizen employee.
I kind of sensed that her background was not very clear.
I looked like she was hiding her immigration status or it seemed like she was trying to trick the government for her immigration status.
But I did not care about that.
I sometimes gave her a ride on the way home from work.
My lineage parent sensed she was not a good person and tried to stop me my involvement with her.
But I ignored my lineage parent's advice and I ignored the Shinnyo Teachings.
One day, when I was giving her a ride from the office, I got a traffic accident.
Even though I lost my car, because of the baku-daiju from the Ryodoji-sama she and I did not get any injury result from the accident.
Ironically, I got a ride from my lineage parent for commuting to work doing the time of the accident.
I had given a very hard time not only to my lineage parent, but also to everybody around me.
My lineage parent told me it was a riburai (reply) from the spiritual world.
My lineage parent also said, "when the eza was approaching, your karma will emerge on your weakest area in your heart."
But I kept rejecting all the advice.
I lied to my lineage parent many times for meeting her.
But my lineage parent was already sensed I was lying.
I was staying at my lineage parent house and at last my lineage parent told me to get our from the house.
She said, "You should quit the Shinnyo Teachings."
I had only one string attached with the Teachings and it was almost coming off.
I was very severely in pain with my karma.
Finally I woke up. I finally understood. I stopped lying.
A few months later, I was able to receive the daijo spiritual rank.
Thank you very much Shinnyo Soya-sama and Ryodoji-sama.
I'd like to talk about how I had treated the people around me in those days.
While being employed in this company, it was a good salary comparing to my previous jobs I had, and I was always wondering and worrying about my future job carrier.
My job position was software tester, but I wanted to be a software programmer.
I also felt I was getting behind among most of the co-workers who were well skilled and knowledgeable.
And I remember back then what I did toward the people in Shinnyo-en was something like: Whenever someone pointed out something to me, I had always started argument.
I never agreed nor admit my fault.
Also sometimes I complained toward some of the gohoshi people about their bus operation or sesshin ticket operation.
I complained very harshly against a couple of Shinnyo-en office members for a very small stuff.
My attitude was like, "You were wrong and I was right." "I'm correcting you." Or something like that.
I really regret my attitude now.
I felt I gradually understood myself through the Shinnyo Teachings.
Since the 9-11 incident, every year the company I am working for had a big lay-off and each time I tried to imagine how the Soya-sama and the Ryodoji-sama had overcome many difficulties, especially the dharma crisis.
(To tell the truth, I was always nervous and scared, though.)
Also it became difficult to receive greencard since 9-11.
But after three years I was finally able to receive one.
Most of the people around me in the company who were waiting for a greencard were laid off.
I really see now how much baku-daiju I have received from the Ryodoji-sama.
Now I'd like to talk about my brother.
Back then I had a twin brother living in Japan.
When I thought of my brother, I wanted to tell him that Shinnyo Teachings is only way for our happiness.
I started sending letters about Shinnyo-en among with other stuff.
He first strongly rejected anything about Shinnyo-en.
When he visited me from Japan during his vacation, I talked about Shinnyo-en and even I brought him to the Temple.
It took quite a while to make him understand about Shinnyo-en.
When he decided to come to the US to attend school, he started to come to the Temple.
I'd like to practice with him more in the Teachings.
I hope that in the future my brother and I will become a Reino-sha and we together walk the path of the Shinnyo Teachings in the US.
Lastly, I'd like to talk about my relationship with my father.
I had seldom talked with my father even since when I was very little.
I had actually avoided him.
I don't remember if he had ever praised me or said good things to me.
But from Shinnyo-en, I have learned that I'm not the only one who is suffering from relationship with parents.
I guess my father wanted to talk with me, but he may have not known how to talk to me.
Back when I started working right after my graduation from college in the US, I thought I would never go home.
Unfortunately, the distance between my father and I was too big to reduce it.
When my lineage parent advised me to send a letter every month to my parents, especially to my father, I did not know what to write about.
Nothing came out from my mind.
I sent a letter every month with "naigai-jiho" and sometimes with "kangi-sekai."
The each letter was just one page long, but it was very difficult for me to write.
While I kept telling about my parents and receiving advice from my lineage parent, it looked like the tangled strings between my father and I were gradually getting loose by the Shinnyo Teachings.
Recently, my lineage parent went to Japan and met with my parents.
They visited the Tachikawa Holy Temple and promised her they would go to a Shinnyo-en branch nearby in the future.
I was very happy that their future visit to a branch temple.
However, I had not heard anything about their visit to a branch temple for 2 or 3 month since then.
So, I was so irritated their slowness that I decided to call my parents.
When I was about to call, my father sent me e-mail about their visit to the branch temple.
The news made me so happy.
Now they are visiting the branch temple once a month, I'm working on for them to visit the temple frequently.
Now I am thinking to be a person who is dependable and who can always help others.
I'd like to be a Shinnyo follower whom Shinnyo Keishu-sama would be proud of.
I'd like to try to follow Shinnyo Kyoshu-sama's teachings.
And I'd like to follow Shojushin'in-sama's path as examples.
I'd like to appreciate the baku-daiju from the Ryodoji-sama.
I am very appreciative of my lineage parent, my guiding parent, and the people who have always encouraged me.
I'd like to walk the path of the Shinnyo Teachings with ever lasting faith.
Thank you very much everyone for listening to my testimony.