Buddhism Guides Me

by Chuan Lu Hakinna

I sought out the Middle Land Chan Monastery’s meditation classes during an emotionally jumbled period of my life.  My family was stirring up negativity, work was unsatisfying and creating a growing bitterness, and I was becoming more and more jaded with the world.  The meditation classes, the dharma lessons, the shifus…Buddhism created a chance for my mind to change those negativities.

I am currently in my 2nd session of Meditation Level III and I am continuously learning new ways, new methods, new realities of how to adapt in the world following the dharma way. My perspective about life is evolving in the right direction for the first time in this lifetime.  My life is still full of challenges, but the way I think about them is different.  I now remind myself on a daily basis that these challenges are impermanent, and many of the challenges are opportunities to learn, grow and change my karmic tendencies.  Being equipped with this insight will strengthen my happiness in the present and the future.

Middle Land Chan Monastery continues to teach me the importance and benefits of meditating.  I have learned different methods to help me practice and am always compassionately given reminders and encouragement to be a diligent practitioner.  I am so grateful that I have been given the opportunity to learn Zen Buddhism and meditation.  This monastery is truly a place of wisdom and peace.

I am also learning how to let go of my ego.  It is a tough statement to reveal, because I never thought that I had an ego.  Now I realize that a lot of the turmoil that I experienced was caused by my ego.  My ego has limited options in my life.  It has caused so many unnecessary arguments and has permitted me to be unkind to my mind and to others.  Buddhism has helped me recognize this reality and is patient and supportive of me while I learn how to slowly and mindfully let go of my ego.  I know it will take a very long time, but because of Middle Land Chan Monastery’s classes, I now know why it is so important to do so.

Middle Land has also encouraged me to continue veganism and has helped me encapsulate my initial reasons to remain one.  I appreciate the continued lessons why it is valuable and important to respect other sentient beings and be kind to them.  The abbess once shared during one of her many enlightening dharma talks, “Every life is respected, every life counts.”

I am excited to learn more and become a better person for myself and others.  I am now able to learn and practice how to achieve this with the guidance of Buddha and Middle Land Chan Monastery.