New Member Profiles

Bodhisattvas Emerge!

Judie Patterson


NEW MEMBER PROFILES

In August, commemorating 72 years since SGI President Ikeda took faith, 1,531 bodhisattvas joined the SGI-USA. The following are impressions and determinations from two new youth members.

Encountering Buddhism at the Right Time

by Viet Nguyen
New Orleans

About a month ago, I bumped into my childhood friend Nhi on the streets of downtown New Orleans. We grew up in the same village in Vietnam, and although we both moved to the United States, we hadn’t seen each other in 15 years.

Nhi lives in Florida but was vacationing in New Orleans. She later shared with me that she had been chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo to help someone become happy and connect to the SGI, which explained how we mystically reconnected.

That night, Nhi told me about her Buddhist practice and how it has changed her life, especially at a time when she was feeling little motivation or purpose. Hearing this, I challenged my assumptions about religion, and I wanted to know more.

I attended my first meeting a couple days later and was struck by the members’ openness to share their personal experiences while discussing relevant topics in daily life from the Buddhist perspective.

When I first started chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, I felt calm, energized and more productive. And even though I just met the members in my district, I feel a close connection with them.

This practice came into my life at the right time! I am determined to become clear about my future career and discover my dreams.

When I first started chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, I felt calm, energized and more productive. And even though I just met the members in my district, I feel a close connection with them.

This practice came into my life at the right time! I am determined to become clear about my future career and discover my dreams.

Excited About What Each Day Can Bring

by Lillian Joyce
Ithaca, N.Y.

As a senior in high school, I took a philosophy of literature class and became curious about the universe and the purpose of life. I had been working hard as a student, but struggling to find meaning in everything I was doing.

Last year, during my college orientation at Cornell University,
I met a young woman from India whose mother was an SGI member. After talking about our common interests, which included Buddhism, she invited me to attend an SGI-USA student campus club activity.

From January of this year, I started attending the meetings, and, soon after, got connected to my district. In August, I decided that I wanted to receive the full benefits of this practice through receiving the Gohonzon. My sponsor and I ended up joining the SGI-USA on the same day!

Before practicing, I felt like I was going through the motions and just getting through the day. Now, I wake up excited about what each day can bring, knowing that there are many possibilities, and that I am in control of
actualizing them.

I am determined to have a consistent practice and share Buddhism with my friends, so they can be a part of this wonderful SGI community, and discover a deeper sense of purpose and meaning in life.