Experience

Joy and Gratitude in My Heart

Photo by Joe Emberlin


by Dina Emberlin
Carlisle, Iowa

After both my 28-year-old stepson and mother passed away in a span of two years, I had trouble getting out of bed and could barely function. This led me on a spiritual journey two years ago.

For some reason, the words Nam-myoho-renge-kyo stuck with me ever since I had watched Tina Turner’s movie What’s Love Got to Do With It in 1993. By the end of 2019, I remembered those words again and went on the SGI website.

I started learning gongyo, chanted Nam-myoho-renge-kyo every morning and evening and connected with the SGI community. I started to feel a lifting of the heaviness, and instead of turning my grief inward, I began reaching out to others and allowing them into my life to help me stand when I couldn’t. I also reconnected with my sister whom I hadn’t been close to in years. Now we have a wonderful relationship.

Last year, while on a walk with a neighbor, I told her about chanting and the peace it was bringing to my life. Eagerly, she said, “I want to learn too!” So I taught her gongyo and daimoku, and now she practices daily. This brings so much joy and gratitude to my heart!

While I still struggle to overcome anxiety and PTSD, I now know that through chanting, I can and will truly find peace and happiness no matter what sufferings come my way.