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On the Cover—New England

Featuring members from New England.

Colleen Suhanosky
Cafe Owner

More vegetables are on the menu lately. Each menu item flows from a personal relationship, and the people I know best are farmers. I need to trust where my food is coming from and who I’m supporting when I buy it. It’s all local and in season. Everything from the bread to the soups are made from scratch.

I chant to bring fortune and my Buddha nature to my workplace and neighborhood. Chanting this way yields new ideas for the cafe, which is open, airy and, like the food, simple and beautiful. I want every customer to feel rejuvenated, open and at ease. It may seem that I do a lot in a day, and I do, but by putting my practice first, everything flows.

Andrew Knafel
Shaftsbury, Vermont

Running a farm is challenging. You can do everything right, and then the weather sets you back to square one. This past summer, for instance, we had 36 inches of rain. It was hard on the soil and the morale. But our farming crew had great chemistry and worked through it.

When I started the farm, over 25 years ago, we farmed one acre and sold produce from a table under a maple tree. Today, we are an integral part of the community, with a crew of 25, farming 30 acres with a large farmstand. Beginning my mornings at 5 a.m. with abundant daimoku has kept me flexible through all the uncertainties of the pandemic and resolved to bring out the best from it. I chant for a harmonious crew and to serve our community by providing healthy food in a welcoming atmosphere.

Geeta Shrestha
Marlborough, Massachusetts
Hair Salon Owner

For the past six years, I’ve owned a hair salon. Today, I have a regular clientele of 800, which is unheard of for a salon this young. When people come in, they say, “There’s something about this salon!” Every morning I chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo to connect with each person, which gives me a youthful spirit.

“When you touch my hair, I feel so good!” people say. When a person feels good, they open up about their lives. I share how chanting has transformed my life. While we talk, the person transforms as well, relaxing, looking younger—especially if they get a coloring. A cut with a coloring transforms a person, taking 10 years off their face. That’s how I share my youthful spirit!

‘The Courage of a Lion King’

Challenging Limits of My Own Making