Message from the International Spiritual Training Center
My Life Got Better by Deepened Faith
Linda Kakinami Chang / California, U.S.A.
My mother joined Seicho-No-Ie many years ago when I was in middle school. I remember going to Seicho-No-Ie Japanese Readers’ Meetings at night, where my younger sister and I would watch television in the kitchen, while the adults were having the meeting in the living room.
In high school, I attended the annual Public Lectures and workshops. When I was a college student, I attended my first International Spiritual Training Seminar which was in Belmont, California. This was more than ten years ago. At Belmont, I read the Holy Sutra and did the Shinsokan meditation and sang all the Seicho-No-Ie songs and it was all a very moving experience.
The first time I did Shinsokan meditation, as I was meditating, Rev. Takafumi Sugawara, who was the Bishop of the U.S. Missionary Headquarters at the time, came over and gently corrected the way I was holding my hands in prayer position. His gentle care brought me to tears. In fact, I remember spending most of that seminar in tears. Years later, I attended the 2008 International Leaders Training Seminar in New York. One of the workshops was regarding Shinsokan meditation, and during that meditation, Rev. Yoshiko Teshigawara, who is our current Bishop, came over and adjusted my hands as well. I am so very fortunate to receive such direct guidance and support from both of them and all the other reverends.
As a young adult, I used to be a very negative and dark person. But over the years, Seicho-No-Ie has helped me become much brighter, more cheerful and assertive and my life has taken a positive turnaround. Now I work as a contractor at Cisco Systems, doing web development. Just recently a very important work project was completed at my company and it went very well. I received a lot of very positive feedback from my manager and other managers about my involvement, which made me very happy. Over the years I feel I have become more confident about my work and role within the team. I think this sense of confidence has grown due to what I have learned from the Seicho-No-Ie teachings.
In 2007 I enrolled “my soulmate” as a Holy Mission Fellowship member. Several months after that, my college friend suggested that I contact one of her close friends. Six months ago I married this other friend, a wonderful person.
This International Spiritual Training Seminar in Seattle was the most fun experience for me so far, out of the International Spiritual Training Seminars and Seicho-No-Ie events that I have attended. The reverends all gave very good lectures. I heard the testimony from Ms. Jacqueline Fleming of New York, and it was the most moving testimony I had ever heard. I cried along with her as she gave it, and I could hear everyone around me crying as well. For me that was probably the highlight of the Seminar.
I was also very moved during the Shinsokan for Mutual Prayer, when I heard of the troubles that some of our attendees had been dealing with. All the attendees were so bright and cheerful during the Seminar that it was hard to believe that they could also be dealing with such heavy issues. I was very moved by their strength and courage.
Everything about the Seminar re-emphasized for me what is wonderful about Seicho-No-Ie. The teachings can be applied to our daily lives immediately, with words like “Thank you very much,” and “I am so grateful.” I will continue to do my best to work on the Truth of Life magazine and on Seicho-No-Ie activities in Northern California.
Thank you very much!