Message from the International Spiritual Training Center
Reconciled with My Son by Attending Spiritual Training Seminar
Michael McCarthy (California), U.S.A.
In my twenties, an interest in Macrobiotics led me to become a student in Tokyo, where I met my first wife Akiko. Our son Hikaru was born there. After returning to the United States, we had another son, Taiyo, who was severely disabled. In 2003 Akiko died of cancer, and Taiyo died of pneumonia. I was sorely troubled that I couldn’t protect my wife and son from such suffering.
Late in 2005 I met my wife Yukari via the Internet. Hearing her life story, I was impressed by her cheerful disposition despite having endured great hardship. Yukari was a Seicho-No-Ie adherent. I considered that in light of Yukari’s many fine qualities, SNI probably had some value. I read the Truth of Life Volume 1, and found it interesting, reasonable, and good practical advice.
Yukari and I were married at the SNI Uji Temple in 2006. In 2007 our son Taro was born in Berkeley. We attend SNI services in San Jose about once a month, and White Dove meetings.
My son Hikaru and I were estranged since Christmas of 2007. There was a precipitating incident, but he was angry about many things in the past. It seemed there was nothing I could do to get him to be part of my family again. In the fall of last year Yukari and I began a course of 1000 readings of the Holy Sutra, with one aim being reconciliation with Hikaru.
I was fortunate to be able to attend the 52nd International Spiritual Training Seminar in San Francisco in February of this year (2011). When I arrived on a Friday afternoon, the density of the schedule immediately impressed me. The five Reverends and we 49 participants would be very busy for the next 46 hours of so. I began to think of the five Reverends like a crowd favorite tag wrestling team; the presentation was always fresh because no Reverend had to continue for too long, and they all had different strengths. During the course of the weekend, I was moved to tears many times—not tears of sadness, but tears of awe. I was moved by the power of people meditating and praying together.
Our readings of the Holy Sutra have not been keeping pace to finish 1000 within one year, but we will keep going even if it takes longer. We have already received blessings. Not long ago my son Hikaru called up asking advice about home maintenance. There was no magic moment where we looked each other in the eye, but now we are reconciled. The more I read the Holy Sutra, the more I enjoy it.
Since 2009 we attend Seicho-No-Ie services in San Jose about once a month. My wife has recently begun holding White Dove meetings at our home. We will continue to keep up our faith in Seicho-No-Ie from now on.