Message from the International Spiritual Training Center
Jimmy On (California)
On February 4, 2012, I attended the 54th International Spiritual Training Seminar in Rancho Palos Verdes, California. It came at a time when I felt I just needed to go and really connect with my inner self and God. The experience there was just so overwhelming: everyone was accepted for who they are and we were truly like brothers and sisters.
A brief background about myself: I am Vietnamese and a quarter Chinese. My Dad served in the Vietnam War for the United States military and we immigrated to America in 1980. Our lives were very hard at the beginning. Over time, life became much better and in 2002, I moved to Los Angeles and married my girlfriend whom I’d met in college. We now have two beautiful daughters.
However, after we were married, it was not the life I had imagined. I would get into arguments with my parents over my wife and vice versa. Lots of painful words were used by my parents that hurt my wife and me a lot and were in every way hard to forgive. I also used my share of harsh words that hurt my parents. Being in that situation, where reasoning was nearly impossible, I didn’t know the correct thing to do. I didn’t know how to communicate with my parents and wife. I ended up distancing our lives from my parents. I was in a situation where I loved my parents, but instead of solving the problem, I was making it worse for everyone.
One day, to my wife’s surprise, she found out that the religion (Seicho-No-Ie) she grew up with in Japan had a church in Gardena, which was a couple of miles from where we lived. So we attended the Sunday Service at the church and were very happy with it. I was very interested in the teaching because it was different in some ways from the Christian religion with which I was brought up. Being curious, I wanted to know more about the teaching and how I could apply it to my life. I signed up for a weekend seminar that was happening during that time.
My first seminar at Seicho-No-Ie was very inviting. There were a few people I didn’t know but I was very comfortable with all the people around me. We had to do lots of fun activities such as the laughing practice, group activities, and hear some great testimonies. But my favorite part was really the Mind Purification Ceremony. It really hit me hard because it was about putting all my negative feelings on paper and taking that paper and burning all those bad things that had been kept inside of me. So that part really made me think about my parents and how I really wanted to change our relationship to make it better. After the seminar was over, I had lots to think about.
I wanted my daughters to have a good relationship with their grandparents. I also wanted my wife and my mom to have a mother and daughter-in-law bond. I started doing Shinsokan and really praying and visualizing that our family is perfect and harmonious.
Over a few weeks’ time, I made plans to call my parents to reconcile with them. One evening, I had an unexpected call from my mom: she wanted to talk to me about that very same thing. She let me know that she really loves us and she also wanted to see us again. My parents really wanted to see their grandkids, bond with my wife and make her more like their own daughter. I was glad my mom told me that we should communicate with one another more often. I let her know that I too felt the same way.
Now, we see my parents once a month. My mom and my wife have a mom and daughter-in-law relationship. My dad is happy that his granddaughters love him. I can’t thank my wife enough for introducing me to Seicho-No-Ie. Life may take a big turn for the worse, but with the right guidance, it can bring anyone to a happy and joyful life.