" alt="Cara Berman" trigclass="noarrow" tag="center"]
" alt="Steve Williamson" trigclass="noarrow" tag="center"]
" alt="Devi Acosta" trigclass="noarrow" tag="center"]
I hardly ever came to the temple but on December—when I was struggling with remorse of something shameful I did—I felt a calling to go to the monastery. I asked my mom if I could go with her and volunteer. And ever since then, I started cleaning weekly on Saturdays and became more involved by taking classes on Mondays. My old wisdom has been refreshed but what has truly changed me is by becoming a vegetarian and “re-learning” kindness and compassion all over again and practicing it.
The thought of becoming a vegetarian was from watching a documentary movie but what really helped me put my feet firmly on the ground was when I came to the realization that eating meat is eating a living being. And animal with a life and spirit, virtues and misdeeds, just like us. And who knows—they could have been our parents in our last life! And after about four weeks of going vegetarian, I am determined and keep saying “no” to meat.
Another thing that changed me is remembering kindness and compassion. I have already known about it but I had forgotten it. For a while, my kindness and compassion had been limited to a certain amount of people and things. But now my kindness has increased to almost anyone—good or bad—who crosses my path. Sometimes even my enemies.
But the thing that changed me the most was putting all of my knowledge into practice. “Knowledge is knowing but wisdom is doing it.” And ever since I have attended the monastery, I have been putting my knowledge into practice. I have become less stingy with money and more generous. I have constantly donated wholeheartedly to the temple—even if it is just two dollars, I still give because I know that I owe the temple so much—much more than two dollars. Every dollar counts but what really counts is the good feeling of giving. And that is the same feeling I get when I give money to friends or relatives when they ask me for it.
There is so much for me to learn but I have learned so much already—ever since I started coming here to the temple. I am deeply grateful for helping me cope with my troubles, reviving my old wisdom and changing me so much in just three months.
" alt="唐秀燕(傳晏)" trigclass="noarrow" tag="center"]
Hector A Acosta
" alt="Hector A Acosta" trigclass="noarrow" tag="center"]
This is my first year being the member of the Buddha Jewel monastery, I give thank to Buddha Dharma because it helps me a lot in my life.
To me, being a Buddhist practitioner is a real challenge. Because I have to accept all the responsibility of all wrong actions I made in my life. But something that makes me happy is all the teaching I receive from those excellent masters and teachers let me understand the Buddha way and my direction.
I know if I study the Dharma and do more practices, I will pay my Karma debts which are the sufferings I brought to many sentient beings and myself.
I also know that I have to do my homework every day and work hard on my practices to obtain my illumination – Buddha nature. By doing so, I can find all the answers to solve my problems.
I would like to give thanks to all masters and teachers for all the methods and the Dharmas we received.
" alt="Judy Cole" trigclass="noarrow" tag="center"]
I came to Buddha Jewel Monastery since last April.
I found out that I am happier and have more confidence about myself now. I also did things that I could never do before. I actually designed my own kitchen and the price is way below budget. I was a little afraid of quietness before, now I love the quietness. I also do less shopping then before, only buy the thing I need and accumulate much less garbage. I no longer point my finger to other person instead I point it to myself most of time.
The classes are just awesome. They really help me to look at things differently. The teachers are absolutely wonderful and I do believe they are the best in the world.
" alt="Ben McDonald" trigclass="noarrow" tag="center"]
We are blessed to have the Buddha Jewel Monastery in Seattle. I have tremendous gratitude for the Shifus who traveled half-way around the world for our benefit.
Before attending the meditation and Zen classes, I practiced mindfulness without knowing that it was a Zen practice or even Buddhist one. The classes at Buddha Jewel validated and helped refine many of my beliefs and practices through verbal instruction and meditation.
The Dharma lectures are deep but they are taught to our western culture. The meditation retreats are a special opportunity that I take advantage of as often as possible. I have learned so much about myself and others.
Maria Ponce Acosta
" alt="Maria Ponce Acosta" trigclass="noarrow" tag="center"]
In a short period of time being at Buddha Jewel Monastery my life and family have been blessed. To come to study and have access to the Sutras has been and is the major Treasure received in this lifetime, and for that I will never get tire to thank you all. All the Shifus in this monastery really deserve the title of Children of Sakyamuni Buddha. Because with great compassion, tolerance, hard work and skills, share and explain the teachings so clear like pure drinking water when we are thirsty. They are humble and loving, they are true Buddhists. And if they resemble the whole Sangha and in this way also the Grand Master, and the Grand Master the Buddha I sure want to be like you, bringing hope, care, love, etc. to sentient beings, until the ultimate enlightenment. Thanks to coming to Buddha Jewel I have learn the importance to study the Dharma to put an end to so much ignorance, so let me list the following:
How unnecessary we engage in wrong actions that bring terrible consequences. We create our own Karma.
The Noble Eightfold Path
The Six Paramitas
The importance of stop eating meat, to stop wars, to stop the cyclic of enmity and wars, for compassion toward others and stop global warming.
The Great Surangama Sutra. When I pronounced the mantra, the second time the craving of eating meat was eradicated from my mind.
How to live in harmony with society and the world.
The power of meditation
Certainly my life and family has been transform toward the Dharma for all of this and what the next blessings I will always be thankful. [/expand]
" alt="Sandy McDonald" trigclass="noarrow" tag="center"]
My personal experience after discovering Buddha Jewel and Buddhism
For many years, I had a Buddha statue and read many books on Buddhism. Until I stepped into The Buddha Jewel Monastery those were just nice words I’ve read. I experienced what it was like to practice Buddhism directly from the masters.
From the outside some may say this has been the worst year of my life, lost my business, home, many jobs. Many family members got gravely ill, and many other hardships. I was luckily given the tools to deal with everything from a Buddhist perspective. There is no bad. For me I believe this was the best year of my life, I went on a pilgrimage to Taiwan, participated in a seven day retreat, and studied many profound teachings of the Buddha. As a result, I look forward to simple living, everything is a lesson in attachment and impermanence.
I have been volunteering at the monastery for awhile and I am surprised that there aren’t many more people signing up to do this. I have one on one time with the masters; therefore I learn a lot about the Dharma and the practice, this is very helpful in addition to a weekly class. I am very grateful for discovering the monastery so close to my home and have introduced many of my friends to the classes and events.
I often wonder why the restaurants and the bars are crowded and the Dharma classes have only a few people. I understand why it is called a jewel now; precious and rare to encounter. I think with all of the work put into the Buddha Jewel and its events and classes more and more people from the nearby neighborhoods will examine their life and turn to the monastery for guidance.