Nichiren Shoshu

Myoshinji Temple

Experience by Phuong-Mai Bui-Quang

November 16, 2014

Good morning!  My name is Phuong-Mai Bui-Quang. I am 38 years old and have been practicing Buddhism for 1 1/2 years.

I’d have to say that the benefit that I am most grateful for, and am continuing to experience, is that I am living my life honestly.  You see, before I experienced Buddhism, I lived something of an arrogant life.  I had a stable and well-paying job in corporate America, I was married to a handsome and intelligent man, I had a cute chow-chow dog named Phoebe, I lived in a nice apartment with very affordable rent.  I believed I had everything anyone could ever really want and that I had it all figured out.

Then, almost 4 years ago, my son Griffith was born.  He became the number one guy of my life and is my pride and joy.  What I did not expect was how becoming a parent would turn my marriage upside down.  To make a long story short, in the midst of nurturing Griffith’s wondrous and innocent life, my husband and I began a cycle of hurt and negativity with no end in sight.  We had been together for almost twenty years, and neither of us ever saw that coming.

For 3 years, I tried everything to save my marriage, from planning romantic weekend getaways, to spending time and money at counseling, to practicing silent meditation.  In the midst of it all, my friend Alexys invited me to an Open House, just like this one. Nothing was really working, and I couldn’t really say that I had anything better to do, so why not?

I decided to chant along with the morning Gongyo ceremony. Afterwards, I felt peace as I had never before experienced.  I received Gojyukai that day and kept chanting.  Since then, everything has changed.  I don’t have a corporate job anymore, I don’t have a husband anymore.  I used to think those things were the most important in the world, but in reality they were not right for me.  In their place, I have been given wonderful opportunities to do what I have actually wanted all along, which is to build my career as a panda artist, be a good mother to Griffith, and most importantly be a person that propagates love and positivity. 

It may not sound like conventional success, but I have never been happier. When I look with my heart I know this is the best and most honest way for me to live life. Every day, I keep experiencing new opportunities and happiness that I could never have foreseen or planned for.

You all came here today for a reason, just like I did a year and a half ago.  As we say in Buddhism, this is karma, cause and effect.  I ask you to think about that reason, and check in with how you’re feeling.  If you give this practice a chance, I know you’ll find the answers about your life that you're looking for.