What brought you to the Hazy Moon?
I picked up Karen Maezen Miller’s book Momma Zen, even though I don’t have kids or plan on having any in the future. I liked her non-judgmental and compassionate writing style. I found out about the Hazy Moon Zen Center from the book. Then I checked out the website and was impressed by Roshi’s (Dharma) talks. I liked his no nonsense teaching style. And I started listening to his talks before I go to sleep. I’ve listened to all the talks multiple times by now, but I still get some insight every time I listen to them.
What made you come back / become a member/ do your first sesshin?
This year I decided to make a bigger commitment to my practice. I have been dabbling in Zen for about five years, sitting on my own on and off. The books I read would motivate me, and then I’d stop when I got busy or lazy. I didn’t have faith in the teachings or take my practice seriously until I went to the Hazy Moon. Seeing living examples of practice definitely instilled faith in me.
Has anything in particular stood out in your practice experience?
I realize that I am very judgmental toward other people in my head. I talk a lot of trash, and I’m also addicted to thinking, like most people. Through practice, I can respond appropriately to those thoughts / outbursts as they come up.
What is your family’s cultural or religious background?
My family goes to the local Buddhist temple on holidays (like New Year). They have an altar at home to offer food and incense in the morning.
Would you share a little about your experience introducing your family to the center?
I never really talked to my dad about my practice because I have a difficult time communicating with him due to our language barrier. I forgot how to speak Vietnamese, and they never taught me Cantonese or Chiu Chow, so we don’t communicate much. One day my dad asked me if it was okay for him to join me on a Saturday — one of my sisters must have told him I started going to the center. So I asked both of my sisters to join me as well. I think they enjoyed their experience at the Hazy Moon. One of my sisters started sitting a few minutes a day. My other sister sits on and off.
Did anything inform your choice to take Jukai?
I feel this commitment (taking Jukai) will further strengthen my practice; it just feels like the right thing to do.
Is there anything else you want to say?
I like simplicity, minimalism, investing, Wing Chun Kung Fu and how each of these things relates with everything else I am doing. I hope to become financially independent in a few years so that I can focus on my practice. I would also like to thank everyone at the Hazy Moon for being so friendly and supportive.