During my time at Dharma Jewel, I’ve learned to control my monkey mind. Coming here has helped me to ease my anxiety about the comings and goings of daily life, but to feel more compassion for myself (and others). I’ve learned to accept the impermanence of the world and meet that impermanence with gratitude.

We cling to states of beings that appear pleasurable: we’d like that day to last forever; we’d like our loved ones to live forever; we’d like that delicious meal to go on forever. However, all of life—even the least pleasurable parts—are impermanent. My original reaction to impermanence caused a great deal of suffering. I felt loss when considering the many pleasant things—and people—that will pass away. Now, I’ve come to think of impermanence in connection with joy and gratitude. Instead of considering impermanence unfortunate, I’ve learned to be joyous, grateful, and present in the moment. I remind myself daily to be grateful for the wonderful aspects of life. And I can also remember that the less pleasant parts will also pass away.

Dharma Jewel Monastery has been an important part of my life for the past few years—and I hope it will continue to be for years to come. I thank the shifus and the abbess for making that possible. Amituofo!