Growing Gratitude for a New Chance at Life
A member of the Kona Branch of Rissho Kosei-kai of Hawaii, Ms. Rie Sumada delivered a religious testimonial speech at the ceremony on March 22, 2009 celebrating the fiftieth anniversary of the Hawaii Dharma Center. Born and raised in Japan, she married a third-generation Japanese-American from Hawaii in 1982 and moved there with him. They had two children, and Ms. Sumada recalls a life filled with busy activity.
In 2007, however, her happiness was badly shattered when her husband confessed having been unfaithful for the previous ten years and said he was no longer in love with her. She begged him to give their marriage another chance for the sake of their children, but he refused. Panic-stricken and desperate, she sought guidance from Rev. Hiroyasu Hosoyama, minister of Rissho Kosei-kai of Hawaii. Instead of the practical help she expected, he spoke of something that changed how she viewed the world.
He told her that all phenomena, including one’s hardships, were manifestations of the Buddha’s compassion and that she needed to leap across the wide gulch that lay between her and the world of faith. She described her realization that it was true she did not have unconditional faith in the Buddha, and told of her lonely childhood because her mother was constantly busy with church activities. She did not want her own children to have the same experience, but gradually realized that she had drifted far away from the true path of faith.
Feeling ashamed, she contacted her mother, who was the source of her encounter with the Dharma and Founder Nikkyo Niwnao’s teachings. After more personal trials, a satisfactory divorce settlement was achieved. In 2008 she attended the First Dharma Training for Leaders with members from six countries at Rissho Kosei-kai headquarters in Tokyo. She says that today she has learned to be grateful for a life that is sustained and blessed by the Buddha and the chance to turn her life around before it was too late.
To reciprocate her own blessings from the Buddha, her dream is to make her home a place where people facing suffering and challenges can meet and join in mutual support, and learn from the Buddha’s and the founder’s teachings.
Read Rie Sumada's spiritual journey in its entirety.
Read other spirtual journeys: Dharma Journey Archive