7 October 2018
Finding Inner Peace
Religion was a big part of my childhood growing up and I never thought of religion as a literacy skill until now. As a child, I was always woken up by the voice of my great grandma in the early hours of the morning so that we could make our way to the temple along with my grandparents. They have practiced Buddhism their whole lives and my understanding of the religion was vague and unjustified in my young adolescent brain. Nevertheless, I always knew that it was a priority to my family which made walking into the place of worship instantly feel like home and it was a feeling I never questioned as a child. Ever since I could walk I would sit right alongside my great grandma, cross my legs, and pray just as she did even though I did not necessarily know what I was praying for. The monks and people praying would chant and speak words that I never understood as it was in another language but it never mattered to me that I could not understand the words, but that I could feel the words. I could feel the emotion that poured out of these individuals as they were speaking the repeated chants that I have heard a million times growing up. Every time I looked around I saw closed eyes and heavy hearts. The crowd pouring out their lives and their sufferings all together, it was a beautiful thing. It was a feeling that even as a kid, was so powerful. The connection I shared between my great grandma and the temple was a bond that could never be broken. The energy that exuded out of every person sitting in the small space, knee to knee; elbow to elbow could never be explained until the experience comes to you. I understood the basic rules and regulations of Buddhism and the meaning behind such a peaceful and enlightening religion but I don’t think I appreciated it enough as a child. As I got into my teenage years I started to understand what the religion was all about and I started to realize why I was encouraged to be a part of it so often.
When I turned sixteen years old, my life started to shift. I was driving, becoming more entitled, hanging out with my friends often and I started to neglect a lot of things that used to be important to me. In my head, I was just being a typical teenage girl who thought she had problems, but that led to me not spending as much time with my great grandma and doing the thing that brought us closer together, instead I started engulfing myself in my own life. I neglected my religion and I didn’t even know it. It wasn’t until August 23, 2016 when my life changed forever and I realized just how much I needed my religion again. That day was the day my life shattered and my great grandma passed away at the age of 102. She lived the most beautiful life any one could have ever imagined. She fell in love, she had kids, she had grandkids and great grandkids and she saw the world as her oyster. She had the most compassionate soul and was...