I was born and raised as a Buddhist. My family thinks that it is of utmost importance to be religious. My mom told me a story about her encounter with Buddha himself while she was on her way to America thirty years ago. She was riding a boat on her way to America. On her way, a severe storm developed and their boat almost flipped over. She could only think of praying at that time. She closed her eyes and began praying to Buddha to guide them and bring them to safety. Within a couple of minutes, the storm died down and there was no rain or wind at all. There was barely any trace of the storm that had passed only minutes earlier. When she opened her eyes, she saw Buddha smiling at her.
That became one of the reasons why our family is a strong believer of Buddha. Because of this faith, we go to the temple every Sunday. My mom is a vegetarian in accordance to our faith. My family believes that personal mortality is followed by reincarnations. A person is reborn in better terms if the person has been good in his/her previous life; one is reborn worse if he/she had received demerits in his/her previous life. They could even be born as animals like cockroaches or inanimate things like trees depending on their merits.
Generally, Buddhists believe that the world is not created and ruled by God. Even though I practice being a Buddhist, I believe that there is a God. Despite my religion, I believe that God is the one who created us.
My fiancé and I do not share the same religion. My fiancé is a Catholic and it is a must that I convert to Christianity before we get married. I am willing to do this and in the process I want to learn the codes of being a Christian. We have not yet set a date to get married, nor have we set a date for me to convert, but I want to use the time I have to learn more about Christianity. I know I am going to spend the rest of my life as a Christian after I convert and thus it should be fitting that I learn how to be a true Christian. To show my efforts, I sometimes attend the Sunday mass with my fiancé and his family. I am happy to say that the words of God have a positive impact on me.
I even watched the movie “The Passion of the Christ” a few months ago and it literally made me cry. It moved me that Jesus Christ would go beyond Himself and even let Himself be punished for the sin of others; all the while others still doubted Him. He treated people while He was still living, and then continued on His preaching even after He died through His apostles. He never ceased guiding us. No matter how bad people were to Him, He was still genuinely kind-hearted.
In my heart I truly have a great respect for Christianity. I know that I was born and raised as a Buddhist, but this does not stop me from believing in God. I want to learn more about the Roman Catholic traditions. I am ready to learn more about what Jesus Christ wanted the people to believe in. I want to know what made people believe in Him. Also, I am curious about what made people dislike Him despite His being a very trusting and selfless person. What were God’s words? Being a Buddhist restricted my knowledge of God and so I am curious about Christianity. I know within myself that I feel God’s existence and that I believe in Him no matter what. Because of that growing belief, I would really like to learn more about Him.
Given the fact that HGST has a great reputation and I have two colleagues who attended there, I have no doubt that I will learn everything I need to know. I also know that HGST is going to help me grow with their best efforts. I have been told that HGST trains students from more than 30 denominational traditions. This means that I am not the only one with this case. I had the opportunity to sit in and observe two classes (Theories of Counseling and Psychotherapy/ Intro to Spirituality) at HGST a couple of months ago which I absolutely enjoyed. Right then and there I knew that I loved everything about HGST. Their classes are small, intimate, and personal. These should help me by being around people with the same case as me. The staff and students were extremely welcoming and made me feel really comfortable. HGST is definitely the ideal place for me to be in.
I believe that HGST is in line with my passion, which is to be able to help people and to be able to give back to the community. As HGST is willing to help me fulfill my desire to know about Christianity, I am also willing to learn everything and vows to always do my best to understand things so that in time I will be able to teach others. On my spare time I often tutor Vietnamese kids who are curious about Buddhist ways at our temple. In line with this I have also volunteered at a couple of places such as Juvenile Diabetes Center, and UT Psychiatric Hospital. I have also join walks/marathons such as March of Dimes, and Avon Walk for Breast Cancer for a good cause.
I believe that in order for me to help people, I have to be able to understand where they are coming from. One of the main reasons why I am pursuing Theological Education is because I want and need to be more knowledgeable in Christianity. Not only will it help me in my future marriage, but it would also strengthen my belief in the religion and my capacity to be of service to others.
I believe that an increasing acknowledgment of spirituality is an important aspect of client diversity in counseling and psychotherapy. I have come to realize that for me to become a great counselor in the future, I must be able to understand certain things about my client like their religious values and beliefs. For me, there is no way that a counselor like me will understand my clients if I am ignorant about their religious beliefs and ideologies. Can a counselor honestly say that he/she knows and understands what the client feels if she is not knowledgeable of the client’s preferred religion?
To clarify things, I believe in both Buddhism and Christianity, so my list will consist of both religions’ faith and beliefs.
1. Reincarnation- the belief that when we die, our body decomposes, but something of oneself is reborn in another body. This is transferred to the appropriate vessel. To find a good vessel, we must do good deeds or we will come back to life as something that we don’t want to become. The better we perform, the better our condition in the next life; the worse we become, the worse we will serve.
2. Killing or eating meat at temple is a sin.
3. It is okay to believe and follow any religion as long as it is not Satanism.
4. God is the creator.
5. We suffer because we sin.
6. I believe that Hell does exist. If one sins then they will have to stay there until they pay their dues.
I often find myself running out of words to say or write in class when the discussion is towards ‘Christianity viewpoint’. As of the moment, I will honestly say that I do not know enough about Christianity, though I would most certainly want to learn more. That is why I am here-- I am here to learn. I’m looking forward to attend the seminary studies where I can study God’s words, prayers, and worship. Perhaps this is what I need to truly believe in the doctrines of Christianity. This should also help me cope with other people, especially my future clients who would want to share with me their thoughts.