Day 13: Winning Life / by Sarah Kakusho

Slightly drizzling. Met up with Erika at the J.Hernandez station.
Went to a Japanese restaurant that served authentic Japanese food. I ordered Ten-don, and it was delicious. We were tripping out, watching our waitress who spoke Japanese with us, speaking Castellano with the other customers. We got Dorayaki service. It was fun. Will surely go back for natto.

So, Erika and I visited the Auditorio para Paz [kaikan] today. It’s a really nice place. It’s incomparable to anything I’ve seen. The auditorium itself is like an auditorium with a stage, and theatre-esque seating. If I were just a passerby, I would think the auditorium was used for high-end performances and stuff. Well, according to Erika, they use this place only for big meetings. We saw sensei’s video. Here, they are DUBBED IN SPANISH! Talk about total and absolute learning experience! There’s definitely no break here. It’s absolutely crazy.

But, again, it’s really nice. They have a nice library of Japanese/Korean/Chinese/English/any other language books on SGI and stuff, and a nice room dedicated to the 3 founding presidents. Really nice. The exhibition that was there also, was awesome. It happened to be an Intro to Buddhism kinda exhibition. It was neat. One of the exhibits had a mirror to symbolize the gohonzon, and on the mirror it said something referring to reflection [I don’t quite remember… :-/]

And, like I had mentioned up there ^, I was able to see sensei’s video, which up until yesterday, I thought I wasn’t able to because the kaikan is located in…a not so pretty area to walk around in at night. But, it worked out [even though I saw the same video last month, and was shown probably in June in California]. I was able to re-watch the video. In SPANISH. Yay. Afterwards we met the General Director of Argentina. Pretty cool.

Aside from that, I’m so glad I was able to see bright smiling faces. There’s definitely a tangible difference in how people are between SGI and non-SGI. Such a great environment to get in touch with in such hard times. I think one thing that’s great about the organization is that no matter where you go, you’ll always have that family. One of my friends in my program asked me how I know if it’ll be the same here as it is in the U.S. I didn’t exactly know how to reply, but I knew in my heart that it just would.

Today, I realized I’m just using my inability to properly speak Spanish as an excuse. Truly, I think I just suck at expressing myself. Period. I just verbally can’t do it. In any language. Which is why I write in a blog, I guess. I suck at organizing my thoughts on a whim, and my mind works too slow. I have to think about something for a while before I can actually have an answer for anything. And that, my friends, was my downfall today when I was talking to my host mom about Buddhism. Yep.

I think it was the first time I was able to have a conversation with her in a couple days, so it was nice, because I had felt kind of distant and wanted to make a connection. She was asking me how I was doing and I told her I was great. Then, began asking me about what I did today, and when I told her I went to an SGI meeting, she sounded interested…then asked me about the Dalai Lama. I told her it was chotto different and started explaining about compassion and how when we help people, that helps us become happy, and about human revolution and how we can attain happiness in our lifetime right now.

She thought the whole idea was idealistic. I wasn’t sure what to say after that so I kinda just backed out [I went back to my room and started reading a copy of The Winning Life that Erika gave me today]. -_-;; Yep, I wasn’t able to rush to the battlefield of kosen-rufu, at this crucial point.

But, I think that just means I have to study harder, practice more sincerely, and have faith. So much more. Much, much more. The battle isn’t over yet.

P.S. It’s 37 degrees right now… and my nose is running like a sink.