Spotlight on Our Sangha: Justine

May 23, 2019


In the first teaching I attended, I expected the teacher to start with something uplifting. Instead, she said, “Nobody here needs to tell me what they’re experiencing in their life right now, because everyone is experiencing the same thing – everyone is suffering. They’re longing to be happy but not finding it.” I started crying cathartically: how could she know that? I had always thought I was very different from other people. I thought everyone else was content, that they were doing okay, finding happiness. I always thought I was alone in my suffering. I never realized we were all connected in this way.

From that time on, I kept taking classes. I couldn’t believe there was an actual path to change the world through changing yourself. I thought, Wow, this is the thing I am meant to do. Without a doubt. I’d found my purpose.

I knew one day I wanted to teach Dharma, so I could share with other people that moment when they learn “Everyone here is the same, everyone is suffering, trying to be happy, but things are not working out for them…” Now I connect with everyone in my class, knowing how it feels to hear that “It’s not just you…it’s not your fault. There’s a reason why things aren’t working out, and there’s a solution.”

I think that’s the most meaningful thing I can do for someone – teach them the Dharma, teach them how to attain freedom so they can stop suffering.

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