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It’s been said that many practitioners obtain some sort of achievement within the three-month summer retreat. Longing for the same results, I carefully jotted down my summer goal of taming my own afflictions.

Yet as time went by, the task proved to be a lot more challenging than I’d imagined. Truth to be told, I’ve been having trouble with another nun. It got to the point where even the sound of her voice annoyed me inexplicably. Taming my own afflictions. These very words would often fill me with sorrow and despair. Would I really be able to do it?

One day, recalling another disagreement we’ve had, a thought suddenly came to mind: would I be able to do the same if I were in her shoes? A gentle and kind person in everyone’s eyes, she’d always base her decisions off the needs of others. Perhaps her every word and action are the best example of someone who’s tamed her afflictions. And although we’d still disagree on many occasions hereafter, there was a part of me that truly respected her. I yearned to become someone like her, one who’d always take others into consideration. This heartfelt respect was something I’d never thought I’d have three months ago.

Ever since then, setting a goal has become a huge part of my summer retreat every year. “

How can you be so passionate about this?” Some would wonder. “
Because miracles happen!”
I believe the Buddha’s blessing is always there.