Sangha Voices is a collection of profiles and perspectives featuring our temple members. For our very first profile, David Chin, the current temple president, shares how he came to be involved with San Mateo Buddhist Temple.
My name is David Chin and I have been going to the San Mateo Buddhist Temple since 1991. I have been here through the more traditional route of attending Dharma School as a young kid. My parents and I had just moved over from New York to start elementary school here in San Mateo. My Mom and her grandparents are from here and my grandma was still teaching Dharma School at the time. Everything about the temple was still new too me and I did not really understand even reciting Namu Amida Bustu. Being so young and shy, I barely spoke out loud when saying the nembutsu. I basically whispered it under my breath during class and when ever I had to go up for oshoko.
Of course, eventually I got more comfortable around the temple and now think of it as my second home. It is hard to say what impact a place or community has on you when it has essentially always been there in your life. Being part of a larger community is something I only realized the value of later during high school and college by really becoming friends with people that did not have the same in their own lives. Being Buddhist and being part of this temple is an integral part of my identity and likely how I approach life. I imagine I would be a quite different person if we had stayed back in New York and I never became part of a Sangha.