Our friend Lydie, now Venerable Sonam Yeshe, became a sramanerika (novice nun) in France and wrote this to her Dharma teachers and friends just after the ordination ceremony.
I am so grateful for all the material and psychological support I received from you, for your rejoicing, encouragement, precious advices and prayers. I am always so surprised in the multiple ways people can express their kindness. It reminds me how wrong I am in my habit to be cautious, or even frightened, vis-à-vis people I know, not to say vis-à-vis strangers. Because everybody is like me—no one wants to suffer and everyone is looking for happiness—and thus all of us are capable of the kindest expressions of love, friendship and compassion.
I choose what seems to me to be the best way to achieve happiness and to become able to really benefit others. Ordaining as a monastic filled up this big hole I had in my life—this huge empty space populated by fear and depression, which are the main voices of my anger and attachment—and gives me now a substantial tool to help me work on my mind and fight my demons. I feel protected and reassured and found a deep strength and confidence in committing myself. Even through the numerous obstacles I am currently facing, my relatives sense this genuine happiness in my mind and benefit from it.
I never forget that my real boss now is the Buddha! And my first duty is to keep my vows as pure as possible in this Western life. That’s how I wanted to thank you: promising to do my best for the benefit of all. I don’t have anything more precious to offer.
May the Dharma be prosperous and all our precious Teachers benefit from a long and healthy life! May all sentient beings achieve their ultimate wish to be free from suffering and established in an everlasting happiness!