I first encountered Buddhism many years ago while attending a meditation class on calming the mind. I asked my teacher about Buddhist practice in everyday life. He said, “Don’t worry. You have plenty of time. You have already started.” I wondered what he meant.
I continued meditation on my own until I joined a group at a Buddhist monastery in Buenos Aires. There I met an Argentinian nun, Bhikshuni Dzau Dzan, who asked me to translate a Sutra called The Sutra of the Past Vows of Earth Store Bodhisattva with a commentary by Venerable Master Hsuan Hua. I carried the Sutra around in my briefcase for two months without touching it.
One night my wife said, “Why don’t you just do it?” I agreed, thinking it would take only a few hours. After five hours, I had done only a few paragraphs, and what’s more, Bhikshuni Dzau Dzan read it and said almost everything was wrong and I would have to do it over.
A year later we were still translating the Sutra. I remember when I was keying in the last paragraph. It was a warm November night. My wife was lying on the floor with her feet propped up in a chair to keep her back from hurting. She was in her last month of pregnancy. The next afternoon, two beautiful twin girls were born.
While translating the Sutra, many wonderful things happened. I quit smoking and we moved out of the city to a better neighborhood. But most of all, my vision of things and my friends changed.
[Note: Sergio is a member of the Buenos Aires, Argentina branch of the Buddhist Text Translation Society of the Dharma Realm Buddhist Association. He serves as a coordinator of translation work and communicates regularly with the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas.]