On October 29, 1994, I graduated from Southwestern College in Santa Fe, New Mexico, with an MA in Counseling.
Each graduate was given time to say a few words of appreciation.
I thanked my parents, Esther and Carmen, my sister Elissa and her husband Tom, and brother Adrian and his wife Tina, and all my friends for their support.
Then: of all the emotions, the one I enjoy feeling the most is astonishment. My education at Southwestern College for the past two years was the most extraordinary experience of my life. My teachers and fellow students supported and cared for me in a way that I have never experienced before.
As I begin my new career as a therapist, I want to dedicate my work with the words of Shantideva, A Guide to the Bodhisattva’s Way of Life:
May I be the doctor and the medicine
And may I be the nurse
For all sick beings in the world
Until everyone is healed.
May a rain of food and drink descend
To clear away the pain of thirst and hunger
And during the aeon of famine
May I myself change into food and drink.
May I become an inexhaustible treasure
For those who are poor and destitute
May I turn into all things they could need
And may these be placed close beside them.
In one of my classes, we were charged to formulate a motto to express a personal affirmation and guiding principle. I came up with “I am the emissary bearing the message of heroic transformation.” This, I think, characterizes all of us who are graduating today.
One of my classmates, Ruby D’Amico, shared something with me that sums up not only what I have been doing for the past two years, but also my hope for future clients. “Slowly the removal of all the veils…the revelation of the real person.”
My time at Southwestern College was for me like opening the door of a darkened room and stepping into the light of day.
Thank you all for all you have given to me.