Create Virtue-Begin at Home by Practicing the Foundation Spiritual Teachings and the Three Pillars of Salvation.
Rev. Masayoshi Kobayashi
President, SKK Izunome Kyodan
Happy New Year, 2015 to you!
I am very thankful that we have the promise of the bright new year, blessed by the Great God of Light and Meishu-sama, and supported by the prayers of Kyoshu-sama.
This year, 2015, we will celebrate the 80th anniversary of the founding of our organization. At this important beginning of a new cycle, we should study the Teachings of Meishu-sama thoroughly with open minds and fresh attitudes. We should also learn from Kyoshu-sama’s guidance of the need to practice the three pillars of Salvation (Johrei, Nature Farming and Appreciation of Art). This should be done in addition to the basic tenets of Sekai Kyusei Kyo (Prayer, Johrei, Service). We should deepen our relationships based on faith with our family members, emulating the Teaching of being a “Pleasant Person.” By embracing the daily practice of creating virtue, we will accomplish our mission of becoming Pioneers of Salvation.
Recently, news broadcasts many social issues that are of concern. It is a reminder to all of us that we are in the age of transformation and transition. These issues should not be viewed negatively, but we can understand that they are positive steps toward the ultimate successful development of our society. In order to solve complicated and difficult issues, we need to sharpen our ability to solve basic problems. Some people say that under challenging and unsolvable situations we may encounter, we need to “Go back to the basics.”
The Importance of Implementing and Balancing our Spiritual Activities
Three Japanese scientists recently received the Nobel Prize for Physics in 2014 for the invention of the efficient blue light emitting diodes. These diodes enable the LED’s to display a variety of colors of light including white light because of the integration and balance of the three primary RGB colors. We are often described as an “Organization of Light.” The analogy of the RGB colors can be used to describe our work, and how we can practice Johrei, Nature Farming and Appreciation of Art. We should fully understand and implement these three activities of Salvation so that Meishu-sama can freely and easily manifest His Salvation on the physical plane. Of primary importance is our ability to integrate and balance these three activities in our daily lives.
The Essentials for Deepening our Faith
Great baseball players, professionals and amateurs, rarely miss doing their daily routine of running, playing catch, and practicing their swing. These fundamentals are essential to improve their skill set and to become better overall athletes. The basic fundamentals of our faith as members of SKK are Prayer, Johrei and Service. If we want to deepen our faith, we need to continuously and tirelessly work on these basics with renewed minds and attitudes.
Prayer: This includes attending services at the Sacred Ground and at our Johrei Centers. It is important to establish a “Life of Prayer.” Nidai-sama, the second spiritual leader, taught us, “Anything you wish to do, as a person of faith on a spiritual path, starts with prayer. This is, I believe, a fundamental practice for saving humanity throughout the world.” Doing your best at work after your morning prayer, or taking time for relaxation after your prayer in the evening, we should daily renew our faith so we can become useful instruments in the creation of Paradise on Earth, Nidai-sama said.
The first step for creating a “Life of Prayer” can be to dedicate a Divine Scroll at your home. Meishusama taught us in his Teachings, “The Divine Scroll can make your home and surrounding spiritual atmosphere bright and comfortable. Every time you pray at your home altar, you receive Light and will be purified, uplifting your spiritual level.” It would be significant if you can dedicate a Divine Scroll at your home with your family’s support and understanding. Your ancestors will be also happy, if you can do so, because they hope that all offspring can receive the Great Light.
Johrei: The Light of Johrei can manifest in a physical healing but the true purpose of Johrei is to understand the deep Love of God who is the influence behind everything we do. God’s Purpose is to extend His Love to all those around us and to create and increase the number of people who have faith. Meishu-sama told us that Johrei can be the means to eliminate all conflict. Dialoging and development of mutual understanding can also contribute to the creation of peace and harmony in our communities, but Johrei will definitely be the catalyst for long-term peace and the successful creation of harmony amongst all people in our society. The activities of Nature Gardening or natural food promotion, Ikebana Sangetsu and the mindful practice of having virtuous thoughts and words are also methods of removing our spiritual clouds. These practices can be put in the same category as Johrei and have the same beneficial outcomes. We will focus our attention and energy on our efforts to spread these activities to purify the world around us.
Service: Nidai-sama told us about the importance of giving sincere service. “It should be given with gratitude for God’s Blessings. We can share this gift of gratitude from God by serving others and the community. The appreciation for our efforts will return to us in the form of Light and will create more opportunities to give further service in the future. This is the positive cycle of faith. By continually practicing this process, the subconscious manifests the repetitions and multiplies its blessings through the expansive radiance of our souls. Our love will deepen, and our personalities will be refined. The process of serving will assist you in becoming a person of true faith.” The more you accumulate virtue, the more your soul will be uplifted which will be seen in happiness. This happiness will not only be for oneself but also future generations will reap the benefits. Keeping this spiritual principle in mind, we can practice this daily as part of our Divine Work and move toward becoming valued instruments of God.
Having explained our basic spiritual principles above, I must add other important points. There are three levels of spiritual practice implementation. The first level is to practice these fundamental after being told by someone what to do. It is a level of dependency. The second level is to practice faith on your own independently, and the third level is to lift others to a higher level by teaching them the value of spontaneously practicing virtuous acts.
If you assess yourself, and believe that you are on first level, please do your best to move toward the second level. Subsequently, try to proceed to the third level if you think you are on the second level. Let us all make sure that we also have clear goals to work toward and accomplish, and together let us all support each other’s personal journey to become better people.
Fukutoku-Enman…It Begins at our Home.
Commemorating the 80th anniversary of the founding of our spiritual organization, we were honored to receive copies of Meishu-sama’s calligraphy entitled, “Fukutoku Enman”. “Fukutoku” means the happiness and virtue earned by doing good deeds. “Enman” is the state of completion, sufficiency and satisfaction.
This calligraphy was once given to people who came to offer New Year’s greetings to Meishu-sama. The disciples and members would receive these words as a principle of faith. The words would also be the focus of their faith practice for the year. Bringing forward from the past this process, we should heed the words on the calligraphy, Fukutoku Enman, manifest it in our hearts, and project it to our homes, communities and the world. Let us keep this foremost in our minds and rejuvenate our faith with a fresh start this year.
In April, we are planning the inauguration of the Mokichi Okada Memorial Hall at the Kyoto Sacred Grounds. We have received the Teaching, “Johrei expands worldwide as the construction of the Kyoto Sacred Grounds progresses…” I believe that the Expansion of Johrei Worldwide is a tremendous mission that Sekai Kyusei Kyo has been given by Meishu-sama.
I would like to conclude my New Year’s message with my prayer to God and Meishu-sama that I will sincerely work for the construction and care of both the Atami and Kyoto Sacred Grounds together with you.