Rev. Kobayashi’s Message, The Grand Fall Service
Let Them Be Intrigued to Willingly Buy
Rev. Kobayashi’s Message
The Grand Fall Service, October 1-2, 2015
Hall of Worship, Atami, Japan
Good Morning! Welcome to Grand Fall Service!
We have faithfully and prayerfully completed the Grand Fall Service earlier, and we have made a promise to God and Meishu-sama to give our utmost effort in creating a prototype of Paradise on Earth, where Truth, Virtue, and Beauty are manifested in perfect balance according to the Divine Plan.
I would like to introduce to you the overseas members attending today’s service. (only on October 1)
28 people from Korea
3 from the Philippines
138 from Thailand
9 from Laos
51 from Sri Lanka
20 from Australia
8 from France
8 from UK
1 from Angola
24 from USA
116 from Brazil
In total, we have 406 people from 11 different countries.
Please welcome them.
(Only on the 2nd)
Completion of the Ministerial Training Program for the Oversees Trainees
This Service had a very international feel since there were more than 400 overseas members from 11 different countries who attended to the service yesterday. Today, I would like to proudly announce that the five ministerial trainees from Brazil and one from Mongolia completed their training programs in Japan. They will depart and will engage in expansion activities in their own countries taking with them the heart of Meishu-sama and the knowledge and experiences they learned in Japan. During their training, they have been warmly welcomed in your local areas, and were deeply inspired by your sincere attitude and unwavering faith in Meishu-sama. They also experienced miraculous blessings through collaboration with all of you. I would like to express my deep gratitude to you on their behalf. Please give them a round of applause. Thank you
Inspirational Calligraphies Displayed at the MOA Museum
It is getting cooler in the early morning and late afternoon these days, and the feeling of autumn is upon us. At the MOA Museum, there is a wonderful calligraphy of poem entitled, “Shufu-ge,” meaning “Verse of truth in fall wind,” written by Daitou-Kokushi, a Zen priest who lived in early 14th century Japan. Let me show you the picture of the calligraphy here. (Image 1)
Meishu-sama praised this piece of art by saying, “This is one of the best in Japan.” “Viewing this calligraphy, I feel inspired by the high vibration of spirituality generated from his virtuous and enlightened personality.”
Let me read each line in this poem for you. The first line reads, “Shufu-sekiseki,” meaning “Fall winds blow sadly and lonely.”
The second line, pronounced “Shusui-reirei,” means, “The stream in fall looks cold.”
The third line says, “Senshin-banku” means, “A spiritual training that embraces various painful hardships.”
The last line, “Fukyu-entoh” means, “A spiritual journey carrying the Buddhist teachings and prayers, wearing a bamboo hat.” The image description of this calligraphy must be like this one I am showing now. (Image 2)
This poem was originally written by a Zen Chinese priest named Kido-Chigu, who lived between 1185-1269, and who created the foundation of the Rinzai Zen School in Japan. This poem was about wishing the Buddhist monks words of farewell when they were on their journey of enlightenment and spiritual trainings. Simply stated it says, “Fall is around the corner, and I know you will be enduring your spiritual trainings and going through tremendous hardships. That is what you wanted to seek. I hope you will have a fruitful and meaningful journey.”
I feel that Meishu-sama was trying to give us encouragement through this calligraphy. Today and tomorrow, these art pieces, including this one, will be on the special display in the six exhibition rooms at the MOA Museum for you. Please visit the museum and enjoy these calligraphies. I hope that these will uplift you and give you inspiration that will strengthen your faith and transform your life.
Be Trusted and Loved by Others.
On one occasion, Meishu-sama made a visit to Nagoya City, and he gave a talk to about 500 ministers. The head minister of the Nagoya Church at that time was Rev. Katsuichi Watanabe, the father of the late Rev. Tetsuo Watanabe, the former president of Sekai Kyusei Kyo. He was a pioneer who had created the foundation for many Johrei centers in the Nagoya area. He trained and educated many devoted and talented ministers.
There was a community paper called “Tsuchikai,” translated “Cultivation,” published by the youth members of the Nagoya Johrei group in 1963. (Image 3)
In this paper, Rev. Watanabe inspired the youth members by saying, “Faith is not a makebelief process by simply praying to God in our minds. Faith is to be put into action in your daily life with the goal to become one who is loved and respected by your friends.”
After finishing elementary school, Rev. Watanabe ventured into business working for various stores such as an umbrella manufacturing store in the Gifu area, and a wholesale eggs shop in the Hiroshima area. After serving in the army for two years, he started a business of a vegetable store in Tokyo and became a financial success in his 20’s. His business sense and his ability to skillfully assess his client’s needs, forged a true business wisdom which later became useful and applicable in his Johrei expansion work. His message in the paper Tsuchikai, “Become a person that is loved by others” was an important message for not only business but also as a guiding principle in all aspects of life and in our Divine work. I think it should be valued as a secret of success.
Try Not to Force Selling. Let Them Willingly Buy
This reminiscence is about Rev. Katsuichi Watanabe at an early age when he engaged in the craftsmanship of umbrellas. He would often be sent by the master crafter to a rice cake shop to buy some azuki beans mochi—sweet rice cakes. But the shop, run by an old couple, was so popular and famous, and their sweet cakes were so delicious. They often sold out before three o’clock in the afternoon.
One day, by the time he arrived at the rice cake shop, as expected, all the cakes had been sold. Rev. Watanabe said to the store master, “You have sold out, again. You know you sell them so quickly, so why don’t you make more?”
Responding to his question with smile and glancing at a calligraphy which hanged on the wall, the old store master simply answered, “I can’t sell what I don’t have.”
The calligraphy he glanced said, “Try not to force selling. Let them be intrigued to willingly buy.” (Image 4)
As a young man, he did not understand the meaning behind at that situation at that time, but the words became important for him as he grew up and sought the way of mastering his business and successful Johrei expansion.
Rev. Watanabe would often say, “People will never buy your products however hard you may try to sell unless they trust you. Also, they would never buy a product, you think, has great value and quality unless they like it. All you have to do is to figure out how intrigued they are so they can willingly buy them from you. All you need to do is to empathize with them and compassionately show your sincerity, honesty and integrity.”
“The same thing will happen when you explain Meishu-sama’s teachings to others. There will not be the desired result however hard you may try to persuade them unless they feel appreciation, and see the value in building a quality relationship. They will not understand and accept it until they feel touched, moved and inspired by your heart, words and action.”
“Faith is something not to persuade. It is a result of heartfelt practice”
Be a Person Who is Loved. Create a Johrei Center That is Loved.
In Meishu-sama’s Poem, it says:
“I have no desire
To become a great hero,
Glorified by the entire world.
I only wish
To be loved by others.” (pg. 79 Izunome Prayer Book.)
We understand through this poem that he also wanted himself to be a person who is loved by others. In another poem he said,
“Let us not attempt
To have others call us great
Let us simply pray
That we be appreciated by others
For what we are.” (pg. 77 Izunome Prayer Book)
He also implores us to be the same. Furthermore, he states,
“Although we speak
Of Love and compassion,
Our words, if not turned into deeds,
Are little more than wind Blowing through the trees.” (pg. 94, Izunome Prayer Book)
In this poem, he taught us the importance of putting our faith into action.
You can always say things that sound nice and important; however, if you don’t practice what you say or don’t show faith through your actions, it will be just like “Pie in the sky.” Nobody will trust you. You can say, “You will become happy if you join in our group.” But if you yourself do not enjoy your life, or you always look gloomy, then, who will trust your words? The truth is people will be attracted to truly happy people.
If we understand and follow the phrase, “Try not to force selling, let them be intrigued to willing buy,” we should also embrace the principle, “Be a person who attracts others, so they will be intrigued to meet us, talk to us and receive Johrei willingly.”
It is important to be a person who is loved by others so much that they trust us, want to meet us, talk to us and receive Johrei. Everything we should do in order to become such a person is exemplified in the Teachings of Meishu-sama.
The teaching, “Thoughtfulness and Humility,” was read at today’s service, “Trustworthiness,” was read at the September Monthly Service, “The Practice of Humility,” “What is True Faith?” “Freedom in Faith,” and “Subjective and Objective Viewpoints,” were written my Meishu-sama with the same focus. I would say we receive the Teachings for the purpose of continuous self-improvement. It is important to read the Teachings carefully, but it is vitally important to put them into practice as Rev. Watanabe taught us in his words, “Faith is to be put into action.”
The teachings are the heart and soul of Meishu-sama. Through the practice of faith, we can receive God’s love, and we will be raised to be a person who loved by others. Eventually, I believe that we will become truly happy and be successful to guide many people to this spiritual path as a “Pleasant Person” and “Pioneer of Salvation.”
On the second page of the community paper, “Tsuchikai,” (Cultivation, Image 5), I mentioned earlier today, there is an article entitled, “About the New Church Construction.” The article states the goals to “Become a person who is friendly and loving,” and, “Be friendly and loving also as collective.” Now, the title and goals can be perfectly applied in our current situation since we have started the newly structured organization in Japan. We, therefore, should put our heads together, and figure out what we can do for the happiness of others, and also what we can do for the local community.
Now we will hear from Kyoshu-sama who will be on the stage right after this. Let us welcome him and receive the wisdom of Divine Light in our daily practice of faith. Thank you.