Thursday, March 31, 2011

What Do We Learn from Nature?

The following message was delivered at the Spring Memorial Service.

Thank you very much for attending the Seicho-No-Ie Southern California Missionary Area's Spring Memorial Service. This memorial service is aim for memorializing the predecessors of Seicho-No-Ie Southern California as well as our ancestors. We pray for those who passed away that they will go on to the high angelic world by realizing the truth and, at the same time, we ask that they protect and help improve our Humanity Enlightenment Movement and International Peace by Faith Movement.

When these spirits deeply realize the Truth, from the spiritual world they can protect us and, at the same time, with their spiritual power to guide us, our movement will also increase. As you know, the Seicho-No-Ie movement is to hold the flame of truth high to guide humanity and realize world peace. This movement is not only for mankind in this physical world abut also for the spirits who live in the spiritual world. We perform our movement to realize peace on earth with guidance from the high spiritual world. Therefore, we must let people know the truth not only to the ones living in this physical world but also to spirits who reside in the spiritual world and help them also to hold the flame of truth high in the spiritual world. To do so we continue to memorialize the spirits through these memorial services.

Many people's lives were taken by the recent earthquake/tsunami disaster in Japan. I extend my sincere and heartfelt prayers and offer my deepest condolences and sympathies to those who perished in this disaster. I also extend my sincere prayers to the disaster victims who are trying to survive the best they can without daily necessities, with hope and they will be able to return their normal lives.

The situation for some victims is grave. The hardships faced is doubled or tripled in their lives due to the earthquake, tsunami and/or failure of nuclear power plants. On the other hand, some people were able to escape disasters depending on the time, place and situation. Though a disastrous incident some people become unfortunate, however, some people become stronger and eventually fortunate. Therefore, I sincerely pray that although the earthquake disaster was so devastating, people in general will be able to improve their spiritual level and become fortunate and happy.

Now, I would like to quote some passages from the Truth of Life and how it explains about these kinds of disasters, misfortunes and difficulties:

"For me the three worlds (note:physical world, spiritual world and mental world) are reflections of the mind; therefore, when our minds are purified, earthquake or tsunami will not occur."(Truth of Life Volume 16, p. 109)

Every incident in this world is created by the mind; therefore, our founder, Rev. Masaharu Taniguchi, said even an earthquake or tsunami is created by our minds. Therefore, by purifying our minds, it will lead us to world peace. However, when such an disaster occurs, there are people who ask "Where is God?" and "Why does God make these disasters happen?" It is created by mankind's minds. So, God is not responsible for the earthquakes or tsunamis. However, we must know that in any situation such as this devastation, God's guidance always permeates the universe. By learning through these incidents, we can develop our souls.

We sometimes call this the work of Kanzeon Bosatsu (Goddess of Mercy). Rev. Msaharu TAniguchi explained this in the "Prayer in Praise of Kanzeon Bosatsu" from the Holy Sutra, Recitations of the Truth. "Kanzeon Bosatsu is not the name of a particular bodhisattva but the mercy, wondrous wisdom, and 'laws of the mind' that permeate the universe." Kanzeon Bosatsu also helps us by changing his appearance in 33 different ways. The change is not only to human beings but also to nature. "Kanzeon Bosatsu appears to us in every possible way to teach us the ways of salvation. The mountain air, moving clouds, whistling wind, flowing water--these all show us Kanzeon Bosatsu's mercy. Listen, with your mind's ears. See, with your mind's eyes." (Truth of Life magazine, May 2002)

The earthquakes, tsunamis and nuclear power melt downs are all reflection of our minds in this physical world. It is written in detail in the Truth of Life:

"To think that we cannot avoid disasters is because we think that heavy rains, typhoons, earthquakes and such are physical phenomena. With only this type spiritual understanding, it is impossible to destroy the fundamental thinking that matter does not exist. The heavy rains, typhoons and earthquakes are the reflection of our minds or the materialization of karma. By realizing the wondrous wisdom of the Goddess of Mercy, in other words, enlightenment, we will be able to transcend these disasters." (Truth of Life Volume 25, p. 119)

Through these disasters, what do we learn? Rev. Masanobu Taniguchi writes in the "Prayer to Visualize Grand Harmony between Nature & Human Beings" as follows:

"If human beings think of Nature as being their enemy, or as being hostile, as a reflection of a deluded mind, conditions then appear from Nature from having been treated or dealt with as being hostile. Though human beings may chip away at the mountains, cut down forests, dam rivers, fill the lakes and oceans, and focus only on prosperity for themselves alone, that is not God's will. That is a failed creative work that does not in the least bit resemble the True-Image World that God proclaims to be 'very good.' The time shall always come when that which is not the True Image shall face destruction and ruin. That is the collapse of that which is false and the disintegration and self-destruction of karma."

We use nature as we desire and if it is not enough we continue to destroy nature. The Arctic glaciers will melt within 10 years. Without regards to this, we continue to use and destroy nature for our profit. To continue in this way is not towards the development of human's soul. It is written in the Truth of Life Volume 18 as follows:

"Many people pray for healing of their physical bodies, however, God guides man in the most loving way in order that man may find his best destiny. If man creates circumstances to improve his soul without poverty or misfortunes, then consequently poverty and misfortunes will disappear. It will vanish with the development of the spirit."

For example, if someone who loves sweets cannot eat them because of his diabetes, it is hard for him. On the contrary, someone stops eating sweets because of prayer to achieve his goal and takes a vow for abstinence of sweets. In both cases they cannot eat sweets but their situations are quite different because one chose to not eat sweets by his own will.

Someone presently suffers poverty. He cannot spare any money. He cannot even afford to buy a cup of coffee. If he was robbed and all his money was stolen, he would get into a predicament. On the contrary, imagine that the same person heard about the East Japan Great Earthquake and thought that he had to be grateful because he still had a place to live. He decided to give all his money to the charity. In this case it is not a situation that poverty strikes him because he willingly donated money. In other words, his mind is not attached to poverty but is actually purified.

So, we must purify our minds and continue to light the flame of truth to the world then our souls most certainly will improve and poverty, misfortune, and disasters will disappear. In the prayer, "Prayer to Visualize Grand Harmony between Nature and Human Beings" by our president, Rev. Masanobu Taniguchi, I would like to share the following passage:

"However, we must not consider this to be 'God’s wrath. We must not look at the tsunami traveling at unfathomable speed, destroying vast expanses of farmland as it pushes its way forward and think of it as the actions of God, filled with anger and fury. God does not destroy mountains and fill the seas. He does not make the beaches into agricultural land. He does not build factories. He does not make airports or nuclear facilities. They are all acts of human beings thinking of their own profits and benefits without considering the extinction of plant and animal species. Earthquakes hitting the Japanese islands and the area in and around New Zealand are a part of the changes in the earth’s crust which have happened repeatedly since ancient times, and are definitely not anomalous conditions. They appear to be so because of the narrow outlook of human beings, the time axis of their thinking being so short, and because they are so self-centered."

The self-centered way of thinking, to think of only one’s own profit must be changed. The time is now to change our ways and live in harmony with nature. This is not the only thing we learned from the recent earthquake disaster. Many people have been given the wonderful opportunity to give and aid the victims of this disaster. That is God’s love, and the appearance of the four immeasurable minds of Buddha. This is the sprouting of that wonderful love.

Rev. Masaharu Taniguchi explained in the “Prayer to Receive God’s Protection and Wisdom” from the Holy Sutra, Recitations of the Truth that God has already given us everything abundantly; therefore, if we want to be happy, we have to give more and more. . In order to realize this, “First, I repay God by giving donations so that other people may receive salvation as I have. Second, I donate to help the needy.” (pages 28-29) Therefore, we first repay God by giving donations and then help people who are in need as much as possible. Furthermore, the Truth of Life states as follows:

“If you come in contact with someone who is crying because of a misfortune to his family or close relatives, cry with him. If you cry with him, it is important that you do not become attached to the sorrow. You must cry for him with the thought of helping him.” (Truth of Life Volume 18 page 190)

To feel compassion and cry with him, and to show sympathy is very important. However, you must not only cry with him but also do so with the thought of saving him, which is most important. This is what is meant by the completion of the four immeasurable minds of Buddha.

One of the Southern CA Missionary Area Seicho-No-Ie members relayed the following to me. Her son is presently living in Tokyo and seeing the situation with the disaster victims, he no longer could sit still and standby watching. He decided with his friend to travel today, Sunday, to Sendai and take necessary supplies to the victims of this disaster. After hearing this from his mother, my wife and I decided to help him with funds and donated a small amount toward his cause.

His mother is a Seicho-No-Ie member giving tithing through the Holy Mission Fellowship and receives the blessings of God through her many donations and deeds of love. Her son’s sole desire is to help the unfortunate people and without thinking of his own safety, chose to go on this dangerous and difficult mission. When I heard this story, I realized how wonderful this Seicho-No-Ie family was.

Everyone, I hope that learning from this disaster, and at the same time practicing God’s love and the four immeasurable minds of Buddha, developing our souls, bring about world peace and co-existing and mutually prospering with nature through the movement of Seicho-No-Ie, we can go forward with the guidance from the spiritual world.

I thank you from the bottom of my heart for your attendance today at the Southern CA Missionary Area Spring Memorial Service. Thank you very much!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Sincerity Is the Power to Invoke God

Two weeks ago I gave the following lecture on our Sunday Service. I would like to share it with you.


Thank you very much for coming to this Sunday Service. As you know, on March 11 a devastating earthquake struck Tohoku District of Japan and over a thousand casualties is counted. (Now, the number is over 20 thousand people) There are many members in Seicho-No-Ie Japan working hard to contact fellow members in that area.

The International Headquarters' website informs current situation of each Missionary Center. There are three centers whose ceilings had fallen partially. Other than these, each Missionary Center is fine. They are currently busy to inquiring after their members in each Missionary Area. All we can do is to pray for the victims of this earthquake and send peaceful vibrations to them. After this Sunday Service we would like to read the Holy Sutra together in the mail hall at 11 a.m. If you have time to read after this service, please recite the Holy Sutra together with us and pray for them. I would like to have a short prayer for them right now with you. Please close your eyes and put your hands in prayer. (We prayed for the victims.)

Thank you very much for your prayer. Today, I would like to talk about life. If we want to live our life fully, we put everything in one moment and one thing. In the third article of Seicho-No-Ie Articles of Faith, it is stated: "I am sincere in my every word and action!--Troubles do not come from the outside. When sincerity is not manifesting--that condition is in effect trouble. It is not that one has no sincerity within himself. It is just that he does not manifest it. By sincerity is meant one's entire mind, total power, all one's might. Sincerity gives life to now. Wherever sincerity is demonstrated the place becomes a heavenly paradise at once."

In other words, when we demonstrate our sincerity, it is the same thing as living our life fully. Then, God's salvation comes to us. In the Truth of Life Volume 7, Rev. Masaharu Taniguchi wrote about this as follows:

"When a person puts his entire body and soul into what he is doing, a certain sincerity of intent is displayed. Sincerity in Japanese is makoto, which literally means the 'total mind,' or 'wholeheartedness.' It is an attitude that would concentrate one's entire power on one thing. That is the power to which Lord Michizane Sugawara alluded in his poem:

If only with the way of sincerity the mind accords,
Even without praying, God protects.

When one's entire strength is concentrated on one thing, completely, the infinite power of God goes into action." (Ibid., p. 82)

This is essential for us to live this way of life. Then, without praying God protects us. Last Tuesday, I went to a restaurant in front of the beach in Malibu for a wedding. It was a small wedding only for the couple, their parents and family members. There were 10 people including the photographer and me. I was asked to officiate at this wedding ceremony by Mrs. Shigeko Sasamori who is a Hiroshima's Atomic Bomb survivor. According to Mrs. Sasamori, almost all people who were around within 1.5 km of the bomb explosion were killed. However, she was an exception.

Mrs. Sasamori and her friend saw something falling from the sky when she was 13 years old. Then, suddenly a big explosion occurred. Her friend died instantly. Her entire upper body was exposed to radiation and her upper body skin was all dark black and came off and was partially hanging. Mrs. Sasamori wandered around and in front of the elementary school, she fell down. She murmured her name and address. Someone heard this and four days later her parents were able to find her. Her upper body was keloidal like a fire scar.

Fortunately, Mrs. Sasamori found a church whose music gave healing of her mind. Then, she was selected as an aid program started by Norman Cousins and was able to go to the United States after World War II to have surgery. She had surgery over 20 times. When I saw her at the wedding, she was a very healthy person comparing with other people on her age. However, when she had surgery right after the World War II, her situation was different. Because of these surgeries, her attached fingers were separated and implanted skin from her legs to face and upper body. She was saved by kind American doctors and nurses.

Through this experience she decided to become a nurse. Norman Cousins helped her. She went to a nurses' college in Connecticut and started working in New York. Later she married and had a baby boy. She named him Norman. She later moved to California. Through her life experience she was able to forgive America and decided to live in the United States.

In June, 1980, Mrs. Sasamori was asked to speak of her experience of the bombing first time. Then, she has helped whatever she could to contribute to world peace. She believes that is her mission. Last year she traveled about 6 months because she volunteered and shared her experience. She went to Europe, Japan and South America.

Mrs. Sasamori works hard to help others and contribute to world peace regardless of her age by sharing her experience. Two years ago she was invited to the graduation ceremony at Winona State University in Minnesota. At first she declined because she didn't think she was a person to speak at a university graduation. However, they insisted and persuaded that "Students will graduate by listening to your experience." So, she gave a speech and, at the same time, received an honorable doctor's degree of humanity from the university. I believe she deserved it. She lives her life fully with honest and heartfelt gratitude toward people who helped her. At the reception of the wedding she told me that she totally agree how important it is to be grateful to our parents and everyone and everything in the universe described in the Divine Message. "...first to be reconciled with your brothers before making offerings at the altar of God. The greatest among your brothers and sisters are your parents. Those who are grateful to God but cannot be grateful to their parents are against the Divine Will...Be grateful to the blessings from your country. Be grateful to your parents. Be grateful to your husband or wife. Be grateful to your children. Be grateful to those who serve you. Be grateful to all people. Be grateful to everything in the universe. Within those thoughts of gratitude you will find me and receive my salvation..." When you can be grateful to everyone and everything in the universe, God's salvation will appear. Mrs. Sasamori is grateful to everyone and everything in the universe and life her life fully. In other words, she demonstrates her sincerity. Our founder wrote:

"When we say that sincerity is lacking we mean that a person is not doing his best. He can put forth much greater effort, that is do much better, but he is only trying to get by. He who tries only to get by does not live the Seicho-No-Ie way of life. He does not tread the path of spiritual growth. He does not walk the road to victory." (Truth of Life Volume 7, p. 83)

Let us walk the road to victory by living sincerely. Please show your sincerity and help those who are victims of the earthquake in japan as much as you can. Thank you very much.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Four Immeasurable Minds (God's Love)

The following lecture was given at the One Day Truth Realization Seminar on January 29, 2011.

Today, we will discuss about the Four Immeasurable Minds of Buddha. This is originally described in The Amitayurdhyana Sutra, Kan Muryoju Kyo in Japanese ("Sutra of the Contemplation of Immeasurable Life"). The most important thing in Buddhism is to realize the supreme truth by the Buddha's enlightenment. In order to have the Buddha's enlightenment, we need to practice many things. One of the practices is the Four Immeasurable Minds of Buddha. Founder of Seicho-No-Ie, Rev. Masaharu Taniguchi, referred this as God's love. God's love is impartial and unconditional. Therefore, the Four Immeasurable Minds of Buddha are also impartial and unconditional.

In the September 2010 Truth of Life magazine the "Prayer to Complete the Four Immeasurable Minds of Loving-Kindness, Compassion, Joy and Non-Attachment (Equanimity)" is introduced. I would like to read this prayer first, so please listen to it. (read)

In the first paragraph it is stated, "The Four Immeasurable Minds refer to the four virtues of loving-kindness, compassion, joy, and non-attachment (equanimity). It is the mind of the Buddha that is caused by the relationship with an immeasurable number of living things. And the merits are also immeasurable" (p. 18).

Founder said that you would be able to receive immeasurable merits when you practiced the Four Immeasurable Minds of Buddha. Then, what kind of practices are they? The prayer continues, "The Chinese character for loving-kindness that is read, ji, can also be read as megumu which means 'to give' or 'to bless,' and is the mind of the Buddha that wishes to give blessings to those whose virtues are scarce and are suffering hardships of poverty and illness, etc. and to relieve them of those hardships. The Chinese character for 'compassion,' hi, is a character that can also be read, kanashimu, which means 'to be sad.' It is the mind of the Buddha that sees the sorrowful sight of those who are grieving and lamenting at having experienced wretched misfortune and wants to grieve along with them, help them free themselves of this sorrow, and help them live in a state of contentment" (p. 18).

Basically, loving-kindness and compassion is the similar action. The third Chinese character, ki, is a character that can also be read, yorokobi, which means joy. Even if we experience an unfortunate and miserable life, we should be joyful for other's happiness and should not be jealous if they are so fortunate in their lives. In addition we need to find anything to be grateful. Rev. Seicho Taniguchi talked about gratitude in his lecture. I listened to his lecture and was surprised by it. He said, "When you find that your neighbor has bought a new car, be delighted and grateful as if you have bought a new car. If you can do this, a new car already belongs to you." When I listened to this lecture, I had a question why the neighbor's new car would belong to me if I was delighted and grateful to it. This doesn't mean that the neighbor's car actually becomes mine, but if I can be delighted with my neighbor's happiness as if it were mine, then I have already formulated joy in my mind. Mind creates everything. If we experience an unfortunate and miserable life, it means that we did not accumulate enough virtues in the past. Founder Masaharu Taniguchi explained this in the prayer by introducing the teaching of Shakamuni.

"It is taught that Shakamuni said, 'In years of famine, beg from the farmers.' For famine to occur in the land which the farmers own means that in times of fertility and abundant crops, the farmer did not memorialize to give thanks to the harvest or make offerings and only monopolized the gifts from heaven, and just as he wasted those blessings on his own selfish enjoyment, the past karma has come around and has brought a condition of famine on that farmer. So, in order for that farmer and his family to be helped, that farmer needs to change completely and become of a mindset of loving-kindness and compassion that 'gives unto a monk in ascetic practice.'

"That is why, in order to draw out that mind of blessing and giving to a poor priest who has extended his bowl seeking food, even if it is only with a handful of rice and barley, even in times when the farmer himself is living from hand to mouth, Shakamuni said, 'In years of famine, beg from the farmers.' When the poor, destitute farmer spares what little food he has to stave off his own hunger and gives it to the begging monk, that farmer will be able to hear from the depths of his soul the sound of a voice come welling up from within, praising him, saying, 'You have done well.' And when he hears that voice of praise, it will give birth to a mind of joy" (Truth of Life, Sep. 2010).

The current financial situation is a reflection of one's own past karma; in other words, it is a result of the accumulation of one's actions and a manifestation of one's own mind. We will harvest the result of our own current thoughts, words and actions. Rev. Masaharu Taniguchi taught us the joy of giving by quoting a teaching of the Buddha to beg from farmers who suffered from famine. And at the same time, Rev. Taniguchi taught us to be grateful to everything in heaven and earth. Therefore, it is important to be delighted for our neighbor's happiness as if it were ours.

However, only loving-kindness, compassion and joy cannot be impartial and unconditional, Rev. Taniguchi continues its prayers as follows:

"In this way, stern actions of loving-kindness and compassion will not give way to a mind of expecting or depending on others, but will call forth a mind of joy. When the farmer has a mind of joy, according to the law of like attracts like, joyful things shall come to that farmer. The following year, all the fields of rice and other crops the farmer owns will yield an abundant harvest. Moreover, the farmer will not think that the abundant harvest is something that he achieved alone, but he will accept it as a blessing from heaven and earth. And while he may be able to keep this shared possession for now, depending on the public need, he will share it without reserve. He will own all wealth beyond any selfish attachment to it, and because he does not get caught up in anything in this world, he will never lose the eternal bliss of a mind of joy, will release all things, and complete the virtue of non-attachment (equanimity) that gains complete and total freedom" (p. 19).

It is not enough to release other's pain or misfortune. It is not enough to give joy to others and be delighted for other's happiness. We have to release these attachments to save others or make others happy. If we can practice the Four Immeasurable Minds of Buddha, our deeds of love become the same as God's impartial and unconditional love. These actions are not attached; therefore, they are much more valuable than the brilliance of a diamond or a ruby or any material things.

There is story that a famous empress in japan, Komyo Kogo (701-760 A.D.), wished her heart's desire to wash one thousand people who suffered an illness. So, she built a bathroom and finished washing 999 people. The last person who appeared in the bathroom was suffering leprosy. He said, "My Majesty, if you could touch the putrid on my back with your lips and suck in my pus, my illness would be able to be healed." As soon as Komyo Kogo absorbed his pus with her lips, the body of the leper transformed into a brilliant light of aura through the entire body and he became Akshobhya Buddha (Toho Ashuku Nyorai in Japanese). This is folkore and its interpretation is depending on each individual; however, Rev. Masaharu Taniguchi interpreted it as Kyomo Kogo's direct visualization of the True Image through her perfection of love. Therefore, the sick person's perfect and harmonious true nature appeared as a Tathagata.

In other words, impartial and unconditional love will manifest the True Image. No matter what we are given, we only have spiritual contentment when we give the Four Immeasurable Minds of Buddha and God's love. We need a strong will to perform them and practice them as much as possible until they become our habit.

Oscar Wilde who wrote a famous book, De Profundis, said, "Within sorrow there is a sacred ground for the soul." In the Bible, a prodigal son lamented that the actual life was not the true life because it was not real. So, he left this life and returned to his Father. Then, the son found the sacred ground beyond the sorrow. We who now live in the United States have almost everything that we need. However, we cannot see many happy people. Oscar Wilde who pursued only physical pleasures in his extravagant life was not really happy because he forgot to return himself to his Father, our Parent God. While he had a high status as an aristocrat, physical beauty, plenty of wealth and bountiful talent as a writer, Wilde was deeply enraptured by matter. He pursued physical pleasures, but once he lost everything and was imprisoned, he was in profound sorrow and found the sacred ground beyond his sorrow. He read the Greek Bible in the prison and developed his thoughts toward Christ.

Wilde said, "Failure is to form habits." He wrote a letter to his lover from the prison, "I had always thought that my giving in to you [his lover] in small things meant nothing: that when a great moment arrived I could myself re-assert my will power in its natural superiority. It was not so. At the great moment my will ower completely failed me. In life there is really no great or small thing. All things are of equal value and of equal size. My habit--due to indifference chiefly at first--of giving in to you in everything had become insensibly a real part of my nature. Without my knowing it, it had stereotyped my temperament to one permanent and fatal mood" (De Profundis, pages 22-23).

Similar expressions were found on page 78, "I became the spendthrift of my own genius, and to waste an eternal youth gave me a curious joy. Tired of being on the heights, I deliberately went to the depths in the search for a new sensation. What the paradox was to me in the sphere of thought, perversity became to me in the sphere of passion. Desire, at the end, was a malady, or a madness, or both...I ceased to be lord over myself. I was no longer the captain of my soul, and did not know it. I allowed pleasure to dominate me. I ended in horrible disgrace. There is only one thing for me now, absolute humility."

In Daihatsu Nehangyo Kaishaku (Commentary of the Nirvana Sutra) by Rev. Masaharu Taniguchi, Shakamuni Buddha explained many ways to realize the supreme truth. He explained the Four Immeasurable Minds of Buddha, three ways (knowledge, action and meditation) to reach enlightenment, the way to practice 7 good deeds, the way how to visualize the nothingness of physical body in order to realize the True Image, etc. Do you think why the Buddha explained these? I believe we need to train ourselves. If we do not train ourselves and just let ourselves do what our physical body wants, we won't be able to become enlightened because it is the same as if a sword leaves in the air as is without any care. Then, the sword will be soon rusted. There are many ways to train ourselves, but to practice the Four Immeasurable Minds of Buddha or God's love is very important because by practicing these we are able to change our lives. Please do not think that we are all children of God so we can perform the Four Immeasurable Minds of Buddha or God's love without practice. We have to practice until they are our second nature. Wilde believed that he could assert his will when the great moment arrived; but he couldn't because he practiced the opposite way.

When he lost everything, Wilde found Christ and how Christ loved God and humanity in prison. Wilde wrote, "Christ's whole conception of humanity sprang right out of the imagination and can only be realized by it...There is still something to me almost incredible in the idea of a young Galilean peasant imagining that he could bear on his own shoulders the burden of the entire world: all that had already been done and suffered, and all that was yet to be done and suffered: the sins of Nero, ...factory children, thieves, people in prison, outcasts, those who are dumb under oppression and whose silence is heard only by God; and not merely imagining this but actually achieving it, so that at the present moment all who come in contact with his [Christ] personality, even though they may neither bow to his altar nor kneel before his priest, in some way find that the ugliness of their sin is taken away and the beauty of their sorrow revealed to them" (Ibid. pages 94-95). I believe Wilde found the love of Jesus Christ.

Oscar Wilde led a difficult life, but what he had left for humanity was of great value. One way or another, Wilde could reach the great love of God. Like him, we can also do the same because we are also children of God. We do not believe our bad destinies but believe that we are all children of God and can demonstrate impartial and unconditional love by practicing the Four Immeasurable Minds of Buddha. Thank you very much.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Who Are You?

Thank you very much. Some of my friends wondered why I didn't send any season's greetings. My father-in-law passed away last September and my wife and I decided to not send any holiday greeting cards in accordance with the Japanese custom. However, our daughters insisted that is a Japanese custom and we should follow the culture in the U. S. They decided to send their own greeting cards. To avoid confusion, I just put our family's photo and let you know that we are fine as usual. Thank you very much.

The following is my new year message:

Happy New Year! This year we will learn and practice the Truth together and let us make this year as joyful as possible.

The Seicho-No-Ie U.S. Missionary Headquarters was able to receive ISO14001 certification as of November 30, 2010. We are very proud of this. We are seriously concerned about our lives and our environment and we believe we must be grateful to the fact that we are not living of our own power but we are sustained by everyone and everything in the universe.

In Japanese Seicho-No-Ie Prosperity Club website there is an article by Mr. Ryoichi Yamamoto, an honorary professor of Tokyo University. By reading the article, we can understand that the destiny of the earth depends on the amount of carbon emission created by our human's activities; therefore, we recognize that reduction of carbon emission is directly related to world peace and the lives of all human beings.

For example, in a report issued by NASA and the University of Washington, the fact that the sheet ice in the Arctic Ocean will be completely dissolved by 2015 is introduced in the article, but this problem goes back to the problem of the human mind as a natural consequence. In other words, we dump waste. Often we throw away and buy new things even though they can still be used and as a result we increase waste and also increase carbon emissions. This is a problem created by the activities of human beings and the human mind controls these activities. Then, who is a human being who has a mind? Human beings appear to be alive by themselves but actually they are sustained by something. Then, who sustains them? It is important to realize the essence of human beings. It is explained in the December 1985 Truth of Life issue as follows:

"You will become exactly as you yourself believe you yourself to be......Faith moves mountains. The essence of faith is the 'word,' which also means spirit. The awareness of the essence of man is faith. When you truly believe that the essence of man is the child of God, the perfection of that child of God manifests itself. Before you can become aware of your true essence you must discard your awareness of the false self. And that is repentance." (p. 14)

In order for us to be aware of our own essence, which that of a child of God, first we must believe that we are children of God. By faith, mountains move; therefore it is natural that our illnesses are healed and our destinies are improved. Having faith means to realize our True Image. The essence of faith is the "word." So, we have to repeat good words until we can believe in ourselves. At the same time, it means that we discard our physical knowledge which can be recognized by the five senses. Then, we will be able to realize the wisdom of the True Image.

When we keep holding on to our understanding which is recognized by the physical five senses, it is difficult for us to believe in a truly wonderful world which is recognized by our physical eyes. When a bad person is standing in front of you, in order to see that person as good instead of bad, you have to stop seeing his bad life style as an evil person and you need to visualize the True Image of that person. It is hard to do this if you continue to keep the perception of your physical five senses.

On the contrary, if we think that our physical bodies are human beings, we are caught and deceived by our own belief. This is a human being's attachment. When we make a lot of money, we increase our attachment to money. There is an example that a person who was a millionaire won $315 million Powerball game and became very unfortunate. (Please refer to my last blog on December 14, 2010.) On the other hand, there is a story of a homeless man who found $3300 and honestly turned in the money and as a result he was praised and he was able to grab a chance to start a new life. Rev. Masanobu Taniguchi introduced this story, which was originally from the New York Times, on his blog on December 14, 2010.

In the New Year, let us resolve never to speak ill of others and our companies/organizations, never to gossip, and resolve only to deepen our prayers, use only good words, and practice deeds of love. May the year 2011 be wonderful for you and your family. Thank you very much.