Monday, April 24, 2023

Message at the 35th Memorial Service for Mrs. Teruko Taniguchi

 Mrs. Teruko Taniguchi met Rev. Masaharu Taniguchi when they belonged to the Omoto Sect. Mrs. Teruko was attracted to Rev. Taniguchi’s serious attitude to seek God. As a newlywed couple, they were both totally devoted themselves to the Omoto Sect and lived on the Omoto property. Rev. Taniguchi’s only possessions were a toothbrush, a towel, and a basket to carry them along with a few pieces of clothing. They were young and poor, but they had faith. Mrs. Teruko respected Rev. Taniguchi as a husband and also as her teacher. Her belief in and respect for her husband never changed throughout her life.

Today, I would like to share one of Mrs. Teruko Taniguchi’s articles from her book, Kokoro no Yasuragi [Peacefulness of Mind]. As the White Dove president, she received many letters from members so once she responded to these letters she rarely kept them except for certain letters whose content moved her a lot. Mrs. Teruko happened to come upon one of these old letters and read it again.

The letter from Mrs. K said that her home encountered a severe typhoon, that flood washed away the ground floor of her home, and that all her Seicho-No-Ie books and precious items of her memory vanished. However, instead of clinging to her lost treasured possessions Mrs. K wrote her gratitude and farewell towards her losses.

Mrs. Teruko Taniguchi was deeply moved when she first read this letter because Mrs. K had the similar strong faith as she did: to focus only on the True Image regardless of phenomenal appearance. When Mrs. Teruko read this letter a second time, the feeling of respect and gratitude toward Mrs. K welled up again within her. 

Mrs. K believed that this typhoon and the flood washed away all her past sins and delusions and she was grateful for this disaster. In addition, her pear orchard was destroyed but some of the fruits of pears were left on the trees. She thanked God and courteously wrapped and sent the pears to her acquaintances with prayers. She then planted tangerine trees after the pear orchard the next year.

Mrs. Teruko Taniguchi hoped Mrs. K’s new tangerine trees would grow many tangerines the following year. Mrs. Taniguchi praised Mrs. K’s faith and wrote as follows:


When faced with misfortune, some people start to doubt God’s blessings and quickly lose their faith. I am saddened to see how some people have so little faith in God. “Our house burned down in the fire,” “I was injured in a car accident,” “I failed my entrance exam,” “Our marriage ended in failure.” When put in difficult situations such as these, some people go as far as denying the existence of God, brooding on their complains, and feeling discontent. Regardless of what form misfortune may take, the person who meets it calmly and stays grateful with his mind aligned with God’s divine Providence indeed has true faith in God. Even in the midst of what appears to be misfortune, a person of faith does not lose sight of God and can still put his hands together in prayer for everything in this universe under divine guidance. (Truth of Life, February 2008)


In the Divine Message of No-Forms, All-Forms Nature of God it states: “My advent is not for the sake of matter but for the sake of life, not for the sake of the flesh, but for the spirit. There are few who have awakened to this. For those attached to the appearance and disappearance of matter, when matter is increased their faith is raised and when matter is decreased they lose their faith. When their bodies become healthy they praise God, and when someone in their family falls ill they lose their faith. Such people have no faith in God but only in matter.” (Excerpt)

Miracles happen when there is a strong faith. If you have witnessed miracles and want to experience them you must nurture your faith. If you came to Seicho-No-Ie only for miracles then your faith is in matter, not in God.

Rev. Masaharu Taniguchi decided to move to Nagasaki, Japan when he was almost 81 years old to build the Seicho-No-Ie Main Temple. The plans for this building was created and under the direction and supervision of Rev. Masaharu Taniguchi, four years later on his 85th birthday, the Main Temple called, Ryugu Sumiyoshi Hongu (enshrined Lord of Sumiyoshi) was completed and the official opening ceremony was held. The main hall can accommodate over 1000 people and there is a training center which can accommodate approximately 200 people.

Mrs. Teruko Taniguchi always had total faith in God and in Rev. Taniguchi. She always visualized the True-Image child of God in Rev. Taniguchi, not a weak 80-year-old man. Rev. Masaharu Taniguchi, at the age of 82 took on huge spiritual, financial, and environmental responsibilities to build the Main Temple. He was a person of faith and Mrs. Teruko was always there supporting him.

A few years after the Main Temple building was established, they acquired some more acres. The Main Temple currently has over 800 acres including mountings and brooks and preserves nature. Rev. Taniguchi also built an additional temple called Ryugu Sumiyoshi Reigu (enshrined Lord of Izanami who governs the spiritual world), the Seven Lighthouses to illuminate the Truth of the world, etc. Mrs. Teruko Taniguchi, who always believed in Rev. Taniguchi, followed him and supported him in his final project for saving the world.

On this special occasion of Mrs. Teruko Taniguchi’s 35th Memorial Service, I would like you to strive for the same faith as Mrs. Teruko Taniguchi. 

Wednesday, April 19, 2023

“Killing the Cat of Nansen”: The Teaching of Buddhism to Transcend a Form (Phenomena) and Seicho-No-Ie

(This message was delivered on April 16, 2023, at the Seicho-No-Ie New York Center.)

 Today, I will talk about Zen Monk Nansen (Nanquan).

“Killing the Cat of Nansen” is a koan in Zen Buddhism. A koan is a collection of questions and answers used in Zen practice to help practitioners attain enlightenment. Koans are presented by Zen teachers to their students to test their progress.

The book, Gateless Gate, is a collection of 48 koans. Each koan has a Case number, Commentary (analysis) and a Verse (the author’s inspiration).

Founder Rev. Masaharu Taniguchi interpreted this koan, “Killing the Cat of Nansen,” Case 14 of the Gateless Gate, in his book, Mumomkan Kaishaku [Interpretation of Gateless Gate].

Case 14 “Killing the Cat of Nanzen”

The Western and Eastern Halls were competitive opponents and they often argued. They started arguing again and Master Nansen wanted to stop them. So, he showed a cat to them and asked them what was the real nature of the cat. If they answered, he said he would spare the cat’s life. Otherwise, he would kill the cat. Unfortunately, no one was able to answer his question because everyone had different points of view about cats. One thought cats were thieves who steal meals from the kitchen. One thought the cat was good for shamisen guitars. Everyone had different views because they were all different people with different backgrounds and opinions. Therefore, they could not agree on the answer to his question. Master Nansen then killed the cat.

When Joshu, one of the disciples of this Zen temple, returned in the evening, Master Nansen told him what happened and asked him what he would have done. Joshu took off his sandal, put it on his head, and walked off. Nansen said, “If you had been here, the cat would have been saved!”

The following commentary and verse come from the website of Rochester Zen Center as follows:

The Commentary

Just say, what is the real meaning of Joshu’s putting his sandal on his head? If you can give a turning word on this point, you will see that Nansen’s action was not in vain. But if not, beware!

The Verse

Had Joshu only been there, he would have taken charge. He would have snatched away the sword, and Nansen would have begged for his life.

Rev. Masaharu Taniguchi wrote that each student saw the cat from different angles and had different perceptions, so the phenomenal nature of the cat was defined depending on how a person perceived it. All conflicts and arguments originated from different beliefs and perceptions because each person only saw and believed what he knew. We must think beyond appearances and phenomena.

Everyone has different perceptions and backgrounds regarding cats, but there is no real truth in appearances in this phenomenal world. Master Nansen cut the cat and killed its phenomenal appearance to kill the origin of all delusive thoughts. When an appearance disappears, conflicts or fights also disappear.

Joshu realized the truth that there is no Truth in appearances in this phenomenal world so when he put his sandal on his head and walked off he presented his True Nature in his actions. The action of putting sandals on his head instead of his feet was his way of killing the origin of all delusive thoughts. Everyone agrees that sane or ordinary people do not put sandals on their heads so there was no argument. Joshu showed that appearance, form, or phenomena is not what causes conflict. Conflict begins in the mind. When the mind changes, the appearance or form will change.

The verse said, “Joshu would have snatched away the sword, and Nansen would have begged for his life.” If Joshu had been there while Master Nansen tried to kill the cat, Joshu would have taken Nansen’s sword and Nansen might have been injured by this sward.

When you have problems because of appearances, it is your thought or your mind that manifests that appearance. So, when you try to destroy the problem or its appearance, this is but a temporary solution. You must solve the original cause of the problem which is created in your mind.

When you observe current problems in the world such as the conflict between Ukraine and Russia, global warming and climate change, school and/or bank shooting incidents, etc. they are all caused by human minds. Although arbitration efforts will help alleviate damages, it is not a fundamental solution. Therefore, Seicho-No-Ie always teaches us about the essence of human beings and our True Image. We also learn that we are the masters of our lives and create our own destinies by using the minds power.

Last week I spoke about the real meaning of Jesus Christ’s crucifixion and resurrection which is that we are all children of God and a sinless existence. Zen Buddhism teaches the same thing. We must use our minds to create a wonderful future because we already have greatness within us, we have Buddha’s nature, and this world is the world of the Boddhisatva Who Reflects the Sounds of the World.

I will read the third day’s prayer of the Thirty Prayers for Daily Recitation and conclude today’s lecture: (omitting the prayer) 

Thank you very much.

Thursday, April 13, 2023

The Importance of Adhering to Rules in Achieving Successful Change—Learn from the Life of Jesus Christ

Happy Easter! (This is the lecture delivered on Easter Sunday 4/9/2023) 

Easter represents the day Jesus Christ was resurrected after he had been crucified three days before.

Why was Jesus, a man of Truth, crucified.? It was because he claimed to be the Messiah. Jesus showed the people various miracles and spoke the truth. For example, he said to a paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven.” (Mark 2:5) He also said to the same paralytic, “I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home.” (Mark 5:11)

Many teachers of the law at that time believed that only God had the authority to forgive sins, so they condemned Jesus’ words. In Truth, because God did not create sin in human beings Jesus was able to forgive all sins since sin was not created by God. All people are children of God, not sinners, therefore, from the beginning, there was no sin, therefore, Jesus was able to say, “Your sins are forgiven.” The only way for a human being to be saved is to realize the truth that he is not a child of sin, but a child of God in his heart.

According to the prophecies of the Old Testament, Jesus demonstrated his forgiveness of the sins of all human beings with his physical body by being crucified. Carrying the cross and being crucified were symbols that a human is not matter, not flesh, and not a sinner. It was also a symbol that Jesus accepted the sins of all people. Jesus dared to be hanged on the cross to prove that he accepted the sins of all people in accordance with the prophecies of the Old Testament written in Isaiah.

The Old Testament describes the prophecies of Jesus Christ's death:

But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds, we are healed. (Isaiah 53:5)

Yet it was the Lord’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer, and though the Lord makes his life an offering for sin, he will see his offspring and prolong his days, and the will of the Lord will prosper in his hand. (Isaiah 53:10)

For he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors. (Isaiah 53:12)

When Jesus was resurrected three days later in accordance with the prophecies of the Old Testament, he demonstrated that all humans are spirits and eternal life. This is written in the Acts of the Apostles. The Act quoted Paul who spoke before everyone in the church:

“From this man’s descendants God has brought to Israel the Savior Jesus, as he promised.” (Act 13:23)

“We tell you the good news: What God promised our ancestors he has fulfilled for us, their children, by raising up Jesus. As it is written in the second Psalm:

“‘You are my son; today I have become your father.’” God raised him from the dead so that he will never be subject to decay. As God he said, “‘I will give you the holy and sure blessings promised to David.’” (Act 13:32-34)

It is difficult to change people’s beliefs. Successful change does not happen overnight and does not happen unless people change their beliefs. It was important for Jesus to eliminate all humankind’s sense of sin from their minds in accordance with the prophecies of the Old Testament. If sin consciousness had remained in people’s hearts and minds, Christianity, the world’s largest religion, would not have been born through the miracles shown by Jesus.

The crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ represent such important teachings of truth. It is like acknowledging dirty spots when you do the laundry or wash the dishes. In the beginning, the clothes and dishes were not dirty, but we can wash away the soiled clothes and dirty dishes, just like we can cleanse ourselves by realizing the truth and changing our minds, beliefs, and attitudes that from the beginning we are all sinless children of God.

Without successfully changing people’s beliefs, companies, societies and nations will not truly change. Terrorists claim that the world needs to change and they justify their terrorist acts, but the world does not change through these methods because many people do not support their methods for changing the world. Even if there were some changes through acts of terrorism, the same negative mindset will reappear in the new society because people’s minds, attitudes, and beliefs remain the same.

In order to change people’s beliefs, we must accept the current world’s cultures and backgrounds, change what is wrong, follow the laws, and move forward in accordance with God’s will.

I would like to thank you from the bottom of my heart for the opportunity to speak with you today.

Thursday, August 25, 2022

Let Us Start A New Life with the Power of Words

When you come to Seicho-No-Ie you learn how to transform yourself and begin a new life. We start by realizing that the truth is present everywhere in the universe, and by thinking good and positive things. The mind is the creator of the world and of your life. The power of words changes your life. Using the power of As the title implies, we will be able to start a new life by using the power of words. Using the power of words means using the law of the mind. You can establish a happy life using the laws of the mind.

Rev. Masaharu Taniguchi, founder of Seicho-No-Ie, explained the basic law of the mind to realize a happy life. He wrote as follows: 

The Wisest and Happiest People in the World

The wisest and happiest in the world are those who constantly examine their inner thoughts, maintain only good thoughts of cheerful, pleasant and loving nature, bless and praise others, and find only good in other people. They sustain only thoughts of good health, happiness, wealth, and harmony and take actions toward fulfilling them. 

It is too late to try to rejoice when something joyous has happened. It is like trying to tune to a television program after its images have appeared on the screen. If we live this way, the time will never come when the program we desire will appear on the screen. To rejoice is to tune our mental wavelength to the channel broadcasting the program of joy. An emotional move in the mind turns on a switch. Joy, sorrow, and anger determine which channel our mental vibrations will tune to. The program striking the responsive chord with ours emerges in our environment and shapes our fate. (Kofukuwo Hiraku Kagi [Keys to the World of Happiness], p. 49)

Those who say that they will be grateful when things appear for which they can be grateful, those who say that they will smile and laugh when there is something to be happy about, those who say that they will believe disease does not exist once they become healthy, and those who say that they will enjoy the feeling of abundance when they become wealthy, do not realize that for good things to appear they must begin by changing their thoughts and attitude. This changes the wavelength of their mind. The mind is what creates the things that manifest in this world. This is why Seicho-No-Ie emphasizes practicing gratitude writing, chanting “Thank you very much” several thousand times a day, and practicing laughing.

To say that the mind creates our life does not come from common sense. We believe the Truth exists in ordinary things as a matter of course, but these beliefs must be combined with a faith in God.

To create a new life Rev. Masaharu Taniguchi said that you first need to tune in to the right wavelength. You must synchronize the wavelength to that which you desire. For example, when you cook, you need tools such as a frying pan or a pot, materials such as vegetables and seasonings, and energy such as fire, power and electricity. When you create your life with your mind, you also need materials, tools, and energy. The tools are our bodies given by God. The materials are abundant throughout the universe. Energy in this case is the materializing power originating from God. It is a belief and a faith in God. By connecting with God, that energy flows into you.

Sometimes while trying to create something positive with your mind, you become caught up in past events and habits and while trying to think of good things oftentimes you repeatedly think about unpleasant events in the past. It is because your mind is stuck in the past. There is no past. Discard the past from your mind by using the power of Word. The Word includes thoughts, spoken and written words, and expression as well as action.

If you think you have nothing to be grateful for, that no joy or laughter exists in your life, or that you are unsuccessful, you must tune your mind onto a different wavelength to start a new, happy, successful life. Changing the wavelength of your mind means using good words, imaging these things, and expressing them. By doing so, you get rid of past negative habits and bad memories, forgive others, and deepen thoughts of gratitude and create a new life. This is something anyone can do.

Since all people were born as human beings, the starting point of human life in this world is, regardless of which country or family you were born into, the same precious God’s life, and we are all equal as children of God. Therefore, it depends on how much effort each person makes from there to accumulate good deeds.

Do not limit yourself by saying that you do not have this or that. No one can limit your ability. Only you can limit your ability. Not all common sense is true. By going beyond common sense, you break self-limitation. Founder Rev. Masaharu Taniguchi said, “Common sense is a boundary of self-restrictions which humanity has drawn for itself.” Whether humans get sick or senile and die, it is a generalized materialization as common sense due to the self-limitation of human beings; therefore, Rev. Taniguchi broke that common sense, saying, “Man is not a matter, not a physical body. There is no disease, poverty, or misfortune.” He received revelations from the Lord of Seicho-No-Ie and this teaching manifested in this world.

For my high school elective, I had to choose between music and art class. I did not think that I was good at painting so I chose music. In my twenties, thirties, and forties I played the piano when I had time. When I was in my forties, Rev. Masanobu Taniguchi started painting and introduced his paintings in the early 2000s. He encouraged members to use and stimulate the right brain by performing artistic activities. One day Rev. Taniguchi sent me a message to be friends on Facebook. When we became friends, we talked about different things, but I avoided the topic of his paintings.

When I finally started painting in January 2008, a new world opened before me. Through members’ requests from the Northern California Missionary Area, I created a thank you card. Because of their efforts promoting these cards, we had a fundraiser and raised a couple thousand dollars for the center. I thought I did not have the talent to paint so throughout my childhood I did not try. This was my own self-limitation.

Last winter my mother passed and about a month ago my brother sent me some of my mother’s personal things. One of the items was a certificate from the 12th Goko Art Children’s Painting Exhibition. In kindergarten I was selected to receive a certificate. When I saw this certificate, I remembered learning to paint every week at Sunday School when I was in kindergarten. This was before I started learning the piano in the first grade of elementary school. All this time I only recognized the piano as my hobby, talent, or delight; not painting.

We were born in this restricted world of time and space in order to break out of our self-limitation and unleash our God-given talents. In order to manifest our given talents, we must use the power of the Word to bring out our infinite power to create a new life with courage and joy.

The project-based system (PBS) activities give us an opportunity to practice exerting our infinite power. We are currently promoting activities to develop the organic garden club, bicycle club, and craft club. Another PBS activity is the “Blessings of Nature Festa.”

The “Blessings of Nature Festa” is a wonderful event to thank nature, connect with and appreciate nature in the midst of rapid global warming. The feature of this event also gives us the opportunity to learn the law of mind and the relationship between our actions and nature. We must always remember to be grateful for things that are provided by nature. When human beings can be grateful to nature, our lifestyles will change from destroying and depriving nature to being grateful to nature. This event was originally scheduled to be held on Saturday, July 30, but it has been postponed due to the lack of a venue. We will inform you of our plans for the “Blessings of Nature Festa” in the fall.

In summary, when you think of gratitude and love in your mind and then take action, you become the sender of these thoughts, and the thoughts you send become your own wavelength, and you become in sync with similar wavelengths. Similar vibrations will be attracted to you and manifest in you. When you tune in to a program on TV, that wavelength will appear on the screen. By using the law of the mind, we will start and create a new, wonderful, harmonious life. 

Thursday, September 16, 2021

Prayer to God in the 20th Year Anniversary Since 9/11

 I cannot believe that I haven't updated this page for a year. 

Last Sunday, we had time to pray for the 20th Year Anniversary of September 11. The following is the prayer and I would like to share it with you: 

Pray to God in the 20th Year Anniversary since 9/11

            Oh God, who governs the True-Image World as well as this universe, we the Seicho-No-Ie New York members have gathered here in your presence during this Zoom Sunday Service and offer our sincere prayer.

           It has been twenty years since the September 11, 2001 tragedy. We pray that those who perished, including the first responders who dedicated their lives to helping others, are at peace in the spiritual world under Your guidance and blessings. We are sincerely grateful to You.

            We are also grateful for Your protection and guidance to the survivors, friends and families of this incident. We pray that they had come through the past 20 years with a great new life.

            The world of God is perfect and in peace. There is no misfortune or discord. Although misfortune or discord appears in the phenomenal world, it is because the life given by God is not properly expressed. Order is the manifestation of life, and freedom is obtained when each expression is in harmony with the whole. Misfortune and incongruity appear when the correct expression of life is missing.

            The terrorist attacks of 9/11 were the result of humans whose actions of plunder and poverty were caused by disparity and lack of true faith. Hurricanes and wildfires are also caused by humans whose greedy desires have accelerated global warming.

            To correct the manifestations of the chaotic desires of human beings, we will propagate and practice the truth that the absolute God has never created misfortune or calamity and that we are all wonderful children of God who practice goodness to realize harmony.

            Since God is good and we are children of God our movements and actions to correct injustice, to restore order and to help those who are suffering naturally emerge when imperfections appear in the phenomenal world.

            Those who worked to restore the order of God in the phenomenal world are the people who actively helped and devoted themselves to the 9/11 incident and to the families and friends who supported them.

            Oh God, we would like to express our deepest gratitude to You for Your mercy for guiding and blessing these people in the past and in the future. Today, we all gather at this Zoom Sunday Service and pray for these things. We would like to express our sincere gratitude to You for answering our earnest wishes.

Saturday, September 26, 2020

Why Is Education of Rebirth Important?: Day 34

 Education of Rebirth

“Education of Rebirth” means that a person or a parent realizes one’s divinity and practices to be reborn mentally and spiritually. To apply this principle to a child, it is called “Education of Having Rebirth of a Child.” This is for a youth and young adult child who has many problems, and his or her parents have done the best that they can do but cannot teach their child anymore. The more the parents work to change their child, the worse he or she behaves. In such a case this “Education of Having Rebirth of a Child” will help improve your child.

The basic principle is this: Do not resist evil because evil phenomena is part of the process of getting rid of the delusion. Do not dwell on your negative thoughts. Release your child from your mind. Abandon your attachment toward your child. If you are a mother, visualize that you are pregnant with your child again with love and gratitude as a child of God and at the same time re-start your child fetus education again.

For example, when Mariko’s (not her real name) son became a middle school student, he started to get into trouble and became rebellious. Mariko had a consultation with a Seicho-No-Ie minister and he said that the first reason a child has problems is because his or her parents were not sincerely happy and joyous for their pregnancy.

In Mariko’s case, she did not want to get pregnant because her superior of her company asked her to restrain from getting pregnant while she was on a particular project. However, she later found out that she was pregnant. She worried about the circumstance. When she thought about it, she realized that in the beginning she did not enjoy and was not happy about her pregnancy. However, she decided to have the baby.

In accordance with the suggestion of the minister, Mariko practiced “Education of Having Rebirth of a Child.” She placed a maternity belt around her belly and visualized that she was pregnant again with her son. First, she sincerely expressed from the bottom of her heart her gratitude to God, her ancestors, and her husband for her pregnancy. Every day she talked with her imaginary baby with joy saying:


“Hello, my baby. Thank you very much for staying in my belly. You are an angel. I have an extraordinary wondrous love that I’ve never felt in my heart. It might be the same happy feeling that my mom and dad felt when I was born. Mom, Dad, thank you very much. Dear my husband, thank you very much. Your love brought a precious life in my belly. Let us find a great name for the baby.

My dear baby, you are a great child and bring joy and happiness to my family. I will talk to you with joy and great stories every day from now on. I pray for your health. I love you!”

 “Education of Rebirth” can be done anytime. It doesn’t matter what happened in the past. We are all children of God, and our essence is life, spirit, and divine nature. Therefore, we are unable to damage our essence. When our essence shines, it is recognized as genius and talents. And that genius will appear when we realize our divinity. That time is “now.”


Seven Days Rebirth

It is important to give rise to thoughts of praise and gratitude “now.” In order to live now, you need to have objectives and goals and focus on them to achieve them. The following is a one week plan for rebirth.

Sunday: A day of gratitude for your child.

Monday: A day of thanking your parents.

Tuesday: A day of gratitude to your spouse/partner.

Wednesday: A day of warm and gentle words.

Thursday: A day of absolute “Yes.”

Friday: A day of full of smiles.

Saturday: A day of praising and being grateful to yourself.

<< Sunday: A day of gratitude for your child >>

Sunday is the day to be grateful to your child. Visualize him or her with God’s love. God’s love in Buddhism is the Four Immeasurable Minds which are benevolence, compassion, joy, and equanimity.

Benevolence is the mind that feels sympathy and that wants to release people from their sufferings. Observe your child to see if he or she is worrying or suffering from something. If so, pray to remove it from your child, find out a solution for him or her, and perform it as much as you can.

Compassion is the mind that sees sorrow become joy. Give joy to your child in whatever he or she enjoys.

Joy is the state of mind where you can see your child’s joy and rejoice as if it were your own joy. What is the most joyful thing for your child? Whatever it is, on this day, please be joyful for your child’s joy as if your own joy.

Equanimity or non-attachment is to believe in your child’s divinity and free your child from your attachment. Let your child do whatever he or she likes with a strong faith in their child of God nature. To execute this is the first step to deeply feel the appreciation of “Thank you very much, my dear child.”

<< Monday: A day of thanking your parents >>

Monday is the day to be grateful to your parents. The voice of your parents is the voice of God. You cannot see God here or there. The manifestation of God is your parents. They are like a mirror to show you your mind. By being grateful to your parents and everything will turn out better. At the same time you will find in your mind fulfillment. Your child’s rebellious attitude will vanish and you will establish good terms between you and your spouse. This is the power of gratitude to your parents. Write in your Sundial Diary, “Thank you very much, Father! Thank you very much, Mother!” as much as possible. Today is the day to give rise to thoughts of gratitude.

<< Tuesday: A day of gratitude to your spouse >>

For this day, in the beginning, you will stop binding your spouse in your thoughts. The usual thoughts between a husband and wife are “I will be happy if he or she does this or that.” Husbands and wives have an intimate relationship that our parents and siblings cannot enter. Because of this sometimes we forget moderation or constraint and we become too frank or without reservation and we restrain the partner with our mind. Stop wishing for them to do this or that and start practicing praising your spouse as much as possible. You cannot praise your spouse too much. Write positive things about your spouse in the Sundial Diary.

<< Wednesday: A day of warm and gentle words >>

Wednesday is a day to focus on your words. Words are vibrations of your character. When your character becomes sublime, your words also become purified. If your mind has thorns, your words are acrimonious because your mind creates your words and attitude. On the other hand, when you control your words and try to use warm and gentle words with love and joy, your relationship with your spouse becomes lovely and joyous and there is no apprehension between you. First, chose a word to describe your spouse and use an endearing tone.

<< Thursday: A day of absolute “Yes” >>

Absolute “yes” is the state of the highest realization of enlightenment because there is no bad thing in the world of God. We always visualize the True-Image World and practice, unconditional “yes,” “thank you,” and “sorry.” If someone asks for something from you, it is very different when you reply with a joyful “yes” or a gloomy “yes.” Practice “yes,” “thank you,” and “sorry” as much as you can.

<< Friday: A day of full of smiles >>

Having a good smile requires practice. You cannot see your face because your face exists for other people. Your face is not for you, but for others. Remember this. Who will see your face the whole day? Not you but other people. Let us practice smiling before a mirror. When you can find the best smile, close your eyes and inscribe that best smiling face in your mind. Open your eyes again and see your best smile in the mirror. Then, close your eyes and keep that image in your mind. Then, say to yourself, “I am happy.” Again, open your eyes and do the same thing and this time say, “I am joyful.” This will change your character and yourself. If you practice before going to bed, you may not realize it but you are practicing smiling while sleeping.

<< Saturday: A day of praising and being grateful to yourself>>

This day is the completion of the week. Praise yourself as much as you can. Write a lot of positive comments in your Sundial Diary. The fundamental moral of life is to believe that you are precious life, a wonderful child of God.

Why do you hate yourself or have an inferiority complex? It is because you believe that you are your physical existence. If your fundamental thinking is that you are a physical body, then you will suffer from diseases and physical desires, and consequently you have negative thoughts and subconsciously dislike yourself. Many saints practice fasting, torturing their bodies, or avoiding sleeping in order for their spirit to overcome these desires. The best way to praise yourself is to realize that you are not a material existence, not a physical body but life and spirit. For this practice, the Three Important Practices of Seicho-No-Ie and read more the Seicho-No-Ie books to understand the truth logically. This day, Saturday, praise yourself, read the SNI books, and believe that you are a wonderful child of God.

Thursday, July 16, 2020

Nature Brings Peace and Harmony: Day 33

I delivered this lecture last Sunday, July 12, 2020.

            Thank you very much. Seicho-No-Ie believes that all religions emanate from the Great Universal Life that permeates the universe. In Christianity this Great Universal Life is called God. In Buddhism it is called the Tathagata of Light. Rev. Masaharu Taniguchi said that the Bodhisattva Who Reflects the Sounds of the World is the manifestation of the great compassion of the Tathagata of Light unhindered in all directions. In other words, the Bodhisattva Who Reflects the Sounds of the World is the manifestation of the Great Universal Life.
            The Prayer to Praise the Bodhisattva Who Reflects the Sounds of the World states:

This world manifests the power of the superb wisdom of the Bodhisattva Who Reflects the Sounds of the World. The term, “the Bodhisattva Who Reflects the Sounds of the World” is not a mere proper noun for one individual bodhisattva. It is great compassion, the power of superb wisdom, and the law of the mind that are omnipresent in the universe. Reflecting the sounds of the world means that great compassion as well as the principle of freely empathizing function that manifests in forms in accordance with the wishes of all living things to save them. This is what is meant when we say that the Bodhisattva changes into 33 different forms to save us. That the Bodhisattva manifests as the law of the mind, according to the minds of living things, is in itself great compassion. (Song In Praise of the Bodhisattva Who Reflects the Sounds of the World)

            The Bodhisattva Who Reflects the Sounds of the World appears before us in different forms and appearances in accordance with our minds. Sometimes it appears as a father, mother, or friend. At other times it may appear as an enemy or foe. Sometimes it appears as nature. Rev. Taniguchi states as follows:

The Bodhisattva Who Reflects the Sounds of the World appears in different forms and gives us lectures of salvation. The shapes of the mountains, the coming and going of the clouds, the sounds of the wind, the flow of the rivers—they are all the lessons of compassion of the Bodhisattva Who Reflects the Sounds of the World. Those who have ears in their mind should listen; those who have eyes in their mind should see. (Ibid.)

            We must learn from everything, not only from human beings but also from all incidents, circumstances, and nature. Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “It has already been illustrated that every natural process is a version of a moral sentence. The moral law lies at the center of nature and radiates to the circumference. It is the pith and marrow of every substance, every relation, and every process. All things with which we deal preach to us. What is a farm but a mute gospel? The chaff and the wheat, weeds, and plants, blight, rain, insects, sun—it is a sacred emblem from the first furrow of spring to the last stack which the snow of winter overtakes in the fields. But the sailor, the shepherd, the miner, the merchant, in their several resorts, have each an experience precisely parallel and leading to the same conclusion because all organizations are radically alike.” (Selected Works of Ralph Waldo Emerson Vol. I)
            We are all a part of nature and are all alike because we all came from one Great Universal Life. Why is nature important in Seicho-No-Ie? Seicho-No-Ie follows the Seven Promulgation of Light. The first three promulgations are as follows:

1.          We resolve to transcend all religious and sectarian differences, worship Life, and live in accordance with the laws of Life.
2.         We believe that the laws governing the manifestation of Life constitute the path to infinite spiritual growth and that the Life within the individual is immortal.
3.         We study the creative laws of Life and publicize our findings so that mankind may tread the true path to infinite growth.

            The highlighted words are “life” and “life” not only includes human beings but ALL living beings. All livings beings cannot live without nature. We cannot live without nature. Nature is a part of our lives. Human beings are part of nature. We must coexist. Seicho-No-Ie has been educating its members and the public to change our attitude towards nature and change our treatment of nature. In Rev. Masanobu Taniguchi’s New Year’s message, which is also in the July newsletter, entitled, “Why do we need to change our lifestyles?” he wrote:

          Now, throughout the world, with traditional crops facing difficulty in growing due to the effects of climate change, fishing zones becoming less available, and droughts or heavy floods, wildfires and mudslides taking place more often, food shortages and water shortages are looming. In such circumstances, the world population has risen to 7.6 billion and will soon reach 9 billion. The gap between the economically “rich” and “poor” countries continues to widen. The widening gap between the rich and poor has various negative effects on society. One of them is that the majority who are put on the “poor side” would get increasingly indifferent to the wellbeing of society. There would be an increased tendency to curse society, disrupt order, and head towards destructive activities. This happens not only within one country but also between countries. We are witnessing this in the form of terrorism and the expansion of international conflicts.

            The exploitation of nature not only damages the environment but also to creates a gap between the poor and the rich and consequently disrupts the order of society and destroys nature. Please read this message in the July newsletter again. In the same newsletter, Mrs. Keiko Miura shared her eco-friendly lifestyle in the middle of the biggest city in the world, New York City. Her example shows us what is possible and shows what we can do to work in harmony with and help preserve nature.
            Learning from nature is important to changing the course of human life to create a better world. The world is seemingly moving in the wrong direction as human beings are destroying nature and climate change gets worse.
            The United Nations issued a stern warning in their July 6, 2020 report, “Preventing the Next Pandemic.” In this report, Ingar Andersen, Executive Director of UN Environment Programme, clearly writes that science shows that in the coming years, infectious diseases will shift from animals to human beings if wildlife exploitation and ecosystem destruction continue. This report talks about zoonosis which is an illness spread to human beings through animals.
            It is said that 60 percent of known infectious diseases in humans and 75 percent of all emerging infectious diseases are zoonotic. Ebola, SARS, the Zika virus, and bird flu all infected people by the way of animals. The report pointed out that the increase in zoonosis is caused by the demand for increased meat consumption, unsustainable agriculture, wildlife exploitation, and incessant increase in natural resource utilization. Currently, we have been fighting COVID-19 which is also zoonotic. COVID-19 has caused profound damages to human health, societies, and the economy throughout the world.
            As of July 10, 2020, COVID-19 has brought the death toll to over 565 thousand worldwide. In addition, two million people, mainly lower to middle income, die each year due to zoonotic diseases. To prevent a future pandemic, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said, “To prevent future outbreaks, countries need to conserve wild habitats, promote sustainable agriculture, strengthen food safety standards, monitor and regulate food markets, invest in technology to identify risks, and curb the illegal trade in wildlife.” (UN website)
            It is difficult to do something that we are no accustomed to, but we should all try to do our part to help protect nature. Seicho-No-Ie currently promotes PBS activities such as the Organic Vegetable Gardening Club, Bicycle Club, and Craft Club to do our part to help preserve nature and learn how to incorporate an eco-friendly lifestyle into our busy everyday life.
            Because of the pandemic and restriction of leaving home, like Keiko, my wife planted a mini vegetable garden. Every day after Shinsokan Meditation we walk around our neighborhood for an hour and return home at around 7 am. My wife then waters her mini garden. She is excited when she finds sprouts and buds on her vegetables and herb plants. She either brings shiso leaves, oregano, palely, or lemon thyme to our meals. Last Thursday, she started using oregano, sage, lemon thyme, and lemon balm to make natural yeast. I love basil paste, but since we don’t have basil in our garden, I used oregano to make a paste. It was not bad.
            My wife and I enjoy vegetables and herbs from our garden. We also enjoy our morning walks because it gives us a chance to spend quality time together and with nature. These are small steps towards decreasing meat consumption and working towards a sustainable lifestyle.
            As Seicho-No-Ie membership increases, the sustainable, nature-friendly lifestyle will increase. I admire Canada's endeavor to help decrease climate change. Canadian Prime minister Justin Trudeau announced on June 22, 2020, that their government would invest almost $100 million on Canada’s plant-based food industry. This is an example that countries can do to help the world.
            Seicho-No-Ie has invested money to build mega-solar panels in 3 different locations in Japan and also invested in geothermal power generation in Beppu Oita, Kyushu. These actions directly help manifest future world peace and contribute indirectly to decreasing the inequality of the distribution of wealth through decreased use of fossil fuels.
            When we are able to hold our Nature Blessing Festa in the future, we will have a mini-event to promote PBS at this center. Thank you very much.