Tenrikyo Pearl Church January Grand Service – Sermon 2015
Happy New Year! I would like to thank all of you for taking the time to attend the January Grand Service here at Tenrikyo Pearl Church and thank you for your kind and sincere offerings. I am sure God the Parent and Oyasama is really happy to see you all here today and to have performed the service with joy and in high spirits!
THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THE 130TH ANNIVERSARY
On lunar calendar date of January 26, 1887, Oyasama, Miki Nakayama, withdrew from physical life to hasten people’s spiritual growth and their implementation of the Service, which She had been urging. Since then, true to Her words “I shall save the world from now,” She has been taking the lead at the forefront of world salvation while continuing to guide us by virtue of Her eternal life.
The significance of observing the anniversaries of Oyasama is to respond to Her boundless parental love with decisiveness. This is what the Anniversary is about.
We all want to live a good and happy life. When God the Parent created human beings, God put the seed of the Joyous Life in the soul of all human beings. That is why everyone has a beautiful soul. However, being given our minds, we have the free use of the mind. We can use the mind in a positive or negative way. But because of neglect we have been accumulating dusts of the mind, by using the mind of miserliness, covetousness, hatred, self-love, anger, grudge-bearing, greed and arrogance. In addition: falsehood and flattery and thereby use the mind in a negative way. We have been using this type of mind on a daily basis without realizing it. Dust is easily swept or blown away, but if it is left unattended or neglected, the dust is embedded and it becomes a stain that is difficult to clean. In the same way our mind becomes stained and this becomes our causality or karma. It becomes the “path of our mind.”
However, we do not know or don’t realize what kind of mind I have been using in our past lives. We like to think that we are always helping people, but we wonder why bad things happen to us. But God knows everything and can see the heart of everyone. That is why God will show our reality, suitable and appropriate, according our use of our mind.
Oyasama said, through experiencing whatever circumstances that is happening to us now, we can understand our causality. By understanding our causality we can repent, cancel our bad causality and accumulate virtue by performing good deeds.
I believe that when we endeavor to repent, like polishing a stained gem stone, little by little, we will find a the sparkling diamond of our soul.
When I, Owen Nakao, pass on, Owen Nakao will cease to exist. But my soul will be kept by God the Parent until it is reborn into a new body. A transfer of spirit ceremony is conducted to symbolically transfer the spirit from the body to God the Parent. Those souls having been assigned to new bodies will be reborn starting a new life with another name, but depending on their accumulation of virtue or good and bad seeds, the circumstances of their life will differ.
For example, if in our previous life we sowed 100 good seeds, but also sowed 50 bad seeds, we will have a balance of 50 good seeds. On the other hand if we had planted 100 bad seeds and 50 good seeds we would have a balance of 50 bad seeds. The balance of good seeds or bad seeds will determine for better or for worse the circumstances in our present life at birth and that’s how we start our life.
In the Osashizu (or Divine Directions) January 30, 1892, we read:
“…. Although virtue is not visible, the accounting is as dependable as if it were done on paper. Whatever is surplus I return. Whatever is short, I will collect. The balance in each account is very clear.” There are no errors, since God does not make a mistake.
We might look at our neighbor and complain to God by asking why is it that my neighbor seems to have an easy life, while I have to suffer and toil long hours? Life seems so unfair… But we don’t know what our neighbor has done in their previous lives. If we look at only the present situation, we do not see the whole picture!
So the person who has a +50 balance would have an easier life at least in the beginning. But if this person rested on their laurels, squandered their life and wealth, they will end up losing their property and their virtue. Conversely, the person who has a -50 balance would have a more challenging life with setback and struggles, but if this person realizes their lack of virtue and poor circumstances and works hard to plant good seeds, they can live a better life!
Alan Wong’s Restaurant
Everyone knows that Alan Wong’s Restaurant as one of the best in Honolulu. President Obama goes to various restaurants in Honolulu, but the one that he consistently goes to is Alan Wong’s.
Recently Alan Wong opened a restaurant in Shanghai and he was featured in the Honolulu Star Advertiser. (Dec 30, 2015) The article is titled: Alan Wong brings menu and aloha to Shanghai. In the article (by Joleen Oshiro) he said that he told his Shanghai crew that the aloha spirit begins with a thought, and when this thought turns into an act, it means sharing, showing kindness, caring. You give without expecting anything in return. For the first few days he asked them, “What did you do to make someone’s day? What gift or act of kindness did you give? How were you nice to someone?”
“Then, the night before we returned to Hawaii, one of crew came out and said, ‘I’ve been searching for something all my life, and you gave it to me.’ Another crew member said he never imagine this existed in another part of the world.”
Alan said, “One of our goals was to leave an imprint, to be able to say the aloha spirit lives in Shanghai, and his crew received the spirit of Aloha extremely well.”
I think this is a perfect example of how similar the definition of Aloha spirit and Hinokishin is. And this is probably why he is so successful in his restaurant business.
Oyasama said to do something small every day that will make another person happy. This is how we can take steps in our spiritual maturity to bring joy to God the Parent and Oyasama for the 130th Anniversary.
We have only a few days left before Oyasama’s 130th Anniversary which will be held on January 26, 2016. Let us all make firm resolutions to grow spiritually, plant the seeds of sincerity and receive blessings during this seasonable time; and return to Jiba for the 130th Anniversary.
Thank you for your attention.
- Happy New Year! I would like to thank everyone for your support given last year. The major events were the Boys & Girls Association Spring Camp & General Meeting and the annual Tenrikyo Bazaar. Thank you very much!
- I would like to thank everyone for your support in helping with the MHQ and Pearl Church spring cleaning, the mochi pounding on December 30 and your generous New Year offerings. Thank you very much!
- Thank you for bringing your deposit cans and bottles for our fundraising drive. We are still continuing our fundraising efforts.
- The BGA annual New Year Park Cleanup and BBQ Picnic will be held on Sunday, January 31 from 10am, please meet at Mission HQ at 9am for prayer service. This is open to everyone; however, please contact me to let me know who is coming so that we may prepare enough food. Please bring your own cleaning tools such as rakes and dust pans if you have them. The Leadership Camp will from start from the day before on Saturday, January 30, for kids 12 and above.