Accumulate Virtue (Sermon for May 2012)

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Good morning. I would like to thank all of you for taking the time to attend the May Monthly Service here at 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! Today we celebrate Mother’s Day and I would like to wish all mothers, especially Oyasama, a Happy Mother’s Day. Oyasama, as most of you may know, has the soul of the first mother of all humankind.

Click on the link to continue on to reading the sermon.

Accumulate Virtue

Recently, I’ve been hearing about quality of life. It means not only living a long life, but being healthy and living a meaningful life. Even if you have money and are materialistically abundant, if you physically disabled or have a serious illness, you may not be able to live a meaningful or fruitful life.

How can we live a quality life? I would think that there is no way to live a happy without accumulating virtue in our soul. I was taught that there are five important virtues.

  1. Being healthy and living long.
  2. A happy and stable home: parents and children are helping and supporting each other.
  3. Money and property when you need it.
  4. Free time. If we’re constantly busy and have no time for fun or pleasure, we cannot live a happy life.
  5. Being thankful and appreciative. Even if we have an abundance of material things, if we are not thankful or appreciative, we cannot live a happy life. So it is essential to have a mind of gratitude.

How can we accumulate virtue in our soul? Oyasama told one of Her first disciple, Izo Iburi, “Izo, this path is making sincere efforts behind the scenes for the sake of others.” God will not accept your efforts if you work or study in front of people or are negligent in your behind the scenes work, or talk ill of other people.

If you receive thanks from the people, your virtue will have been paid off. This means that no matter how much you think you’ve accumulated virtue, if someone thanks you, your virtue will have been paid.

Virtue should be something that is done behind the scenes. Doing something good behind the scenes is what toku is about. When you do something good and are honest behind the scenes, no problems will occur. On the other hand, if you do something bad behind the scenes, like using the company’s copy machine for personal use, you reducing your toku.

In order to accumulate virtue, it is none other than to help others. Just last month, a lot of people participated in the Zoo Hinokishin. This is a big salvation work for the community. Simply doing Hinokishin, our bodies naturally become healthy. For example, when we are suffering and in pain, our mind becomes focused only on ourselves, there is only despair and hopelessness. However, if you have a sense of caring and helping others with their problems, your mind widens, you will gain an inner strength in spite of your own difficulties. With this strength your problem will have less significance, eventually it become of little concern or become lightened. In this way, you will accumulate the unseen virtue which will be the treasure of your soul. Toku is the strength of a person’s shadow. If you have accumulated virtue, your words have an unseen strength and you have good friends who help you and good partners in work and business.

If you encounter misfortune, you can overcome it and be thankful for it.

Here is another encounter of accumulating virtue. This is about paying off your debt. It’s about paying off your debt of gratitude. Because we have lived many lives and have no memory of them, we don’t know how much debt we have accumulated. So sometimes we may think that we have done a lot to accumulate virtue, such as doing a lot of hinokishin or make a lot of offerings, but we wonder or complain that nothing good has come of out it. This is because we have a lot of debt from our previous lives. However, it is wrong to think or expect that we will receive a blessing right away. Whatever happens, whether good or bad, it is all God who is watching us and showing and granting us exactly what we deserve.

There is no other way to a happy life other than to accumulate virtue.

There is a young man who lost his job. It was about September last year when he lost his job. Seeing him wasting his days looking for a job and waiting for possible job offers, we told him about accumulating virtue in his soul. We told him to come to church and do hinokishin as a means to accumulate virtue until he found a job. Since then he started to come around lunch time, did various hinokishin around the church and joined us for the evening service and dinner. After about four months, he stopped coming. When we visited him, he said that his former employer called and asked him to return to work. He said that he believed that God worked for him. Now he’s working hard every day. What we call toku is the strength of a person’s shadow. Today we learned about how to accumulate virtue to live the Joyous Life.

Thank you for your attention.

My wife would like to report on her trip to Jiba to attend the Oyasama Birthday Celebration and the Women’s Association Convention last month. On April 18th, the Hawaii Women’s Association members gathered at the South Worship Hall at 5am and we wiped the sanctuary corridors. At 5:30, the Foundress’ Sanctuary was already packed tightly with followers. At 9:30, the Shinbashira with other service performers arrived at the main sanctuary and the Kagura service was conducted. There were about 70,000 people from Japan and many other countries gathered on this day.

On the next day, the Women’s Association Convention was held. The Tengen followers from overseas gathered, including Tammy Kitada from North Carolina, Lorena Adachi from Saipan, Mimi Nakao from Laos and myself. We sat together with the Tengen head minister’s wife, Mrs. Misue. It was a warm, sunny and beautiful day with Sakura cherry blossoms still blooming. The Shinbashira’s sermon urged us to become women who will raise children and people with kindheartedness with a women’s benevolence.

Announcements

  1. 4 adults and 6 children attended the Oyasama Birthday Activity last month on April 15th. Special thanks to Marika who gave the narration of Oyasama’s story.
  2. I would like to thank those who came out to help at the recent All Tenrikyo Hinokishin Day on April 28 at Honolulu Zoo. A total of 160 participated, including 26 from Pearl Church. Thank you very much!
  3. The YMA-WA-YWC Joint General Meeting will be held next month on Saturday, May 19 from 9:30am. We would like to ask for everyone to attend and participate in the service. Previously, we were told that only the hand dance performers need to wear the service robe, but now they want all service performers to wear the formal service robe.
  4. The Annual Hawaii Spiritual Development Course will be offered from Sunday, June 17th through Thursday, July 12, 2012. The course provides us a means to focus on learning and practicing the teachings so that we may implement them in our daily lives enabling us to live the joyous life. Graduates of the course have learned to overcome their personal problems and receive blessings of self-realization, healing and deeper meaning in their lives. If you know someone who could benefit from this course, please suggest to him and contact myself or Mrs. Taeko.

天理教パール教会2012年5月 月次祭神殿講話

「徳を積む」

最近「価値のある生き方、実りある生き方」と云う言葉をよく耳にします。ただ、ただ長く生きるというだけではなく、元気で長生きが出来る事。十分に物やお金があっても身体が不自由で病気を持っていたら、長く生きているのもつらくなるでしょう。

では、この人生においてどうしたら「価値のある実りある生き方」が出来るのでしょう。

それには、徳を積む以外に幸せになる道はないと思うのです。

人間は、この五つの徳が大切であると教えて頂きました。

一つには「健康長寿の徳」

二つ目に、親子兄弟仲良く支え合う姿に恵まれる、「家庭円満の徳」

三つ目に、「財産金銭の徳」。やはりお金にも恵まれていないと心まで貧しくなり喜べません。

四つ目に、「時間のゆとりの徳」。忙しい、忙しいと云って一年中暇がない様では楽しみもありません。時間のゆとりも必要です。

五つ目に「喜べる徳」です。周りに喜べる条件がすべて揃っていても喜べる心の徳がなかったら幸せとはいえません。

では、どうやって徳を積むことが出来るのでしょう。

教祖は飯降伊蔵先生にこう云われました。

「伊蔵さん、この道は陰徳を積みなされや。人の見ている目先でどのように働いても、勉強しても、陰で手を抜いたり、人の悪口を云うていては神様のお受け取りはありませんで。なんでも人様に礼を受ける様な事ではその徳が勘定済みになってしまうで。」

つまりせっかく良い事をして徳をいただいても、お礼を云われた事によってプラス、マイナス=0 徳をお返ししてしまう、と話されました。

「徳」とは人の見ていない陰でこそ良いことをしておく。陰で正しく、正直に通っていれば、人間は何一つ困ることは起きてこないのです。
例えば、会社で誰も見ていないところでコピー機を個人の為に紙を使う等の事をする、それは徳を減らすもとです。

徳を積むには「人をたすける事より他にない」とお聞かせ頂きます。
先月、大勢の方がたがホノルルZooで汗を流してひのきしんして下さいました。これも地域への大きな人たすけであります。ひのきしんを通していつの間にか自分の身体も元気にさせて頂けるのです。

例えば、自分の事にだけ悩み苦しんでいても、ただ、ただ心も狭くなりついには絶望的になりかねないのですが、困っている人に心を配り力になって上げている内に心も広くなり、自分の悩みもいつの間にか気にもならず軽くなってくるのです。さらに、自分の問題はさておき、人の問題を親身になってたすけていたなら、いつの間にか自分の心が強くなり、自信  との持てる心になれるのです。

私達がそういう心でいると、それがいつしか目に見えない徳という財産となるのです。

徳はその人の陰の力であります。徳をしっかり積んでおけば、一言の言葉にも力があります。良き友人に恵まれ、良き仕事のパートナーに恵まれ、良き結婚相手に恵まれ、また 喜べない事が起きてきてもそれが喜べる心に変ってくるようになる。それが徳のある人と云うのです。

さて、ここに徳積みのもう一つの要素があります。それは「恩返し」です。恩は受けたらすぐに返して、徳を減らさない事です。

我々は今世だけでなく、前世、前ぜん世あるいはそれ以前の事もあるので

徳を積んでいても、自分の通ってきた道の恩を返している場合もあります。
だから、「あれだけお供えしたのに御守護がない」とか、「一生懸命ひのきしんしてるのに、変わらない」と、すぐに見返り求めるのは心得違いです。目に現れてくる姿が喜べる姿でも、喜べない姿であっても、それは神さまが銘々にちょうど良いように徳いっぱいお与え下さっているのです。

人間は徳を積む以外に幸せになる道はありません。

仕事を失くした青年の話

昨年の12月頃でしょうか、仕事を失った青年が毎日 家で仕事の電話がかかるのを待って、ただ無駄に時間が過ぎて一日一日送っていっている彼を見ていた私達は、「何か実のあることに時間を使いなさい」と云って、徳積みの話をしました。仕事の話が来るまでとにかく教会でひのきしんをさせて頂いたなら徳を積ませて頂けると。

それから彼は毎日、昼のランチタイムから教会へ来て午後はひのきしんを一生懸命してくれ、夕勤めをつとめ、夕食を一緒に食べてから帰るという日課になりました。しかし、4ヶ月経った頃に、急に来なくなりました。聞くと、以前勤めていたレストランから再び仕事の話があり、又戻る事ができる様になったのです。

本人もやはりこれは神様が働いて下さったんだと喜んで、今では毎日仕事に励んでいます。「徳」と呼ぶものはその人の陰の力です。
本日は「徳積み」と云う事を共に学ばせて頂きました。
御清聴ありがとうございました。

立教175年教祖御誕生祭及び婦人会本部総会に出席させていただいて、

4月18日教祖御誕生祭は、朝5時 南礼拝殿にハワイ婦人会が集合し回廊拭きをさせていただきました。午前5時半教祖殿ではすでにぎっしりと参拝者が端座し、午前9時半すぎ、真柱様は勤め人衆らと共に礼拝、誕生祭のかぐらづとめが始められました。この日お地場に日本はもとより世界から合わせて7万人が集いました。

翌日19日の婦人会総会では上級天元分教会の信者さんで、North Carolina から来た北田タミーさん、Saipanから来た足立ロレナさん、Laosから来たミミーさん、そしてHawaiiからの私と天元教会長夫人のみすえさんと一緒に参拝させて頂きました。桜もまだ咲いている暖かい4月の一日でした。

真柱様は女性の徳分を生かし、やさしい心で子供を、人を育てください。と云うお話しでした。有難うございました。

 

中尾妙子

立教175年5月13日

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