Helping Those w/Physical Problems in our Community

This was a power point presentation.

Tenri Forum 2006
Helping Those with Physical Problems in our Community
Setsumi Y. Saltman, B.S.N.


Agenda

* Tenrikyo views on
     o Illness and Rebirth
     o Salvation, Doctors and Medicine
* Evolution of Medicine
* Alternative Medicine
* Challenges in helping people with physical problems
* Overcoming these challenges
* Start with ourselves: role of the Yoboku
* Open discussion


Tenrikyo Views on Illness and Rebirth

* ‘The human body is a thing lent, a thing borrowed from God; the mind alone is yours.’ Osashizu, June 1, 1889
* This world is the body of God and human body is a part of the world
* The human body is kept alive by the providence of God the Parent and the symptoms of illness appear if the balance of God’s providence is lost
* The origin of illness lies in our minds. We consider illness to be a guidance and an opportunity to get closer to God.


Views on Illness and Rebirth cont’ …

* Life is the state in which we live with the body; death is the state in which ‘God is embracing us closely’. What lies consistently between life and death is the soul
* We do not die instead our bodies are always being born and reborn; something rather like a curtain is spread between our former lives and our current life
* We have no memories of the past; even so they remain imprinted on what is called our soul
* Although we do not say that we are ill unless we notice something abnormal, we already have a chronic illness of mind before we notice symptom of illness


Tenrikyo Views on Salvation, Doctors and Medicine

* It is important to understand the distinction between curing by doctors and medicine, and salvation by religion
* Medical science alone cannot be expected to solve all problems of disease; the fact that we die.
* For human beings there is nothing that should be called illness. But no one knows the truth of the creation of this world.
‘To make this known to you, I have begun doctors and medicine as a means of weeding and fertilizing.’ Ofudesaki, IX, 10-11
* Salvation from illness, doctors and medicine exist only because of one purpose; we must understand the truth of human creation and we must let that truth be known to those who do not know it
* It is possible for us to live a joyous life through the experiences of old age, illness and death
* It is important to see our human life in the long run


Salvation, Doctors and Medicine
continued…

* Because our minds are free, the possibility of salvation is unlimited. Concerning our bodies, however, salvation is completely in God’s hands since our bodies are borrowed from God
* Salvation from illness’, doctors and medicine exist that we might understand the truth of human creation and we must let that truth be known to those who do not know it
* Important to see our human life in the long run


Evolution of Medicine

* 5th and 4th century B.C.: Hippocrates attempted to record medical experiences for future reference and is considered to be the father of medicine
* Prior to 19th century: God and the order of the universe were considered ‘first causes of illness’
     o Fatalistic view where the sick were no longer in control of their lives
     o Charitable institutions were inspired by a religious vision


Evolution of Medicine continued’

* 1700s: Disease is no longer considered exclusively sent from Gods
     o Air, climate and season were seen as primary causes
* 1960s: Recovery is a primary goal of medical care
     o Discoveries of vaccines and antibiotics
     o Sick person is entitled to medical care
     o Obedience to the doctor and adherence to medical treatment


Evolution of Medicine continued…

* Today: Illnesses generated by a way of life; technological advancement in medical care
     o Diet, environment, personal behavior, work contribute to illnesses
     o Longer life span; prevalence of chronic illnesses
     o Overuse of medication and conspicuous consumption by health-care users
     o Health care spending continues to rise at the fastest rate in our history
     o 2004 total spending 1.9 Trillion dollars or $6,280 per person (16% gross domestic product)


Alternative Medicine: Growing part of healthcare in the U.S.

* Medical practitioners agree that there is a spiritual dimension in healing
* The mind can have both negative and positive influence on the body
Dossey, 1999


Alternative Medicine continued…

* Studies show that prayer can contribute to healing. Prayer has been shown to decrease metabolism, heart and respiration rates, and to slow brain waves. Nursing Forum, vol 39, No. 3
* Others believe that when one is the recipient of another’s prayers and realizes such, this realization helps stimulate the immune and endocrine systems. Levine, 1996
* Recognition that emotion, motivation, and attitude are central in both health and disease


Alternative Medicine continued…

* Disease producing factors include: stress, despair, unconscious fears, and spiritual emptiness that can lead to feelings of isolation, anxiety, guilt and rage
* Environments conducive to healing include laughter, music, love, forgiveness and acceptance all coming after release of resentment, conflict and despair. Dora Kunz, 1995
* Hospitals and clinics are incorporating behavioral medicine specialists and healing touch therapies in their daily practice


Challenges to doing Salvation Work

* Perception that the American culture values individual freedom and that we should refrain from pushing our views onto others
     o It is difficult to go door to door to offer prayers and share the teachings
     o Cultural barriers of Tenrikyo


Challenges continued…

     o We hesitate to offer the Sazuke and share our religious beliefs with friends because we assume they have their own religious beliefs
     o Hospitals only allow visitors from the same religion to pray for patients
     o Difficult to share religious beliefs in the workplace due to rights of employees


Challenges continued…

* Perception that we do not have time to do salvation work due to work, family, and social obligations
* Hesitation due to lack of confidence in our abilities to administer the Sazuke and share the teachings with others
* Society’s reliance on technology to treat illness


Overcoming Challenges

* Start with ourselves, understand the truth of origen and the role of the Yoboku
* Support our minister by nurturing and administering the Sazuke to other church members at monthly services
* Nurture relationships so that we are able to offer the Sazuke when a person is ill
* Administer the Sazuke to our own family members


Overcoming challenges continued…

* Seize every opportunity to offer Sazuke to a person who is ill and prior to any procedure
* Perform the Salvation Service and pray for those who are ill
* Invite the public to Dendocho and your churches; offer Osazuke to those who are ill


Yoboku: Developing oneself is the first step

* Making sincere efforts for the salvation of people suffering from illness is supreme mission
* ‘The mind of saving others is the real truth of sincerity alone and, by this truth of saving others, you are saved.’ Kakisage
* ‘All people of the whole world are equally brothers and sisters. There is no one who is an utter stranger.’ Ofudesaki, XIII, 43


Yoboku: Meaning of Sazuke

     o God the Parent initiated the way of salvation of the body with the Sazuke
     o How the mind is used each and every day is most important for one who has received Sazuke
     o ‘I shall let you work when I approve of your mind, since one single man can easily rival a myriad by virtue of his mind. For I, the Omnipotent, ride on your mind and work through it, if only I find you unshakably sincere.’ Osashizu, October 2, 1898


Yoboku: Sharing the Teachings

* ‘The human body is a thing lent, a thing borrowed from God; the mind alone is yours.’
     Osashizu, June 1, 1889

* We are sustained and nourished by God at all hours of the day and night
* It entirely depends upon the way we use our minds whether we are allowed to enjoy the free functioning of our bodies or lose the freedom
* It is important to sweep away mental dust
‘If only you have finished the sweeping of your mental dust, I will work remarkable salvation.’


Yoboku: Salvation Service

* The Salvation Service is a service through which any prayer will be heard.
* ‘My salvation is not only to cure illness, but I intend it to be a remarkable salvation.
* ‘What do you think this salvation is? I will protect you from falling ill, dying, or becoming weak.’ Ofudesaki, XVII, 52-53
* ‘Any and every salvation shall be accomplished by the Service, if only you do just as I, Tsukihi, say


Yoboku: Joyous Life

* When we dedicate each day to the cause of saving others, our lives overflow with joy springing from the bottom of our hearts. In such a life we dwell day and night in the warm bosom of God the Parent, with the quiet assurance that whoever saves others will himself be saved.
* If we live each day with such joyful minds, we shall find true happiness


Open Discussion

* Share others’ experiences with salvation work
* Share others’ challenges with salvation work and their ideas to overcome the challenge

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