Meaning of Being Healthy

Thank you all for joining your hearts and minds in performing the September Monthly Service here at Tenrikyo Pearl church. I believe that when we perform the Service spiritedly and in unity, as we have today, God the Parent and Oyasama are truly satisfied with our efforts.

The Meaning of “Being Healthy”

We say that people who don’t have any illness are healthy. However, can we really say that we are healthy if we are only physically well, but we don’t have the will or enthusiasm to live?

The WHO or the World Health Organization, since 1998, says that “health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity. This is how the WHO defines a healthy person. As you can see the healthy person is not just a person with a healthy body. The human being has three aspects: the body, mind and soul.

Dr. Takanobu Imanaka who is the former vice president of the Ikoi no Ie Hospital in Tenri, says that having a healthy soul is very important. Accordingly, the WHO are discussing and considering adding the “health of the spirit and dynamic state of the mind” to the definition of the “healthy person.” So even though people have illness and other problems, they are considered to be in good health if they can and have the will do what they want to do. In this way the WHO is putting more importance on a person’s spiritual and mental state.

“Spiritual health” is the “state of the soul.” It doesn’t matter whether a person has faith in God or not, every one of us has a soul. It isn’t visible but it surely exists. For example if we compare the human being with a tree: The human soul can be considered the root of the tree. However, even if the leaves are green, if the tree is without the roots, it will fall and die.

Some people tend to ignore the existence of our spirit. And they are living like rootless wanderers thinking, “If everything is well with me now, and then everything’s fine.” For those people, when they come across obstacles, they tend to end their lives taking their life lightly. They are poor with the reality of living and living with a sense of purpose. And they only place importance on money and material things and they rely excessively on doctors and medicine.

In Tenrikyo we say “pass away for rebirth” in the case of death. In that case, the person’s use of mind doesn’t disappear all of a sudden. It stays with (or is recorded onto) the soul. This is what we call “causality.”

The soul or spirit is eternal. We are reborn again into a new body and come back to this life. This is passing away for rebirth in Tenrikyo. How much the soul is purified, depends on how that person lived in the previous life and this life. That is why it is important in our teachings, how we live in our everyday life.

We pray for those people who are ill. We have seen many people who have been blessed with healing from illness through the three-day administration of the sazuke. However, when they are healed or saved, it is easy to forget the inspiration and the miracle of the moment. In these instance, it is not the real cure. Oyasama taught us that the real cure is being positive and appreciative and receiving the problems and illnesses with that positive and grateful mind. So this is what the goal of the joyous life and what true salvation is. The soul will be saved and one’s destiny is changed for the better.

In one of my salvation work, Mrs. A asked me to pray for the pain in her leg. Before administering the sazuke I explained the basic teachings like the Joyous Life and a thing lent and a thing borrowed. Without me asking she made a large donation to the church. After the three-day prayer, the pain disappeared. After a couple weeks, she called to say that she now has pain in her neck and asked me to pray for her again. This time I explained that the sazuke is not a magical trick or that I have healing powers, but that God is working through me to bestow a blessing. I explained that there is a message in your condition. If we ignore the message, then the illness will come back again. She asked me what is the message? I replied that I’m not sure, but I think God is calling you to go to church. She said “I don’t think so, but I believe in your magical hands.” After the three-day, prayer she got well again. But after a week she called to say that her leg is sore again. So again I administered the sazuke for three-days. She didn’t call after the 3rd day, so I assumed, she still had the pain, however, I saw her the other day and she thanked me for the prayers and said that she was better, but that the pain was off and on. I am continuing my contact with her so I hope she will eventually learn something from this experience. So you can see this as an illustration of just being physically well as opposed to spiritual wellness.

There is a book titled, “Complete Recovery,” written by a doctor Yoshitoshi Shinohara. This doctor, a rheumatoid arthritis specialist described the treatment for lupus which is to ease the pain or lower the fever. This illness is very difficult to treat and to relieve the pain. This illness called lupus is declared an incurable disease by the Japanese government. However there are cases in which lupus patients got well, despite being incurable. He has seen several cases.

The common features in cases where the patient got well are:


  1. Those people who give up getting well.

  2. Those people who give their best in serving others.


He also mentions common characteristics of patients who didn’t get well:

  1. People who want to get well.

  2. People who think negatively saying or thinking, “because of this illness, I can’t do this or that.”

He recently met a patient who has lupus and who he hasn’t seen for a long time, because a family member got critically ill. Dr. Shinohara asked him how he was. He said that because he was busy taking care of this family member he didn’t have time to come in for a checkup. This person completely forgot about his own condition and was desperately trying to help his family member. Upon checking his blood, Dr. Shinohara found that he did not have lupus. In other words, his patient’s lupus condition was cured.

In the Ofudesaki we read:

If you are truly of a mind to save others single-heartedly,
I shall firmly accept you, even if you say nothing. III: 38

Ponder from your innermost heart to understand.
Through saving others, you will be saved. III: 47


Thank you for your attention.



  1. We would like to thank you all for your support of the Tenrikyo Bazaar held on August 29 at Tenri Cultural Center. Thank you for purchasing scrips and chicken tickets, thank you for your donations and thank you for your hinokishin help!

  2. Also, thank you for participating in the all Tenrikyo Nioigake Day held at stadium park on Labor Day, 9/6. We had 60 person of which 18 was from Pearl Church.

  3. Thank you for bringing your deposit cans and bottles for our fundraising drive. We are still continuing our fundraising efforts for our next project which is the repainting of Pearl Church this summer. Please continue bringing your deposit cans and bottles and any yard work referrals. Proceeds will help pay for paint equipment and supplies for our church painting. We have tentatively set our church exterior painting from September 22-October 2. If you happen to be available during that time, please join us in this important church hinokishin.

  4. We would like to encourage people to attend monthly service practice held on the Thursday night prior to the monthly service at 7pm. Next month it will be on July 8 at 7pm. Please join us so that we may give our best effort in performing the monthly service.

  5. September is the Autumn Memorial Service month. The Pearl Church service will be on the 4th Saturday, 9/25 at 8am.

  6. Please welcome Bishop and Mrs. Hamada.

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