Mental Dust of Greed & Testimonial by Grace Higa

Tenrikyo Pearl Church Monthly Service ‘ 2008 April Monthly Service

Good morning. I would like to thank all of you for taking the time to attend the April Monthly 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!

Mental Dust of Greed

In the Besseki Lecture it says the dust of greed is to desire more things than what other people have or constantly taking what is not yours. Also getting involved with "get rich quick schemes," taking bribes, and adultery are all dusts of greed.

In the 1990's an electric car was develop by GM. It could go 250 miles without recharging and the acceleration was sufficient, but somehow the car faded away, never to be seen again. A documentary was made titled, "Who Killed the Electric Car?" in which people in government and GM were interviewed. The conclusion was that people in the oil industry and car industry killed the electric car because it would cripple the oil and auto parts industry. The electric car had much less parts that a gas car and they last longer. And by killing the electric car the demand for oil and auto parts will be maintained and the respective industries will continue to thrive.

Also there are many animals on the endangered species list and are protected. Still people kill the animals to obtained their tusks and skin to sell for profit.

If we borrow money without paying back, this is even more serious, perhaps even criminal. When you borrow something from another and not return it quickly, this is also greed. For instance, we borrow a book with the intention of returning it, but we forget about it. This is also greed and we will eventually lose people's trust.

It's not only in material form, but also when we benefit from other people's kindness and care and we forget the appreciated, obligation and to return the favor in some form or another, this is also greed.

In the Mikagura-uta, Song Five, it says:

Fourth, Though, there is no one who is free from greed,
Before God there is no greed.

In the Mikagura-uta, Song Nine it says:

Third, Looking into all minds of the world,
I find greed intermingled.

Fourth, If you have greed, cast it away!
Because God cannot accept it.

It's obvious; we have greed to some degree, but God wants us to get rid of greed, because God will not accept it!

Also in Song Ten:

Fourth, Greed is fathomless like muddy water.
When your mind is completely purified,
Then comes paradise.

In this verse, fathomless means that you cannot see the bottom in muddy water, that greed has no end. We want more and more like there is no end.

How can we get rid of this mind of greed? I thought about what is the opposite of greed. What is the opposite of greed? Anyone? The opposite of greed is giving. If you have some kind of talent or ability then you can share that ability or talent with others. Or even train others in this ability. Some people have the mind of supporting and helping others in need. Moreover, if you can donate to charities or shelters, that would help a lot of people in their difficult situations. Through helping others, more happiness will come back to you. Also, Oyasama said, through helping others, you will be saved. Here is a story about the famous composer, Ludwig Van Beethoven who was born in Bonn, Germany in 1770. He was born into a musical family. His father was a singer in the royal choir and his grandfather was the director of the court orchestra. He lived in poverty, however, because his father preferred drink over working to support his family. His father was a very greedy man and only thought about making money. He wanted to use Beethoven's musical talents to make money. In those days, Mozart was a famous pianist and composer from the age of nine, who lived in Vienna, Austria and made lots of money. Ludwig's father, Jan, wanted Ludwig to make a lot of money and was eager for Ludwig to learn quickly and used to beat him to practice more and more. Also many great musicians came to teach him. Ludwig traveled to Vienna and met and performed for Mozart. Mozart predicted that Ludwig would surely be a prodigy and give the world something to talk about. However, at age 28, Ludwig began to lose his hearing. During the years that followed, his despondency led him into moods of deep depression at not being able to hear music. But he continued to compose. At age 30, he completely lost his hearing. He wouldn't go out of his house and wouldn't let his friends come to see him. But he thought that he didn't want to end his life and didn't want to feel sorry for himself for the rest of his life, because so many people have given so much to help him develop his talents. He thought that perhaps it was time for him to give something back. It would be a waste and disservice to those who taught and helped him if he ended his life. He wanted to give back by composing music for people to enjoy for generations to come.

He continued to compose and people said that his music is even better than when he could hear. During the 30 years since he lost his hearing till his death, Ludwig had composed many famous symphonies, sonata and piano concerto, including symphonies No. 5 and 9.

Today we have a guest speaker. Please welcome Mrs. Grace Higa:


Good Morning Everyone,

For those of you who I haven't met, my name is Grace and I'm Rev. Owen's sister.

I would like to share with you some of my life's experience and blessings that I have received from God the Parent during my childhood and adulthood.

I have come to believe that one is blessed and receives blessings not only from fortunate experiences or incident's but from unfortunate experiences as well.

With the guidance of God the Parent, I sincerely thank my mom and dad for their love and laying a solid foundation for me as a child. It is God the Parent and my parents who have taught me to have compassion for others, to be thankful and helpful to others. I would always hear it over and over from my parents, "Oyakoko shinasai yo (which means to listen/take care of your parents)", "think about other's before yourself', and "always help others". Of course, as a child and during my teenage years I used say why?? or I don't want to, I'll do it later. So of course, I didn't appreciate anything that they said or did for me. Some daughter I was, can you imagine how they felt?

I had a Teenage Disorder, which means I was "Wild" (came home late or didn't come home at all) and I was not "Oyakoko" (didn't listen to my parents) at all. You probably wouldn't want me as your daughter, even I wouldn't have wanted myself as a daughter.

At the age of 13, I had my first episode of Grand Mal seizure at the 9th ave. bus stop. During the seizure, I fell backwards and hit my head on the fire hydrant. I was rushed to the hospital, and just needed a few stitches. After a few tests, I was diagnosed with Epilepsy.

Of course, I didn't say "thank you God the Parent" for this wonderful blessing. In fact it was the total opposite, I had a terrible attitude and only felt sorry for myself asking why me? Not even thinking how my parents felt and what they must be going through. It actually took me 8 years (after attending Shuuyoka, Spiritual Development Course) to finally come to realize that having epilepsy is a true blessing to help me grow spiritually and to care for my parents and others.

Under my Doctor's instruction, I was unable to stop taking my medication during my pregnancy with Marika. There was only a 4% chance of birth defect. Though, I was always worried, Dr. Au would always say there is a 96% chance that there will be no defect at all. With God Parent's wonderful blessings, I did not have any seizures during pregnancy and I could not have asked for anything more than a healthy baby. In fact, I only had 2 more Grand Mal seizures after the birth of Marika. I am happy to say that I have not had a seizure for over 10 years and I finally got my driver's license!


I would like to share a personal issue that I have been encountering for quite some time now. I apologize, due to the privacy of this matter, I will not be specific on my problem. Everyone has problems and issues, I guess it's up to you on how you want to handle things or what you will learn from the misfortune. My personal issue is an overwhelming challenge for me, most times wanting to give up and just say I quit and get up and leave. But it's not that easy, even Marika's Track coach once told her "if you give up, you lose". I'd like to believe that this is a blessing in deep disguise that God the Parent is granting me and teaching me to be a stronger person spiritually and mentally. I believe this is because God the Parent does not want me to see me drift away from the teachings of Tenrikyo and wants to see me more active with spreading the teachings of Tenrikyo. I will not give up.

Sometimes when I go through the most difficult times, I always count on my family for love and support and I thank each and everyone of you.

Many of you may not have family but I hope you feel like this is your family here at Pearl Church. Remember, we are all family.

Thank you very much for your kind attention.


Announcements:
1. I would like to thank all of you who helped at the annual BGA Spring Camp and General Meeting held on March 21-23. A total of 7 kids and 7 adults from Pearl Church participated and helped in various hinokishin.
2. This April Mission HQ monthly service was held yesterday and tomorrow, Monday is Nioigake Day from Mission HQ at 9am.
3. Due to your support Taeko and Chance will be departing this Wednesday for Jiba to attend the Oyasama Birthday Service on the 18th, the Women's Association General Meeting on the 19th and Tengen Monthly Service on the 23rd. Chance will attend the Basic's Course, make the Besseki pledge and attend several Besseki lectures. We wish them well and a safe trip.
4. The All Tenrikyo Hinokishin Day will be held on Saturday, May 3rd at Honolulu Zoo at 9am. Please invite your friends and family to help clean and then later enjoy the zoo!
5. Also on May 6, for those of you available, please come to the monthly 1st Tuesday community hinokishin.
6. On Saturday, May 17 next month, the YMA, WA & YWC will be conducting their joint General Meeting at Mission HQ. We would like to invite everyone to attend.

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