Say Thank You 100 Times a Day

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

Say Thank You 100 Times a Day

Most people have a mind of appreciation and to be thankful.  We do morning and evening services every day.  In the morning we thank God for the new day and in the evening, we thank God for being able to go through the day in safety.  When someone does something for me or when we receive things, it’s normal for us to say thank you.  It’s a matter of course to say thank you.  However, recently I have realized that haven’t really been thankful for the seemingly small things in life.  The first thing we do in the day is to wake up, we should say thank you.  Because if we didn’t wake up then it means that we are really sick, really lazy or perhaps really dead.   Next, when we use the bathroom, we should be thankful.  Some of us experience pain in our legs or hip or other part of the body and therefore have a difficult time waking up.  Still we should say thank you for this experience.  When we have breakfast, we drink water, coffee or tea.  Again we should say thank you. Continue reading Say Thank You 100 Times a Day

January Monthly Service Prayer 2013

Before God the Parent, Tenri-O-no-Mikoto, I, Owen Osamu Nakao, Pastor of Tenrikyo Pearl Church, wish to humbly express the following prayer:

God the Parent, throughout the long expanse of time since the beginning of this world, You have nurtured and guided us as our loving Parent.  In order to fulfill Your desire for all of us to purify our minds and live in accord with Your will, You revealed the Truth of Origin, taught us the Service, bestowed upon us the Divine Grant of Sazuke, and opened the path of true salvation for all human beings.  This truly fills us with gratitude and we offer to You, our most sincere appreciation.

You appeared through Oyasama as Shrine, to teach us the truth of our origin and the purpose of our creation…, which is for all of us to live in joy, and to share that joy with You, God the Parent.  And, knowing the nature of us human beings to forget, You left a vivid example for us to follow in Oyasama’s Divine Model of 50 years.

Then on January 26, 1887, while the first followers of the path fulfilled Your request for the Service to be performed by all means, our beloved Oyasama opened the portals and hid Her physical form, to work forever, in spirit, for the salvation of all humankind.

In commemoration of this event, today is set aside for the performance of the January Grand Service.  We, yoboku and members of this church, have assembled before You, to perform the service in high spirits and in unison with the harmonious sounds of the musical instruments.  We pray, that as You look upon us, our joy may be truly shared with You.

As we look forward to this New Year, we remember and give thanks for your deep parental love through the blessings of miraculous healings, and the many people who have attended the various church activities during this past year.  With the pastor of this church serving as chairman of the Boys and Girls Association Hawaii chapter, activities were successfully held without serious accidents. Last year, an average of twenty-three persons attended the Pearl Church monthly service.  Eight persons from Pearl Church participated in the Boys and Girls Association park cleanup and BBQ picnic in January; ten persons helped at the all Tenri Cultural Center Cleanup Hinokishin in February; four children and eleven adults attended and helped at the annual Boys & Girls Association Spring Camp and General Meeting; ten persons attended the Boys and Girls Association Oyasama Birthday Activity, twenty-three persons from Pearl Church participated in the All Tenrikyo Hinokishin Day at Honolulu Zoo in April, twenty-four persons attended the annual Tenrikyo Picnic, 3 persons participated in the YMA International Hinokishin Corps in Jiba, 2 persons participated in the Children’s Pilgrimage to Jiba, one person joined the Tenri University Japan Earthquake-Tsunami relief effort, one yoboku entered the one-year mission program at MHQ in Los Angeles, twenty-one persons helped at the Annual Tenrikyo Bazaar in which the pastor served as chairman, and six persons attended the Young Men’s Association-Women’s Association-Young Women’s Club Joint General Meeting. An average of three persons helped with the weekly yard work on neglected sidewalks and yards of the elderly and physically challenged throughout the year, as well as at the Tenri Cultural Center.  Also, a special tree trimming hinokishin was done at MHQ by four Pearl Church members on November 20th and 27th. The Sazuke was administered a total of 306 times in 2012.  In addition, solar panels were installed on June 29th, utilizing the sun’s light to produce electricity for the church and inhabitants.  The pastor of this church was appointed president of the Jarrett Middle School Foundation in July of last year.  We give thanks for all these blessings.

This month we will start the three years, one thousand days leading up to Oyasama’s 130th Anniversary since Oyasama hid her physical self.  The Shinbashira has issued Instruction Three in the hope that we yoboku and followers will make decisive efforts to grow spiritually and conduct our activities with a unity of mind. With the Shinbashira as the core we resolve to engage in nioigake and salvation work to plant seeds of sincerity during this seasonable time towards Oyasama’s 130th Anniversary.

In this 176th Year of Tenrikyo, please accept our sincerity as we strive to become single-hearted in our efforts of salvation work.  We shall spread the fragrance of the Path even further, so that the minds of all in the world may become awakened to the Truth that You teach.  We pray that our actions throughout this New Year will bring us yet closer, to the goal of the Joyous Life.

In union with the congregation, I humbly pray, may it be so.

Instruction Three

In anticipation of the 130th Anniversary of Oyasama to be observed in 2016 (Tenrikyo 179), I would like to share some of my thoughts in the hope that they will be useful to all Yoboku and followers as they make decisive efforts to grow spiritually and conduct their activities in unity of mind.

Oyasama revealed the ultimate teachings to save all people throughout the world. She devoted Herself to single-hearted salvation with Her heart filled with parental love for all human beings, Her children, and left us with the path of the fifty-year Divine Model.

During those years, Oyasama made all arrangements for the path, such as teaching the Salvation Service and revealing the origin of all things. On the lunar calendar date of January 26, 1887, She 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, as ever before, 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 a season when each and every Yoboku should, with a fresh mind, take to heart the true intention in founding the Teaching, enhance his or her awareness of being a Yoboku, a useful timber for building the Joyous Life World, and accomplish genuine work while striving to follow the Divine Model.

The Joyous Life is a state of the world where, first and foremost, all human beings, the children of God the Parent, live together while helping one another. In addition, we read:

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

Mikagura-uta X:4

If only the mind is purified completely, there will be nothing but delight in everything.

Ofudesaki XIV:50

These verses tell us that the Joyous Life is also a way of living that entails purifying the mind.

Greed, which knows no moderation, can lead people astray, give rise to conflict, disrupt the harmony of the world, and even threaten the future. The ever-growing tendency to think that all is well if it is well for oneself is progressively weakening interpersonal ties; indeed, even family bonds seem fragile in today’s societies. This tendency is contrary to the Joyous Life.

It is our duty as people who follow Oyasama’s teachings to work for world salvation by conveying the intention of the true Parent to those who have worries about the uncertainty of the future with no spiritual guide to help them.

Now is the time for all of us followers of the path to stand up and show people a way of living based on purifying the mind and helping one another. We should thus pour our energies into reconstructing the world.

Let those of us who are Yoboku study and internalize the teachings and put them into practice each day to become people who effortlessly make the truth of the teachings self-apparent to the local community. Let us ensure that our own families—including husband and wife, who represent the truth of the embrace of heaven and earth—are living in accord with the teachings and implementing mutual help. In this way, let us expand the circle of the Joyous Life, starting right where we are.

Let us also keep our minds connected to our churches, visit our churches, and participate in the performance of the service, which is the mission of each church. Let us work together with our church head ministers as the core to demonstrate a model of the Joyous Life to our local communities.

Concerned about our future, God the Parent urges us through various knots, or challenging situations, to replace the mind.

Whatever I do, it is solely from Tsukihi’s single desire to save you.

Ofudesaki XII:78

This verse teaches us that everything God does is motivated solely by the parental love that desires to save all human beings.

All misfortunes and difficulties are expressions of the parental love that desires us to cleanse our hearts. We should not only reflect critically on ourselves but also work proactively for the salvation of others by accepting that, through the challenging situations that have arisen, we are being urged to help others be saved. In fact, staying always focused on helping to save others is a prerequisite for being followers of these teachings that are aimed at world salvation and is also the true way to achieve salvation ourselves, as can be seen from Oyasama’s words “Through saving others, you will be saved”

Salvation work begins with paying attention to those around us. If we find people who are suffering from illnesses or other problems, let us first pray for a solution, speak proactively to them, and reach out to them. We can administer the Sazuke with utmost sincerity to those who are ill and listen to what is on the minds of those who have worries. We can give support to those people, convey the voice of the Parent to them, and guide them so that they can change the orientation of their minds. Moreover, let us continue guiding and nurturing them until they join us in working for the salvation of others.

Let us keep working tirelessly toward the realization of the world of joy where God and humankind dwell in perfect union, a world where all people throughout the world are aware of the Parent of Origin and are awakened to the truth that all human beings are brothers and sisters so that they can live harmoniously together while helping one another. Over the “three years, one thousand days” leading up to the 130th Anniversary of Oyasama, I hope with all my heart that all of us Yoboku, who are Oyasama’s instruments, will maintain a full awareness of our mission and strive to carry out our work, thereby bringing joy to the ever-living Oyasama.

October 26, 2012 (Tenrikyo 175)

Zenji Nakayama
The Shinbashira

Significance of Oyasama’s 130th Anniversary – January Grand Service Sermon

Good morning. 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!

Near the end of Her physical life, Oyasama urged the followers to perform the service despite the strict enforcement by the police not to performed it. After much discussion, the first Shinbashira, Shinnosuke, said to the followers, “Only those should perform who are willing to risk their lives no matter what measures the police use to stop the Service.” The service was finally performed on January 26, 1887. Oyasama withdrew from physical life at the same time the Service had ended, at about two o’clock in the afternoon, as if asleep. She was in Her ninetieth year. Continue reading Significance of Oyasama’s 130th Anniversary – January Grand Service Sermon

“Introducing the Shinbashira’s Instruction Three” Monthly Sermon November 2012

Thank you all for joining your hearts and minds in performing the October Grand 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.

Introducing the Shinbashira’s Instruction Three

On January 26, 2016, we will be commemorating the 130th Anniversary of Oyasama since she withdrew from physical existence and this coming January 26th 2013 will start the three years, one thousand days leading up to the 130th Anniversary.

In order that we may commemorate the Anniversary befitting our spiritual maturity, the Shinbashira presented Instruction Three during this past October Grand Service. As followers of this path, we are reminded to cleanse our hearts as a goal towards the three years, one thousand days.

Continue reading “Introducing the Shinbashira’s Instruction Three” Monthly Sermon November 2012

Monthly Service Prayer November 2012

Before God the Parent, Tenri-O-no-Mikoto, I, Owen Osamu Nakao, Pastor of Tenrikyo Pearl Church, pray with reverence:

God the Parent, in this month of Thanksgiving, we are very grateful for Your constant protection and gradual instruction that guides us on the path to spiritual growth. In gratitude, we are all striving for the sake of single-hearted salvation while leaning on the ever-living Oyasama.

Today, for this November monthly service at Pearl Church, we give thanks for being kept alive by your divine grace and being blessed by your love and protection. The service performers will now unite their hearts to perform the seated service and Teodori joyously and in high spirits. Please accept our prayers as we brothers and sisters of this Path have looked forward to this day and have gathered before You to sing the Mikagura-uta.

Through your blessing and guidance five persons from Pearl Church attended the Church Headquarters October Grand Service. Also, two members from Pearl Church attended the Tengen Branch Church Women’s Association General Meeting held on October 28th. Two person returned Jiba for the month of October. We give thanks that an average of three persons are helping with yard work for the elderly and disabled in our community. Twenty persons participated in the Trick or Treat for UNICEF activity in Waikiki including five from Pearl Church and we are encouraging people to make donations using the UNICEF collection boxes. We thank you deeply to these wonderful blessings. Pastor’s son Lewis returned to Honolulu with his wife Mimi and daughter Olivia.

In this eleventh month of the 175th year of Tenrikyo, we have received Instruction Three from the Shinbashira and vow to continue to work together engaging in hinokishin and salvation work with a unity of mind as we work towards commemorating Oyasama’s 130th Anniversary in 2016. We pray for the victims and survivors of conflicts and disasters in the world; that they may have faith and resolve to overcome their grief and suffering.

We pray that Your guidance will strengthen us into worthy Yoboku, striving with a single heart for the salvation of others. We hope that our efforts will bring joy to You and peace in this world where we all help one another as brothers and sisters. With our minds in unity towards the Truth of the Jiba, we would like to spiritedly perform the November Monthly Service today.

In union with the congregation, I pray for these blessings.