Thank you all for joining your hearts and minds in performing the July 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.
What is the Message Behind the Gulf Oil Spill?
As all of you know we are experiencing an ongoing oil well leak in the Gulf of Mexico that is turning into a giant ecological disaster. We hear it in the news every day, how wildlife such as birds, turtles and fish are killed by this massive pollution. Also how peoples livelihoods are being affected, by jobs that have been discontinued and companies going out of business, such as in fishing and tourism. There are also reports of underwater oil plumes that are depleting the oxygen in the water killing fish and other deep sea animals.
The news agencies also report that people are very angry. They are angry at the oil company British Petroleum for not taking safety precaution, they are angry at the government for not enforcing or making stricter safety regulations and they are angry that BP and the government is not doing enough to stop the oil leak and not doing enough to clean up the oil mess or to prevent the oil from reaching the shores. So everybody ends up playing the blame game.
While the investigation into the cause of the disaster, the final capping of the leak and cleanup will take months if not years, the fact remains that this is a big problem and it could happen again, if we don’t take steps to prevent it.
Here in Hawaii, we don’t feel the effects of the gulf oil spill at least not yet, perhaps the long term effect might be felt in increased gas prices and higher electricity costs. The tendency might be to think that it doesn’t concern us, but we all live on the same planet and we all must take steps to help solve this problem.
In the Ofudesaki we read:
The thought that all is well if the present is well for the self
alone, is entirely mistaken. III: 33
In the case of illness and personal problems, we as Tenrikyo followers must reflect on the way we use our mind on a daily basis, realize God’s message, and to take steps that will be in accord with the intentions of God the Parent.
What is God’s message in this Gulf Oil Spill?
On the internet, I found a several websites which addressed this question: One website http://www.prayerforce.org/prayerblog/2010/06/04/spiritual-approach-to-bp-oil-spill-part-3/ instructed its readers to “envision all that oil spewing out as love,” that the oil represents “God’s love,” and that “everything is God.”
It continues: “Affirm it is love. See it as love. Make it beautiful. What you are telling God is that you want God to transform that oil, and this situation into something beautiful. Two or five or ten or twenty years from now the repercussions from this spill may have transformed how we produce energy.
The Gulf could be a paradise without oil wells, Energy companies and environmentalists may be working together for the highest good. We may all be more engaged and empowered.
Another website (http://indianinthemachine.wordpress.com/2010/06/07/what-is-the-spiritual-meaning-of-the-oil-spill-that-is-occurring-in-may-2010-in-the-gulf-of-mexico/) said that this is “wake up call”… that we should wake up and realize that we should stop damaging the environment.
Another website called ezinearticles.com gave an answer I thought is in more line with the Tenrikyo teachings. It says:
One cannot hold just the owners or managers of the rig to blame. One must hold the entire human race and culture to blame in which the Earths' needs have not been given the highest priority. Such an imbalance has set man's greed as the highest priority, and the needs of the Earth as a much lower level priority.
Out of the pain that this tragedy is causing to the Earth, a steadier movement shall grow toward balance and respect for the Earth that has not yet taken place.
When the Earth becomes part of one's self, then, and only then, will the correct balance be achieved, and not with the present idea of 'having' and 'getting' being uppermost in people's minds.
All these are interesting and good to consider. In the Tenri (Jiho) weekly newspaper there is an article about the oil spill that I would like to share:
It says that the all things including the oil are blessings of God. The oil provides us with gasoline for our cars, energy to produce electricity and oil byproducts help to make many useful things.
However with many useful things when received in excess, causes problems. It causes us to waste things. It tells us to use things in moderation.
Just seeing the oil spewing out from the well thousands of feet on the ocean floor, with no end in sight… it seems so wasteful not to mention being harmful to the environment. And I cannot help but feel that it’s a reflection of how I’ve have been wasteful in the use of this resource and being wasteful in general, in our daily lives… whether it be using the car instead of walking a short distance or leaving the light on in a room that I’ve already left. The constant oil gushing out is a reflection of my excess and the wasteful way I’ve been using my time like watching TV for a long time. I would like to take this opportunity to “wake up” from my unawareness and take positive steps toward living in moderation and protect the earth. I’m more conscious of how I use my time, more conscious of my use of electricity and try to turn off things while not in use. Try to walk or bike instead of using the car.
As one person, we cannot do big things like end wars and we cannot stop the oil leak. But we can start with ourselves. We can start by changing the way we think about how we use our resources, reduce our greed; reduce the amount of energy we use and reduce the things we buy. And as a church we’ve started using the reusable eco bags for our shopping to reduce the amount of plastic being produced and we recycle our newspaper, cardboard and containers. Please take this opportunity to reflect and join us in taking active steps to curb our excess and make good use of things, cut our energy waste and protect the environment.
In the Osashizu, we read:
I have all sorts of things reflected in the world. There, everything is reflected in the world. The world is a mirror. With each of you, everything is reflected on the body according to your own state of mind. February 4, 1889 (Meiji 22)
I would like to thank all who helped at the recent Tenrikyo picnic and for joining us in fun and fellowship.
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 3. If you happen to be available during that time, please join us in this important church hinokishin.
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.
This month is the month of the BGA annual Children’s Pilgrimage so as chairman I will be accompanying a group to Jiba from July 19 through the 30th.
Next month is the annual Tenrikyo Bazaar, we would like to again ask for everyone’s support in purchasing bazaar scrips and BBQ chicken and in Bazaar hinokishin.