TENRIKYO PEARL CHURCH SERMON ‘ 2005 March
Good morning! I would like to thank you all for your kind support and sincere offerings. I am sure that God the Parent and Oyasama is pleased to see you today to participate in this March Monthly Service 2005.
THE MESSAGE FROM WATER
As most of you know we are in the last year of the three years, one thousand days before Oyasama’s 120th Anniversary to be observed on January 26th, 2006. The 120th Anniversary activities will be observed throughout the year 2006. We will be commemorating 120 years since she hid her physical presence on January 26, 1887.
As members of the Tenrikyo Faith and as children of God the Parent, what does it mean to observe and commemorate Oyasama’s 120th Anniversary? Why do we have to go back to Jiba?
As you recall in the Divine Model, God the Parent was revealed through Oyasama as shrine and conveyed the Teachings not only through the spoken word, the writing brush, and through miracles of salvation, but also through Oyasama’s daily life. For 50 longs years, she showed us the way to follow the teachings, by first plunging to the depths of poverty, enduring ridicule, slander, direct opposition and violent attacks and being jailed 17 or 18 times. She went through all of this, always in high spirits and always endeavoring to show us the way to the Joyous Life, with perseverance, with patience and with courage. She taught us many times with kindness, sometimes with firmness, but always with deep parental love. Urging the followers to perform the Service despite the threat of police arrest, the followers finally complied and on January 26, 1887, Oyasama hid her physical self at the age of 90.
Just as parents and grandparents yearn to see their children and grand children during the holidays, God the Parent and Oyasama also, wishes human beings, children of God, to return to the origin, the original place of creation. And just as parents and grandparents wants to see how their children and grand children have grown and matured, God the Parent and Oyasama also wishes to see how human beings have matured spiritually.
What does it mean to grow spiritually? What is spiritual maturity? I believe and important aspect of spiritual growth is ‘gratitude.’
I would like to share with you a book ‘The Message From Water’ written by Dr. Masaru Emoto who recently gave a lecture at the Japanese Cultural Center on Beretania Street.
Water is the source of life. If water is contaminated, all creatures would be denied their existence.
Dr. Emoto placed samples of tap water from cities all over the world to be tested on petri dishes and froze them for two hours. He then examined them with a microscope and photographed them at 200-500 times magnification.
Water is the mirror of our soul. It reacts sensitively.
He came to understand that the shape of these crystals shows the different ‘faces of water.’ Then he let the water samples listen to music. First he took pictures of the water crystals before and then after exposing them to different types of music. (show photo on p. 74).
Next he experimented with how water reacts to language. He labeled one bottle with the word ‘thank you’ printed on it and the other bottle was labeled, ‘you fool.’ Then he left them both that way for one night. The next day he froze the water samples and took pictures of the crystals that formed. (show photo’s on p. 70)
He took pictures of numerous ice crystals using various words, but he found the most beautiful crystals for the water labeled, ‘love and gratitude.’ Indeed, there is nothing more important than love and gratitude in this world. Just by expressing love and gratitude, the water around us and in our bodies, changes into something so beautiful. So naturally we want to apply this information into our daily lives.
Dr. Emoto was diagnosed with diabetes 30 years ago and had various medical problems in the past. Originally, it was thought that he wouldn’t be able to walk. However, he hasn’t been under medication since he started living with the philosophy expressing love and gratitude for water. He believes that this has helped him and kept the diabetes from becoming a larger problem.
This is a picture of tap water from Shinagawa Ward of Tokyo, Japan where the water is contaminated. Dr. Emoto left water in a cup on the table and asked 500 people in different parts of Japan to send ‘chi,’ soul ‘and spirit’ of love and the wish that the water should become clean. He asked, ‘please transmit this feeling to this water on a set day and time from all over Japan.’
Surprisingly, through the beautiful pictures of the resulting crystals, we can see that people’s thoughts could be focused no matter how far apart they are. (p. 132)
This last picture is a picture of a crystal of water from Fujiwara Dam. A Buddhist chief priest performed a prayer chant for one hour beside the dam. The picture of the ice crystal before the experiment looks bad and in fact has the appearance of a face of a person suffering in great agony. After the prayer, the water in the lake became clear that the crystal after the prayer showed power and energy in their ‘soul’ based on the people’s consciousness. Love and appreciation harmonizes with water, it gives lots of energy in our life. Dr. Emoto says he had never seen a more beautiful and brilliant energy in this picture.
Also, 70 percent of our body is made of water. So you can see how important water is for our existence.
Every morning, after the sun rises and every evening before the sun sets, we have a prayer service. When we receive the morning sun light we receive a lot of energy. We offer water, fruits, vegetables and rice on the altar and start the service. We express love and gratitude to God for the new day and also thank God for the day, for our healthy bodies and being able to do our work. We give thanks to God for our family. The water we offer to God is just tap water, but I believe that this tap water is transformed into blessed or holy water after we offer it first to God and give thanks for it. When we drink this ‘holy’ water, we are able to live healthier.
I would like to share with you a story from the Anecdotes of Oyasama #84:
IN THE SOUTHERN HALF OF THE PROVINCE
‘. Koiso Yamanaka married into the Yamada family who lived in the southern half of the province (I think it means southern part of Nara Prefecture). Koiso found that Isa Yamamoto, a relative of the Yamada family, had been bedridden for more than five years due to the paralysis of her limbs. Koiso prayed to God for her recovery and repeatedly gave her sacred water. The following year, when her father, Chushichi Yamanaka came to visit them, Isa was marvelously healed. She rose to her feet, all her joints cracking, and was able to walk by herself. In her village, Koiso also found a girl named Naragiku Tanaka who had been blind for more than seven years. Koiso prayed to God for the girl’s recovery, each time washing her eyes with sacred water. Soon, she received God’s blessing. The mention of Koiso’s cure of the cripple and the blind girl became so well-known throughout neighboring villages that many people came to see her one after another.
It is not mentioned here, but I believe the sacred water referred to here is water that is offered in a prayer to God by Koiso. The water became sacred after it was prayed to.
As a side note, this gives greater meaning to having a shrine at home. We may think that a shrine is not necessary at home and we can give thanks to God without a shrine. But having a shrine gives us an opportunity to practice gratitude on a daily basis. Cleaning the shrine, putting up water and food offerings and taking them down, and doing the service helps us to nurture gratitude and harmony in our minds. This is then reflected in our daily interactions at home, school and the workplace, bringing about health and happiness in our lives.
Ladies and gentlemen, Tenrikyo is the teachings for your joyous life.
Thank you for your kind attention.
1. I would like to thank those who have contributed to the Tsunami Relief fund. Dendocho has set a deadline for March 20 for the relief fund drive so again, if you wish to make a contribution, please indicate Relief fund on the envelope.
2. We are in the last year before the 120th Anniversary of Oyasama and I would like to ask all of you to participate by returning to Jiba in 2006. We hope to form a pilgrimage group for the children’s summer pilgrimage and hope that many of you can join us. However, you can return anytime during the year and I or Mrs. Nakao will accompany you. In order to help defray the cost we have started a fund drive from several years ago from our garage sales. We are continuing our fundraising by offering yard services, so if you know of anyone who needs yard cleaning, please let us know.
3. The Boy’s and Girl’s Association Spring Camp will be held next Friday through Sunday, March 25-27 at Tenri Cultural Center. Please see me after the Service for an application.
4. The weekly service practices every Thursday night have resume again and we would like to invite all of you to attend. It starts at 6pm right after the evening service.
TENRIKYO PEARL CHURCH SERMON ‘ 2005 March