TENRIKYO PEARL CHURCH
JANUARY 2006 Spring Grand Service Sermon
THE WAY TO CLEANSE YOUR MIND
Happy New Year! Welcome to the first Grand Service of 2006.
I would like to express my sincere gratitude and appreciation to all of you for your support and assistance as well as your sincere contributions to Pearl church for the New Year, for today’s Spring Grand Service and all during last year.
This year marks the 169th year since Tenrikyo began, and the 120th year since Oyasama hid Her physical being. Yes, the year of Oyasama’s 120th Anniversa-ry has arrived. Oyasama shortened Her physical life by 25 years, to hasten us to become spiritually purified. To meet Oyasama’s expectations, we should always endeavor to cleanse our mind and make efforts to return to Jiba. This is the purpose of going to church and receive boundless blessings.
I would like to share parts of a sermon given recently at Tengen Bunkyokai by Rev. Seizou Yamada, a minister of church headquarters. He said:
‘Sometimes people come up to me and ask what kind of teaching is Tenrikyo?’ I respond by saying, ‘It is the way to clean our mind.’
In the Osashizu, the Divine Directions it says, ‘These are the teachings of purifying your mind.’
In the Mikagura-uta it says,
‘When your mind is completely purified, then comes paradise.’ (Song 1o:4)
Also it says, ‘This time, my innermost heart has become completely pure. How grateful I am!’ (Song 4:10)
God is telling us that when our mind becomes purified, then there is paradise. When we listen to the teachings of God and cultivate our mind, our mind becomes purified and becomes appreciative of everything.
In the Anecdotes of Oyasama, story #176 it says”
Oyasama spoke to (Gisaburo Nakata) one of the early followers and told him,
‘I can hear the words of a person who has purified his heart. But I cannot hear the words of a person who has not purified his heart.’
We pray and ask God for blessings. God answers quickly when our mind is clear, but when it is muddy and clouded with dust God cannot see or hear the prayer.
Then how can we tell if our mind is purified or not?
God taught us that, ‘when our mind is purified, we don’t get mad easily no matter what.’ For instance when you meet a neighbor on a street and say ‘Hi, how are you?’ and if he just ignores you, doesn’t say anything and just passes by; how would you feel? Most of us would feel angry. But God is saying anger is dust.
In order to sweep away the dust or a negative thought in our mind, we do the service. When we earnestly perform the Service, God, acting as a broom, sweeps away our dust.
In the Ofudesaki it reads’.
If only the dusts are cleanly swept away,
Then I shall work marvelous salvation. Part III: 98
There is person, Mr. A, whom I visit once in awhile and I told him that Tenrikyo teaches us to purify our minds. He said, ‘My mind is clean and purified so I don’t have to go to church.’
He says that his mind is clean and pure, but it is a fact that Mr. A has a problem in which some unknown person breaks into his garage and sets it on fire many times. First his car got damaged, and then their boat. They called the police and fire engine in the middle of the night. Luckily he and his wife were safe however; they cannot sleep with peace of mind. He put up camera and a video recording system, but they still cannot find out who is trying to make them scared.
Why does something like this happen?
I would like to talk about the Ten Aspects of God’s Providence.
In order to make God’s providence understandable to the people Oyasama distinguished ten aspects of the providence and explained these under ten sacred names.
This month, let’s study Ohtonobe-no-Mikoto.
Ohtonobe-no-Mikoto is the providence of pulling out the child from its mother during birth; in the world, the providence of pulling forth in general.
The strength of the muscle in pulling things out, the growth of our physical body, intelligence, developing a skill, the growth of crops, trees and branches, as well as our hair is the providence of Ohtonobe-no-Mikoto. In our life for instance one becomes promoted or have a successful life, in other words to develop or draw out one’s ability is also the providence of Ohtonobe-no-Mikoto.
According to Rev. Sawada Matataro’s spiritual guidance in his book ‘Satoshi, Satori’ page 23, he writes that problems of the muscle comes from the mind of arrogance. He writes that arrogance might cause a muscular illness. Whatever illness which involves the muscle, he believes that it is caused by the arrogant use of mind. I say this at the risk of hurting someone’s feelings. For that I apologize, but in any illness or problem we should all reflect on the way we use our mind and endeavor to clean and purify our mind.
Illnesses involving the brain also come from the arrogant mind. So we should draw out other people’s good abilities, support and cheer up other people. When we interfere and hold back a person’s ability to become promoted, our own capacity to advance will be held back. Always try to support others and be happy about other people’s success.
In this way, God will draw out and develop our abilities, heal our illness and promote our own success.
1. We have arrived to commemorate 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. The former pastor and I will be returning to attend the 120th Anniversary Service on January 26, 2006. In addition to my brother Elmer who lives in Japan and son Moses who will be returning on January 15th will be there. If anyone wishes to join me on this trip, please let me know.
2. This year as one of the activities of Oyasama’s 120th Anniversary, church headquarters will be conducting Tenri Forum 2006 from July 15-17 at Jiba. In order that we may generate interest in the Tenri Forum and to provide a similar forum on the local level a Hawaii Forum will be conducted this Saturday, December 15th, from 8:30am-3:15pm at Hawaii Dendocho. There is a suggested donation of $7 per person with lunch included. The forum will discuss church and social issues in relation to the teachings. Everything will be done in English so I encourage all English speakers to take the opportunity to participate in the discussion which will broaden your understanding of the teachings and its application.
3. The BGA will be conducting their leadership camp on January 28 & 29 (Sat & Sun) for kids ages 10 ‘ 18. And their annual New Year’s Hinokishin and BBQ Part will be held on the second day of the camp, January 29th Sunday at Stadium Park. Please meet at Dendocho at 9am or Stadium Park at 10am.
TENRIKYO PEARL CHURCH