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.
This World is a Mirror
The Shinbashira, in this past January Grand Service, emphasized the importance of enjoying family time and asked us not miss the precious family gathering time. He said that there is a tendency in the weakening ties between husband and wife and parent and children to become “lost” as to who we can rely on. The breakdown of the family is now undermining society at large.
Nowadays, approximately 50% of marriages end up with divorce in the US. One out of two couples is divorced.
Oyasama accepted divorce as an exceptional case, however if the divorce rate increases as a matter of course, we are not really facing toward the Joyous life. There are cases of remarriage with children from the previous marriage. I would imagine the children will be in a complicated situation. Naturally, single parent families are increasing. When the child becomes independent, the parent lives alone and the number people in solitary death is increasing. It is a sad story but this reality.
The development of the internet, video games and cell phones cause people to stay in their room and still communicate with other people. But this is more isolation and people become uncomfortable with person to person relationships. I don’t know if the internet, cell phones and games is the cause, but there is a rapid growth of people who are suffering from depression and autism.
There is a study which shows that the number of autism cases among preschool children has been growing rapidly from 1990 through 2007, especially in California. It is constantly increasing, 7 or 8 times during these 17 years. And it is still increasing even now; not only in the U.S. but throughout the world.
People are wondering what the cause is. Is it mercury, chemicals in our food, synthetic seasoning, contaminated food or is it vaccinations which contained thimerosal? None of them have been conclusive.
Taeko goes to public elementary schools to serve as interpreter for Japanese parent whose children have delayed learning disorder. She has been to many different elementary schools in Honolulu. Most of the meetings involve children who have autism. A psychologist told her that the number of cases is reaching epidemic proportions.
Why does God show us serious illnesses one after another? In the olden days, tuberculosis was the frightening and terrible disease of that time that people wouldn’t survive once they got infected. However, now, due to advanced medicine we are able treat tuberculosis. You would think that because of advanced medicine, we wouldn’t have any disease. But in actuality, there are many incurable diseases, such as mad cow disease, breast cancer and cholera.
In the Mikagura-uta, we sing:
The innermost hearts of all in the world,
Are reflected to Me as in a mirror.
Mikagura-uta, VI: 3
This verse says that all the thoughts of humans are reflected to God entirely like a mirror. Our hand motions go like this: One hand in the front with the palm toward your face and alternating with the other hand in the back with palm toward the back of the head. This means that God can see through our mind.
Just recently, a lady from Moscow, Russia, visited Pearl Church. She said that everything here was new to her and that it was the first time she ever visited a sanctuary like this. She asked , “What is the meaning of the mirror on the shrine.” I promptly answered that the human mind have dust and that it is reflected to God as in a mirror. That is why we have earthquakes, tidal waves, floods and hurricanes. She agreed and said that it makes sense.
Most of the people here today have close family ties. When husband and wife are close in their relationship, chances are that they are successful in everything: their occupation and family life. On the other hand if they are not close and have bad feelings toward each other, they are probably not happy even if they are successful in their occupations.
If you can see the good points of your spouse, then you have a purified mind. However, if you can only see the bad points then it means that YOU also have a lot of faults. When you have a lot of faults, you will always feel uneasy and be bothered by others. You can check your mind by the way you think of others, especially your spouse.
How can we as a family put our minds together so that we can get along and function as a close and loving family? It is to have good communication by talking to each other every day.
Having a mind of appreciation, of helping each other, and a mind of modesty.
What kind of mind is a mind of modesty? I’d like to share a story from the Anecdotes of Oyasama: #32
It Depends on the Wife’s Word
When she was in her teens, Yasu, daughter of Rihei Matsuda of Kosaka Village in Yamato, helped cook for Oyasama for several years. Oyasama said:
“When a meal you have cooked is brought in, my heart seems to open up,”
And She enjoyed Yasu’s cooking. Her meal consisted of rice gruel with a few soybeans. When it was not busy, there were times when Yasu was alone with Oyasama. During these times, Oyasama taught Yasu many things. On one such occasion, Oyasama taught her:
“Dear Yasu, a man, any man, is what a wife’s word makes him. Even if he is a man who is apt to be called a fool by others, if his wife treats him with respect and says politely, ‘Welcome home, dear,’ when he comes home, people will say, ‘Although we call him a fool, judging by the respectful way his wife treats him, he must be a great man.’ Whether the husband becomes a great man or a fool depends on the wife’s word.”
When Yasu was twenty-three, Oyasama arranged a marriage for her into the Inui family of Shoyashiki Village. The meeting of the prospective bride and groom was held in Oyasama’s room. At that time, Oyasama said:
“God says, ‘This person and that person.’ In this way, the matter is settled. After it is settled, do not sever it. If it is severed, the one who severs it will be severed.”
Then She moved Her hands three times, saying:
“Good, good, very good.”
There are many people having problems between husband and wife and between parent and children. The second Shinbashira encouraged us to become a kind-hearted person. This is our given mission as a person of the Path.
Thank you for your attention.
- Thank you for bringing your deposit cans and bottles for our fundraising drive. We are still continuing our fundraising efforts for the repainting of Pearl Church which is nearing completion. Please continue bringing your deposit cans and bottles and any yard work referrals.
- I would like to recognize Robert Nam, Moses Nakao, James Katsumoto and Russell Barre who have been helping with the painting hinokishin. We still have a little touch up painting, scraping off paint from the windows and concrete and putting everything back. If you happen to be available anytime during the day, 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. Please join us so that we may give our best effort in performing the monthly service.
- Due to your support I was able to attend the October Grand Service at Tengen Bunkyokai on October 23 and church HQ on October 26.
- I would like to thank everyone for your support of the Trick or Treat for UNICEF fund drive by passing out and returning the orange collection boxes.
- At this we have an important announcement from the Hawaii Convention Committee staff member, Moses Nakao.
- Please welcome new faces…