Wednesday, January 27, 2016

130th Anniversary

On January 26, 2016 the Grand Service was held at the Main Sanctuary at the Jiba in Tenri City, Nara  Prefecture. The were so many people there that it was hard to walk towards the Jiba.


The normal accesses were controlled. Either they were designated entrance only, exit only, or simply closed off. This was due to the many people that were there, and to prevent any mishaps.




All areas of the sanctuary were packed with people. There were even people sitting in the nearby playground area and tea house, and other open--or what used to be open--spaces. 

Up until this day, it was said to be very cold... Well it was cold, but on this day, the sun was out, and it was a little warmer than it had been in the past few days. The weather was clear and sunny. Many people were bumping into acquaintances not seen in a while. There were many happy moments, hugs, and handshakes.

It was a beautiful day for the service.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

January Message 2016

Thank you everyone for your participation in the Spring Grand Service.

 This year marks the year of Oyasama's 130th Anniversary. I am sure that we have all been working spiritually for this in the past three years, one thousand days. But it does not need to stop here. We should continue our efforts throughout this year, and even afterwards. It also does not have to be a big project.

While driving one morning, I was listening to the radio. The two DJ's were talking about the traffic and how there is less "Aloha Spirit." One of them said, "I show my 'aloha' and let people into my lane in front, but if I don't see that hand wave or shaka, I lose it!"

Growing up in Hawai`i, I have come to understand that "aloha" is more than just hello or goodbye, there is a deeper meaning, a meaning that is laced with gratitude. When you bid someone "aloha" you are welcoming them into your life at that moment, thanking them for the wonderful time spent together, appreciating them helping you, or valuing them for letting you help. It is almost like Hinokishin.

Some people pair Hinokshin with Volunteer work. I was taught that the difference between the two, is that when you volunteer, the people you help will say, "thank you." In Hinokishin, it is the ones volunteering that will say, "thank you."

Going back to the DJ, I don't think the DJ really had the Aloha Spirit as was stated. When you use "Aloha Spirit," you are doing something for the other person, not yourself. Once you expect a "thank you," especially when you make a big deal out of it, it becomes about you, not the other person.

I also don't think that the Aloha Spirit is really less. I believe, that it is all around us. If you "look for it" you will never find it. It just has to happen. It also happens more often, when we're the first to give Aloha. By being the one giving aloha, you change the atmosphere, and become one that may influence another to spread the aloha as well. There are no guarantees, the only one you can control is yourself. You can't really control someone else's actions, you can only control what you do. But if people like what you do, they can choose to do it as well.

I would like to ask each of you in this special time to go ahead and spread some aloha spirit, bring joy into someone's life, and perhaps they'll join us here one day, and also try to bring joy into another person's life. Make it about them, be the one to say thank you, and also thank God the Parent for allowing it to happen.