Resident Ordained Minister in Canada
First of all, I would like to express my deepest condolences for the people who were killed in the Great Earthquakes in Kumamoto and Oita in Kyushu Island in Japan on April 14th, and the Great Earthquake in Ecuador in South America on April 16th. I also would like to pray for the immediate recovery of their daily life and that their suffering will be removed shortly and I pray for the fast reconstruction of the disaster areas.
When April started, I was thinking that spring was just around the corner but we actually had some snow and had to cancel the first Cycling Activities in Toronto due to cold weather.
Later, I went to Vancouver to conduct the Regional Lecturers and Propagators Study Class, Mrs. Teruko Taniguchi’s 28th year Memorial Service and Memorial Tablets Burning Ceremony. When I arrived at about 7 pm on April 7th, it was more than 14 degrees Celsius and I felt it was hot. I realized how large Canada is.
However, now that it is in the middle of April, I can say spring has finally come in Toronto. When I walk outside, I was able see people who were honestly enjoying the coming of spring. I could say that it is because we are essentially one with nature.
This year too, coincide with Earth Day on April 22nd, our Skype group decided to practice “Shinsokan to Visualize the Four Immeasurable Minds and Prayer World Peace”, read “Prayer to Visualize Grand Harmony Between Nature and Human Beings” and either “Song in Praise of Nature” or “Song in Praise of the Bodhisattva Who Reflects the Sounds of the World” during the Earth Day week from Monday, April 18th to Friday April 22nd.
I also made a commentary on “Prayer to Visualize Grand Harmony Between Nature and Human Beings” by reading each paragraph with participants during my Sunday Service Lecture on April 17th at Toronto Centre.
Rev. Masanobu Taniguchi, President of Seicho-No-Ie, wrote in “Prayer to Visualize Grand Harmony Between Nature and Human Beings” as follows:
In the True Image of the world created by God, nature and human beings are always in harmony as one. Nature supports and sustains human beings, gives them ways in which to express themselves, and gives them joy. Human beings are grateful for this, love nature, nurture it, and make it abundant. There is no gap and no strife between them nor is there even distinction or difference between the two.
(“Song in Praise of Nature” p1)
In order to realize a harmonious world on this earth which has been already realized in the True Image World, it is important for us to practice the Three Important Religious Practices (Shinsokan, reading the holy sutras and the songs of praise [Song in Praise of Nature, Song in Praise of the Bodhisattva Who Reflects the Sounds of the World], reading Seicho-No-Ie books and other publications, and carry out deeds of love) in our daily life.
It is especially important to practice “Shinsokan to Visualize the Four Immeasurable Minds and Prayer World Peace”, read “Prayer to Visualize Grand Harmony Between Nature and Human Beings” and either “Song in Praise of Nature” or “Song in Praise of the Bodhisattva Who Reflects the Sounds of the World” and do deeds of love.
Rev. Masanobu Taniguchi wrote in “Prayer to Visualize Grand Harmony Between Nature and Human Beings” as follows:
A major earthquake is not the “wrath of God”; it is a “lesson from the Bodhisattva Who Reflects the Sounds of the World.” It is when we no longer have them that we realize just how many blessings nature has given us. We are being taught that no matter how many manmade structures, fields, harbors, roads, power lines, Internet systems we build, if we ignore and neglect nature’s exquisite and expansive structure and energy and make the foolish mistake of trampling it down and violating it, life in a civilized world will be destroyed instantly. The Bodhisattva Who Reflects the Sounds of the World, who is our true nature, is teaching us human beings, “Be more humble,” “Realize that you are a part of nature,” “Restore the you who is one with nature.”
(“Song in Praise of Nature” pp 8-9)
As it is written as “A major earthquake is not the ‘wrath of God’; it is a ‘lesson from the Bodhisattva Who Reflects the Sounds of the World,” we should “Realize that we are a part of nature,” “Restore the we who are one with nature” in our daily life.
Since April 24th is the anniversary of Mrs. Teruko Taniguchi’s passing, we had Mrs. Teruko Tanicuhi’s 28th Memorial Service not only in Japan but at the centres all over the world. Mrs. Teruko Taniguchi wrote article ‘Remembering the Beginning Days of Our Periodical’ in her book Mezame yuku Tamashii, “The Way to Spiritual Awakening” As follows.
At that time, we did not have a maid, not only my husband but I was also extremely busy every day. In addition to the task as an ordinary house wife such as cleaning the room, doing the laundry, cooking, needlework and shopping, I had to do all clerical work of the publication such as editing, distribution, correspondence and reception of the visitors. Whenever I think back, I cannot remember how I was able to manage it. However, in such a busy time, I grew grass and flowers as usual. Then my neighbors were glad to receive those flowers of which roots were divided.
(Mezame yuku Tamashii, “The Way to Spiritual Awakening” p68)
We can tell that Mrs. Teruko Taniguchi lived with the awareness of oneness with nature despite her busy schedule.
Then Mrs. Emiko Taniguchi introduced in her book Kokorono Tabiji “A Mind’s Journey” that Mrs. Teruko Taniguchi was taking great care of things by reminding her of the following words in the kitchen.
Things are not just things.
They are manifestation of God’s life.
Use Water sparingly
Use fire sparingly
Do not waste even a piece of vegetable –
Potato, carrot, burdock
Apologize if you crack the small saucer,
Remember to extend the life of all things,
Organic or inorganic
Everything are entrusted to us by God.
(Kokorono Tabiji “A Mind’s Journey” p208)
Mrs. Teruko Taniguchi lived her life by recognizing a matter is not simply a matter and to worship them as manifestation of God’s life and Buddha’s life and at same time she supported her husband, Rev. Masaharu Taniguhi, by living the teaching of Seicho-No-Ie in her daily life. If we also worship matters as manifestation of God’s life and Buddha’s life and without seeing them simply as a mass of things, we will be able to realize heaven on this earth. Thank you very much.