Monthly Guidance for February 2008
Monthly Guidance by Founder Niwano:
A Refreshed Mind Creates Auspicious Circumstances
I remember that Mr. Matsushita said, “The New Year is not a happy occasion just because the year is renewed. When the year is renewed, our heart and mind becomes refreshed as well.” Therefore, we say that the new year is special. It means we are enjoying a happy occasion, not only in the new year, but also whenever our mind and heart become renewed.
In order to renew our mind and heart, it is necessary to reflect and improve our attitude about life, which has become narrow and habitual, and make a fresh start.
To renew our heart and mind is generally called “Kaishin-reform oneself.” In Buddhism, we use the word “Kaishin-turn our heart and mind to the right way.” Kaishin means to turn our mind, which tends to seek for fulfilling worldly desires, to the world of the true teaching. To reflect and better oneself is to be reborn by taking refuge in the Dharma; it is Kaishin.
Seeking the teachings, and striving to improve our lives by putting the Dharma into practice, makes each day special and truly brings us joy.
From “Kaisozuikan 2”(Kosei Publishing Co.) p. 108~109 Translated by Rissho Kosei-kai International
Previous "Founder's Guidance"
Back to Top
Monthly Guidance from President Niwano:
Faith in Our Daily Lives
Rev. Nichiko Niwano
President of Rissho Kosei-kai
Not Out of the Ordinary
In Rissho Kosei-kai, it is important to us that “One’s faith is manifested in one’s life; One’s life is an expression of one’s faith.” Some people may feel, when hearing about “living with faith” and “walking the Buddha-way,” that doing so is something extraordinary, like making a major change in the lives they have been leading until now.
However, that we are able to realize all people and all of existence are caused to live by the law of impermanence, the absolute Truth, the law that permeates the universe, and live obediently according to this law, and make the most of each day, is in fact “walking the Buddha-way.” It is not something out of the ordinary.
Put differently, living with faith means receiving life as a human being, feeling heartfelt gratitude for being caused to live thanks to many other people and things, and being considerate of other people—this is the natural way of life for human beings, and we can call it walking the Buddha-way.
In Asia, we appreciate that religion is closely connected with morality and that morality is closely connected with religion. No matter who they are, everyone must understand the value of “obeying the rules” and “doing good deeds.” What religion and morals teach us is the importance of following this way to live.
We could say that morality as its principle instructs us through self-reflection to realize that our thoughts and deeds are shameful when we go against this basic code of conduct. Religion directs our minds to immerse ourselves in the great original source of life (“great self”), that is to say to revere the gods and buddhas.
Morality without religion, or religion without morality, should be considered as wrong, so it is important that the two as mutually inclusive is something we value highly.
The Life of the Great Self
We are usually preoccupied by the self, what can be called the “small self,” and swayed by our own feelings, our own likes and dislikes, and leading our lives often deliberately choosing what is not best for us. In Buddhism, however, since oneself and others are not separate but are one and the same, and since all things are the manifestations of the original source of life, we are taught to lead our lives by manifesting the great self from within ourselves. This is to naturally teach us that all depends on ourselves and we must put others first.” Zen has the saying, “The Way is not difficult, once preferences are abandoned,” which means the same as “the Buddha-way, the way leading to enlightenment, is not difficult, as long as one is not guided by selfish preferences, by likes and dislikes.” Because self-centered viewpoints and ways of thinking bind us tightly, we will feel at ease and achieve peace of mind by ridding ourselves of ego. Being able to savor this in daily life can be considered the merit of living with faith.
In February the ceremony marking the anniversary of Shakyamuni’s entering nirvana is held. Let us sincerely accept the Dharma preached by Shakyamuni, and strive with renewed energy to fulfill our vow to disseminate the teaching.
From “Kosei” Feb. 2008 Translated by Kosei Publishing Co.
Previous "Guidance from President Niwano"
Back to Top
Testimony of Faith
Copyright ©2003 Rissho Kosei-kai Hawaii, All Rights Reserved