The first session of the Seminar for Successors was held in Jiba, the Home of the Parent, between August 28 and 30 with an attendance of 1,114 men and women. It has been 10 years since the Seminar for Successors was last held. Intended for successors of the path between the ages of 20 and 40, the seminar seeks to provide opportunities for participants to develop their abilities to lead a life of faith joyously and spiritedly every day and make steady progress in their spiritual growth that leads to the Joyous Life.
The participants explored how to live in a manner based on the teachings and developed their self-awareness of being a successor of the path through attending three lectures, two faith experience speech rallies, five class discussion sessions, a video presentation, a tour of the historical buildings, an introductory session on either the Young Men’s Association or the Women’s Association, and an address by the Shinbashira.
Tenrikyo Church Headquarters is scheduled to sponsor a total of 25 sessions of the Seminar for Successors in Jiba, the Home of the Parent, between August 2017 and March 2018. During the same period, overseas sessions of the Seminar for Successors will be held at venues such as mission headquarters and centers, as well as other facilities, following a format similar to that of those held in Jiba.
On the first day, the 28th, the Seminar for Successors began at 11:00 a.m. with a performance of the seated service in the East Worship Hall. Following the service, the participants went to Dining Hall 3 to attend the opening ceremony, where Successor-Designate Daisuke Nakayama, who serves as chairman of the steering committee of the Seminar for Successors, addressed the participants. Portraying the three-day seminar as the preparation period for living a more enjoyable and meaningful life, he said, “Taking advantage of this opportunity, I very much hope that you will pay as much attention as possible to your own states of mind and change your focus so that your lives will be much more fun.”
After being divided into 36 groups, the participants attended class discussions 1 and 2 to deepen friendships among them. This was followed by faith experience speech rallies held separately for men and women at Dining Hall 3 and the East Lecture Hall.
On the second day, the 29th, the participants assembled at East Left Wing 3 to listen to the first lecture, “The Joyous Life: To Be Implemented in Our Everyday Life.” Then class discussion 3 was conducted in small groups where the participants talked about their personal relationships with people close to them, such as their parents, siblings, and relatives. This was followed by a video presentation entitled “Connecting the Mind to Jiba: A History of the Residence and the Growth of the Path” and a tour of the historical buildings, such as the Place for the Service, which is preserved behind the Foundress’ Sanctuary.
The afternoon program began with the second lecture, “The Implementation of the Joyous Life.” Then in class discussion 4, the participants turned their attention to their habits and temperaments and pondered over the implementation of the Joyous Life that they could actually do.
Following the discussion session, all participants gathered together at Dining Hall 3 to attend the joint faith experience speech rally. This was followed by introductory sessions on the Young Men’s Association and the Women’s Association that were held separately.
The third and final day of the seminar began with the third lecture, “The Path of Single-hearted Salvation,” delivered by a Honbu-in lecturer at Dining Hall 3.
After class discussion 5, the Shinbashira gave an address at the Foundress’ Hall. The Shinbashira said: “You have the role of learning and passing down the precious path laid by Oyasama. I hope that you will make use of what you have learned, experienced, and felt through this seminar as you live your lives from now on so that you can make progress along the path of spiritual growth.” The Shinbashira then asked his listeners to put their effort and ingenuity into keeping their minds joyous and positive, no matter what they see and hear, and continue to take strong steps along the path to the Joyous Life without getting impatient or anxious.
The seminar came to a close with a thanksgiving service in the East Worship Hall where all the participants pledged their resolve to continue their efforts to attain spiritual maturity as successors of the path.