The June Monthly Service was conducted on the 26th in the Main Sanctuary of Tenrikyo Church Headquarters with the Shinbashira presiding.
Because of the rainy season, which in this region began a week later than average, it rained continually, making it a wet and humid Service day. Among worshipers wearing rain gear, some children could be seen enjoying walking in the rain puddles.
In the Service prayer, the Shinbashira expressed appreciation to God the Parent for creating the world and humanity and for compassionately leading human beings toward spiritual maturity. He then proclaimed: “All of us Yoboku, including the church head ministers, see the various things happening in the world today as urging us to ponder how Your fervent parental heart worries over the dreadful and dangerous paths that may lie ahead and apologize for the delay in our spiritual growth as Your instruments. We resolve to reexamine and steady our footing, uniting ourselves ever closer in single-heartedness with God as we work to the utmost of our ability toward the building of the world of the Joyous Life.”
Following the prayer, the Kagura Service and the Dance with Hand Movements were joyously performed, and followers sang the Mikagura-uta in unison.
Honbu-in Taketo Hashimoto took the lectern to deliver the sermon. He began by driving home the idea that the world of the Joyous Life is a world in which all human beings live in peace, helping and getting along with one another. It is a world in which a new civilization that has never existed before will be built. He declared that the present spirit of self-interest and instant gratification pervading society is remote from the Joyous Life. He emphasized that the cultivation of the mind that seeks to help save others is an essential prerequisite for a culture or civilization of mutual help to take form and bring the world of the Joyous Life into reality.
Rev. Hashimoto stated: “Even a tiny speck of dust that is invisible to the eye can become causality of the sort that cannot be easily erased if this dust is allowed to pile up high enough. . . . That we are instructed to ceaselessly sweep dust away from the mind so it does not turn into causality is a practical ethic we are to implement and a way of life that leads to the reconstruction of the world into the world of the Joyous Life.”
He continued to say: “To sweep away the dust of the mind, it is important to shift from a self-centered mind to a mind centered on others—that is, to proactively apply the mind for the sake of others and the world.” He then stressed that efforts have to be made to actually help save others and that administering the Sazuke is the most meaningful of such efforts.
Rev. Hashimoto later touched upon how family and regional ties are dissolving and spoke of how Tenri Yotokuin Children’s Home, established with the support of the Women’s Association, recently celebrated its 100th anniversary. He then indicated that the aim of Tenrikyo’s welfare activities such as managing the children’s home is the spiritual growth of both the providers and receivers of welfare assistance that will help lead them to the Joyous Life. In other words, it is the cultivation of the mind that seeks to help save others.
In conclusion, Rev. Hashimoto said: “The true meaning of saving others is to have someone become of a mind that seeks to save others. We must make efforts to look after people until they are ready to set out on their own as Yoboku. Let us walk in high spirits on the path that seeks to save others and bring into reality the world of the Joyous Life, which God the Parent so eagerly desires.”