Oceania Centre Celebrates 5th Anniversary with Gathering of Followers

Some 60 people assembled on December 14 at Tenrikyo Oceania Centre–located in Brisbane, Australia–to commemorate the Centre’s 5th anniversary. The event, attended by Director-in-Chief of Administrative Affairs Masahiko Iburi, began with the performance of the seated service, followed by a speech by Oceania Centre Head Masafumi Adachi.

Director-in-Chief Iburi then delivered a commemorative address. “If we are Yoboku and have faith in the teachings of Oyasama,” he said, “we should have the mind of Oyasama firmly settled in our own mind.” The “mind of Oyasama” is twofold, he said, and could be seen both as the “mind of joy,” which is a mind that feels gratitude to God the Parent, and as the “mind of saving others”–that is, the mind that wishes to help others be saved. He explained that the practice of faith on this path lies in deepening the mind of joy and gratitude, which could be advanced by putting the teachings into practice. By thus making spiritual growth, one can settle the mind so as to be thankful, not merely for what might be termed special blessings, but for the very blessing of being alive each day. He said that those who feel truly grateful for the gift of life would naturally seek to make repayment for the blessings they receive and that the best way to do this is to “save others,” as instructed by Oyasama. He said that to save others means to try to open up the mind of people who have withdrawn into their shell–where they can care only about themselves–and to help them cultivate the mind that cares about others. He added: “As individuals, we may be powerless. . . . Nevertheless, if we have the ‘mind of joy’ that allows us to appreciate the blessings of God the Parent, we can reach out to others with the ‘mind of saving others’ and make a difference in helping them connect with Oyasama.”

In closing, he encouraged the listeners to spend the next three years striving to sprinkle the fragrance of the teachings and save others–for these are endeavors that embody the spirit of Instruction Two–so that at the time of the 120th Anniversary of Oyasama they could show Her the highest level of spiritual growth that they could attain during this period. His address was followed by discussions involving the audience.

The participants, including those from Perth, Melbourne, and Sydney, stayed on to attend the monthly service the next day. It was performed in a spirit of unity as all present rededicated themselves to working to prepare for the 120th Anniversary of Oyasama. Later that day, the Oceania region’s church and mission station heads gathered for a meeting to share ideas about possible instructional programs that might be offered in Oceania.

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