The Lecture for Mothers, hosted by the Women’s Association Headquarters, was held on the afternoon of May 26 at Tenri City Auditorium, drawing 898 participants. This lecture, which has been organized every year over the past 38 years, aims to help women who are currently, or in the future likely to be, involved with child rearing attain spiritual maturity for the purpose of nurturing successors of the path.
The lecturer was Ms. Kazumi Ogura, director of Tenri Kindergarten. After explaining general methods and effects of early childhood education, Ms. Ogura referred to the educational philosophy of Tenri Kindergarten, which seeks to “expose children to the faith from their childhood and nurture them to become Yoboku for realizing the Joyous Life World so desired by God the Parent.”
She then gave participants some examples of carrying out that philosophy, saying: “When the water is left running from a water tap, we teach children that water is a blessing from God and shouldn’t be wasted. Also, when someone is absent from school due to illness, we tell the rest of the children to pray together to God for his or her recovery. At Tenri Kindergarten, educational settings like these can be seen on a daily basis.” She then stressed that such a way of incorporating faith into education would have a positive influence on the development of children’s mind, an influence that is not insignificant.
She went on to suggest that the important things that need to be taught from children’s early childhood to help them become instrumental Yoboku in the future are “an attitude to live joyously and positively,” “an ability to get along with others,” “a willingness to help those who are in trouble,” and “a close spiritual connection with God the Parent and Oyasama.” She said, “Faith will become second nature to children, if parents and adults around them show them examples of embodying those four qualities.”