The June Monthly Service of Tenrikyo Church Headquarters was conducted in the Main Sanctuary on the morning of the 26th with the Shinbashira presiding as chief officiant. Due to the onset of the rainy season, the Yamato Aogaki mountains on the eastern edge of the Home of the Parent were blanketed in rich hues of green, and although the sky was overcast, the intense sunlight breaking through the clouds from time to time served as a reminder that midsummer was not far off.
Ascending the dais in the Main Sanctuary, the Shinbashira delivered the Service prayer. After expressing gratitude for the constant blessings that God the Parent showers upon us day after day, he made a resolution on behalf of all head ministers and Yoboku, saying: “We are determined to reflect on ourselves constantly while pondering deeply over the truths of the season shown to us and devote ourselves to constructing our minds so that we may melt ever more thoroughly into the mind of the Parent. Going through every situation in the spirit of single-heartedness with God while dedicating the full measure of our sincerity, we are committed to advancing our missionary activities in high spirits and unity of mind.”
After the Kagura Service and the Dance with Hand Movements had been performed in high spirits, Honbu-in Yoichiro Miyamori, head of Tenrikyo Overseas Department, delivered the sermon. He began by saying: “From the point of view of our worldly common thinking, the mind of sincerity may not seem very reliable. There might even be times when we feel that we are losing out by embracing the mind of sincerity. Yet, from God the Parent’s point of view, nothing is so dependable as the mind of sincerity, and, in fact, it is in response to our mind of sincerity that God the Parent bestows blessings upon us.” Reminding the congregation that the mind of sincerity requires “a transformation from praying for our own salvation to embracing the state of mind that is focused on the salvation of others,” Rev. Miyamori emphasized the importance of performing the monthly services and daily services with a heartfelt prayer for the well-being of others.
Basing himself on a passage from the Osashizu, The Divine Directions, Rev. Miyamori gave some pointers concerning the path of single-hearted salvation. “First,” he said, “the path of single-hearted salvation is the one and only path that is in perfect accord with the Parent’s mind. Second, it is not the sort of path that can be followed if we give priority to our families or ourselves. Third, no matter how difficult the journey along the path may be, it is guaranteed to bring delight in the future, so long as we continue to follow it without giving up midway.” He suggested that what is important in following the path of single-hearted salvation is to achieve a new way of thinking–an awareness that is entirely different from our ordinary, worldly common thinking. “Our awareness can be transformed,” he continued, “just by meeting every situation with the thought ‘How would Oyasama handle this situation?'” He went on to say, “In that sense, every knot, or adversity, that we encounter is a chance to transform our awareness.”
In closing his sermon, Rev. Miyamori told the listeners, “Even if our paths of life are difficult at the moment, or even if we occasionally find ourselves lacking confidence in our lives of faith, let us steadfastly continue to devote our sincerity to the utmost each and every day, so that we may fully respond to Oyasama’s constant love and parental care.”