Tenri University’s Oyasato Institute for the Study of Religion is marking the year of the 120th Anniversary of Oyasama–formally observed on January 26–by presenting a public lecture series entitled “Tenrikyo’s Cosmology and Modern Society.” The fifth lecture in the series, which drew 127 people, was delivered on May 25 by Mr. Yomei Mori, a researcher at the institute, who spoke on the Tenrikyo teaching that “the mind alone is the truth of oneself.”
This series, consisting of lectures given on the 25th of each month in Doyusha Hall, seeks to throw fresh light on the teachings in the hope of encouraging the listeners to reflect critically on the usual way of thinking and looking at things in modern society, for such reflection may help enrich their life of faith.
Mr. Mori began his lecture by telling the audience that the Japanese language has more than 1,500 phrases that contain the term “kokoro,” which translates as “mind” and/or “heart.” He went on to quote a Divine Direction that says, “With human beings: the body is a thing borrowed, the mind alone is yours” (Osashizu, February 14, 1889). He then explained what Tenrikyo says about the mind, basing his remarks on scriptural material drawn mainly from the Ofudesaki, The Tip of the Writing Brush, and the Mikagura-uta, The Songs for the Service. The Scriptures teach that the mind is something that can be used freely; that it is prone to doubt and shallow thinking; that it is often not quick to understand; that it is changeable; that it tends to accumulate “dust”; and that it differs from person to person.
Then citing the Mikagura-uta verse that says, “The origin of illness lies in your own mind” (X:10), he suggested that the key to helping people overcome illness and other problems is to try to find a way to enable them to transform the mind so that it can allow for the Joyous Life. This transformation, he said, refers to the process through which the mind becomes pure and clear.
Mr. Mori went on to tell the listeners that the importance of the teachings about the mind is not limited to missionary or salvation work; rather, in the ordinary course of daily life one must understand and respect the nature of the mind–namely, that the mind differs from person to person and that it is easily influenced by environmental and cultural factors. The Divine Model of Oyasama, he said, shows that She never created any barriers in Her relationships with others and that Her capacious heart was always welcoming and open to all people. “Trying to keep our mind spacious will help us live in accordance with the parental heart of Oyasama,” he added.
His lecture generated great interest and a number of questions.