Katsuragi Church Konko Daijin Grand Ceremony Lecture
Mr. Michinori Takeuchi, Konko Church of Airaku, Imari branch
Wagakokoro World Mission Movement
“All we need is water and earth”
Greetings to you all.
Today both my wife and I were fortunate enough to be warmly greeted by your Reverend’s children. It’s so wonderful. They already take it upon themselves to do this. That they take care to welcome visitors at such an early age shows how wonderful this church is.
I am 75 years old this year, but my faith record goes back just a bit further. That’s because if you include the faith from when I was still in my mom’s belly, you have to add another 9 months. I was very fortunate to come to the Konko faith at such an early age.
Because of this I already had the Oharai prayer memorized in my childhood days. And whenever I was ill, my mother treated me with omiki (holy sake) and goshinmai (a grain of holy rice). You can get well like this. We probably rely too much on medicine nowadays. We end up losing our ability to recover.
When we catch a cold, we take medicine right away to lessen the fever. And the fever subsides. But our natural defense mechanisms suffer. They get weaker and weaker. Our Founder teaches us that, “all we need is water and earth.” If we can receive sickness, too, as god’s work, we will always recover.
I have actually cured myself of caries through faith, without ever visiting a doctor. I’ve had pleurisy as well, but the lung that I had treated in the hospital still shows up on the x-rays. The side I didn’t have treated doesn’t show anything. So I treated my caries, too, with 360 goshinmai.
Right here is where the pus comes out. Every day you cover it with a goshinmai in its envelope. The goshinmai envelope absorbs that discharge. I used to change the goshinmai, put gauze and bandaids over it and then go to school.
I spent my fifth year of middle away from home in a rented room, so I couldn’t burn my bandages there, because there were full of pus and would smell bad. I changed those bandages morning and night for 6 months. I changed them twice a day, so after half a year and 360 goshinmai, my skin healed back.
I hadn’t been able to get in the bath up to my shoulders and it was so cold. So I was filled with gratitude when I was finally able to sink down to my shoulders.
I didn’t ever go to the doctor, but when they had physicals at school, they would see my bandages and ask what had happened. I would say, “I got hurt.” They would say, “Oh, ok,” and leave it at that. I don’t know, maybe they were quacks, but that’s how I would pass the physicals.
I ended up graduating 5th grade of middle school first in my class. I even got an award for perfect attendance. And at that time there was what they called Great Maneuvers, which was a 4 day 3 night field training. It was like army training. I was the Company Captain for this and always had to be in front of everyone. At night we stayed in little inns and I had to change my bandages but since I didn’t want the others to see me, I went out to those hay stack things that you see in the country, hid behind them and changed my bandages by the light of the moon.
So I have things in my lung that other people don’t. What’s in there is goshinmai and hydrogen peroxide. There’s gauze and there’s band-aids. And I was cured.
The gratefulness I felt at being able to soak myself all the way up to my shoulders after six long months was so great I could not stop thanking Kami. That kind of deep emotion is Wagakokoro. Do you all feel the Wagakokoro in you today? If you don’t feel it, that means you have not fully received the Konko faith. Our Wagakokoro is what unfailingly brings blessings from Kami; no other investment is necessary. It doesn’t matter is you are not good at prayer, what matters is attaining Wagakokoro.
Praying to heaven and earth
What wonderful weather we have today. I feel the divine virtue of this Katsuragi Church. I believe that it is the pure heart all of you have that has brought the blessing of this weather. Of course, rain is a blessing, too. If you are involved, like me, in city governance, all sunny weather is no blessing. If it doesn´t rain, it can end up like Kyushu this year, having problems with water shortages.
Understanding that we are to be grateful for both rainy days and sunny days and then receiving such beautiful weather can´t be done without divine virtue. This is the Katsuragi Church that you all are blessed to be in. How thankful we should all be for this.
And then, the awesome power of the Mitama Spirits. Having the fortune to be able to come to this church, I have felt very deeply this power of the Mitama Spirits. By the grace of this awesome power I am here celebrating this ceremony with you all today.
I get up every morning at 3:50, go outside and pray to heaven and earth. I´m no longer mayor, but I still do this. To lead a city´s government you have to have heaven and earth on your side. If there is just one disaster, for the sake of the people, you have to pray for the big ones to be smaller, for the small ones to not happen. This is why I get up every morning at 3:50 and pray to the universe.
First I pray to Parent Kami of heaven and earth, and then to all the gods all over. They say that in Japan there is a huge host of gods, and this is true.
Our founder believed in the 808 Konjin. The founders faith was truly amazing. He fully expressed his reverence to each and every one of these 808 Konjin. And even that wasn’t enough for him. He said that no god was beneath praise and prayed to the 808 Konjin, and to what he called “all other Konjin”.
There may still exist more Konjin that I can’t name, so I ask these gods for their help as well, and in doing so, even Kami takes note. This child of mine should be blessed.
We all believe that we are supposed to worship only one god, but I don’t know if we even do this often enough. I pray to the whole host of gods every morning. And because I may be missing something, I give praise to all the other gods of the universe and nature. This is what the founder did. So we can call all these other Konjin, all gods.
So you don’t have to call them Konjin or Tenchi Kane No Kami. You can praise them all in a single word. It’s what you have at heart. That is what is important.
My friends, faith should be practiced from an early age. I started while still in the womb.
After that I studied a lot. Through middle school, high school, college I studied a long time. And I was able to read a lot of books about various religions. I heard many teachings of all the prominent Konko ministers as well. And in all of the cases, after hearing the teachings of other religions, as well as different interpretations of Konkokyo, because I’ve practiced it since early childhood, I brought what I learned back to my own faith.
You come to realize, “Oh, now I see what that teaching really meant. “ Even while appreciating what you can learn from the wisdom of another religion, you take that back to your own beliefs. And you use this knowledge to go on deepening further and further your own faith.
So you have to start faith at that early age. If you do this you will always wind up back at your own faith. The Konkyo teachings are very simple, and if you want to learn them simply, it is very easy to do so. However, if you go on deepening them, you can go to great profundity. Our Oyasensei has been dedicating himself to the teachings and the Wagakokoro for 35 years.
Destined to connect with the Katsuragi Church
I’ve been fortunate enough to make the acquaintance of the Katsuragi Church for this occasion, but I was meant to be here. This was clearly shown to me by Kami.
I had met Katsuragi’s Head Minister at Airaku, and here at Katsuragi a young woman named Kuniko Ishimoto spent 10 days for spiritual training. She is an Airaku trainee.
Her father practiced the faith in my house. He came over the mountain from Sasebo. Sasebo is 40 minutes away by car. And he always came to the 5 o clock morning service with an elderly lady, Mrs. Etsu Tsugami (she’s now 93). Plus he always made a special trip to pick her up in the opposite direction. So he went out of his way to get Mrs. Tsugami, came over the mountain and to my house.
He was going through hard times then and couldn’t afford a decent car. He never knew just when it would break down. So if it stopped running somewhere, he would do his morning prayers from there. Even so, I didn’t hear of it breaking down that much.
On the way to service in the car, Mr. Ishimoto and Mrs. Tsugami listened to the teachings of Oyasensei. And they would encourage one another’s spirituality. This helped Mrs. Tsugami, now at 93 years, achieve peace of mind.
She used to practice a different religion but there were things she couldn’t reconcile; [this is why she turned to Konkokyo]. [But even so] she could never quite break through. It is necessary, though, to make that breakthrough. And what this breakthrough means is total acceptance. It’s like feeling you’ve died; but it’s not dying. We can be grateful for that.
Philosophers and such think you can’t be achieve peace without dying. But this faith achieves peace through the spirit of absolute acceptance. If you let yourself “die”, Kami will keep watch over you. I got a letter recently from Mrs. Tsugami. She’s finally made that breakthrough. It was deeply gratifying to see this.
The Tsugami family is proof of her accomplishment: every single one practices the faith. They all must have seen how she was with the faith, believed it to be right, and joined her.
If she hadn’t come to worship with Mr. Ishimoto, if she hadn’t heard those teachings, maybe things would never have turned out like this. Mrs. Tsugami’s faith would have ended up merely her own.
Mr. Ishimoto moved to Narita. And then his daughter came to train at Airaku. When your Reverend told me about Kuniko’s training here, I knew she was truly doing blessed work.
Kuniko never lets go of her book of Wagakokoro Teachings. They say she’s always walking around with it. It really is the foundation of our lives, our sustenance.
Where we receive Kami’s Will
Today Waka-sensei, current leader of our Airaku Church is in Tokyo attending the Kameari Church Grand Ceremony. The Reverend of the Kameari Church is a handicapped person. She is wheelchair-bound and cannot move alone. But her teachings are hearty and well-delivered. She performs mediation seated in her wheelchair. There were a lot of raised eyebrows when we sent an “invalid” from Airaku to spread the faith in Tokyo.
But we see Kami’s awesome power evermore present. Their congregation is constantly growing. And how does she do it? With Wagakokoro. What the reverend lacks in physical strength she makes up for in Wagakokoro. People with functioning arms and legs tend to rely too much on their bodies, at the expense of their spirit. In any endeavor, we must first gain Kami’s blessing. She doesn’t think about her body at all. She gives lectures. She gives mediation. She’s guaranteed blessings.
What do you all pray for in mediation? What do you seek to know? If you are sick and ask what you can do to get better, you are just searching for a topical solution, and this cannot really help you. The Mediation Place is where you go to seek Kami’s Will, and only that. You don’t find this in other religions.
If you go to a lawyer for some issue they won’t tell you, “that’s god’s will.” They won’t say, “difficulties, too, are blessings.” Would they say this in a doctor’s office? Our problems have to do with money, relationships, sickness; if you go to a financial institution with a problem, will they say, “that’s just divine will”?
If you come here to pray but not to seek out divine will, you will not have received Konko mediation. There’s no need to seek out anything else. You must seek to know what Kami has planned for you in relation to the problems you face here and now. If you can just be receptive to Kami’s will, it will be fulfilled. But some just can’t make themselves receptive. And then they criticize the church.
Konko-sama says “there’s no one who has it worse than Kami.” No one talks bad about their doctor even if they haven’t been cured after three or even five years of treatment. They keep going back. But if they feel so much as one prayer went unanswered they right away say they can’t count on Kami for anything.
Of course, they still are blessed by Kami nonetheless. It’s just that they didn’t get the blessing that they asked for. More than anything, the times when you don’t get what you expected are the times when you get more than you expected. You have to know this in your heart at all times.
When we ask for right and are told left, we tend to get frustrated right away. But you never know what kind of blessings will result from the left you were given while asking for right. From that moment the blessings are already starting. With a single heart blessings will follow. You have to really prepare your heart to recognize them.
So Waka-sensei is in Tokyo. My oldest son, who is currently training in Portland, is attending the Seattle Konkyo Church Grand Ceremony.
Today from Airaku to Tokyo we are all talking about Wagakokoro. In Seattle we’re talking about Wagakokoro. I have the blessing to be here at the Katsuragi Church today. It’s the Wagakokoro World Mission Movement. We need to accept Wagakokoro to achieve true peace. Konko-sama will put us where we need to be. We can be grateful to do this work.
Whenever Waka-sensei has important issues, he consults his Wagakokoro Book of Teachings. He receives blessings in accordance to what he is shown there. His grounding of every day in the Teaching of Wagakokoro is a sure path to blessings. Even now the believers continue to stream in from all over Japan.
There is one divine will. Divine will is related to all things in the same way. To receive it, is to receive blessings.
We have our Mediation Place, so we don’t necessarily need to consult the Teachings. If you take the question to mediation, you will be shown Kami’s will. From there, whether you’re told left or right, there is no complaining; no dissatisfaction; only acceptance of Kami’s will as it is. But of course you still have to pray.
Wagakokoro with good judgement
I myself prayed for the recent election. After praying for it, I left the rest to Kami´s judgment: If I lost, I would give thanks for the loss; Gratitude for defeat.
Now I can’t even describe in words the kind of blessings I am receiving. The city official car was a Toyota. Now when I decide to go somewhere a Mercedes-Benz comes to pick me up. My salary is also much greater than I received as mayor. I have never been short of rice; Kami provides the fruits and pastries.
You have to get rid of your self. People are always trying to find something to cling to, but we could get rid of this clinginess and give ourselves to Kami. We have to experiment to see which is the true way. This is what your Oyasensei has said. Trust in her mediation whatever it may be. You are sure to see Kami’s awesome power as a result.
So, Ms. Ishimoto says she sees Kami in everything. Do you all see Kami in everything? If we are constantly arguing with our children or spouse at home, we can’t know where to start to look for Kami.
There is a candy called Kintaro-ame, which comes in a roll and no matter where you slice it, the piece has the same picture on it. Oyasensei says, “no matter where you slice it, you should always see Kami.” For this, we need Wagakokoro.
This is what Konko-sama troubled most over. That people’s Wagakokoro was not as it should be; That it lacked good judgment. It is important for Wagakokoro to be perceptive. What we mean by “good judgment” is, for instance we say, “so and so is a man of good judgment”; that is, he has an uncanny facility of perception. If we can learn to perceive with Wagakokoro, Wagakokoro itself becomes good judgment.
If you have a problem, it should be solved with Wagakokoro. If you have tried other methods and still cannot solve it, it’s time to visit the Mediation Place. There you will be given Wagakokoro.
I myself make constant use of this. To develop true faith, you have to get to the point where no matter where you slice it, you find Kami. With this faith, your blessings come through spirit; not through physical austerities. At Airaku, physical austerities have been abolished. In the past, at Airaku, too, these austerities were in practice. They have since been abolished.
Konko-sama says, “practice not physical austerities, but those of the spirit.” He refutes physical austerities as “delusion.” So we must train our hearts; though this is no easy task.
Once a disciple told Konko-sama, “I plan to climb the mountain and practice austerities.” Konko-sama asked, “What kind of austerities?” The disciple responded, “I will climb an uninhabited mountain and eat less and less until in the end I drink only water.” To this, Konko-sama replied, “Make the mountain within your own heart and train there.” What do you think of putting the heart to use this way? I am sure Kami would take interest in such a practice.
The Reverend Mikio Seto talks about the concept of “positive thinking”. There aren’t many who can accomplish such thinking. Konko-sama is a positive thinking genius. To this day I am moved to tears when I read his words.
Blessings come from faith in destined encounters
What do you all think it means to have these kinds of destined encounters? They are always there to show you the path to blessings. This is why we should never shun the chance encounters that come our way. There are many, though, who take it upon themselves to do just that. These are wasted opportunities. Blessing will always result from these meetings.
In the deepest, most remote part of the Amazon, in a largely uninhabited place called Rondonia, the Reverend Kajiwara has set up his mission. (He is currently at the Curitiba Mission). There is nothing there. Until recently there was no electricity. Electricity came soon after the connection with Airaku through Rev. Kajiwara’s mission was made.
Once someone who had been hit with around 20 shards of shotgun bullets was brought to Reverend Kajiwara’s mission. He asked Kami for help, and found that no vital organs were compromised and the victim survived. So you see, only the people who are destined for that meeting show up there. Those not destined to find Kami, do not go there.
Trusting Kami to guide you is having absolute faith that you will be guided to blessings. But we start worrying right away. We have to entrust that worry to Kami. You have to leave your worry at the place of mediation. To this end our Founder worked so diligently; to help us achieve peace. He strove to find what would make it possible for us to be free of worry.
We come to ask for blessings. We actually don’t need to ask for blessings to receive them but, as the Founder has said, “If people aren’t given the chance to pray for blessings, it creates anxiety in their hearts. This cannot lead to blessings.” This makes it impossible to receive them. It’s not so much about if the prayers will reach Kami or not, but rather the heart becomes clouded. When you start to worry about something you are closing the door to blessings.
This is why the first blessing you should try to obtain should be that of tranquility. If you pray for something, you need only entrust it to Kami. Then, you must achieve that peace of spirit. And then, when you leave the Mediation Place you take that peace with you. Oyasensei will fully take on that burden, so you must entrust it to this place and leave unworried. If you can do this, that tranquility is what will bring you blessings.
Understanding the Divine Reminder
Wagakoro is, then, just a bit more important. This is because just achieving tranquility is not enough to move Kami. This is why we must strive for a Wagakokoro capable of moving Kami. This is not explained thoroughly enough even within our own faith.
The Divine Reminder is made up of 3 elements. The first is “Ikigami Konko Daijin Tenchi Kane No Kami”. Our encounter with Ikigami Konko Daijin comes before anything else: We must first receive Konko Daijin’s mediation. As Konko Daijin is channeled through all places of worship, this mediation too can be received at any of them. We must, upon receiving Konko Daijin’s mediation, use it to comprehend what kind of god Tenchi Kane No Kami is.
Do you believe in Tenchi Kane No Kami? Do you really believe? What kind of god do you think Tenchi Kane No Kami is?
At the beginning, Konko-sama believed in Konjin, the god of wrath and destruction. He endured severe tribulation for this. Despite these tribulations, though, he maintained that for a god to be called as such, it had to be because it was a being that could serve only to bring peace to humankind. And if this god was powerful enough to impart wrath and destruction, then that kind of awesome power could be none other than that used in helping people. Would you be able to manage that kind of understanding?
The minute something goes wrong, we just give up, or put the blame on Kami. Konko-sama would never cast blame on Kami. He was committed to rectifying his own heart and to living by his own maxim, “Pride is the source of much pain”. This commitment caused a great impression on Kami. Kami was utterly moved by the superhuman resolve of this man. And just like that, he converted this god of wrath and destruction into one of peace and salvation.
Therefore if you are to worship Tenchi Kane No Kami, you must do so with the understanding that Tenchi Kane No Kami is Konjin turned inside out, into the god of peace and salvation, the god of misfortune as blessing. You can only understand Tenchi Kane No Kami if you get past seeing hardship as simply hardship.
At first Konko-sama worshiped Konjin and this deity gradually moved from wrath and destruction to peace and salvation. In the same way, the god’s name also went on changing. The first name was Kimon Konjin, but from Kimon Kane No Kami to Tenchi Konjin and so on, the name has undergone constant change.
A believer once commented about the word KI-MON being written with the Chinese characters for “Demon-Gate”. Konko-sama said that that kind of spelling would make for a frightening god and that it would be better to not use characters at all. He said it would be better to write the name with regular letters: Kimon Kane No Kami.
In fact it might as well be written with the characters “Joy-Gate”, or “Honored-Gate”. It could be whatever people make of it. It’s whatever your heart makes of it, so the important thing is to fill that heart with blessing.
Konko Shijin, the 2nd Konko-sama, says, “Believe not that blessings come from Kami; Believe they come from our hearts”.
The name of this church is spelled without characters, too. What a wonderful connection. It’s just so fitting that Katsuragi city is spelled in regular letters. There is a different city called Katsuragi in Nara, written with Chinese characters. The separate spellings were probably to differentiate the two.
“Heart of Earth”
I think it’s perfect that your Katsuragi is written without characters. Our Oyasensei fancies most spelling Katsuragi with the characters “Katsura-Tree” (桂木). And your Oyasensei’s name is Keiko (圭子). In Airaku we say that the character “Tree” (木) represents the heart. And then there’s 2 “Earth” radicals (土). This is really quite something.
I usually say that my life philosophy is the “heart of earth”. Our Oyasensei at Airaku says, “We come from earth and return to the earth. In between we need a heart of earth.” So, as long as you have water and earth, you can be blessed.
It depends on our hearts. If our heart is not in the right place, we cannot be blessed. When there is no water, blessings may come even from the muddy water gathered in a hoof print. That’s our religion. The poison of alcohol is cured with alcohol. You don’t have to take energy drinks or vitamins. Once a believer went to tell Konko-sama that he would quit drinking, to which Konko-sama replied, “Quit drinking alcohol and start drinking omiki. With a single heart, we can change things.
The wife of Rev. Katsura, founder of the faith in Kyushu, has gone through some difficult spiritual training. She prayed for help with her hands that were all but useless from severe chapping, and was told to heal herself with water. Even though the cause of her cracked and swollen hands was water, she was told to heal herself with water, and she did. Our faith can do this.
It’s up to how we perceive things. It is said that we are to receive blessings with the Three Joys of gratitude, humility and awe. If you can accept everything in this way, you have already been blessed.
Once a woman who worships at our house came to ask for a safe birth. When I took this request to Oyasensei, through mediation he responded with the name “Keiko”. I could feel that there was a certain destiny in that name.
So when I saw that your Oyasensei’s name was Keiko, I knew that I was destined to come to the Katsuragi Church. I am sure that it is me who was meant to come here today.
I really believe that this to be a mandate from Kami, if you will. Today the Wagakokoro Movement is coming together in Seattle, in Tokyo, and here in the Kii Peninsula. Let us be the roots of that movement. There can be no blessings without Wagakokoro, so really Wagakokoro is the only way to obtain them in Konkokyo.
Before this, I was invited to the Believers Congregation in Chikusui, for a day of study and to present a lecture on the essence of Konko Daijin’s faith. This autumn, the main ceremony will be the Grand Konko Daijin Ceremony. So we have to make Konko Daijin’s faith our own.
What then is the essence of Konko Daijin’s faith? The Divine Reminder. Ikigami Konko Daijin Tenchi Kane No Kami, with a single heart we pray. It is essential, then, to firstly understand Ikigami Konko Daijin. He accepted all kinds of things that people usually don’t accept.
An ant once crawled up to the Mediation Place. To this, Konko-sama said: “If it comes to worship, even the ant shall be blessed.”
In Brazil something similar took place. There are jaguars there. Once someone had an encounter with one of them, but was blessed by Kami. “Even in the loudest roar, Kami is there to save you.”
Difficulty = Blessing
We all exist in the realm of blessings. Hardships also exist in this realm. I, too, exist amidst these blessings. Kami is constantly supporting me. When I think about hardships in this context, there’s really no need for worry. Hardships exist to strengthen me. We must be prepared to accept them. You can try all you want to rid yourself of them, but they will not go away. You can try different methods to remedy the situation, but it cannot be remedied.
In Buddhism they have karma. They say your karma destines you to a life of hardship.
In Christianity they say that original sin is the cause of our suffering. In this way they put it all on us humans. Do you think a real god would put this kind of blame on humankind?
Say you get sick. You pray to God, but die anyway. What does this mean? It would seem like your God couldn´t do anything about it. So they put the blame on people with karma and original sin, so that God doesn’t come out looking powerless.
In Konkokyo, our problems must go away on their own. Our problems resolve themselves when we see that difficulty is blessing; a nurturing, strengthening blessing. So it´s an equals. Not difficulty becomes blessing; Difficulty is blessing. It is Kami’s divine work that helps us and strives to nurture us.
There is then no way to remove hardship externally. Difficulties can only expire on their own, and when they do, you come to realize the blessing in them, so there is no need whatsoever to worry over them.
All kinds of things come up in my everyday life, too. Things happen, but everything that happens is a blessing. Kami´s support system encompasses both myself and my difficulties, so I don’t need to worry about them at all. It just depends on how well I can understand this. “With a single heart it all comes into being.”
Creating a receptacle
I was given the book “Katsuragi” today in which was written the following: “Konko Daijin is where the receiving of blessings begins. All are capable of receiving blessing in this manner.” Do you all receive blessings in this manner? If you do not, your receptacle is at fault. The receptacle is essential. Your receptacle must be Konko Daijin himself. You must begin by accepting Konko Daijin´s faith.
Despite the teaching that “wine´s venom shall be cured with wine,” we continue to rely on vitamin supplements and such. Fundamentally, what we need do, is accept that Kami can cure wine´s venom with wine. If you have true faith in this, feel free to take vitamins as well.
As this world comes to be more and more the way it is nowadays, a return to a natural state of heaven and earth becomes unavoidable. Civilization seems to be spiraling down an extremely strange path.
At the time when I turned 75 and started to be more serious about taking care of my health, I received an invitation from the Biobeam company to be an honorary president. They deal with electromagnetic waves to make you somehow healthier. You know how we humans have to improve the circulation of our blood and optimize every last cell in our body or else will end up destroying ourselves.
As I was saying earlier, when we catch a cold we buy medicine for it. And when we take, we get better. The cold goes away but our bodies´ natural defenses are weakened. This is why Konko-sama said, “Be blessed with water and earth.” Of course it is okay to take medicine, but we should do so with a spirit of gratitude for the vigorous body that has been afforded us by Kami.
I exist here today thanks to Kami, and thanks to Kami we all have been given the chance to establish relationships with one another and deepen our relationship to Kami; to feel the deep emotion of these connections and take it to share with others. This is the way of Wagakokoro.
In many occasions Konko-sama performed actions outside of the human norm. These actions developed as far as the creation of Kami in his own heart. That was how in tune he had become with the will of Kami. We must know Divine Will. If you don´t know it, you go to the Place of Mediation. There you will surely receive it. The basis of Konkokyo is making Divine Will your way of life.
The first step is to receive Wagakokoro, and to be moved by the experience. If you are not awed by it, you have not really received it. I would like to speak more about Wagakokoro but as I am pressed for time, I leave it at this for today.
The Divine Reminder is three pillared. The first is “Ikigami Konko Daijin” which is the call to mediation. Mediation is none other than receiving Divine Will. This is the essence of it.
We must then, upon receiving it, make Divine Will our prime directive. But many times, when Divine Will is not in line with what people want, they begin to lose faith in it.
Doctors say the same thing. They say that before even coming in to be examined, patients have already decided what they have. If the doctor ends up diagnosing in a different way, the patient says the doctor is no good. This is why it is said that the most renowned doctors are those who don´t contradict their patients.
I think we often do this in the Place of Mediation. If we don´t get the answer we are hoping for we say the mediation is no good. Konko-sama did the opposite: He put total trust in Kami and accepted all blame for himself.
Then, as we all know, this faith was capable of transforming Konjin into Tenchi Kane No Kami. Let this serve as proof of what all of our hearts are capable of.
Our Oyasensei in Airaku, even in his wheelchair, is constantly evolving. “Every day brings a new opportunity.” So everyday he goes through this faith evolution. The divine power that is generated through this process is truly great.
And then, like my son, who I believe will spread the faith from Portland to New York, whether in a country at the peak of civilization or in the vast nature of a place like Rondonia right in the middle of the Amazon, what is needed to open the way of Konko is pure and simple Wagakokoro. With Wagakokoro the blessings are sure to come. Konko-sama has proven this. Just look at the Teachings: every single person is blessed with Wagakokoro.
However, our hearts must be constantly refined with every new day. That is why we say at the end of the Reminder, “on this very day pray.” If we don’t pray today and everyday our heart can easily go astray.
We must cultivate our hearts daily striving to reach that ability to truly accept divine will. Those who say that their families aren’t believers need to focus on their own faith. No one will follow you if you haven’t first accepted Kami yourself.
I was talking earlier about the 93-yeard-old Mrs. Tsugami. Her whole family now practices the faith. This is because her faith is true. Until she gained that true faith, her family did not follow her. We all must practice true faith.
In my house we hold our evening prayers at 8 o clock. All the kids get together, and we have them lead the prayers. They love doing it. Then we have them say a few words about their day’s events. This is the situation I have been blessed with and I like to believe that the fact that my whole family is with me on this path means that we are going in the right direction.
You can tell whether you faith is true or not by whether your whole family is with you or not. With that evidence in mind, you have to seek that true faith, and then all will be blessed.
The coming generation is going to need Wagakokoro to survive. To this end, for my part, I have taken on the Wagakokoro World Mission Movement. Today is one facet of this movement and I am so grateful for the connection I have been able to establish with Katsuragi. I know from now on, any letter I receive from your Reverend will be as if it came from my own Oyasensei in Airaku. His fondness for the names of your Reverend and your city just go to show that this meeting was meant to be.
As I go forward in the pursuit of Wagakokoro through spiritual training, I invite you all, Kasturagi Church, to become the Wagakokoro center of the Kii peninsula, or better yet of the whole Kansai area.
Upon recently moving to a new residence, through prayer I received the revelation to generate the center of Wagakokoro in Saga, a task to which I am committed.
I thank you all and Kami for the blessing of being here with you today.
(Konko Daijin Grand Ceremony, October 30, 1994)
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