The Shinji given for Shinja Kokoro no Michi Benkyōkai (the 1st, 15th, and 23rd) is better learned on a regular basis as it contains important guidance and what we need to be aware of now. Every Shinji is important because it comes directly from Kami, who foresees the future of where our society is heading.
Every year from January to August is our learning period based on the Shinji for Kigansai (January 1st) and the Shinji for Shinja Kokoro no Michi Benkyōkai (the 1st, 15th, 23rd). As the Shinji for Kigansai gives us the general remarks of the year, the Shinji for Shinja Kokoro no Michi Benkyōkai elaborates in details. And with this, we are given the direction and guidance of what we need to focus, and what needs to be practiced.
As we enter the last week of April, our learning period is coming to a midpoint. If you have not been able to learn the teachings so much in the first half of the year, it is not too late to start now. If you start learning now, you will be able to ride the flow of the times. And no matter how the world around us seem like a maze, you will not be consumed and live each day to move forward.
The theme of April was to make the effort to create a family that lives by the teachings. And the Shinji for April 23rd sets the conclusion of a big message that Kami wanted to come across in the month of April.
The first part of the Shinji is telling us an important principle.
Human beings, who are not overwhelmed by society’s flow (problems) and live with hopes and dreams, will always live in families that support one another based on the principles.
When Kami speaks about hopes and dreams, it is telling us about an energy and a positive attitude to contribute to the world using your given unmei. We want you to live with this spirit of living with hopes and dreams. When a person who lives with this spirit interacts with their family with great values based on the teachings or with philosophy based on principles, it helps create a good family environment.
Which then helps to develop hopes and dreams in each person in the family. A good family is where this value and the kokoro of wanting to use one’s ability and contribute to the world is nurtured—where the hopes and dreams are surfaced in a person’s kokoro. With this kokoro, it allows every person to live out their lives fully using their given unmei.
This is the way to live life to the fullest and this is the principles of life.
Next, the two important awareness—things to realize now.
To the Shinja.
Do you endeavor so that the Six Flowers of Happiness bloom?
When the teachings are learned as a family, relations between family members will naturally deepen and conversation that is mutually supportive will grow.
Because people do not know the kokoro that abides by life’s principles, they are unable to have the right connection with others, neglect and go against the path of their own accord, and their troubles and suffering deepen.
Kami is asking you, whether we are conscious about the Six Flowers of Happiness*? Are you making the effort for these to bloom in your life? If you are conscious about the Six Flowers of Happiness and keeping this in mind, then perhaps your communication and interaction to support each other in the family is in the right direction. If not, it will not lead to interactions that shares good values and thoughts no matter how much you try to communicate and make conversation with your family. This tells us the importance to understand the true meaning of family environment.
The part where Kami said, the kokoro that abides by life’s principles tells us that we must be more aware of the roles of each person in the family. It is because people do not understand their respective roles (as a husband, as a wife, as a child, etc.) this is the reason why, they are unable to have the right connection with others, neglect and go against the path of their own accord, and their troubles and suffering deepen.
The first awareness of the two is to realize the importance of our roles in the family environment—
If you are experiencing the lack in unity, the ties, and the togetherness in the family, it is to rethink and rediscover the importance of the respective roles. If you are the husband; you are the root of the family that supports the family. If you are the wife; you are the trunk that connects the husband and the child who are the branches. It is dangerous to think that you are correct and doing things correctly and blaming that the other person is wrong. Be humble and reflect and stay focused on yourself to live correctly. Otherwise, the troubles and suffering will continue to deepen and bring regretful outcomes.
The second awareness is the following.
Society organizes and develops within a natural flow.
The home is the same.
When individual family members know and put into practice their place and responsibility without going against the natural flow, their unmei will come together, the Six Flowers of Happiness will begin to bloom, and happiness is attained.
Kami said that society organizes and develops within a natural flow. It is better not to rush to act on a self-made plan and force things against its natural flow. Like the cherry blossoms bloom when spring comes, Kami is saying it is the same with family; if you make the effort to bring the family together, it will bloom when the right time comes.
For instance, a husband and his wife disagree in their opinions about their children’s education. And there seem to be no stepping back on either side. What would you do in this situation?
It is better to keep the focus on the child’s ability and strengths, and look for a mutual place and environment to fully extend the child’s potential. Discussion based on what you know from information or what you have experienced will further create a gap between as parents. Therefore, discuss things based on your point of views (as a mother, as a father), and when the kokoro of both the mother and the father comes together, the best answer will be clearly seen. As plants grow naturally when you provide the right soil and the right conditions, it is the same with your child. If you can mutually provide the right environment and conditions for your child’s potentials to grow, your child’s ability will start to bloom naturally.
Kami continued, when the individual family members know and put into practice their place and responsibility without going against the natural flow. This means to be aware of your respective roles and interact with that consciousness. What happens then is that the unmei will come together, and the Six Flowers of Happiness will begin to bloom, and happiness is attained. This part of the Shinji promises that the family will be one. And when this happens, even little things will make everyone laugh.
Even if you get into an argument, it will not escalate into a big fight. Soon you will be talking to each other because each of your kokoro is flowing—not stopped in a state of anger.
Lastly the deep understanding we must have. This part is the conclusion that ties all the Shinji we have looked at from the beginning of this month. And if all the Shinjis were taken in and adapted to our way of life, the coming phrase is what you will experience within.
The teachings that Kami reveals to the world (society) through Shisha are principles.
The more the principles are learned as a family, conversations deepen, and the individual unmei comes together and complements; and a life of hopes and dreams is experienced by each family member, and they prosper.
When you learn the teachings together as a family, your feelings for each other will overflow naturally. You will experience a deep sense of security because you know the family is there with you on mutual grounds. And when you experience this deep sense of security, it will naturally bring out the feelings to be positive and the willingness to do good will start to surface—each one of us will be filled with an energy to live. Then, the Six Flowers of Happiness will eventually start to bloom one at a time. This is to live life with hopes and dreams. Every member of the family will extend their potentials and live life to the fullest.
*Six Flowers of Happiness: Kami describes the six basic elements of happiness metaphorically as the Six Flowers of Happiness. It is one of the basic principles in the teachings. To be blessed with spouse, sons and daughters, good health, occupation, livelihood and hope is important for our well-being. And the order of it is relevant as well. If the husband and wife get along well, the children and the parents will get along. And in an environment where the family members are happy, everyone will experience good health and the kokoro will be healthy allowing the will to work and protect the family life will not fade away. And these basic things are very important to having hopes in life. (For more information, please see pg. 21 of How to Live)