When you have the teachings of Kami as your guiding principle, you will be able to perceive the daily events with a calm and accepting heart, and move forward by making the right choices.
The Shinji for May 29 guides our kokoro on focusing on the important mindset that needs to be acquired for the month of June.
The first phrase of the Shinji is what Kami wants you to question yourself when in times of trouble.
Strive to be a person who lives life with a kokoro to contribute and to give back to the world.
This implies that when you are running into problems, there is a chance that your kokoro is shifting towards selfishness, lack of cooperation, or lack in your kokoro to contribute. So therefore, this phrase is a reminder to always check your balance of self and others—this will help you move one step forward in solving your problem.
There are times when you want to blame others and complain. There are times when your problems are not caused specifically by you. But no matter the situation, Kami is telling you to stay focused on how you live with a kokoro to contribute to the world with your abilities and strength, and not be consumed by the negative elements that get drawn out when times are difficult. This determination to strive to live life with a kokoro to contribute and to give back needs to be your true guiding principle at all times.
Next phrase teaches us a deep understanding that needs to be worked on to hone your personality.
Knowing the kokoro of how human should be, now is the time to thrive and live by the teachings.
When Kami speaks of the kokoro of how human should be, it is about the kokoro and the determination to live the right path. In other words, it is an understanding that other people have emotions just like you do, or people have greed just like you do. Having this understanding deep in your heart, you can be respectful as well as empathetic to other people’s feelings and emotions. And this helps you live with an attitude of ‘give and take,’ which is how human should be.
For instance, how would you feel if there is a person walking very slowly in front of you when you are in a real hurry? It is natural to think with frustration, ‘Why is this person walking so slow?!!’ and you would want them to step aside to give you the way. But if you stop and think, you have days when you want to walk slowly, enjoying the scenery or you have to walk slow because your feet are hurting. That person in front of you could just be having that kind of day. It is important to always remember that life is a ‘give and take’ and we are all here to coexist. So therefore, interacting with people with a little room in your heart to be able to think in their shoes is always important.
The deep understanding continues.
As this feeling (conviction) deepens, people will be able to possess the power (an ability) to determine correctly in life.
Kami specified the feeling as your conviction. This is talking about a strong belief to live each day in sync with the teachings of Kami. This strong conviction will help you see things objectively hence keeping yourself calm enough to see the flaws and the wrong in yourself at times. And this naturally helps you thrive.
And Kami also specified the power to determine as an ability. It is talking about an ability to be able to read and feel things correctly and push things forward. This is something that cannot be acquired through education or through a wide range of knowledge. People who have this ability can sense other people’s feeling well enough, so they can maneuver themselves to keep the right distance that does not interfere with each other’s peaceful encounter. So if there is a person who seems to be in a hurry, you can give them the way and just carry on. If there is a person who seems to be in a desperate need of help, you can interact with them to give them a hand. As you can see, this ability is necessary in creating harmony that increases your chances to use your strengths for someone else.
And this is tied to the following Shinji.
As you live with the principles, you will become a person who lives life with wisdom.
Kami is showing that a person who has the ability to sense and read the current situation at an instant is a person who lives life with wisdom. It is a person who is willing to give when asked by others, but allows them to find their way to grow and overcome on their own by supporting them from a right distance. All of us seek for someone like this as a mentor or someone to look up to. And this part of the Shinji is telling us that each and everyone of us needs to be that someone who is desired by others for wisdom because these interactions with people in the right way is what eventually protects your life and gives you the purpose and meaning to live.
In the following phrases, Kami teaches us two important things to realize in order to strive to be a person who lives life with a kokoro to contribute and give back to the world (the very first phrase of today’s Shinji).
Let Kami ask the Shinja
Are you understanding the worth of Kibō no Michi accurately?
Do you realize and understand what it requires to receive the protection through Kibō no Michi?
The greatest gift we have is the truth that as we live to abide by the right path, there is salvation.
This is why Kibō no Michi is so valuable to humanity.
When we speak of abiding by the right path, it is to first of all, live with thoughts of gratitude towards Kami. And respect our parents, ancestors and seniors and show them that you are getting along with people and not worry them. When you abide by the right path, your jittai (the temperament and disposition handed down the blood line) will be corrected, and your unmei (the potential given by Kami) will be honed.
The Shinji also brings the attention to what it requires to receive the protection through Kibō no Michi. To receive the protection, the effort to elevate your personality by learning the teachings and practicing it in your daily life is what needs to done.
How are you doing on this?
When you learn the teachings, reflect on your kokoro, and make the effort to elevate your personality, your kokoro will gradually change for the better. And when your kokoro changes, you would live differently. The sense of ‘give and take’ will surface within you. This is important because as the world experiences the changes caused by the pandemic, the kokoro to support each other with a sense of ‘give and take’ will be relevant in living our society after the Corona Virus.
And the next phrase;
Observe your kokoro now.
Now indicates the kokoro we are experiencing at this moment.
For instance, if someone gives you a cup of tea right now, how would you react? Would you accept that person’s act of generosity with gratitude? Or would you not even react because you’re busy at the moment? If you repeat your way of life, not showing your appreciation and acting selfishly to others, people will eventually fade away from you—leaving yourself left alone and feeling lonely.
Why do people become selfish and non-appreciative? What triggers these kokoro?
The more you put yourself in a harmonious family environment and know your position and roles and deepen your relation with the family, all human beings will receive the Six Flowers of Happiness without fail.
A noble personality and the appropriate way to interact with people are learned and acquired in the family environment. Whether you are the husband, wife, father, mother or child…are you being conscious about your position, and acting your role properly? All family members must play their part by involving to create a harmonious family environment. Then the Six Flowers of Happiness* will bloom in your family.
The important realization continues;
Observe yourself properly today, and walk the path of a Shinja.
The kokoro of a Shinja will be greatly protected and the kokoro to proceed in the path of Kibō no Michi will increase.
Today means your everyday. Therefore, it is to observe and reflect your kokoro on a daily basis. Ask yourself, “Am I living with the right kokoro that abides by the teachings?” This is important because, when you live by the teachings, your kokoro will be greatly protected. And with the kokoro protected, your conviction to make the effort to create harmony in the family environment will grow.
A harmonious family environment is a fundamental basis that helps you receive the protection through Kibō no Michi. And when you have a family environment that is comfortable and filled with mutual communication, you will have good health, your will to work will surface, and your everyday will be filled with content.
Lastly the principle—the universal truth.
By walking the path of Kibō no Michi human beings will be led by the power of their unmei and reach a life of kaiun.
As you try to abide by the teachings, the movement of your kokoro will be led to the right direction and you will be able to live under the protection of Kibō no Michi. Words are not enough to describe how much that is going to protect your life. No matter how much the world changes or the society goes into confusion, a person that walks the path of Kibō no Michi will not be consumed by big problems or worries.
*Six Flowers of Happiness: Kami describes the six basic elements of happiness metaphorically as Six Flowers of Happiness. These elements are, to be blessed with a spouse, sons and daughters, good health, occupation, livelihood and hope. And to be blessed with these elements is what defines happiness of a human being.
The Flowers bloom in order beginning with a good relationship between a husband and wife, then the relationship with the children flourishes. Following a good relationship within the family, a good health is experienced and a strong will to work remains. Daily life is protected therefore the family can live with livelihood and hope. (Please read pg 21 of How to Live for further information)