December is the month of Aiju Onrei Shinja Sanpaiji, and it is the period of Onrei. Today’s Shinji contains a phrase “the time(month) of airei.”It differs from Airei no Gi held in the period of Kōju Shinja Sanpaiji from September 23 to November 15.
As we have been growing our kokoro by learning Kami’s teachings and receiving Kami’s power throughout the year starting from January, a sense of gratitude towards many people and things wells up in the period of Kōju Shinja Sanpaiji. We express the gratitude in writing using a form known as Onrei Gokigansho and deliver it to Shinkon directly in a ceremony known as Airei no Gi.
On the other hand, a sense of gratitude that we deepen in December Aiju Onrei Shinja Sanpaiji is towards Shinkon that allowed us to manifest Kibō no Michi and protected us. We accumulate the gratitude every year, hone our life, and elevate ourselves. Tomomaruhime Sensei said there is no need to rush, but never step backward, and take one or even half a step forward. It is important to elevate our life in a spiral as a year passes one by one in a long journey of life.
Therefore, come to Shinsōhonbu or Hikari no Yakata in the period of Aiju Onrei Shinja Sanpaiji to express the gratitude towards Shinkon at Goshinzen. That will also connect to the purification of your negative thoughts and emotions with the power of Kami. Aiju Onrei’s “Onrei” has the three meanings: one is the kokoro to abide by Kami, Hotoke, and Hito no Michi, second is the kokoro of gratitude: the generous kokoro, and third is to purify the kokoro.
Today’s Shinji consists of a deep understanding and three awareness. First paragraph is a deep understanding. There were same questions asked from Kami in the Shinji of December 1st and the 2nd. In December 1st, Kami asked Having entrusted your kokoro (unmei-jittai) in the hands of Kami this year, this is a question to the kokoro of all (shinja). And in December 2nd,Kami asked This year as you learned the teachings and lived your life supported by the principles in the hands of Kami, how was your kokoro (life)? In the Shinji of December 15th, Kami wants us more specifically to look back on the year to see if you have manifested Kibō no Michi, and look carefully into your kokoro. In the beginning of the Shinji, a role figure who gains deep understanding that all Shinja must aim to be and seek out is shown.
All people(existence) who are leaders are respected by many and live by the kokoro (principle) of gratitude.
The more the teachings are learned and the kokoro(life) is supported by the teachings, people(human beings) feel a deepening sense of gratitude.
They begin to increasingly seek relations with people and things and naturally become a person(existence) whose kokoro is supported by the principles as they live their life.
They raise their character from egoism to the nonego to selflessness.
As you learn the teachings and strive to practice them in your daily life, you will be a leader who is respected by many. First, you will be loved by your family. If you are a parent or a grandparent, you will be admired. If you are a child, you will be trusted. Those people live by the kokoro (principle) of gratitude.
The more the teachings are learned from Kami and the kokoro(life) is supported by the teachings, people will deepen a sense of gratitude. If you take the teachings into the way of feeling, thinking, or living, you will be able to accept any things with a generous heart. Even if you are pointed out something from someone, you can appreciate them with an open and honest heart saying, “Thank you for teaching me….” Even if you were kept waiting in a restaurant for your food to be served, a sense of appreciation towards the staffs who work hard for the customers wells up and you would not complain or have a sense of denial. You would say, “You must be busy. Thank you for the great food.”
Those people seek relations with people and things, and they will be of use to society and become a person(existence) whose kokoro is supported by the principles as they live their life. There, their character is raised from self-centered egoism to the nonego to selflessness. When egoism is strong, you assert rights, your kokoro will be filled with complaints and you may be out of place. But if egoism is raised to nonego, you will be able to realize and reminded that others also have their own thoughts and feelings as you do and recognize that you are on the same boat with them. And when your kokoro is freed from personal desires, nonego is raised to selflessness.
Three awareness follow. Here is the first awareness.
To the Shinja
In the time(month) of airei, how is the state of your kokoro?
Strive to become the person (the kokoro of salvation) who guides society on the correct path.
If you seek love that is the truth and deepen your learning of the teachings, the human kokoro is naturally honed and you become a person (existence) who is one with their unmei.
As I explained in the beginning, the time of airei is different from Airei no Gi in the period of Kōju Shinja Sanpaiji. As you have manifested Kibō no Michi through a year and achieved to Aiju Onrei Shinja Sanpaiji, reflect on yourself if you have been able to abide by the path, have a generous kokoro to accept things, and purify your kokoro with kigan in this year.
When you look around, the world has been turbulent with many things. Some people think too much about profit and loss, and they even try to swindle government out of benefits. Commencing with tailgating driving, some do not care if their acts bother others. Because we are in this troubled society, Kami calls out to make the teachings a part of you, and strive to become the person(the kokoro of salvation) who guides society on the correct path.
Quotes from Tomomaruhime Sensei’s words, “Don’t do things to people you wouldn’t like having done to you. When you were happy about the things someone have done to you, treat not only them but others the same.” That is a person who has love that is the truth. We must seek love that is the truth and deepen your learning of the teachings.
Love that is the truth is the balanced kokoro between self-love and love for others; love that is true and love that is pure. But don’t think it logically. When you are able to cherish others as much as you cherish and take care of yourself, the love for others which is love that is pure will grow. Nurture your kokoro from self-love to love for others and gain love that is the truth. It is the same as a baby’s growing process. Babies cry overnight without knowing the hardship of the parents. And when they reach the age of reason, they learn to endure and to be grateful. When you seek love that is the truth and make the teachings a part of you, the human kokoro is naturally honed, and a high moral character will be built. Then, you will become a person(existence) who is one with their unmei. If you become one with your unmei given by Kami, your strength will be surfaced and you will be of use to society.
Next is the second awareness.
Firmly etch the meaning and purpose of life in your kokoro; and be the shinja who lives and entrusts their kokoro(unmei-jittai) in Kami’s hands in the coming year.
The purpose of life is to walk your given life without regrets. In other words, make the most of your unmei that can be of use to people, contribute to society, and leave good elements in your Kokoro no Michi that is passed down to your children and grandchildren. That is truly the meaning of life. Kami calls out to you to firmly etch the purpose of life in your kokoro and live and entrust your kokoro(unmei-jittai) in Kami’s hands in the coming year.
Here is the third awareness.
Life is about deepening the right relations with many people as it becomes complete.
Remember this principle－the effort to raise the jittai through gratitude, giving back, and love guides your life to kaiun.
Human beings cannot live alone. This is a principle. Therefore, a life will be completed only in deepening the right relations with many people. Speak of a way of life that is in keeping with each generation, youth has to live honestly and sincerely. Otherwise, advice from those around them will not resonate with them. If you are in the age of playing important roles in society, do willingly whatever you can do for others with integrity. That is how your strength will be surfaced. If you are in twilight years, watch over others, and live as a role model who lives with an enriched kokoro.
Etch Kami’s teachings in your kokoro, and elevate your kokoro through gratitude, giving back, and love. Gratitude, giving back, and love shows the development of your kokoro that manifests Kibō no Michi. When the teachings become a part of you, you will be able to accept things with a generous kokoro, and gain a kokoro of gratitude. Then, it raises to a kokoro of giving back ; relate with people without calculating profits and losses. And then, you will be able to get involved with people and things with a kokoro of love.
The smallest unit of life is a day; a month passes, and then a year. That is how life is built. Hone the kokoro of gratitude, giving back, and love. The effort to raise the jittai through gratitude, giving back, and love guides your life to kaiun. Look back on a year that you have manifested Kibō no Mich, and show deep gratitude with all due respect to Shinkon, and make further efforts to step forward in the coming year.