Rissho Kosei-kai
Buddhist Center of New York

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320 East 39th Street
New York, NY 10016
(39th St bet. 1st Ave & 2nd Ave.)
212- 867-5677
Fax: 212-697-6499

 

Minister's Message

Issue January 2018

 Aspire for a world in which we mutually achieve liberation ]

Happy New Year!

The curtain has opened for the Year 2018.

As the temple bells were ringing out the old year and ringing in 2018, I welcomed the New Year enveloped by an indescribably clean atmosphere of fresh energy, as if the area had been briskly purified. Here, now, the  present had completely changed. And my heart and mind felt noticeably renewed.

It was only one night passing to the next day’s dawn, but it felt as if everything had wondrously been reborn.

On this day, when “first visit for worship in the New Year” to temples and shrines is observed throughout Japan, the New Year is welcomed at Rissho Kosei-kai’s Great Sacred Hall in Tokyo with special prayer and recitation of the Lotus Sutra for world peace, and for the happiness of all humankind.

I also visited the Great Sacred Hall on New Year’s morning. And I started the year 2018 with a vow in my heart: “May there be peace in the world; may we create a world in which we revere one another. First, I will start by revering others.”

This is a significant year for us, for we welcome the eightieth anniversary of Rissho Kosei-kai’s founding. President Niwano announced the 2018 annual Guidelines for Members’ Practice of the Faith・BasicVision toward the one-hundredth anniversary of our organization’s founding.

The President stated: “The universe and nature are undergoing creation and change without a pause. Just like the truth of the universe, we must not stagnate, but always apply ourselves to  facing everything that comes our way with a renewed spirit.”

This year Rissho Kosei-kai marks the eightieth anniversary of its founding. Our eighty-year    history was built upon the unsparing dedication of our Founder and Cofounder (who often had to forego sleep and meals), as well as the many leaders and members who have precededus.

On this important year, moving toward the one-hundredth anniversary of Rissho Kosei-kai, I hope that each of us will be firmly resolved to take creative steps forward to repay our debt of gratitude to our predecessors.

Furthermore, at our organization’s training session for all ministers, the President taught that it is important that we, as humans, acquire a high level of spirituality to prepare ourselves, training our mental attitude toward the one-hundredth anniversary. For that, the role that each of us should fulfill is to diligently practice in one’s life in society; to work towards perfecting oneself; to share the teachings with many people; and to guide others to the Dharma.

I visualized dreams spreading widely with the steps and roles each of us will take, starting from this eightieth anniversary year. And when all is said and done, I am filled with the joy of having encountered this valuable teaching. Today, here and now, with a wish to be able to repay my debt of gratitude, I firmly secure deep in my heart an aspiration, renewed each day, for constant diligence.

Now, we experience various sufferings because of our “selfish ego” which emerges in our daily lives.

I, me, my…we may know our self-centered viewpoint is making us suffer, but we ourselves developed the “selfish ego”, so we tend to hang on to our attachment. As result, we unconsciously start to desperately protect the “selfish ego.” It must be so difficult to abandon it.

The President tells us that in Rissho Kosei-kai, to participate in hoza sessions, perform sutra recitation, or to practice “putting others first” are the very secret keys to discarding our “ego” and attaining the “egoless” state.

Moreover, the President said that in sports, such as judo and kendo, and in the visual and performing arts as well, the model for physical postures or moves is called “form.” He further stated that “form” is not limited to these areas, and is also evident also in how we comport ourselves in our daily lives.

Being punctual, greeting our family members by saying “good morning,” straightening our shoes when we take them off, and clearly responding “yes” when spoken to, are examples of such forms. Each and every one of our behaviors is an outward expression of our state of mind. The examples stated are expression of the mind of consideration and compassion for others. According to the President, embodying consideration and compassion as the basis of the “form” of our daily lives, and repeatedly putting such actions into daily practice, will allow the mind of compassion to be even more deeply engraved in our hearts. Putting this “form” into action is actually our practice to        become buddhas.

I am truly convinced! When we focus on anything with sincerity and whole-hearted devotion, there will come a time when we notice that our ego has, without our knowing, been removed; this brings us closer to the mental state of buddhahood.

The President stated so clearly the method of liberating ourselves from selfish ego and becoming free. There is so much to be grateful for. We are truly blessed.

This year, the eightieth anniversary of our organization’s founding, I aspire for a world in which we mutually achieve liberation. I wish to walk together in that world with all the members of our Sangha.

 

 

 

Gassho

Etsuko Fujita                       

Minister of New York Dharma Center

 
 

Monthly wisdom from Rissho Koseikai of Japan

 

 

Feb 2018
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Jan 2018
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Dec 2017
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Rissho Kosei-kai New York Center for Engaged Buddhism