Tenrikyo Newpath: Return to the origin and test it for your self
By most accounts Miki Nakayama was an average child who grew up, married and assumed the responsibilities of bearing children and managing a household. Like many of her peers she was pious and attended to the needs of the gods of her family and her village. Despite her best efforts, by the time that she was forty-one years old, her family was plagued by troubles. To counter and remove these troubles Miki and her husband Zenbei resorted to expending significant sums of money to hire a notable shaman to come to their house and exorcise the gods and spirits that were cursing the members of the Nakayama family with illness and trouble and in so doing stealing the joy from their lives.
On October twenty third 1838 the Nakayama family had once again turned to the services of a shaman. It had been determined that at least two of the local deities had pronounced curses on the Nakayama household. The names of the deities are unknown to me and I do not know if they were even recorded anywhere as on that day Miki's life was permanently and dramatically changed. On that day while standing in for a medium who was unable to attend the shaman that had been hired, Miki's mind returned to its origin and spiritually awakened. Gods, spirits, shamans, curses and the like were no longer a part of Miki's world view. She could clearly see the truth of any and everything. She was later to describe her situation as one of becoming a shrine of MoonSun.
The fact that Miki had become spiritually awakened did not mean that anyone else in her family had also done so. Communication between Miki's new point of view, the point of view of single heartedness with the origin, and the point of view of her family who were still afraid of the gods and the spirits and the curses and the opinions of the neighbors etc. was not good. For three days and three nights the Nakayama family tried to get Miki back to their point of view. Finally on October 26th 1838 the Nakayama family accepted the fact that Miki no longer thought and believed as they did. From Miki's point of view she was awakened, free and unlimited. From the point of view of her family she was perhaps possessed by a god or spirit and certainly not herself. After doing their best to bring her back they finally gave in and agreed to cooperate. That day, October 26th 1838 is recorded as the foundation of the TENRIKYO Path of Single Hearted Salvation.
Though the Nakayama family agreed to cooperate, communication between the point of view of single heartedness with god and the point of view of the self centered imagination remained problematic and was to remain that way for many years. Miki worked tirelessly to overcome the gulf of misunderstanding that existed between the two points of view and finally settled upon a model for opening a path of single hearted salvation for all mankind. That model became the foundation of the TENRIKYO religion.
During the fifty years that Miki developed her model path she used many metaphors to illustrate the way and the intention of the path of single hearted salvation. The metaphor of water to represent the human mind is simple and to the point. She was to write "realize the truth through the words clear or muddy". During those years when she as the mind like clear water attempted to communicate with the muddied minds around her little communication was possible. At last a way was found to enter into the muddy water to make it clear. This then is the foundation of a path that teaches the way to spiritual awakening in an orderly step by step way that is appropriate for the time the place and the spiritual maturity of those who seek the promise of the joyous life. For each of us then there is the potential of a new path of single hearted salvation that is intimately suited to our individual needs no matter what kind of mind we may have. All that is required to succeed is our own true sincerity. This then is Tenrikyo, (the reason of heaven).