Taking the Shinbashira Seriously
Young people often worry about falling behind the times, but what is termed "current of the times" originates from the mere ideas of a few people. What about that which originates from your own conviction? If you young people of the path are prepared to become a creative force capable of shaping the times, I want you to show other new expressions of your conviction based on the spirit of Tenrikyo. I want you to show others a new face of Tenrikyo that is appropriate for the times. Even if you regard yourselves as shaping the new age, however, you might still end up being swept along by the products of common, worldly reason if you consider these to be central to the spirit of the times.
MHFY, June 29, 1952 - The 2nd. Shinbashira
The request for young people "to show others a new face of Tenrikyo that is appropriate for the times" is as vital today as it was in 1952 when the 2nd Shinbashira first made it. It is also totally in keeping with the Model of Parental Love and spirit of Tenrikyo. It is of course exactly what Oyasama did as She first opened a narrow path of single-hearted salvation first for the Nakayama family gradually extending it to the other villagers and finally stepping out to save the entire world in ways appropriate for the time, place and level of spiritual maturity.
How then is this to be done?
- First: "Timbers" (the instruments of single-hearted salvation), are encouraged to use their imaginations to think of ways to attract other imaginations to a path of single-hearted salvation.
- The path offered has to be attractive to the self-centered imaginations of those who would be drawn to it. Self-centered imaginations will not be drawn to paths that are not appropriate for them.
- Second: The new appropriate paths must be properly oriented and show a way or ways to step by step quickly settle and purify the mind so that the truth of origin can be known and understood.
- There are two ways of properly orienting new paths of single-hearted salvation.
- The first and best way, is to orient one's efforts by returning one's own self-centered imagination to the truth of origin, directly drawing upon the mind of God for direction.
- The second way is to orient one's actions with the Model Path. In brief there are three elements of the Model Path that can provide a sure guide.
- The intention of a Joyous life for all human beings.
- Single-heartedness with God as the means of realizing that intention for all human beings equally.
- And the attraction and purification of the mind using whatever methods are appropriate for time, place and level of spiritual maturity to return the mind to its original condition and single-heartedness with the truth of its origin.
As the 2nd Shinbashira points out, the trick is in not having one's own imagination tumble off in pursuit of whatever worldly common trends and goals are competing for the attention of the self-centered imagination. It is a big challenge but if we could unite our minds in the truth of origin we could do it.