In this month of April, 2012, also the centennial year of our dharma mother, Shojushin’in-sama, we are reminded that one of her most treasured ways of communicating the Teaching to us was through her kitchen sermons, outlined in-detail within her two Wisteria Cluster books.
There were a total of seventeen such ideals she created, to remind each of us in a simple way how to remain solid on your path towards enlightenment.
On the sange petal papers being issued during several key services throughout this year will be the following five ideals from those seventeen teachings:
Be gentle, yet strong.
Be a person whom others miss.
Do not fight.
Treat people with respect.
And Always smile when meeting people.
Her Holiness Keishu-sama has also provided two rephrased versions of the ideals to be better interpreted in our modern eenvironment.
To Bring out your true self – referring to the buddha nature that lies within each of us, and encouraging you to express this goodness at every opportunity. Learning to act with kindness and wisdom and letting go of anger, jealousy and other attachments transforms your perceptions from suffering into appreciation for each opportunity to adapt and improve yourself, and others.
Next is, Always keep in mind that you are a Shinnyo practitioner. Some situations may require calm acceptance, while others need candid and truthful advice, but both should be performed without giving into your emotions, but rather with compassion towards the other person. Sometimes we need to support others by providing silence and listening, but others may need strong leadership and for you to set the example of how to behave in a better manner.
Keishu-sama’s last reminder this month is to Avoid gossip. Period. This means stepping into the other person’s place and reminding yourself that being the subject of someone else’s gossip about you is painful and hard to understand. If you have opinions of others, think of how you would want to be approached by someone else thinking the same of you. How would you want to be informed of something confusing or questionable that others saw? Hopefully you would prefer someone confiding directly to you, and using kind words or supportive thoughts and suggestions.
April, the month of Buddha‘s birth, is known affectionately as the month of rebirth, and departure from suffering. Each of these ideals is meant to give you a way to measure your own progress along the way through life. And hopefully as you hold yourself to higher ideals, others will be inspired by your efforts to polish your own actions and behavior.