Compass of the Times 206

Compass of the Times 206

A Constant Succession of Practice

Keiko Takahashi

A Successive Practice Over a Long Period of Time

We human beings live in the present.

We live our lives in seeking our aspirations and fulfilling our soul’s mission while responding to the reality of the world that arises anew each moment. The core of life is always about how we live in the very moment of the reality born anew.

And we face this present moment with our experiences accumulated over a long period of time. For us humans, to live means to achieve the exchange of energy between the external and internal worlds. In order to live in the present, it is essential for us to operate our mind and soul inside of us. This function of our mind is not something that is shaped overnight. Over the years, from the time we are born to the time we become who we are, we have been shaping the tendencies of our mind.

We become our Initial Self by absorbing various ways of viewing, thinking, and living from our parents and family, from the region we grew up in, from the industry we work in, and from the times we live in. It also means to obtain a mind that harbors one tendency, characteristic distortions from our birth and upbringing.

Our soul, as the foundation of our mind, also has its unique distortions. Such distortions of the soul have been formed over an even longer period of time—many lifetimes transcending this life.

Our mind and soul have been created over a long period, and, due to the distortions they can hold, in many cases, our true potential is unfortunately not yet manifested. We cannot properly draw forth the power of the soul due to such distortions.

If we wish to realize our potential and bring forth the power of the soul, we must correct the bias of the mind and distortions of the soul. Above all, we can only achieve this by taking these steps one by one.

We have created tendencies of the mind and distortions of the soul over a long period of time. It takes an equally long time to correct them and become free of them. We can try out a new way of using our mind for a day at a time and familiarize ourselves with it to make it a natural flow that does not even rise to consciousness. Such tireless cultivation can be called a constant succession of practice by the Divine Truth to our mind and soul.

To Generate the Best Results Through a Constant Succession of Actions

The Japanese sword, recognized worldwide as a work of art, is said to have reached its qualitative peak between the late Kamakura and Edo periods. The famous swords, such as Masamune and Muramasa, created by many swordsmiths, used techniques that cannot be completely understood even today.

The foundation for making such Japanese swords is, first of all, the steelmaking method called tatara-buki. The name comes from the use of bellows (also called tatara, an instrument that draws in air through a valve or orifice and expels it through a tube) to melt high-quality iron sand in a furnace. The raw steel produced through this process is then heated further and hammered repeatedly by a swordsmith to remove impurities and increase its purity. The iron, further strengthened by tempering, is then forged with a flexible metal of the blade to produce a strong Japanese sword that is hard but flexible.

You have probably seen the images of a blacksmith heating steel and repeatedly pounding it on a table to shape it. Swordsmiths who make Japanese swords are said to forge them with countless strikes to create a Japanese sword.

They put their heart into each strike and continues to put their soul into the steel in front of them. It is through these repeated beatings that the sword becomes “unbreakable, unbending, and sharp.”

Is it not the same as training of our mind and soul? We train the “muscles” of the mind and practice a new way of Ju-Hatsu-Shiki1  and a new way of using our mind. The repetition and accumulation of such daily practice will create our new minds and cultivate our souls.

The Golden Path, “One Day One Sheet” Special Seminar, which began on April 25th this year, is the very practice that will allow us to cultivate ourselves. During the following two months, we will cut open a folded page every day and continue our steps to master the way of life as described in my book, The Golden Path.

Its day-by-day steps provide the practice of putting our souls into a way of living in accordance with the Divine Truth and use our minds. By repeating such steps many times, the new ways of living the Divine Truth and use of mind will penetrate deep within us.

Editor’s Note

1. Ju-Hatsu-Shiki

Ju is a reception to perceive in mind (the internal world) events in our reality (the external world). Hatsu is a transmission to interact with the external world after the reception. Shiki is a Buddhist term that refers to visible realities or the external world, such as incidents and events, including human relationships. As long as we live, we continue to rotate this cycle of Ju-Hatsu-Shiki and keep producing realities even if we are not aware of it. (Excerpted and summarized from pp.66-67 of The Glossary of the Divine Truth 2012; available only in Japanese)