Compass of the Times 237

Compass of the Times 237

Advocating Bodaishin

Keiko Takahashi

At the End of the Year 2023

There is one month remaining in the year 2023. What kind of year was it for you? Many of you may feel, “We have, at last, escaped from the COVID-19 pandemic that lasted for three years.”

Still, some of you may have regrets, thinking that “I didn’t accomplish enough of what I should have done this year. I could have taken on more challenges.” Until the end of the year, I hope that you will continue to take action to ease those regrets, even if only a little.

Looking back on the progress of this year, some of you may think of the Divine Truth Card1. During the New Year Gathering2 held at the beginning of the year, each participant is given a card with the words of one of the Twelve Bodaishin3 written on it. They received one of the following cards: Heart like the Moon, Heart like Fire, Heart like the Sky, Heart like a Mountain, Heart like Ears of Rice, Heart like a Spring, Heart like a River, Heart like the Earth, Heart like the Kannon Bodhisattva, Heart like the Wind, Heart like the Sea, and Heart like the Sun.

Having received the Divine Truth Card, we do not take it as a coincidence, but we ask ourselves, “What does this calling4 mean?” We try to accept the necessity, the reason, and the meaning of the calling. It means that the card becomes a theme and object that we take to heart throughout the year.

Which Bodaishin of the Divine Truth Card did you receive at the beginning of the year? How did that Bodaishin play out for your progress this year? There is more significance than we can imagine in turning our minds to Bodaishin upon receiving the card.

Mind and Consciousness That Influence Our Inner Power

We human beings embrace great responsibility and potential.

There spreads an infinitely vast world outside of us. But the reality is that there are places we have never visited and people we have never met, even in our own neighborhoods.

In other words, it is no exaggeration to say that, for each of us, the vastness of the outer world, the outer universe, is infinite.

It is not only the outer world that is infinite, however. Our inner world, our inner universe, is no less vast than the outer world.

According to psychology, the structure of our consciousness is composed of two elements: a surface consciousness, also known as ego consciousness or normal consciousness, in which we think and speak, and a personal unconsciousness below it. A personal unconsciousness includes not only repressed consciousness but also forgotten memories and recollections of a lifetime of experiences.

Deep beneath it is the collective unconsciousness, which includes the knowledge and wisdom of humankind that transcends history and ethnicity, as well as a treasury of information. The inner universe also includes the transcendent and spiritual consciousness that unites them all. That is to say that the inner universe, the inner world, also has an infinite vastness.

And yet, we do not have direct access to that vast inner universe, the “soul.” We cannot control our “soul” to move as we wish.

The key to unlocking the power of the “soul” lies in our “mind,” our consciousness. We can move the inner universe through our “mind.” And we can bring forth the power of the “soul” that resonates with our “mind.” The “mind” is what enables us to create reality that was previously unattainable.

Advocating Bodaishin

It is dependent on what kind of “mind” we have that determines our entire inner power. Depending on the state of our “mind,” we bring out our inner power, which can either become light or darkness.

This is why it is of great significance for us to advocate Bodaishin as a way of life.

In a word, Bodaishin is a mind that is willing to step outside of one’s boundaries to contribute to a better reality for people and the world. The frequency of the “mind” that tries to do its best for the situation at hand, even if it means to put oneself aside, draws out the power of the “soul” within.

I cannot help but hope that you will spend these precious moments at the end of the year and the beginning of the coming year with this in mind.

Editor’s Note

1. Divine Truth Card

Each card is filled with light by Takahashi-sensei and is written the words of one of the Twelve Bodaishin (a mind that seeks one’s true self, loves others, and contributes to world harmony). All participants are given the card during the New Year Gathering held at the beginning of the year, and the card serves as an important guide for the year ahead.

2. New Year Gathering

It is a gathering held in January every year, and Takahashi-sensei gives a lecture on how to live in the new year. Each participant is given a Divine Truth Card. This is one of the six holy day gatherings held by GLA.

3. Bodaishin

Bodaishin is a Buddhist term originally used to refer to the “mind that seeks enlightenment.” I would like to define Bodaishin more broadly as a “mind that seeks one’s true self, loves others, and contributes to world harmony.” Bodaishin is a mind not only seeks to develop and perfect oneself, but it is a mind that expands one’s boundaries to care for others and work for the good of the whole. The major problems of our time, such as global warming, world poverty, and social inequality, cannot be truly solved without Bodaishin at work. Bodaishin is what is essential for our lives and the world to truly shine. (Excerpt from pp. 4-5 of Twelve Bodaishin, The Way That the Soul Shines Brightest, available only in Japanese)

4. Calling

Each encounter, each event, is not something that happens to us by “chance or accident.” They come to us out of necessity, for a reason, and have meaning. When we call out this sensibility of the soul, when we make the soul our center of gravity, we are able to ask of even the most negative situation, “What is this encounter, this event, calling me to do?” And we are able to step out on a new way of living as we ask ourselves, “How can I change?” (Excerpt from pp. 47-49 of Reclaim Your Life, The Power to Survive the Time of the Unbelievable, available only in Japanese)

Excerpt Translation of G. Monthly Journal December 2023 issue
Preliminary translation by GLA member-volunteers
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