Compass of the Times 177

Compass of the Times 177

To Pray

Keiko Takahashi

To be Grateful for Each Day of This Year

We have only a month left until the end of 2018.

The flow of time keeps accelerating towards the end of the year. It is extremely difficult to keep our mind undisturbed, but today I would like you to stop a while and reflect back on the progress you have made over the year.

What do you find in the innumerable encounters and incidents you have recorded in your mind this year? Some might have been memorized as unforgettable experiences, or others might have already sunk deep in the depths of your memory.

However, more than anything, it is an undeniable fact that all of them were necessary to make up the reality of the passing year. They are none other than what brought us the blueprint1 entrusted to us and gave us the chance for its actualization regardless of whether or not it was actually accomplished.

This is all the more reason why we would like to express a heartfelt gratitude to such innumerable fragments of experiences and to the Great Existence that brought them to us.

I would like you to recall them in your mind once more and savor them in your thoughts as your footprints of the passing year.

Not to Forget the Prayerful Heart

Among them, there might be many problems and trials such as incidents that made you anguished or emergency situations that placed pressure on your mind. Or there might be situations you faced in which you wished for an achievement or desired a goal that you wanted to accomplish no matter what.

Were you able to confront such realities straightforwardly and work on them without avoidance or postponement?

If you could do so, it means that you made every effort at that moment to improve the situation in one way or another. You must have tried to come closer, even one more step, to the actualization of the blueprint.

Behind those steps, I believe you were filled with a prayerful heart. You entrusted yourself to the existence that surpasses you and asked for the great guidance so that your heart would not be crushed by difficulties and you were given assistance, even if only just a little.

We live in this world with a condition of Saha2 (a place to endure suffering). There, the laws of disintegration3 and uncontrollability4 prevail. No matter how small, nothing can be controlled by our will.

That is the very reason why I think we, who live in such a world, should not forget the prayerful heart.

It is written in some dictionaries that a prayer means to plead something, such as for protection and salvation, from God.

Because each incident or situation is not under our control, prayer is for us to focus our minds so that each of us might be led, even if just a little, toward what we wished for; so that great assistance would be given to our progress.

Essence of the Prayer: Entrusting Ourselves to the Signs of the Great Existence

However, I feel that the essence of the prayer does not always align with such appeals and desires of one individual.

Of course, for many people, the starting point of the prayer may be their wishes or desires. However, when we trace back the essence of the prayer, we are always guided to a broader horizon.

The prayer means none other than to surpass our hopes and desires or wishes and entrust ourselves to the signs of the Great Existence that is present in the world. The essence of the prayer is to ride on the current of the Divine will, the breath of God that exists everywhere.

At that time, we will be guided to the spiritual level in which we aspire, beyond our personal desire, for what should emerge emerges in the world, and that we are then able to go where we should go.

May the reality that should emerge in the world emerge.

May we go to where we should go.

I sincerely wish that we are able to keep our prayers at all times on our paths.


Editor’s Note

1. Blueprint

There is a blueprint for everything. When we wish to accomplish something, we must first remember the fact that a blueprint exists—an image of what should be there from the start. This means there are answers to be sought in all cases and ways to access them. Putting it in other words, there is always a best possible path to take in any situation. (Excerpted and summarized from The Soul Doctrine as a Way of Life by Keiko Takahashi, pp.98-99)

2. Saha

“Rarely does everything go just as we want. In reality, we are constantly facing ordeals and injustices. I have explained the fact that this world is not paradise by using the Buddhist concept, “this world is Saha.” Saha literally means the place where we must endure distressing situations and accept unbearable things.” (Excerpted from The Reason Why You were Born as You by Keiko Takahashi, p.35)

3. Law of Disintegration

The law of disintegration corresponds to the Buddhist term, all is impermanent. In science, there is a law of disorder, which otherwise is known as the second law of thermodynamics or the law of increase in entropy (entropy being a physical quantity to show complexity and disorder). In our world, all things move toward disorder; they never move on their own toward order. (Excerpted from Your Best for a New Era by Keiko Takahashi, p.101)

4. Law of Uncontrollability

Uncontrollability means things do not go the way we want them to. The law of uncontrollability teaches us that all things exist in a state of complex relationships, and in that state, we cannot make things go our way. In Buddhism, the law is expressed by the term, all is interconnected. (Excerpted from Your Best for a New Era by Keiko Takahashi, p.101)