Nowadays we are confronting many serious problems and much difficult work concerning our human life. We are faced with restoring communities severely damaged by the Great East Japan Earthquake, the tsunami and the accidents at Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station. We seek to realize a society in which people can enjoy a safe and peaceful life without relying on nuclear power, and to solve the problems of bullying, suicide, the gap issues, poverty, war, and so many others.
These are problems not only for Japan but for the whole world. They are all linked with Sotoshu's slogan, which hopes for "Respect of human rights, establishment of peace and protection of the environment." Let us take people's suffering as our own and reconsider the society which seeks only self-centered comfort and convenience. Let us create a new society where the life of each and every person is deeply cherished.
For this purpose, this year we center on "giving (fuse)", one of the Four Integrative Methods of Bodisattvas, setting it as a concrete goal to work toward "Face, communicate, and support" in 2013. "Giving" is to generously share what we have with each other, whether it is material, emotional or intellectual.
Dogen Zenji teaches that giving means not to covet. Giving is a way of life in which we support each other without using flattery, without expecting a reward.
Keizan Zenji teaches that through zazen we can construct a proper lifestyle filled with compassion. Let us not waste even a single day. Every day let us regulate posture, breath, and mind and sit down quietly in front of the Buddha and ancestors.
Even though the way we travel is long and steep, we should strive to face others' sorrow and pain, communicate straightforwardly and understand each other's feelings. We should also strive to cultivate the bodhisattva's way of generosity and support each other.
Shakyamuni Buddha teaches us to raise the mind of immeasurable compassion toward all sentient beings.
Namu Shakamunibutsu. (Homage to Shakyamuni Buddha.)
Head Priest of Sotoshu