The many challenges we now face offer us the opportunity to reexamine our way of life.
It has been more than four years since the Great East Japan Earthquake, the great tsunami, and the accident at Tokyo Electric Power Company's Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station. Nevertheless, the goal of the reconstruction remains distant. It is impossible to fully fathom the grief and suffering of the many families who lost members in the disaster as well as the 240,000 people who are forced to live in temporary housing.
In addition, we are grappling with many other serious issues, such as global warming, a trend toward more frequent natural disasters, war, poverty, social inequality, bullying, and suicide.
In light of this reality, I hope that we will reexamine our society in which people only seek their own comfort and convenience. We must focus on "respect for human rights, establishment of peace, and conservation of the environment." I also hope for the realization of a society where we do not need to rely on nuclear energy, and where each and every individual life is valued. To realize this kind of society, we once again learn from and practice the teaching of "generosity," one of the components of "The Bodhisattva's Four All-Embracing Methods." This is a practice in which we share generously, whether we are sharing something material or spiritual, and through which we support each others'lives.
Dogen Zenji taught that generosity is not to be greedy. This is a way of living where we do not use flattery and where we do not give something to others with the expectation of what we might receive in return.
Keizan Zenji taught that we dedicate the boundless merit of zazen to all sentient beings with great compassion.
This is the year of the Great Memorial Ceremony for the 650th Anniversary of Daihonzan Sojiji's Second Abbot Gasan Joseki Zenji. Let us express our deepest gratitude for his grace on this great opportunity.
Gasan Zenji taught about the teaching of "Sojo" (transmission), which is for us to sit quietly in an upright posture, regulate the breath, and settle our minds. We also study the teachings of "Shakyamuni Buddha and the Two Founders," follow in their steps, and transmit their teachings carefully through our practice.
Let us inherit the practice of generosity, pray together for the peace of mind for all living beings, and proceed with the bodhisattva practice of standing together and walking together.
I take refuge in Shakyamuni Buddha.
I take refuge in Koso Joyo Daishi Dogen Zenji.
I take refuge in Taiso Josai Daishi Keizan Zenji.
Head Priest of the Sotoshu