We are now being asked about our way of life by the many challenges facing us.
It has been past three 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 280,000 people who are forced to live in temporary housing.
In addition, we are grappling with many other serious issues such as global warming, natural disasters, war, poverty, an unequal society, bulling, and suicide.
In 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 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 it is 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. It is rather a way of living that builds a mutually-supporting society.
Keizan Zenji taught that when we practice zazen the essential way of living filled with the mind of compassion expands.
Next year, the Great Memorial Ceremony for the 650th Anniversary of Daihonzan Sojiji's Second Abbot Gasan Joseki Zenji will be held. This year, we are carrying out the Preliminary Memorial Ceremony in various regions all over the world.
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 bodhisattva practice of generosity, face with the suffering of other people, convey the mind of loving-kindness, and proceed the bodhisattva practice of supporting each other.
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