Hinokishin (Daily Acts of Gratitude)

A surprising number of people seem to go through the motions of life–waking up, cleaning the house, cooking, eating, studying, working, and so forth–without feeling anything extraordinary in these actions. What is behind these everyday actions we take for granted and what makes them possible, however, is the providence of God the Parent. This constant and unchanging providence not only sustains our lives but also enables us to correct our use of mind so that we may live together in a harmonious relationship with others.

This providence is the foundation upon which our daily lives are built, and embodied in this providence is the parental heart that wishes for all humankind to lead the Joyous Life. When we realize how extraordinary and precious this providence is, a sense of gratitude will well up within us. Since the key to showing one’s gratitude is to do something that will bring joy to one’s benefactor, we can easily understand that our gratitude is best expressed by using our minds and bodies in a manner that is conducive to realizing the Joyous Life, as that is what most delights God the Parent. Expressing our gratitude to God the Parent by selflessly using our minds and bodies for the sake of others is what we call “hinokishin.”

Hinokishin can be done anywhere, and it can take a variety of forms. We just need to give a little thought to what we can do selflessly and then put it into practice. This way of using the mind and body is refreshing and fun, and it can be done by anyone, whether one is young or old, in good health or not. Even patients staying in hospitals, for example, can performhinokishin by offering kind and encouraging words to the other patients around them.

Since “hinokishin” refers to other-centered actions, there is no trace of self-centered thought in hinokishin. Consequently, the hinokishin we perform as a means of expressing our gratitude to God the Parent ultimately corrects the way we use our minds and enables us to return to our true and original state so that we can lead the Joyous Life.
Hinokishin brings joy to God, joy to others, and joy to ourselves.