Spiritual Construction (Kokoro no fushin)

by Yoshikazu Fukaya

The Kojien dictionary defines fushin as: "Gathering people at a Zen temple. Also, enlisting people's labor for the construction of temple buildings. By extension construction in general." In smaller dictionaries, fushin is simply defined as: "Construction of houses, etc." In any case, the word fushin refers not only to the construction of buildings but also to the construction of such things as bridges and roads.

Oyasama constantly used metaphors to illustrate what She was teaching. Construction [fushin] was a metaphor She employed to describe the actualization of the world of the Joyous Life--the world in which people have settled the intention of God the Parent in their heart and live in harmony and unity, helping one another.

By 1853, the Nakayama family had at last fallen to the depths of poverty. Zenbei had just passed away and the family home was now ready to be sold. It would be dismantled and taken to the buyer's village where it would be reassembled. On the day for the dismantling, Oyasama said to the workers: "Now I shall begin to build a new world. Celebrate the occasion with Me!" She then treated them to food and drink, leading them to say to one another that they had never seen such gaiety at the dismantling of anyone's house.

The first "material" construction in this Path took place some ten years later, when the people who had been saved by Oyasama joined their efforts to build the place for the Service. This construction was the crystallization of their joy at having been saved and their desire to make a return for the blessings they had received. Since then, more than a century has passed. During this long span of time, construction after construction has been undertaken, gradually changing the appearance of the Home of the Parent. Yet we must remember that, behind all of this construction, the true desire of God the Parent was the people's sincerity of mind that went into this "material construction."

We are taught that "spiritual construction," or "construction of the mind," is the basis of all construction in this Path. As our minds draw closer to the intention of God the Parent step by step and the Parent's mind becomes settled in our minds, we shall also be rewarded with the joy of material blessings. The construction of our minds will lead to material construction. Or, if we set about on some material construction, it will encourage us to reflect on our minds and refine our minds, and will thus lead to our spiritual construction. In a Divine Direction delivered on June 15, 1980, we are taught: "Miraculous construction for salvation--miraculous construction to accept the mind of sincerity."

(The above is a translation--first published in the September 1990 issue of TENRIKYO--of an article excerpted from Omichi-no-kotoba by Yoshikazu Fukaya, published by Doyusha Publishing Company.)