Scenery in Jiba Brings Insight into the Parent's Intention

This is a translation of an article written by Hideo Ueda, head minister of Hontamachi Branch Church, for the Tenri Jiho newspaper's column entitled "The Ofudesaki, My Companion along the Way."

If only the mind is purified completely, there will be nothing but delight in everything.

Ofudesaki XIV:50

The above verse became one of my companion verses not because some major incident or event occurred. Rather, the verse just popped into my head one day when I was looking at the familiar scenery in Jiba.

About 10 years ago, I lived in the Home of the Parent and served as the manager of a followers dormitory. Every day, I walked to attend the morning service at the headquarters with students of Shuyoka, the Spiritual Development Course. On the way to the Main Sanctuary, the mountains to the east would come into view. Since I attended high school and college in the Home of the Parent, these mountains are as familiar to me as those in my hometown.

On a clear winter's morning, the rising sun would pierce the crisp air to bring into sharp relief the contours of the mountains.

It was on one such morning that the following realization suddenly came to me: "Things look sharp and crisp on clear, sunny days. Yet they don't look so sharp in the presence of any cloud or haze. Perhaps something similar can be said about the human mind. A mind that has become completely clear of any clouding can see things as they really are, thereby allowing truth to settle in the heart."

When I attended the Head Minister Qualification Course, I asked my homeroom instructor--the late Rev. Fukutaro Uemura--to write a message for me on a large square card, and he obliged me. "This is a teaching intended to make the mind completely clear and pure so that it does not become attached to anything. Water flows effortlessly, ever so effortlessly," he wrote.

The complete purification of the mind leads to joyousness and high-spiritedness. Purifying the mind through the morning and evening services and maintaining the true sincerity of mind as we go through each day will ensure that we find nothing but delight in everything, whatever it is, each day of our life. This is what the Parent intends us to experience, and this parental intention is embodied in the verse cited at the outset.

At the end of the morning service, I always recite this verse and say to God, "I will try to keep my mind clear and pure throughout this day."