Dick Dusek's Dosage
Wednesday, March 10, 1999 Mitsuaki Otsubo Praying to Kami with true intentions means that after clapping your hands and facing the altar, you will not turn around even if a spear pokes you. Your wholehearted prayers will not reach Kami if you allow yourself to be distracted by noises and voices. [Teachings of Konko Daijin #97] When seeing a red flame as white that is the climax of faith. It's teaching the posture for those who turn to Kami. I wish to practice such faith that problems don't become problems. The ardent wish of the parent for the child and the child for the parent becomes so passionate and priceless that it leads straight to Kami. People without reverence for Kami are far removed from realizing every precious thing. It is said that a single heart in Kami is to wholeheartedly reach the peak of actually sensing the precious things of Kami. 7/17/72 [Mini-teaching of Rev. Soichiro Otsubo] Single-hearted with Kami --- Single-hearted with the process. There's nothing that goes to waste. It's all divine love at work. At the beginning of his blessings, the founder at age 42 writes a huge circle to symbolize his joy. He realized he didn't even know what or how he was irreverent to Kami's world. Such a low point was his weakest point. But then this zero (can we say) became the beginning of Kami's great blessings. We mistakenly feel we have power, but actually we are powerless. Until we admit our weakness, Kami's blessings cannot begin. With the sense of being self-powered we cannot feel the Kami within us.
Tuesday, March 9, 1999 Rev. Mitsuaki Otsubo When selecting a spouse, do not be concerned about superficial qualities, but be sure of the sincerity of their heart. [How to develop Faith #36] I feel the sincerity that is necessary for them to be sure of the sincerity of their hearts is that each have belief and comes to believe in each other. There's a saying, "The midwinter pine stands superb." The exceeding beauty of the pine is that it endures without even a change of color no matter how cold it is. The spirit of the pine is what I wish to gain. 7/29/74 [Mini-teaching of Rev. Soichiro Otsubo] The strength of belief gives you the power to believe. It's not just a renewal of one's heart which believes, but a new and fresh approach to exprsessing truer belief. Maybe somewhat like: Instead of the kindness of someone you dislike, the nearly impossible request of one you like. To add a new twist, we would like to be loved by Kami in such a way. The spirit of the pine is a larger heart, greater faith. May our spirit go beyond the superstitutions of our time. Belief is truth, sincere.
Monday, March 8, 1999 Rev. Mitsuaki Otsubo Should The Principal Parent of the universe enter a shrine, the world would turn dark. [Teachings of Konko Daijin #10] Vast and infinite divine virtue is overflowing throughout the universe. It's neither the inside nor the outside of the shrine. It's not that Kami cannot leave the shrine because of being enshrined. And also Kami cannot be closed up in a shrine. However, man has various feelings and concepts. With the sound of opening the shrine doors, we feel our hearts being opened. When the lamps for Kami are turned on bright, the worshiper feels his or her heart-soul swept clean. The point is to open and brighten one's own heart and soul. 7/24/75 [Mini-teaching of Rev. Soichiro Otsubo] I feel that Kami is now emerging in the faith of Airaku today. If we don't catch Kami's work, then we have put Kami inside the shrine. Kami is forever moving; continually at work, flowing like unstoppable water. It's a huge grand Kami of the whole universe. So huge we don't notice it. Our 2,000 years of human history is tinier than a drop in a bucket, Kami knows no beginning and has to end. Kami cannot be killed. Thinking of the seven graves the founder made in the 17 years from 1836 to 1853 is his faith stage of feeling lost. Our first pastor's phase of feeling lost can be given as his youth from 1928 when he starts working to the end of the war 1945. Then by receiving divine light they each begin to search, groping to find the way to true faith, the ideal in faith. We must take the light and experiment and search for our true faith. Within the hugeness of Kami's divine works of blessings and trials, with the light we will be able to see enough to start the search for our true faith.We will, of course, go through stages of low feelings and the groping phase, too.
NOTE:::> Names of people in the founder's days are given with the family name first. Saturday, March 6, 1999 Rev. Katsuhiko Otsubo, Pastor Carrying a heavy load on your shoulders or back may be burden-some, but practicing faith is not. It is easy. Practice faith while you do your daily work. [Teachings of Konko Daijin #40] Tokugawa Ieyasu (the generalissimo who united the country and started the Edo or Tokugawa period of 250 years) thought of life in this world as a heavy burden to carry over hills and up mountains. Most of the people of the world think of it in exactly the same way. However burdensome it is, Konko Daijin teaches the way to receive the strength to be able to carry it with pleasure and gratitude. Moreover, it is a way that humans can learn as they work at their jobs, living their lives as human beings. With the spirit to try, anyone can receive it. 7/31/81 [Mini-teaching of Rev. Soichiro Otsubo] The way Konko Daijin teaches people to live and be saved requires nothing special. No ascetic practices; no special religious austerities. They only distract you from practicing faith; they'll confuse you. The religious training of this faith does not involve traditional physical austerities. Doing your everyday work is religious training. [Teaching/ KD #39] The founder taught Tsugawa Haruo: There are people who burn incense on their hand, or fast, or do cold-water ablutions during winter. And there are those who abstain from eating their favorite foods. Mr. Tsugawa, you are also starting to abstain from eating certain foods. You should stop this and change your promises of abstinence to Kami. They are not religious practices, but delusions. You should start eating the foods you are abstaining from. The important thing is to continue faith with a firm and unchanging heart. Kami knows who are and who are not firm in their faith. ..... [Book II, Tsugawa #13] Also a teaching for Fukushima Gihe'e: .... Since there are austerities in any faith, I asked what kind of austerities I should undergo to agree with the heart of Kami. Konko Daijin imparted, "In this world, there are austerities of fire and water, and people who practice various taboos. But in this faith, you need not do such austerities. Instead of donning a white robe and going on a pilgrimage, think of your everyday work as practicing religious austerities. Then receive divine blessings. For the sake of the world and its people, if you are able to live a happy and harmonious life and able to pursue your work with gratitude, these will be your blessings. This is how to agree with the heart of Kami. [Book II, Fukushima #8 para 2&3] So you see Konko faith teaches a simple way of religious training. It is teaching a simple way for the fundamental salvation of people. Blessings are found in your peaceful joyful heart. You train your faith in your everyday activities. This training requires you to take up the process of your life respectfully. It the very spirit of the founder, who was able to accept the divine call and began to assist Kami's mission to save people. What we must not overlook is the faith the founder had up until receiving the call from Kami, that is, the finest unparalleled intimate relationship with Tenchi Kane No Kami. That is why he was able to quit his occupation and give assistance to Tenchi Kane No Kami. The saving of man is the saving of Kami. Both Kami and man will be fulfilled. "Everyone will become forever prosperous. As a parent cares for a child and a child cares for their parents, people will be saved by this mutual relationship of Kami and man." That this is the will of Kami is what we have to have engraved in our hearts. We believers must not forget the spirit of the founder at the time he staked his life to accept the divine call. "When people forget their difficulties they tend to become more like nobility. Religiously speaking that is the most horrible thing. What it is to succeed one's parents is not the inheritance of house or estate. It's to inherit the way one's parents took difficulties." An excerpt from the words of Rev. Kanshiroh Nagai [Mini-teaching of Rev. Soichiro Otsubo] 7/22/72 During the bouts of smallpox the founder's three children had in 1859, the family did not need to look after them overnight. Moreover, they cared for the oldest girl in the afternoon; the youngest son, only in the morning; and the older sister attended to the youngest daughter. "This was in accordance with Kami's instructions, which we always followed." In other words, it was in accordance with the process, which was always respected. Faith is put central in our lives. Train your faith in everyday work. The process respected leads the way to what "Konko Daijin teaches is to be able to carry on one's life with pleasure and gratitude."
Friday, March 5, 1999 Rev. Katsuhiko Otsubo, Pastor Kami dislikes fields or estates which have been deserted. [Teachings of Konko Daijin #14] For the heart which has been deserted there will be no blessings. Kami dislikes it when those of the house are in disaccord. It is taught, "You have blessings in your heart" and "The foundation of faith is to be in harmony with one's family." Soldiers joining the auxilary transport brigade; Butterflies or dragonflies together with birds fly. It's teasing someone about something trifle. Even for one's faith to mature there is no other way but to care for the heart. Namely, do practices which enlarge or enrich it. [Mini-teaching of Rev. Soichiro Otsubo] 7/31/69 Let's become limitlessly enriched, limitlessly beautiful. This was taught at Kabame (the period, 1950 - 1967, before the construction of Airaku Church). This is what we wish to practice so the heart doesn't lose its blessings. In a comic book I received yesterday it takes up the problems of life and builds to the conclusion that the problem is the heart. That is great as far as it goes, but that's as far as it went. It doesn't cover the major point of how to develop this heart. How can we remove the heavy helmet ofour selfish desires? How can we cut down on our selfishness? We use the problems of our life to renew and develop a greater enriched spirit, a more beautiful heart-soul. Yesterday Rev. Dick received: The difficulties and problems are used to ignite the engines of the spirit. It's what gets the spirit-heart into action. This is what the founder did. You can see the many problems that the founder faced time after time in his own written account. For example, in 1876 alone: repeated financial troubles of his oldest son, marriage troubles of both of his two daughters, police coming again and again interrupting his religious work. Also Kami informs him to expect something happy on April 17 or 18; so, on the 17th, he hears a rumor that wrongly accuses him of burglary, and, on the 18th, he is told about his mother-in-law getting angry with his oldest daughter. Kami tells him, "Good things become difficult, and difficult things become good. On May 10 your difficulties will become good." His oldest son suffering again saying his wife is ill; his youngest daughter on the verge of divorce. For all things, he asks for Kami's blessings. On August 13, Kami reveals he should endure even if someone urinates on him (this actually happened when his teachings upset the mountain ascetic priests). Kami promised to clean him up, so he should be patient no matter what people may say or do. Kami continued, "The way of the universe is collapsing. Broaden the way. Teach the way which will help people in trouble. You may tell others that this Diety does not care how people treat Him." Thus, as the founder, we should face inward and develop the heart. Use the problems that surround you to keep up your energy to work on the inside of the heart, the contents of your spirit. Kami is within you, so you won't be working alone. But you need to face the right direction to renew the spirit of the heart. Divine blessings know no bounds. The faith-heart can be enriched endlessly; the human spirit can become limitlessly beautiful. Use the activity of the process. It's the divine guide for developing the human heart evermore thankful, enriching it with natural beauty. Face inward, ask Kami to help, use the process of life, and develop the heart. Let's become limitlessly enriched, limitlessly beautiful.
Thursday, March 4, 1999 Rev. Katsuhiko Otsubo, Pastor Konko Daijin did not have anyone he could ask for teachings. Many people come from afar to receive divine blessings. However, if you have divine virtue, you will be able to pray on your own. [Teachings of Konko Daijin #64] Not getting what you are seeking is lonely and sad. At times you even get mad. Realizing I'm without virtue, I search deeper and deeper for faith. And then my heart (inner eye) opens and I come to be able to live in a world of blessings beyond my desires and prayers. A world I never even dreamed of opens before me. This is what it means that with "divine virtue you are able to pray on your own." [Mini-teaching of Rev. Soichiro Otsubo] 7/16/77 The pastor viewed the movie of the founder's life. It gives a good over-view of the events in living sequence. It was quite emotionally moving from beginning to end. If you can, you should view it. Ask a Konko ministerat the church near you. The virtue to be able to pray on your own is well illustrated in the next mini-teaching: As a baby, you are feed soft, easy-to-digest food. Upon growing up you are able to feed yourself, picking up the cup and holding the fork or spoon. This is how you're able to do it on your own. .... [Mini-teach/ Rev. S. Otsubo] 7/24/82 The faith of our church today has come to this point. Therefore, we have started to learn and develop our understanding of this to move on further. The founder was prohibited from any religious work in 1873. It lasted only for a month's time, from February 19 until March 20. The government was cracking down on Shinto priests. Finally, the village administrator decided he couldn't ignore the official notice any longer and ordered the altar fixtures to be stored away. Kami told the founder to take a rest. As the government regulations wheregetting stricter on religions, the founder had made the note: "Yamato, Japan of old, shall end." Later he rewrote it as: "The world keeps changing." However, it was just such a feeling. All had been stopped after all these years from 1859, where he had first accepted the divine call of Kami. This was February 17 just before the village office ordered him to close his church. Kami revealed that his family should not forget the Principle Parent of the Universe, and rely on Kami for good times and the bad. He was not to worry and no matter what happened, should not depend on other people. Kami added, his family should get along well and speak to each other politely. They should not lack sincerity. It was after this great trial, on April 11, that he was to write what is called, T H E D I V I N E R E M I N D E R _____________________________________ I k i g a m i K o n k o D a i j i n T E N C H I K A N E N O K A M I Pray with a single heart. Divine favor depends upon one's own heart. Now pray on this very day. _____________________________________ The founder's faith was truly developed through this Divine Reminder. The year before, on August 31, 1872, this revelation is recorded: Tell the followers to uphold the community of Ikigami Konko Daijin which spreads the way of Kami's universe. Pray whole- heartedly for the Konko Daijin community. Instead of saying, "I will chant a prayer for you," say, "I will mediate your request to Kami." Tell all the believers that they should give their requests through their own hearts. Blessings are found in one's heart. And the year before that, on September 8, 1871, another revelation: Just give teachings of this faith to those who come with requests for fate and fortune, building construction, building renovation, house moving, or marriage arrangement. So you can see the founder's faith was slowly developed to the point wherehe could realize that blessings do actually come through one's heart. And that this needs to be taught to believers, so they can all receive the virtue to pray on their own. It took time to reach this point. But once getting started along the way, it can be done in a couple of years. The founder went through steps of ranks in his development of faith: February 14, 1858 Accepted as a follower of Kami October 29, 1858 Made a First Grade Disciple of Kami January 27, 1959 Bunji Daimyojin (1st divine name) July 9, 1859 Konshi Daimyojin (2nd divine name) Each step along the way he underwent trials; in other words, his faith was tested all along the way. He became a follower of Kami after revering Kami at his brother's (Kandori Shige'emon) chapel which he helped to build. After receiving revelations from Kami, he is made a disciple. After following divine instructions in his farming, he receives his first divine name, Bunji Daimyojin. After the trail of his daughter's bout with smallpox, where she is near-to-death, the second divine name is given to him. To summarize, to pray on your own depends on the blessings found in your heart. By developing a peaceful and joyful heart, virtues are realized, and you will be able to practice faith on your own.
Wednesday, March 3, 1999 Rev. Katsuhiko Otsubo, Pastor Practicing faith is easy. It is people who make it difficult. Even if you have practiced faith from three to five years, you can still become easily confused. If you continually practice faith for ten years, then you can celebrate with gratitude in your heart. Each day is the beginning of all the days to come. Therefore, receive divine blessings each and every day so everything will go well. You should practice your faith easily. [Teachings of Konko Daijin #69] People become skilled at what they really like. We need to like our faith. In order to do that, we should listen to someone who likes faith. To seek for the depths of faith is so pleasant, so joyful. With a heart that has hands clasped in prayer, there are no limits. Like the joint of a bamboo tree, each and every joint of your faith should be taken seriously. From that joint comes new buds, and then branches. 7/29/82 [Mini-teaching of Rev. Soichiro Otsubo] The founder has left to us an easy way to practice true faith. It's ordinary and human; anyone can do it anywhere, in any era, in any culture. And it's the absolute way to really be saved. First, such a fundamental way for humans to attain true faith, true joy is actually as easy as being human. When the founder (age 11) was adopted into the Kawate family, he was asked his likes and dislikes. He said he prefered rice, over the barley meal farmers usual ate. He adopted parents feed him whole rice, even though it was expensive. And he asked if he could visit shrines and temples on holidays because he liked going to worship.So naturally human, and religious. Our first pastor, also, had a religious upbringing from both sides of his family -- Konko faith and Buddhist. What's so important is the natural stages of your faith. Each and every step is ever so important. "Each and every joint of your faith should be taken seriously." How did the founder reach such faith? He went through stages of tests. For example, in 1858 he didn't put oil in his rice paddies and used a newly repaired mortar to grind unhulled rice, both with divine blessings. Both put him beyond all common practices. Kami demonstrated he need not worry about insects in his paddies by having him rest outside his mosquito net. Since he experienced no great harm from the many mosquitos swarming around him, he then could try the uncommon practice of not using oil in his rice paddies. It resulted in better quality rice at harvesting time. Also, turning the mortar to hull the rice, he was singing and enjoying the task. Suddenly Kami told him to try it alone. He fell short of breath and could no longer sing. The divine blessings he was receiving put him in awe. Kami is at work in these very processes of our lives. The process is where Kami is working. There is the awe of divine blessings. Our pastor goes to play golf once in awhile. The blessings around him are amazing. Once it had snowed the day before, but was a sunny spring-like day as he played golf. The next day it rained. It's awe inspiring. The process is the greatest divine work. Within this divinely blessed process is our fundamental salvation. Any human being can attain the divine blessings of the process; it's the absolute way to being saved. With faith in this process you will really worship your own heart/soul. Yes, it takes ten years or so to really attain it. The greatest of divine works are found in the everyday process of human life. The heart which takes the process as divinity at work is to be worshiped. Anyone can do it. It comes about in natural stages through the very process of your life. Yes, you can worship the divine blessings raised in your own heart's spirit. The process is where divinity works. Be in awe.
Tuesday, March 2, 1999 Rev. Katsuhiko Otsubo, Pastor Konko Daijin did not have anyone he could ask for teachings. Many people come from afar to receive divine blessings. However, if you have divine virtue, you will be able to pray on your own. [Teachings of Konko Daijin #64] We seek mediation, receive mediation and return home. That is, our prayers are heard, they are also answered and we go home. To carry that out is to obtain divine virtue and become able to pray on your own. An older lady who had practiced faith for a long time just came to worship after a lapse of three months. She was troubled by a problem in human relations. It was then I told her, "It may look like a problem, but it is a gift to you from Kami." She expressed her gratitude and said, "I feel easier after what you said today." And when accepting it with hands pressed together in grateful prayer as a gift from Kami and as a sacred event or happening, it becomes a divine virtue just as it is which enables you to pray on your own. 7/15/71 [Mini-teaching of Rev. Soichiro Otsubo] The divine request for Airaku is for 100 virtuous people. This means theytake the process of life as divine work. It's to receive the process with respect, seeking for the divine meaning, the truth within it, Read the 1 section of the 2nd Chap of The Book of Revelations. It talks of the founder worshiping at his brother's home on Jan 1, 1858. In the Memoirs of Konko Daijin the two sections about his daughter, Kura, nearly dying at age nine from smallpox. The story is told in excellent detail so the real emotions are deeply felt. It demonstrates that even with his daughter at the point of death, he felt thankful for the revelations he received from Kami. He prays to Kami and even receives an easy to understand divine sign that Kura is to recover. Compare this with the fears and confusions he had before when family members had passed away. A summary of the seven graves is written in teh Memoirs in Chap 6 - 9 - 4. Then in the Book of Revelations chap 21, section 21 is one example of Kura's mother-in-law receiving Kami's anger. These four selections demonstrate various levels and types of prayer and response: virtue develops from 1858, revelations are received, or only fears and superstitions, or virtues being cut off by Kami. In conclusion, the account of a small daughter of the Otsubo family and how she enjoys daily practice with her band instrument. She comes home and practices instead of playing with friends. She mentioned this to our pastor, so he asked her how she can enjoy this practice so much and even clean the instrument after each time. She was taught by her older daughter that practicing for the band is like eating, and cleaning the instrument is like giving it a bath. Thus everyday she enjoys practicing with and cleaning her band instrument. This is an excellent example of how to take the process with more respect.
Monday, March 1, 1999 Rev. Katsuhiko Otsubo, pastor Even a fox or badger would be happy to be revered as a kami. People, who are the masters of all living things, should practice faith looking forward to becoming a kami after death. [Teachings of Konko Daijin #44] The faith of Konko Daijin is the way to attain kamihood just as an ordinary person. You need not become a monk. You need not enter the monastery. It's something that happens as you feel the divine love which just has to bring happiness to human beings. When you sense that loving feeling of our Principle Parent, you will pursue nothing other than the way of a kami. 7/4/82 [Mini-teaching of Rev. Soichiro Otsubo] Believers were asked to read sections from the KYOTEN which contains the teachings of the Konko religion. Imagine a microphone being passed from person to person after the 5AM prayers, with the pastor directing who is to read what section. First, from notes made by the founder: I gave thanks early in the morning on October 25, 1881, the service day for Daishogun. Kami-Sama declared, "Ikigami Konko Daijin, you have realized the same virtue as I, Tenchi Kane No Kami." I was filled with awe. Kami-Sama said, "There is no need to be in awe. People are being saved because of you, Konko Daijin. I, Tenchi Kane No Kami, cannot directly help people recover when their eyes go blind or when they are ill. You, Konko Daijin, are able to help with blind eyes, illnesses, troubled lives, and all other problems of people and other living things like birds and animals." Kami-Sama revealed, "During the service, hang and light four paper lanterns bearing the crest." [Record of Revelations, Chap 25, section 27] And then from the founder's autobiographic account: I was born in Urami Village, Asakuchi County, Bitchu Province. I am the grandson of Kandori Sennosuke and the second son of of my father, Juhei. I was born a little before six in the evening on the festival day of the Omiya Daimyojin Village Shrine. My father, born in the Year of the Rooster, was thirty-eight, and my mother, born in the Year of the Hare, was thirty-two. My date of birth was September 29, 1814, the Year of the Dog. I was named Kandori Genshichi. My mother Shimo was the daughter of Kobashi Tokuhachi of Masusaka Village. [Memoirs of Konko Daijin, Chap 1, section 2] Kami reveals the virtuous powers the founder has for saving people; the founder is humble and meek in his awe. In other words, a living man has become a kami, a living-god (Ikigami). This godlike founder records his own birth as completely and totally ordinary -- he was born a common ordinary person. Thus he is testimony to the point that any ordinary person can become like god, an ikigami. Three other readings were about real events from his later years: 1) His son, Shojin (or Asakichi), at the height of repeated financial difficulties: On June 23, 1878 of the Gregorian carlendar, Sumida Sadakichi of Nakayashiki Town in Okayama City, who was a former samurai of the Asao clan, came to talk about Asakichi. He said he was trying to persuade Asakichi to return to his former wife, Kane. I left this matter up to Sumida. He asked me to pay him 5 yen, then he left. Asakichi also told me the above on June 25. I asked Kami-Sama about this, and Kami-Sama revealed, "If Shojin renews his heart, I will give him a scroll from the Ise Grand Shrines. "He should become a person who wants to help others, reform his heart, and be patient. If he does so, I shall protect him. If he does not reform his heart this time, I will treat him like a cat or dog. He will be treated as a cat or dog no matter who brings him to the Horimae (hall of worship). "This time, I won't tell him to be patient for three years. He should try to improve his way of life year by year. He may work as a peddler, carrying merchandise on his back. He should give anything unsold to the people renting his home or to his neighbors and ask them to eat it." I conveyed the revelation to Shojin and said, "Although I am hard pressed for money, I am going to raise it for you. If you cannot reform your heart this time, I will terminate my relationship with you and treat you like a cat or dog even when you become ill." I wrote this on June 25. [Record of Revelations, Chap 22, section 14] 2) The founder's own health in 1879: From February 16, I had diarrhea. During the night of the seventeenth and eighteenth, I had five bouts of diarrhea. I suffered from hemorrhoids which have been chronic. Kami revealed, " I shall relieve you of the poisons in your body. You will begin to recover on the 21st. By March 2nd, almost all the poisons will be eliminated. "You still have poisons in your stomach. The poisons shall be eliminated gradually. People suffer because they do not know how to eliminate the poisons from their stomachs. "Eat whatever you like, build up your physical strength, and receive divine blessings." [Record of Revelations, Chap 23, section 3] 3) His diarrhea continued for six months. Here's the next account: Again my stomach rumbled, and I had diarrhea. Then I expelled flatus loudly and the condition of my stomach improved. I felt a lot better on April sixth. I didn't have any diarrhea on the sixth and seventh. My bowels were cleansed after four days. On the night of September tenth, I had a bowel movement for the first time in four days. This happened as Kami-Sama had told me. [Record of Revelations, Chap 23, section 4] These three records examplify his ordinariness. He had constant troubles just like any of us. He is an ordinary human being with all the usual difficulties of any human being. But even with these human troubles he maintained a virtuous godlike behavior which saved himself and many others. He never lost faith from any of these many difficulties. Anyone can, by giving it a try. It's only normal. Put your faith into practice as the founder demonstrates.
(Back) < Back to the HomePage > -------------------------------------------------------------------------- Name: Rev. Richard Lee Dusek