Newpath Tenrikyo - Tenrikyo Dynamic Mission - STAYING  ON THE PATH

Staying On The Path

Hereafter, I shall speak in the metaphor of a path,
not indicating any place in particular.

Over steep mountains, through tangles of thorns, along narrow
ledges, and through brandished swords, if you come,

Yet ahead through a sea of flames and a deep abyss,
you will arrive at a narrow path.

After following the narrow path step by step, you will
come to a broad path. This is the trustworthy main path.

This talk is not someone else's concern. It is a matter
of you own and your single-heartedness with God.

Long have you wandered on your path until now.
You must be very tired of it.

Finally this time, a trustworthy place of worship
has begun to appear. Be convinced of it!

The poems above speak first of the rather rough and dangerous paths that we have been following since our species has evolved and prior to our arrival at the beginning of a narrow path of single-heartedness with God. 

When we calm our mind and ponder these poems we can see that the metaphors employed in these poems can be read as saying that the "trustworthy place of worship" is not a place in the ordinary common worldly sense but rather refers to single-heartedness with God. A trustworthy place of worship then is not any place in particular as would be the common worldly sense of "place" but instead is the "place" that is found by quickly following the narrow path of working at settling and purifying our mind to reveal the truth of origin at its core.

Since our minds are shallow and function in all matters in a common worldly way it is actually very easy to step off of the path of single-heartedness with God or to miss the beginning of the narrow path all together. Four comments immediately come to mind:

First: The way to stay on the narrow path is to make the work of sincerely calming and settling our mind our first and only priority and intention.

Second: We should be encouraged by the fact that the sincere intention and work of calming our mind will quickly lead to single heartedness with God. It can be done in an evening. Can we spare an evening to do this? This is a very valuable piece of information.

Third: If we find that we are on a path that leads all over the place, through whole lifetimes and generations without revealing the joy of single-heartedness with God then we can be sure that we have stepped off of the path and have lost the way and intention of both the narrow path of single-heartedness for ourselves and the way to the broad path of single-heartedness for all of the minds of the world.

Fourth: Not to worry, if we step off of the path we can get right back on at any time, from anywhere in the world. There is no loss, no falling behind and no penalty other than what we might imagine in our own mind. The truth of origin can be intentionally accessed by any mind at any time and in any place, it is just a matter of mustering the will and the true sincerity to do so.

I am particularly fond of repeating an instruction given by my current Bishop's grandfather. Once, while instructing the followers he noted that when performing the "Teodori", during the first set we are aware of the world and others around us. During the second set we are aware of ourselves. And during the third set if we are sincere we become single-hearted with God. That I think is the narrow path. To get to the broad way requires sincerely pondering what the state of our mind was when it was single-hearted and the implications of that truth in the world. If we do something else we run the risk of returning to mistaking the imaginary for the original and dumping mud back into what we just cleaned. In that case we will have to start all over again with the sweeping, settling and filtering.

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