Maegawa residenceMiki Nakayama was born on April 18, 1798 in Sanmaiden Village, Yamabe County, Yamato Provence, the first daughter of Masanobu and Kinu Maegawa. Perhaps it is natural that we should want to know as much about Miki Nakyama's life as possible as we may want to copy and model our own life path on it or we may just be curious about a life that has become so significant for many millions of people. That being the case the various interpretations of Miki's life understandably start right at the moment of her birth and indeed for some interpretations even before her birth. Concerning what is known of Miki's early life the basic and most accessible text is THE LIFE OF OYASAMA - Manuscript Edition, published by the Tenrikyo Church Headquarters, Tenri Nara, Japan.

These Newpath Tenrikyo pages reflect my bias toward an interpretation of Miki Nakayama's model story that suits my temperament and my personal experience. After all, in Her own words, She is talking to and concerned about me and my happiness as much as about anyone else's. There are then all sorts of interpretations that I will either not mention or will gloss over as they are amply covered elsewhere and often require a set of worldly common and truths of the world suitable for other temperaments and personal experiences, the proper appreciation of which places them out of range of my imagination.  For those who have pondered the question of biased thinking even a little bit, it is obvious that no two human minds are exactly the same. We each have a unique point of view that is a product of our accumulated experiences at a particular time and in a particular place. With that in mind I should like to state the bias of my point of view as regards the significance of the early life of Miki Nakayama as it bears on the content of Her teaching.  To do that I will reference the Timely Talk, "Osashizu", of January 8, 1888 as it was related by Izo Iburi, the Honseki:

Izo IburiShe was not a well known person. She was just an ordinary person on a farm. She had no special knowledge. She was not extraordinary. But understand well the truth that it was she who taught the ultimate teaching. She did not travel to see and learn. She was not taught anything in particular


In my view then, this Timely Talk is intended to emphasize the simplicity, ease and indiscriminate universality of access to the original cause of all things. That original cause (depending upon one's interpretation is also referred to as the place where human beings were or are created " The Jiba") is the same for everybody. We all have a self-centered imagination and that self-centered imagination rises up in our original consciousness (who we were before we started imagining things about our self).  Without that original consciousness nothing would be known or experienced by anybody. It is the original cause of any and everything. There is no special knowledge or cultural attachment required for awakening to it. Some reading this may recall the Shinbashira's request that we restore the path of sweeping only. God our Parent's instruments and intermediaries are solely  engaged in finding ways to remove the obstacles to our understanding of the the truth of our origin and the truth of our individual mind.

This Timely Talk  highlights the absence, in so far as the goal of understanding the original cause of all things is concerned, of any expected common worldly or traditional means of acquiring knowledge. If it can be imagined as a idea, it is not the original cause. Ideas, including the ideas of a self and a body that exists separately from our original cause, rise out of the original cause and by their nature are too shallow to be up to the task of capturing it.  For the sincere aspirant the negations stated in this Timely Talk should be viewed both as encouragement and as filters to be used to help us to compare the point of view that flows from the truth of origin with the points of view of the truths of the world and the thinking and expectations that flow from them.  In every case the actual task at hand being one of awakening to the ever present truth residing at the root and core of our being but which remains taken for granted and unrecognized as the single original cause of any and everything.

That does not mean that there is no value in exploring Miki's life prior to Her awakening. Indeed a great deal can be learned from a detailed comparison of Miki's attitudes, fears and expectations as they were before and after Her awakening. It would seem obvious that a sincere aspirant would want to copy the after awakening model life as opposed to the before awakening model life. 

 It should be emphasized that awakening to the truth of origin is the result of the removal of obstacles as opposed to some new accumulation of worldly common knowledge. It should also be noted that the obstacle that the self-centered imagination poses is not essentially evil, in fact it is mostly a great thing. The problem with it is its power to create worldly common truths. Most worldly common truths are in fact also a good thing  They are the basis of our comfortable lives. There are however among all of those pretty great worldly common truths those that cause suffering and drain the joy out of life. The purpose and dynamic of Tenrikyo is to inform the self-centered imagination and the worldly common truths that it creates with the reason that flows from exposing the one truth of our origin that exists at the core of our being and is equally native to all.

 To purposely remove an unfamiliar obstacle that has been taken for granted for years it is best to first survey the job and distinguish what exactly that obstacle is and how best to go about the work of removing it. That act of surveying, identifying and distinguishing our self centered imagination and the worldly common thoughts attached to it as the obstacle to our understanding is the starting point of a path of quick, sincere and intentional awakening. 

Terms on this pageFilters to be used to purify our mindDirect connect to intentionally awakening