Let us live our faith in all our daily activities. Most of the world today seems to be covered in darkness, and people are filled with despair.
Only when there is an increase in the number of people who project love from the heart can the darkness be dispelled and the vibrations raised.
It is our privilege and responsibility to create ever-higher vibrations of Divine Light through sincere prayer and the giving of Johrei.
Let the world of Light begin with each one of us.
July 7th, 2019 was 30-year memorial anniversary for Rev. Kiyoko Higuchi. Her role in creating the foundation of Johrei here in North America was vital. Her messages reflected a simple philosophy of faith, with a focus on the importance of tolerance and love for humanity in the work of Johrei, especially during times of purification and crisis.
Our pioneer minister came to this new land, just a few years after the end of World War II. The impact and aftermath of conflict were still fresh in the memories of many Americans, and she started her work under challenging circumstances. She overcame obstacles with the strength of her trust in Johrei, the Teachings and her commitment to Meishu-sama, who had sent her to a foreign land to share the blessings of the Light. Rev. Higuchi chose to focus on the opportunity of being able to practice her faith in freedom and her messages overflowed with testimonials of positive results. She acknowledged this freedom and privilege with respect and humility.
This anniversary is an opportunity for reflection and self-examination. The concept of “love for humanity” is not easy to practice, even within faith communities. The unfortunate truth is that there are very few exceptions where this concept is accompanied by a true sense of altruism, especially in a world society that has become separated by tribalism and influenced by conflict-oriented consciousness. There seems to be little desire among reasonable people, to listen to another viewpoint in order to find consensus and solutions.
Rev. Higuchi reminded us that each person has a role in the events that surround or influence us. She wrote: "We need to be aware of our own position in the whole and our relationship with the people with whom we come in contact and try to fulfill our duty and responsibility...we are all imperfect and make mistakes. The world is full of mistakes and contradictions and cannot be transformed overnight; however, we can help raise the spiritual vibrations around us step by step. As the new age dawns and the Light increases day by day, it will become easier for us to see the result..." (Constructive Living ~ The Light of Johrei)
Meishu-sama explained that both positive and negative forces existed for the sake of development and advancement of the material world. In addressing disputes, he wrote that conflict and discord among human beings start in the spiritual realm, going as far back to the very beginning of creation. In a teaching titled The Current Situation of the World and the Spiritual Realm, he wrote: “…the world situation today presents a critical condition on such a large scale that we have never seen the like before in our history…However, this is only the state of the material world as it is seen by the physical eyes of most people. Since the true cause of all things in the physical world lies in the spiritual realm, unless you become aware of the real state there you can never grasp the true root of any problem here.”
Opposing viewpoints may serve as a challenge to reflect upon our own thinking and perspective. In a poem explaining the concept of “soul polishing” Meishu-sama wrote: “even diamonds, which are so highly treasured, would always be as dull as pebbles, without luster, if they were never polished.”
The organization that Rev. Higuchi was instrumental in creating over sixty decades ago, has had its fair share of soul polishing. It is different than it was many years ago, having experienced significant changes. Today, there are independent groups that have branched off from the original church that she helped create.
If we review the passage of history, a pattern emerges that represents a sort of rhythmical display of ebb and flow or decline and regrowth. Such events take place in cycles - among civilizations, nations, organizations and even among individual families. Johrei Fellowship has also experienced such highs and lows. Rev. Higuchi herself was not spared from the divisive and capricious actions of people who didn’t understand her efforts. Although many years too late, the cycle seems to have come around, where she is finally receiving the rightfully deserved acknowledgement of her efforts and dedication, by those that once questioned her work.
On this anniversary, one lesson we can learn from Rev. Higuchi’s life of service is that of appreciation and gratitude. Her work was permeated with this energy. The testimonials of the ministers she guided and who worked with her have a common thread expressing her steadfastness of faith, humility, example of daijo love, tolerance for others, respect for the law of order, dedication to the translation of the Teachings and expression of joy and beauty in her daily work.
Rev. Ajiki described their first meeting: “After listening to her very deep guidance, my soul was reawakened as I felt Meishu-sama's great mission and love through her words. I was filled with joy and a strong sense of responsibility. Since this first meeting, God directed Rev. Higuchi and me to work closely together, sharing our joy and sorrows for the last forty years.” Rev. Higuchi was born in Japan, became a Christian at the age of fifteen and graduated from a missionary school. She had taught at the Tokyo Women's Christian College from 1941 to 1945, before she learned about Meishu-sama. Ten years later, she was the person chosen to bring Johrei to a predominantly Christian country.
While her devotion to the organization in Japan was steadfast, she was committed to and respectful of the diversity of faith and culture of America. In the words of Rev. Thelma Dowd: “Rev. Higuchi loved America with a passion. I remember how proud she was when she became a citizen of the United States of America. She knew of the great mission which God had assigned to America, and she was determined to do her very best to fulfill her role in this great divine plan.”
In countless ways, Rev. Higuchi enriched the lives of the people who were fortunate to have known her. On this anniversary, let us remember her with appreciation and gratitude.