New Year's Greetings

Rev. Masanobu Taniguchi, President

Seicho-No-Ie International

Happy New Year, Ladies and Gentlemen! I am sincerely grateful to God to be able to greet the New Year, 2018, in good health and without incident together with all of you. Thank you very much.

Last year, we began the “Three-Year Plan to Build the Foundation of a ‘New Civilization.’” “New civilization” is the way of life in which the prosperity of nature is the prosperity and happiness of human beings and it refers to the whole of faith, philosophy, science and technology, economics, and politics that support and expand that way of life. We believe that, as the foundation to build that way of life, we first need to change our values and lifestyle and beginning last year, we began gaining real momentum with the following “three practices”:

1. No-meat, low-carbon dietary life

2. Resource-saving, low-carbon way of life

3. Nature-emphasized, low-carbon way of expression

Additionally, beginning this year, we have decided to promote the following three activities to develop these three lifestyles more concretely and systematically:

① SNI Organic Vegetable Gardening Club

② SNI Bicycle Club

③ SNI Craft Club

As you can see from these three names, our goal is to change our lifestyle to one in which we grow organic vegetables, ride bicycles, and hand craft daily necessities ourselves.

Ladies and Gentlemen, is this an “anachronistic” way of life?

No, that is not the case. This is an old but new lifestyle to regain the sense of oneness between nature and human beings.

In the “old civilization” that began with the 18th Century Industrial Revolution, science and technology were generally evaluated based on “how much it could rob from nature.” Whittling away at the mountains, piercing the ocean floor, how much coal can be mined at one time, how much ore can be dug up, how much petroleum can be squeezed out....Technology that could get as much resources and energy for human beings, and for human beings only, was highly valued as “excellent technology” and “advanced technology.” As a result, nuclear power generation which brought about enormous energy by destroying substance atoms was born. However, the by-products of this anthropocentric former civilization—the missiles, fighter planes, and nuclear weapons—are now threatening world peace.

Even in the agriculture, forestry and fisheries industries, because biological resources were used according to the same “anthropocentric” criteria, animals and birds were driven to extinction and forests were destroyed and livestock overflowed on the land, there was excessive catching of fish and shellfish, and many insects and plants are extinct. Only the kinds of living things that are to the liking of human beings have increased, and all others are disappearing year after year, leaving biodiversity on the verge of a crisis. As you know, sea water oxidation, global warming, and climate change are occurring as a comprehensive result of this.

Because we have continued to take from earth’s nature for so long on such a large scale and in such a disorderly way, we are destroying the balance of the material and biological circulation that has been stable for tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands of years. This has been proven in innumerable scientific studies. Nonetheless, the leaders of countries around the world have yet to figure out how to get away from the thinking and way of life of the “old civilization” that holds the goal of economic development supreme.

We believe one of the reasons for this vicious cycle of humanity to be that human beings think of nature as being in conflict with themselves and have lost their sense of oneness with nature. UN statistics a few years ago reported that more than half of humankind abandoned the lush countryside to live in cities. To say, “No,” to this movement, we moved from the big city, Tokyo, to “the forest” at the southern foot of Yatsugatake rich in nature. We are in the process of changing to a lifestyle in which we no longer eat meat in everyday life, grow organic vegetables, ride bicycles, and make everyday items by ourselves.

Dr. Richard Sennett, a sociologist in the United States who himself plays music and creates crafts, in the closing days of World War II, tackled the question of why people who were such excellent scientists with a sense of moral values were involved in the manufacture of atomic bombs and he, consequently, wrote a book entitled The Craftsman . A “craftsman” means “a person who makes things.” His conclusion was that the cause lies in the division of labor which is extremely advanced and the structure of current society in which it has been a long time since people could see the whole of their work. The lack of morals in our mind resulting from the situation makes us do nothing but focus on competition without considering the ethics of our own work.

We must now decide whether we, as a “cog” in a big machine, should confidently do work that is different from our own beliefs and ethics or, as an independent person of faith, though it may take time, grasp the whole of our work and following our beliefs and sense of ethics, live for the happiness of society and the next generation.

By growing organic vegetables ourselves, by feeling the texture of wood and stone in making crafts, by moving our body to its fullest and pedaling our bicycles while feeling the wind and sun, we can actually feel that “nature and human beings are one in God” and deepen and expand our faith that “all human beings are children of God.” Through this way of life, we should be able to contain the world’s chaos due to climate change to the barest minimum.

Together let us contribute with joy to world peace through faith in our lives. I look forward to working with you again this year. Thank you very much in advance. 

2018 New Year's Greetings

Let Us Spread the Joy of Walking Together with God

Rev. Yoshiko Teshigawara, Bishop

Dear children of God throughout the United States, Happy New Year!

May you and your family be filled to overflowing with God’s blessings in this new year.

I am grateful to be able to dedicate myself once again this year to live the Seicho-No-Ie way for the further advancement of the Humanity Enlightenment Movement-International Peace by Faith Movement with all of you, feeling as though I am being embraced in God’s bosom.

In Seicho-No-Ie, we have been expanding our volunteer work with the following awareness:

Serving others is the creation of a new value. There is no serving others without the creation of a new value. 

If you think you are serving a certain person, you are being half-hearted. The creation of something with a new value serves the universe. It is to serve God. 

The universe lives in me; I walk together with the universe.

As you know, Article 4 of the “Aims and Moral Training of Seicho-No-Ie Family Members” states the following: 

When we observe the fields, the wild flowers, the skies, the stars in the skies, the blue seas, the earth, the fire, the water, and all of mother nature and its life forms, we also see the perfection of the life of God underlying everything, and we respect, revere, and live that life, resolving never to squander it.

In this way, our predecessors have been expressing a life as written in the Divine Message of Grand Harmony and have set an example to us.

Last year (year 2017) we worked on the first year of the “Three-Year Plan for Building the Foundation of a ‘New Civilization.'” President Rev. Masanobu Taniguchi explains this as follows in his 2018 New Year’s Message:

“New civilization” is the way of life in which the prosperity nature is the prosperity and happiness of human beings and it refers to the whole of faith, philosophy, science and technology, economics, and politics that support and expand that way of life. We believe that, as the foundation to build that way of life, we first need to change our values and lifestyle and beginning last year, we began gaining real momentum with the following “three practices:” 1. No-meat, lowcarbon dietary life, 2. Resource-saving, low-carbon way of life, 3. Nature-emphasized, low-carbon way of expression. 

(Please read the President’s New Year’s Message in its entirety thoroughly.)

Last year, in the United States as well we learned about these three initiatives, and according to the situation in each Missionary Area, by nurturing the ties with the local community, we strove towards deepening our connection with nature. In concrete terms, the “Seicho-No-Ie Blessings of Nature Festa” was held in the four Missionary Areas and we shared, not only with our members, but with those in the local community, specific examples of a way of life that “grows together with nature.” The details of these events were shared in newsletters (the Light of the Truth) and so forth. Also, during the Delegates Meeting held last year on December 9, the details of implementation of each Missionary Area were reported and all of them were wonderful. I am looking forward to each Missionary Area’s plan for the next time. Furthermore, this year we are looking forward for this event to be held in the Unincorporated Districts as well. With these continued efforts, I believe that human beings will awaken to the fact that human beings are sustained by the blessings of all things and there will be an increase in the number of people who will change their lifestyle.

In other initiatives in the 2017 Movement Year also, beginning with each Missionary Area and Unincorporated Districts and in each base of propagation, leaders and members worked with such sincerity so that, many people came to know Seicho-No-Ie and are walking the path towards happiness. Also, I believe you will be happy with the year-end reports regarding the growth in Holy Mission Fellowship members and Truth of Life magazine subscribers.

Please accept my heartfelt gratitude to you for your efforts throughout the year.

The Movement Policies for the second year (2018 Movement Year) of the “Three-Year Plan for Building the Foundation of a ‘New Civilization’” are now available. Each Missionary Area/Unincorporated District has created a wonderful policy incorporating diverse ideas.

The major event to be hosted by International Headquarters is the Special Conference for World Peace under the guidance of the President and Mrs. Taniguchi at the end of July (28th to 29th). Also, as far as events to be hosted by the International Spiritual Training Center, the 66th International Spiritual Training Seminar will be held in Hawaii in September (7th to 9th tentative). Please plan early to attend these events.

God is deep within you right now, and if you call on Him, He will answer and guide you. Let us again this year revere God more and more.

In order to do that, let us carry out the foundation of a life of faith, which are the three correct religious practices (Shinsokan, reading of the Seicho-No-Ie books, sutras, and songs of praise, and deeds of love) and let us unfold a joyful movement filled with faith and love by cheerfully making use of the knowledge given to us by God to express Him and realize His love.

I look forward to working together with all of you in 2018.