Today I will be making a short message, may I please have your kind attention.
This Monthly service marks the last one of this month, and the last one of the 130th Anniversary of Oyasama. As the Shinbashira has told us, we should not make this year be the goal line, but rather the starting point, or the time we use to pick up our momentum for the years to come.
As I say in many of my messages, I often reflect on my own actions, so for the new year, I don't really create a resolution, as I try to better myself daily. But what I tend to do is reflect on what has occurred in the past year and express my gratitude. Now, this is also done daily, but usually, on a daily basis, I am thankful for the bright spots in a given situation, rather than the whole situation. At the end of the year, I can see where most of the events that have happened have led to. This lessens the anger and frustration of negative events, and heightens the happiness of positive events. This doesn't take away the sadness of sad events but it does put it into perspective, and I can honestly say that I am thankful, and know that because it happened, some things have become better.
Within these sad events, come events where we experience loss. Sometimes it takes loss to make us appreciate what we have more. One of the importance of reflecting, is to revisit the loss. It makes an important reminder to me to appreciate the things that are in my life now, before they are gone.
These things help me to appreciate my family, which includes you all, but especially my son, mother, and my wife, who I am missing dearly this month as she is in Japan attending Koshu, or the Lay-Minister's Course.
As this month and year comes to a close, a new month and year will open. Let us all find the things we are thankful for, and continue to cherish them.