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Welcome to the Tuesday Coffee Hour here on Street Prophets. This is an open thread where we can hang out and talk about what’s going on in our worlds. Today I thought we’d start with a discussion of Tenrikyo, a Japanese religion.

Tenrikyo (天理教) is unusual in that it originates from the teachings of a female prophet. Nakayama Miki, also known as Oyasama, received a number of revelations regarding the teaching and promoting of the Joyous Life which is to be cultivated through acts of charity and mindfulness. Nakayama Miki was chosen as the Shrine of God in 1838. Her son and husband had been sick and the family called in a Buddhist monk to exorcise the spirit that was causing the illness. The monk had to leave for a while and asked her to take over. God—Tenri-no-Mikoto—then possessed her. Following this she developed healing powers.

The name “Tenrikyo” breaks down into “ten” meaning “heavens;” “ri” meaning “truth” or “reason;” and “kyo” meaning “teach.”

Nakayama Miki wrote two sacred books: Mikagurauta and Ofudesaki. These deal with the basic tenets of the religion.

Tenrikyo emerged at a time of great change in Japan and it was incorporated into a local Buddhist temple to prevent persecution. Eventually, the Japanese government recognized it as one of the official Thirteen Shinto Sects even though Tenrikyo is very different from Shinto.

The basic teaching, kashimono-karimono (“a thing lent, a thing borrowed”), refers to the body as something not completely under the person’s control, but the mind is under the person’s control.

The Joyous Life requires abstention from greed, selfishness, anger, hatred, and arrogance. Negative tendencies, such as selfish acts, are known “hokori” or “spiritual dust” in Tenrikyo. This dust settles on a person’s mind and soul. This dust obstructs happiness, but it can be swept away from the mind through mindfulness and ritual. Living in harmony with nature and others and spending time in reflection on thoughts and actions help to prevent the dust from settling into the mind and soul.

Today Tenrikyo is a monotheistic religion. Tenri-O-no-Mikoto is seen as the creator and caring parent of all humans. In the beginning, Tenrikyo involved many spirits, but as the religion developed it focused on a single God. As with many other Asian religions, reincarnation is also a central theme.

Tenrikyo Headquarters

Shown above is the Tenrikyo headquarters.

Tenrikyo Shrine

Shown above is an in-home shrine.

This is an open thread and its your turn. What are you thinking about? What have you been doing? And, most important, what's for dinner?

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