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Learn with MEISHU-SAMAS leadership style

Well, today I would like to talk about MIDDLEAGE (which I consider the period that goes from
age 45 to 64).
In 1926, at age 44, Meishu-Sama became aware of his mission through divine revelation and
next year he received from master Onissaburo Deguchi, leader of the Oomoto religion, the
following words of encouragement: From now on, if you dedicate yourself to healing illnesses,
you will be able to do as much as you wish. Do it as much as you can.
At age 45 he left his businesses to his managers care and dedicated himself exclusively to the
Divine Work. In 1935, at age 52, Meishu-Sama instituted the Dai-Nippon-Kai (Japans Kannon
Association) and, on August 30, 1947, he founded Nippon Kyodan (Japans Kannon Church),
endeavoring throughout this period to disseminate salvation through Johrei as a therapeutic
Meishu-Sama quit being an entrepreneur in order to become a religious person, after
receiving the Divine Revelation in his Middle Age. We can, therefore, say that this phase of
life is a time in which we are forced to face many changes, in the most diverse ways. In a
general way, we enter a phase in which we must use everything we learned through our
efforts to concretize our own dreams in favor of other people, to make their lives fuller. In
other words, we are entering the most serious phase of our lives when we leave the position
of someone who receives education to take over the one of a person who educates.
Such transformation may occur when there is an opportunity for changing status or function. If
people work in a company, for example, I believe that many of them are awarded, in that phase
of their lives, managing positions; some begin to orient other people and the number of them
who take over central positions within the company isnt small. Even at home, because of their
childrens emancipation or self-sufficiency be it because they entered college or joined the
work force or, yet, for getting married -, the rhythm of the house as well as the role of the
couple considerably change.
This change happens in the physical aspect as well as in the psychological. The loss in physical
strength begins to manifest itself in a way never felt until then. The time for us to recover from a
greater effort also increases and the same happens with the risk of the so-called civilization
diseases occurring. We are faced with the fact that, in Japan, for example, one in every four
women in menopause, begins to suffer of some kind of syndrome or illness. Lately we have seen
that men are beginning to suffer with the emergence of illnesses due to post-andropause.
Among the more than 30 thousand suicides registered in Japan, we can see that the highest
statistics are within persons of
Meishu-Sama always asked dedicating people serving beside him about the contents of the
Teachings. Do you understand the meaning? Will the members understand these expressions?
How about you? What do you think? he listened to their opinions. A true leader learns, humbly,
with the world. A great truth is that the humbler a person is known to be, the more he/she will
be respected as a leader.
Meishu-Sama himself participated in several lectures and sought to learn with everyone he met.
In the summer of 1952, the responsible for Naras Yakushiji Temple, monk GyoinHachimoto,
visited the Hakone fine arts museum and met with Meishu-Sama. This is what he told us: What
most impressed me in my conversation with the founder, was his zeal in wishing to learn from
the person in front of him it was something obvious! He would write down everything and,
despite having a high status, he would live a life focused on constant improvement.
That wasnt all. Meishu-Sama continuously recorded everything, even while he listened to the
news on the radio, read over 10 newspapers, several articles related to Arts and Architecture
and was always trying to know what was happening in society, what were peoples anxieties
and aspirations. Since his thoughts were always in the future, he was quite sensitive to the
changes of the period.
Today we live at times in which everything changes much faster than at the time when Meishu-
Sama was among us. The leaders that dont get used to learning ceaselessly at present times,
end up being left behind.
The leader must have the courage of observing himself, find out the issues he/she must correct
and endeavor in self-improving. Furthermore, it is by making an effort to increase his/her
capacity, in the emotional as well as in the professional fields, that his/her subordinates will
begin to naturally follow, thus causing an improvement in the results.
My father (Most Rev. Katsuichi Watanabe, counselor to the Church), before joining the faith,
had businesses with many people and the truth is that he studied a lot. He was particularly
interested in Moralogy, a science founded by law-writer Chikuro Hiroite (1866-1938) and he
would transmit his learning about man to his workers through words and attitude; he would
regularly invite a Christian pastor to lecture and he sought to learn the right way of life for a
human being that respects the invisible power that transcends our understanding.
Searching for the cause of humanitys
suffering, I found out that they
originate in ignorance.
Concerning the results derived from the practice of small altruistic deeds, it is possible to say
that there are those that are direct and those that are indirect. The direct ones refer to the
action itself,performed for a persons benefit, that is, to the action upon the other. The indirect
ones are the elevation itself (of the practitioner) in benefit of his/her peer. If we keep polishing,
even a little, our spirituality, our way of thinking, our personality and intelligence, we will
naturally achieve the other
What to do to give your peers joy? What we canoffer as a first condition is the
acknowledgment, the acceptance. My father was also a businessman and, during the
Second World War, he put to practice Admiral Isoruko Yamamotos words in the formation of
his employees: If we dont show them how to do it, if we dont explain, if we dont give them
the opportunity to experiment and praise them, the human being wont move. Besides that,
Yamamoto left us some words, such as: without dialog, listening, recognizing and delegating
tasks, a person cant be formed, if we dont observe their efforts with gratitude, if we dont
trust them, they will not bear fruits... Those are expressions of profound truth. They all tell us
about the importance of acknowledging, accepting the human being. I learned something
from my father: whenever he found someones strong point, he would say: This is a wonderful
quality you have, and he would go on praising and encouraging that person. Regardless of the
person being aware of that quality or not, such trait would mysteriously begin to excel and
many became great ministers who continue dedicating to these days with all their might.
In a certain service providing company, one of the most prestigious in the market, there is a
concern that not a single person goes unnoticed in their employees roster. Even the directors, at
the companys summit, meet with their employees at their workplaces and talk to them. They
dont only talk about their duties; they are interested in knowing a little more about each one of
them, asking about their hobbies and families. The employee that experiences this returns to his
tasks with twice as much disposition because he/she was happy due to the fact that such an
important person was concerned about his/her family. Such a simple gesture, isnt it?
There are also those companies they stimulate their employees to praise each other and to be
thankful, establishing an evaluation system not only of the person being evaluated, but also of
that who praises. Due to that, the employees moral is elevated, which ends up reflecting in the
By the way, the persons who seek their own death, in their majority, are loosing sight of their
own existences meaning. If, however, there is someone in their lives that recognizes the value
of their existence and show it with words such as you are an important person, suicide is
avoided. I believe that there are many such cases. Therefore, the acknowledgment and the
assertion of existence itself in these terms, together with joy, are transformed into willingness to
Let the faithful know that the essence of faith
consists in maintaining civility.
My father would always say: A person that cant greet another correctly, something that is part
of good education, is a person that has no condition to talk about faith. As a condition of being
a Gods child, he/she must be ashamed. The joyful greeting at home or at work can be seen as a
demonstration that I accept you as my family (as my fellow).
face, as expected. I thought: It looks like his hobby isgrowing flowers... a person that loves
flowers cant be that bad! I came closer to him and said what was on my mind at the moment:
What beautiful flowers! Are you the one growing them? Wow! They are so beautiful that one
feels like showing them to the whole world, isnt it? Upon hearing my words his grouchy face
changed into a great smile and we started a conversation. At the end, he told me: Reverend, if
you know someone who is suffering or ill, please take him/her these flowers, and he gave me a
huge bunch. His wife, who was nearby observing, realized that until then she hadnt understood
her husband. From that day on, she began growing flowers with him and, thus, both began to
build a harmonious home centralized on the faith.
This kind of person only wants that what he/she is doing with so much effort, be recognized and
acknowledged, regardless of what it is. Acknowledging and stimulating him/her causes him/her
immense joy.
We can say the same concerning the family. We must recognize the effort of the personwho
ceaselessly endeavors in performing the house chores and educating the children. We must
recognize the husband, who works hard out of the home. We must also recognize the children
who, even though in a smaller measure, are making an effort to reciprocate the parents effort
in raising them. This is enough for the other person to recognize the value of his/her own
existence, to understand the meaning of life and to get strength to live. If we add to that the
words thank you, or any other that expresses gratitude, the person will have energy to go
even further. I believe that if you think that the Practice of Sonen begins with the
acknowledgment of the existence of our ancestors, you will understand how important it is.
In an institution, the employees are like our own family. Each employee has his/her own family.
That is, the institution is responsible for the lives of many persons and I believe that it must take
responsibility for those lives. The leader must be concerned with his employees families and
always carry within a feeling of gratitude. Thanks to his/her familys support, the employee
manages to work at ease and healthy and also to have a good performance.
Meishu-Sama treated his dedicants families as his own, always worrying about their health and
with each family member in particular. He further teaches us: Those who dont value their
wives do not prosper (Reminiscing about Meishu-Sama). Obviously, the opposite, or: Those
who dont value their husband... also have the same effect. Rather than whining, saying: my
husband doesnt understand the faith, they must be grateful. Thanks to my husbands work I
can dedicate! I think that for the faithful person, a presence of mind is needed for when the
husband complains: Who is more important to you, God or I? to answer with: You are so
important to me that I cant even compare! Man is a being that likes comparisons and lends
too much importance to his own pride. If the woman acts without hurting this pride and always
protects it, the man will live without getting angry at almost anything.
Those who manage to find
a harmonious solution for any problem
is loved and respected by all.
In reality, the secret to a couples happiness and harmony is similar to the rules for the leader: to
thank and to recognize.
Besides that, Meishu-Sama also teaches us that it is very important for us not to forget that we
are always being observed and evaluated by other people and that, therefore, we must also
take care of our appearance, making sure we dress appropriately and convey a good
impression. This not only applies to the world of faith, but also to the business world it is a very
important message that is present in the Teachings, in the poems, in the Reminiscing and in
other works.
The book Reminiscing about Meishu-Sama, in particular, is an essential reading for the group,
the responsible ministers and for all members. However, it mustnt be read as a series of
episodes related to Meishu-Sama, but as a digest of messages directed at us. Instead of being
tied up to a certain meaning, adapt the passages to the circumstances in which each one of you
are and think, trying to capture Meishu-Samas feeling. I would like you to read this work again
with a renewed feeling.
Today I had the opportunity to talk a little about a leaders necessary attitude to the middle age
persons who have a role in society and who were invested with a mission of leaving people to
replace them. Maybe there are among you, those who are thinking: I am tired of knowing this.
However, it isnt enough just to know it to make the situation better. Meishu-Sama firmly
orients about the religious pragmatism and warns us:
If we preach love and advise mercy,
butit isnt followed up by practice,
our words will be like the whisper
of the wind upon the pine trees.
Being so, only when we demonstrate our desire by way of actions and of practices, we will be
able to change something in the real world. I believe that, because of that, a physical body was
granted us. Naturally, as the saying goes, Easy to say, difficult to do, sometimes, even though
we are determined to practice, we end up being carried away by the circumstances and dont do
it. However, I dont have the least intention of, now, changing my opinion and saying: Well,
thats human nature. Thats why I believe that we must, each time, think and make an effort to
turn, even though by a small measure, to practice.
This way, human beings keep on growing and maturing, loving and being loved, acknowledging
and being acknowledged. I believe that, by giving continuity to the small practices of altruistic
deeds, the personwill, without even realizing it, begin to mature and, one day, will be respected
and loved by all.
Because of that, the environment at home, at the Johrei Center, at work and so on, will begin to
become paradisiacal. I wish that, through this, we manage to get closer, even if by just half a
step, to Meishu-Sama.
persons joy because we will be able to elevate the quality of the love we dedicate to our peers.
In order to do this, we must have, before anything else, self-criticism. The institutions that have
already achieved full development and the great leaders never stopped exercising it.
We consider the reporting of the received blessings as a proof bestowed by Meishu-Sama, but
we must not forget that such proof, originally, isnt limited to those results desired by us, but
also to those undesired. That is, Meishu-Sama is also manifesting himself there. Being so, we
must not allow our failures and flaws to be locked up someplace. We must have the courage to
face them and, thus, have the permission of being oriented by Meishu-Sama. This is the self-
criticism that the man of faith must do; I also believe that it is the way to achieve elevation.
Be it in religion or in the entrepreneurial world, if we dont keep on learning and evolving, there
will come a day when our existence will loose its value and we will end up being locked out and
forgotten by society.
Meishu-Sama also teaches the following: We must not allow work to pressure us!Its us who
must pressure it. We must not suffer to work, if we dont work with pleasure, we wont be
able to achieve a good result (Reminiscing about Meishu-Sama). Human beings can only
work well when happy. A leader is a person that endeavors for such joy to happen, so that the
full potential of the human elements at his/her disposal can be used; the effort in making
his/her subjects happy, those that are bound to him/her, is indispensable. It is very important to
keep a high degree of customers and employees satisfaction. When the employees are
satisfied, that is, happy with their work, they have more energy, determination and disposition.
Thats the only way they will be able to deal with the customers with a true desire to please
them, in an relationship ofequality, person to person and not acting according to some
procedure manual. Depending on the feeling, even the way to answer the phone becomes
different. The happiness of a customer that was taken care of with such love will spread out
mouth-to-mouth and business will prosper. That is, the chain of happiness will emerge.
If you wish to measure up to
Gods will, become a person that
wishes happiness to those around you.
The same thing happens with the diffusion. In the Paradise on Earth teaching, there is a
passage that says: Many people that intend to save their peers, self-advertise, though they are
still not free from misfortunes. Their intentions may be good but the means are incorrect (book
Foundation of Paradise). In the book Reminiscing about Meishu-Sama, we have: When
people are watching us, we have to convey the following impression: If it is such a person, I think
we will be able to save him/her. This way, those who dedicate, even though undergoing
purification, must not let their dreams, desires and will to live escape. People only recognize the
power of a religion, only show interest, if they see us happy. Ministers can never forget about it
in any way.
Once, a long time ago, I went to a members home. His wife was a zealous believer, but the
hsband criticized the religion. As I was going through the gate, by sheer bad luck, met with him,
who was tending the flowers at the garden. I greeted him but he remained silent, frowned and
turned away his
middle age, being 27% (according to the 2008 Metropolitan Police Department report) caused
by depression.
As we can see, the stress due to the changes experienced during this period is something we
cant ignore. I believe that for us to be able to avoid this crisis, we must deal very well with the
changes in the environment in which we live in, as well as with the physical changes and,
according to this, we must endeavor in acquiring good daily habits and rethink our way of living,
be it due to psychological or to behavioral aspects.
I believe that among people that, until middle age, acted on the business frontline, there are
many who, now, need to leave this kind of activity behind in order to start orienting those that
arrived later. That is, this period is also that in which we must adapt ourselves to such changes
and manifest more concretely our leadership, more seriously. Not only those who were named
leaders, but also all of you who, in whichever way, are dedicating, assisting people. Being so, I
would like you to continue reading this article with the awareness that you are also leaders.
From now on, I will make a reflection based on Meishu-Samas teachings, which suggests how a
leader must be. Since he, in his teachings, gives us many clues about small altruistic deeds, a
practice that we arepresently endeavoring, I believe that we must pay greater attention to this
We find in the work Reminiscing about Meishu-Sama, that he oriented the dedicating
members close to him this way: Do not let your eyes wonder away from me. Observe me and
dedicate with body and soul. In the entrepreneurial world, this is a way of reconfirming the
company founders desire.
Only when this desire is shared and propagates among the workers, we see the propelling
power grow. If the bosses feelings depart from the founders desire and they forget about their
commitment to this desire, indulging in only criticizing the institution, their subordinates will
begin to think: why am I working here?, which will cause the results to get worse.
The man who endeavors
in living according to Gods Will,
is a true man.
For us, the founders desire is Meishu-Samas desire of constantly thinking about how to
make our peers happy. We must have such desire alive in our hearts in constant self-criticism:
How am I endeavoring so that my feelings, words and actions measure up to this desire? the
important thing is making an effort to improve.