Her Holiness Shinso Ito Delivers Annual Guidance Grounded in, “bodhisattva vow to offer healing and awakening to humankind, the earth, and the universe”

January 03, 2019
Tokyo, Japan

Every New Year, the Head of Shinnyo-en delivers a speech laying out a general guideline with objectives for Shinnyo practitioners throughout the year. For this year’s theme, Her Holiness Shinso Ito highlighted the power of resilience in the face of adversity.

This year marks the year of the Earth Boar in Chinese astrology. “The earth element reminds us of the resilience of life, in all its forms, that repeatedly rises up undaunted in the face of adversity,” said Her Holiness. “The boar symbolizes good health, good fortune, fertility, and by extension, a bountiful harvest.”

The remarks encourage others to move forward with enhancements to the many expressions of Shinnyo while setting the stage for practitioners’ goal-setting at the Annual Training which begins on January 20. More excerpts of this year’s annual guidance from Her Holiness, including on the climate crisis, humanity and finding ways to make a positive impact for others and the environment, can be found below her photograph:



Finding the beauty in the present, Etoin courtyard. Her Holiness Shinso Ito captured the photograph as a reminder to when the Shinnyo Founders undertook the very first Winter Training in 1936, in which Japan reported record freezing temperatures and heavy snow falls.

“Shinnyo points to ultimate reality, truth, and goodness. It encompasses the principles of wisdom, lovingkindness, and compassion, and its essence can be glimpsed within these Words of Spiritual Guidance: The awakening of buddhas is vibrant and alive within us...lovingkindness and compassion are gifts that act to guide us onward without end. ‘Enhancements,’ in Buddhist terms, recall efforts to give expression to purity of heart here in our realm of the present.

A mood of impending crisis shrouds our world as we are left reeling from unprecedented climate change, extremes of flood and famine, and international division and confrontation prompted by those who put their own interests above multinational cooperation. I am reminded of the Shinnyo Parents growing rice, barley, and sweet potatoes within the grounds of Oyasono [the head temple of Shinnyo Buddhism] to give to neighbors and practitioners in need amidst the dire poverty experienced during and just after the Second World War, following spiritual guidance given at the inception of our sangha to act for the sake of humankind and the world.

Master Shinjo taught, ‘There is power in coming together that gives rise to spiritual liberation and awakening. I hope we can extend this power from our sacred site of Oyasono outward infinitely to the entire universe!’

Inspired by his words, I hope we can engage in renewed efforts grounded in the bodhisattva vow to offer healing and awakening to humankind, the earth, and the universe.”