2022 Shinnyo Annual Training: "Carrying through with acts of kindness for the benefit of all people and the world”

January 28, 2022

Shinnyo-en Annual Training has been practiced continuously since 1936. It is a time to engage in study, training, and rededication to the founding spirit of Shinnyo-en. This year’s training was no less meaningful, despite the ongoing pandemic which made it challenging to gather in person.  Our worldwide community convened online in various formats, including on-demand programming, to ensure that the entire community could experience this sacred period of reflection and refocus.

The theme for Annual Training 2022 was “Carrying through with acts of kindness for the benefit of all people and the world.” Her Holiness Shinso Ito asked in her guidance for practitioners to act diligently to fulfill two items: extending love and care without bounds and wholehearted sincerity in all things.

Extending Love and Care Without Bounds

In her address, Her Holiness spoke of the global challenges of the pandemic as well as other serious global crises including shifts in weather patterns, destruction of ecosystems and human conflict caused by poverty and income disparity. 

“I believe that much more needs to be done to respond compassionately to the cries of those in pain and suffering and that we must do what we can though acts of kindness “for the sake of people and the world”, as the verse illustrative of Master Tomoji indicates,” she said.

Her Holiness expressed hope that efforts to extend warmth and compassion far and wide into the world extends and sustains across all boundaries.

Wholehearted Sincerity in all Things

“Meditate with wholehearted sincerity,” said Master Shinjo Ito many years ago. Drawing from these words for inspiration, Her Holiness asked practitioners, “As we face challenges in our own lives, I hope we may reflect on our Founders’ examples with wholehearted sincerity (and internalize their strength) to similarly overcome the many hardships that befall us.”

She also urged the youth to carry on this legacy, as well as inviting all practitioners to engage in sesshin meditation and incorporate wisdom gained through sesshin in daily life.

Annual Training, originally called Winter Training, comes from the Japanese tradition of engaging in austerities during the coldest part of the year in order to develop oneself mentally, physically and spiritually. The intent of such practices is to aim towards a state of enlightenment and develop one’s heart and mind through tests of physical endurance. In Shinnyo-en, everyone has an opportunity to renew their determination to carry forth for the sake of others and society – a core tenant of Shinnyo principles, which guided the founders of Shinnyo-en on their spiritual journey.