Friday, November 23, 2007

Fall Festival Address (1)

Here I post the translation of a summary of my address delivered at the Seicho-No-Ie Fall Festival held at the Main Temple in Nagasaki, Japan, on November 22, 2007. It consists of four parts.

- MT

The Sundial Way of Life Is A Movement to Manifest the True Image
(The following is a summary of the Congratulatory Address I gave at the Fall Festival held at the Seicho-No-Ie Main Temple in Nagasaki, Japan on November 22, 2007 as posted on my Japanese blog the same day.)

Ladies and Gentlemen, I would like to extend my heartfelt thanks to all of you for attending the Seicho-No-Ie Fall Festival and Commemorative Ceremony today. It’s suddenly become very cold in Japan since the middle of this month, and the nights have grown especially cold. In Tokyo, many of us have started to turn on our heaters from about a week ago. The low in Tokyo on the 18th was 6.7° centigrade (approximately 44° Fahrenheit), 2.4° colder than average, but the high was 19.4° centigrade (66.9° Fahrenheit). We arrived here in the afternoon of the 20th, and it seems that the temperature in the morning dropped to 3° centigrade (37.4° Fahrenheit). It’s been cold here since then as well.

The fall foliage is beautiful when it gets cold, though. I hope that you have been able to take in the brilliant autumn reds and yellows in and around Kinryuko pond. Here at the Seicho-No-Ie Main Temple, we can experience nature’s abundant blessings of both the mountains and the sea. Not only do the clear skies and fall foliage comfort us visually and emotionally (as those who have participated in Spiritual Training Seminars at the Main Temple know), but nature satisfies our palates as well. The oranges here are delicious now, and I understand we can also pick chestnuts. The persimmons are plentiful and ripe, and, when we watch the birds that come to eat them, our minds and hearts are also fulfilled and content. I believe this is by nature the true relationship between nature and people.

As you are all aware, global warming is progressing rapidly in the world today, primarily because of what humans have been doing, and this has conversely begun to threaten our lives. Recently we have had disasters that caused widespread damage, such as the powerful cyclone that struck Bangladesh resulting in thousands of deaths. Situations in which nature is destroyed and becomes poorer while humans prosper have existed since long ago. We know this well from actual things we’ve experienced since the days of pollution to current modern-day city life. The problems of today, however, stretch beyond that. When nature is destroyed because of what people do, nature is reduced and conditions become grave and serious for all people. That means that our own lives are slowly destroyed as a result and become poorer. Humankind in the 21st century has become aware of this, and realizes that something must be done, but they don’t know where or how to begin. This is what’s happening now.
On November 17, 2007, the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) finalized and published its Synthesis Report, the fourth and final in a series. This report indicates the findings of meteorologists worldwide who agreed that every possible countermeasure against global warming must be implemented immediately in order to keep the growth of further damage and disasters in check. This does not refer to only one specific measure, but to execute any and all countermeasures that we can think of, including emissions trading and carbon tax. It also includes all of the following possible measures: Nuclear power generation, use of renewable energy, underground carbon sequestration, hybrid cars and increased usage of biofuels, growth of energy conservation technology, etc. That is how urgent and critical the situation is. (to be continued)

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