There is a Japanese Buddhist term “Shin Shin Ichi Nyo” (身心一如 or 心身一如 in Kanji characters). This term means that your body and mind are inseparable. From the Buddhist standpoint, this way of thinking is based on a teaching called “Dependent Co-Arising” which is one of the essential teachings of Buddhism. In common terms, "dependent co-arising" means that everything is related.
In order to clarify this concept, let me offer an example. When you are angry or frustrated, your behavior and expressions reflect those feelings. Likewise, this holds true if you are happy and mindful as well. Even if we try to hide our feelings, we can’t control those expressions since our mind and body are one. In a sense, we can’t lie to ourselves.
So, what is the key point for this month? Well, in order to be able to deal with your behavior and body expressions, we must focus more on cultivating our inner mind. The appearance of your body and your behavior do reflect what's on your mind. If your mind is beautiful, then your natural appearance will be naturally and beautifully reflective of this state of mind and be beautiful as well.
The first step to cultivating your inner mind is to know and realize how much you are embraced and sustained each moment of your life because of countless invisible powers, circumstances and conditions which enable you to live. We are not living and existing because of our own efforts. We are always supported by immeasurable kindness and love which unfortunately is invisible to us because our eyes are contaminated by the self-centered mind. Let’s make a conscious effort to try and reflect on our existence in the coming days. If we can do that, then, you will see a beautiful heart of selflessness will emerge in yourself and lead you to being a gentle and compassionate human being, both inward and outward.
Let’s treasure this heart of selflessness so that we can cultivate our body as a reflection enhancing both our behavior and mindful expressions.
This is a basic stepping stone of the Buddhist path for each of us to walk.
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浄土真宗本願寺派 大見山 超勝寺 衆徒。翻訳家。ハーバード大学 神学部研究員を修了し、帰国。現在は、執筆活動や通訳・翻訳を通して、日本仏教を世界に弘める活動をしています。