At present, there is a great demand for education of KOKORO. When I considered what I could do as a priest, I decided to follow the will of my master, Kobo-Daishi Kukai, to realize peace in this world through education of KOKORO, and established Eimei University, Japanese name “Eimei Daigaku” in Silicon Valley in the U.S.
In establishing Eimei University, my goal is not to give an education in or propagate a particular religious sect, however, it is based on the ideology of Shingon Buddhism. As for the school's name, I took the "Dai" from the founder of Shingon Buddhism, Dainichinyorai (Mahavairocana), and named it a university (Daigaku). It means that you will learn about the origin of the universe here. The actions of Buddhism are the actions of gratitude, and the actions of a bodhisattva who longs to bring salvation to humankind are kindness to people and giving life. Giving life to others means giving life to oneself. We educate in substantive gratitude and compassion, to improve people's Buddhist-nature, and educate people who can contribute to world peace. This is my ideal education of KOKORO.
Eimei University is run like an institution of higher learning. The image of traditional institutions of higher learning is that they are universities that select students based on intellect, and cost huge amounts of money to gain an education. However, should real education be done in this way? There are many different opinions about this. It is evident that today's education attaches too much importance on the "education of the Kokoro". Nowadays, there are more and more people suffering from depression and mental disease, and committing suicide. Also, there is no end of domestic violence and tragic incidents of parents taking the lives of their children. The reason for this is that we pour all our energy into educating the Kokoro, but we have forgotten the "heart."
Education of KOKORO means developing a heart that says, "How beautiful," when it sees flowers blossoming in a field. Without knowing beauty, it cannot know compassion, and gratitude will not flow forth. The ability to sense beauty does not come from filling the head with knowledge. Real education does not come simply from reading books and gaining knowledge, but is realized through experience and practice.
From the Buddhist viewpoint, the cause of the misery of this world is the lack of respect for one's parents, their parents, and their ancestors. In other words, the cause is the lack of understanding of a grateful heart, and the absence of a heart that yearns to understand. Originally, belief is the action of a heart with a religious spirit that feels gratitude and strives for truth. Gratitude cannot be seen with the eye, but is expressed through the entire body.
Everything that can be seen with the eye will eventually disappear. They are nothing more than a display of karma, and their true essence does not lie within them. On the other hand, to see an object's true form does not mean simply looking at it, it means seeing the spirit of everyone involved with that object. That is what it means to see with your heart. Objects are seen with the eyes, Kokoro and heart. When one looks at objects in this way, for example, one will come to feel gratitude toward the people who made that object.
In Buddhism, we have the phrase, "three poisons." The three poisons are the three earthly passions of anger, greed and whinging (ton, jin, chi), the source of human suffering. Anger is an angry heart, Greed is a covetous heart, and whinging is a grumbling heart, and they are ignorant of truth. These three poisons invite stress, and can cause cancer. The other day, a doctor entered the Buddhist priesthood because the doctor wanted to work for patients with a benevolent heart, since "modern Western medicine cannot heal complex diseases."
I will now touch on money, the object of today's materialistic society. I said that form is a display of karma, but money is the soul of the karma of humankind. The more one worries about money, the more it escapes one's grasp. Once, a person contacted me saying, "My company has gone bankrupt, and the debt collectors are coming. There is nothing left to do but hang myself." I did not panic, but fervently spoke the words of the Kannon Sutra. While doing this, a person who had been helped by that person arrived and saved them. I have experienced what can be called miracles of escaping karma.
My master, the founder of Shingon, Kobo-Daishi Kukai, established Shigeishuchi-in more than 1,200 years ago. This was the oldest educational institution in Japan opened to the common people, where anyone, regardless of wealth or social status, could study. It was a landmark integrated form of learning, where not just Buddhism was taught, but the cutting-edge subjects of the time, such as Confucianism, Taoism, humanities, natural science, and social science. Teachers, students and supporters worked together, running an institute of higher learning that educated people who would support the country with a heart of gratitude and compassion.
The main purpose of Eimei University is education of KOKORO based on Mikkyo Buddhist ideology, however this is a modern implementation of the integrated education that Kobo-Daishi Kukai strived for, and I have spread this seed as he instructed his disciples to do. I pray that through your support, these seeds will rapidly grow into beautiful flowers, and that the world of peace that Eimei University is cultivating can be realized as quickly as possible.