Teachings of Shri Mahayogi
Satsangha, Kyoto, 2015
Truth Exists Within Everyone
Testimonies from Actual Practitioners
• Guided by Another Teresa
—The Little Way of Saint Thérèse—
2014 – 2015, Fukushima, Japan
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Teachings of Shri Mahayogi
Translation of Satsangha
Truth Exists Within Everyone
February 28, 2015, Mahayogi Ashrama, Kyoto
The plum trees are in bloom at the Kitano Tenmangu Shrine near the Ashrama, slowly but surely heralding the beginning of spring.
Today’s Satsangha is being held right before Shri Mahayogi’s visit to New York; about 50 participants are gathered and the Ashrama is filled with enthusiasm.
The Process of Viveka (Discernment) and Meditation
Sanatana: I reread the Satsangha in Paramahamsa, Issue No. 104, (Pranavadipa, Vol. 31); Takafumi asks about meditating on “Existence” as an object, and Shri Mahayogi teaches that before meditation, one must have thoroughly discriminated the ideas [held by the mind] towards the word “Existence.”
Roughly speaking, this discrimination is included in the category of meditation on the Truth. So, when Shri Mahayogi mentions that discrimination is different from meditation, I suppose that he is referring to a more core meaning, in other words, the central part of meditation; what content is being referred to here?
MASTER: Meditation: first you concentrate on a specific object; then, a state of meditation comes as the condition of concentration deepens; and then you will have a sensation of becoming one with the object of meditation, called samadhi. That is the content of meditation. Discrimination, however, is done using the mind, comparing the difference or sameness between the thoughts of the mind, or its ideas, and the teachings of the Truth.
Now, if you try to discriminate about the theme or object you mentioned, that is, Existence, then what the mind understands about Existence is what emerges first. On the other hand, it is taught as the Truth that what actually exists is Existence. This True Existence is one without a second, it has pure Reality as its content. The mind cannot grasp this pure True Reality; because the mind is not pure, for there are thoughts and ideas in the mind that are forcefully influenced by memories, as this is the nature of the mind. However, by going through the process of discrimination, one comes to understand that the existence the mind thinks of is imperfect. During that step, as mentioned at the beginning, concentration is happening, then this eventually becomes meditation, which then comes to the brink of Existence itself, and then there is the [moment of] becoming one with It—one will come to experience this in such a way. Then, in the process of the state of going from meditation to samadhi, the mind’s activities dissolve, and one will come to experience that only the object is there. It is an experience of precisely becoming that Existence itself, apart from the ideas of the mind. In that moment, for the first time, one realizes that this “existence” is the True Existence.
Whenever you intend to meditate on any object, at first it is the mind that attempts it; however, eventually, that mind disappears and only the object exists there; and when you come out of meditation, only that impression remains in the mind, and the True Knowledge that is separate from the ideas held up until that point will be born. I just spoke about the case of Existence as an object [of meditation], however, the object can be something else. Regardless of what it is, the progression will be as I just mentioned.
Sanatana: I suppose that, roughly speaking, when we say we are meditating, it includes the thinking process, which is discrimination; but more specifically, the part that is performed by the mind is discrimination, and after going through the process of studying and of examining one’s own ideas, and of eliminating impurities, then the state arises in which these thoughts do not arise at all, then that becomes meditation?
MASTER: Yes, that is so. And one more thing, you become one with the object. That is also a state in the process.
Sanatana: The sense of Oneness becomes more predominant than activities of the mind, such as discrimination?
MASTER: Yes. Through that, the essence itself of the object of concentration, in each and every matter, becomes revealed and realized.
Dharmini: When discrimination is completed to the end, is this the point at which one becomes one with the object; since if discrimination is done half-way, then it will never reach oneness with the object?
MASTER: No, no, that is a different issue altogether. This is about concentration. If concentration is done intently and acutely, then it will turn into meditation. It is not that discrimination is always necessarily required beforehand. However, regarding an issue such as Existence, which you mentioned, it is not so easy for the mind to correctly understand its literal interpretation or the essence of what the words indicate; therefore, [for these themes] discrimination is required. And this is one of the flows as mentioned from ancient times: first to hear, then ponder, then meditate on it. “To hear” means to study and learn the teaching of Truth. Then ponder it well—this is the process of the mind pondering deeply upon it, and then this turns into concentration and meditation.
Mr. Senda: I don’t understand the meaning of the word “intuition”; but there were times when I grasped something by intuition, then even thinking about it later, at times I found that it was actually correct. But, are the insights that happen during meditation different from intuition?
MASTER: No, that is also called intuition. When the mind derives an answer, most of the time it is usually derived after going through a logical procedure, whereas what one comes to know through meditation is as if the knowing happens without going through any logical procedure—intuition is in this sense.
 Pranavadipa, Vol. 3, “Exactitude in the Practice of Viveka and Self-Inquiry”
Ms. Dazai and Ms. Sayama, who devotedly participate in the classes and programs at the Matsuyama Yoga Circle,1 are introduced. They have come to participate in the Satsangha for the first time because they have been trying to apply the teachings of Yoga in their daily lives; however, they feel that it is not easy and they find themselves not having been able to practice well; therefore, they have come to attend, wanting to know how to actually practice them concretely.
Ms. Dazai: I have been hurt by the cruel words of my mother since childhood, and I don’t like my mother. My mother is now 89 years old, and because I feel that I should not keep holding this grudge against my mother, I now go to visit her in the nursing home as much as possible and try to empathize with her; however, my emotions come right back whenever my mother says these abusive words. Would you please offer some words—in order to transform myself, how should I work to bring the attitude of my mind to where it needs to be?
MASTER: There are two very important parts taught by Yoga for this issue. One of them is to not be attached to the past. If you recall it, negative thoughts and experiences may come up. However, on the other hand, [you cannot deny] the fact that she also gave birth to you and raised you. Whether good things or bad things, they’re all matters of the past, therefore do not be caught up in the past anymore; just forget the past, and do not be affected by memories. And another important part—considering her age, and therefore for the sake of intending for her to spend the last moments of her life in the best way possible, serve her for this purpose, no matter what she says to you or no matter what happens. If you practice these two things in your actions, then your mind will not be disturbed.
 Matsuyama Yoga Circle is the former name of Yoga Sara Studio in Matsuyama City, Ehime Prefecture. Disciples of Shri Mahayogi in Matsuyama organize classes and activities.
Ms. Sayama: I have a fifteen-year old son on the more severe side of the autism spectrum; I have suffered from envy when comparing [our situation] to that of others, and I have been in a condition of wanting to do something to improve or to end this suffering. But every week, after hearing about the teachings of Yoga, I gradually began to understand that the cause is within myself; yet, it is still an intellectual understanding and I am not able to get rid of these envious thoughts.
Inside of me I feel that unless I work on the thoughts of my mind, I will not be able to turn to the next page—I want to feel others’ joy as my own, and I want to become someone I can like. I came here today to ask about how to concretely work on myself from now on.
MASTER: What must be learned in Yoga, is the Truth. What is the Truth? That is nothing but the Truth of yourself, or who the Self is—if you understand the answer to this, then you will understand the Essence of your child, and the Essence of all things. According to what Yoga teaches about it, the essence is Pure Existence. There is neither superior nor inferior there; there is no duality there. Everyone is the same, sacred Existence—that is what the Essence is.
However, in this world, it appears to be that there are various differences that cover up that essence. Even so, these are simply like differences in shape and form, not the essence. There are people like your child. However, it has nothing to do with the Essence; that Essence itself is important, and everything else is just like the universe and the weather, constantly changing. Even your own mind itself is changing. Therefore, you must practice not to be disturbed by being tangled up in that change, and always only see the Essence. That Pure Existence is, in another name called God; so to practice to see only that Essence will cause various issues to be resolved. As you study Yoga more and more, and put the teachings into action, then it will become something more solid and steadfast.
Ms. Sayama: So in order to become the person who can see the Essence of things, then just continue to practice or deepen Yoga?
MASTER: Yes. I think that is the fastest shortcut. Of course, Yoga is not just asana, but Yoga teaches various things, like what you can do or work on, or what is real; so through thinking on these things and meditating upon them, your mind will get better.
Ms. Sayama: So that’s the only way…
MASTER: Yes, it is the most reliable way.
Ms. Sayama: I will do my best. (Shri Mahayogi smiles as if to encourage Ms. Sayama.)
(Ms. Nozawa (Ms. Keiko Takahashi), who just got married last year, reports that she will have a baby, due at the end of July.)
Ms. Nozawa: Lately my belly has grown and I can feel that the child is moving, so I sense the baby’s existence. At times, feeling the Reality of the child, I have started to feel dearness towards it, or the Reality of it, but is that emotion an attachment?
MASTER: No, perhaps it is coming as part of being a mother.
Ms. Nozawa: There are times when I feel a similar Reality that is felt during meditation; but is it better to forget about that during meditation?
MASTER: No, the soul of a baby in the womb, or as you just said, the existence or Reality—if you are sensing that Essence, then there is no need to forget it.
Ms. Nozawa: I hesitate a little to change the way I meditate, but is it fine for it to be the same as before? The way I meditate is affected by things that I feel sometimes in daily life.
MASTER: The object of meditation is triggered by things in daily life. Therefore, don’t think of daily life and meditation as totally separate things; because otherwise meditation just becomes like a castle in the sky. The things you feel in daily life, or what you feel from the baby in the womb, as you just mentioned, try to intuit even more that Reality as its essence during meditation.
Ms. Tada: I saw the video of the sacred play, Eternal Buddha, during the meditation class in Osaka. And the way Angulimala lived, a murderer who, even so, acted very truthfully in accordance with his thoughts, made me think about right and wrong, and truthful living. I am wondering whether it is better to perform good deeds even if I lie to my honest feelings of the fact that I don’t want to, or whether it is better to perform something even if I know that it is a bad deed, but I want to do it [to remain honest to myself]; and also, it is difficult to make the mind, words and actions be in accordance with each other. I would like to receive some teaching about this
MASTER: The point is, it relates to the quality of perfection or pureness, and such. If that is lacking, then right or wrong, or the accordance of thoughts, words and actions, what you’ve mentioned just now, are constantly changing, so there is no standard base, so to speak, and that is how it goes. Then the mind may feel unpleasant from it, or the mind may not be convinced. That is the way of the world. If you are fed up with that feeling of discomfort, and if you truly want to do something about it, then you must thoroughly pursue pureness and establish it—there is no other path.
Ms. Tada: So that means, either remaining with that even though it’s kind of unpleasant, or if I don’t want to feel or be that way, then go towards pureness, am I right?
MASTER: The first option will make you suffer for the rest of your life (laughs). The latter will resolve the issue.
Ms. Tada: So does that mean that even if it may seem like I’m doing something bad in the process, if I go towards pureness, then in the end I will be able to become convinced of it?
MASTER: For now, put aside these small peripheral judgements toward each thing as good and bad, right or wrong, and don’t be preoccupied with every little non-essential thing, rather, deepen [your perception toward] that which is more fundamental.
Ms. Tada: I see, yes. If I keep getting frustrated, nitpicking on every small thing, that itself is enough to exhaust me.
MASTER: You needlessly become even more confused, and your mind will get out of control. It seems to be that that is quite a waste of your life. (laughs)
If you deepen Yoga, the mind will transform, and the various problems that you are obsessed with can disappear; and then after that, you will become free from them in the future—this kind of comfortable condition can arrive in the mind.
Sanatana: I have seen and experienced that as we continue to practice Yoga for a long time, there are times when we rapidly understand and experience various things, and there are times when our condition remains the same for years and we must simply continue diligently without disturbance. There is a feeling of frustration in me, a desire to reduce the duration of this condition in which I am not able to feel change, and I would like to transform more continuously. I would like to ask if there are any specific ways to do so or whether, if by continuing in these conditions again and again, then eventually the duration will come to be reduced.
MASTER: Certainly, if you look back, you may perceive these flows of ups and downs. In other words, the things on a gross level can make you feel changes that can easily be perceived, whereas the things on the subtle level, that is to say, the part which is sanskara that remains in the mind’s memory (remaining psychological latent impressions), are much more formidable, and they can be causes. However, and even if it so, through continuing to practice Yoga, and since these realms are subtle, the transformation too can therefore be very subtle, yet positive changes must have been occurring. This can be categorized under those means that are [considered to be] negative means, so to speak, which remove sanskara; so at the same time, by practicing through a means that is proactive, which is to practice action—selfless service—this, in turn, will resolve these issues rapidly. The latter’s most clear examples are in the ways the Holy Beings of the past lived, their spirit; and by learning from their biographies, with them as examples, practice by putting into action that way yourself too. That becomes a more proactive way to be.
Sanatana: Before Vivekananda passed away, he said: “If there were another Vivekananda, he would have understood what this Vivekananda has done!” Hearing that, I aspire to become Vivekananda so that I will be able to understand Vivekananda. So by pursuing it more and more ardently, the progress too might be…
MASTER: Yes, exactly.
Ms. Nakajima: Right now, I am exactly working on meditating on emulating the way in which an Awakened Being lived. I understand the importance of wanting to know why this Being lived in such a way; but lately I have started to think that, as I meditate on my intention to want to know, perhaps the “I” who wants to know, gets in the way. I should rather leave this desire as an underlying catalyst or motivation, and when I meditate, I should just focus on the Awakened Being who I want to become one with, and try to merge with that Being—is this way okay?
MASTER: Either way is fine.
Ms. Nakajima: So does that mean that it’s not a problem if the thought of wanting to know remains?
MASTER: It is not a problem. By finding out and knowing, you can get closer to what is Pure within that Holy Being.
Ms. Nakajima: Even if I only meditate from the cause of wanting to know about a single episode [from the life of that Awakened Being], and if I concentrate on that, in the end, will I be able to reach everything about the Awakened Being?
MASTER: Not sure if you can reach everything at once, yet you will be able to get closer at least.
Ms. Noguchi: (with a serious and sincere gaze) Shri Mahayogi, it’s been a long absence. Thank you very much for accepting me to be here to see you again. I often think about the fork between the path of karma and the path of Yoga that Shri Mahayogi has taught me. I recognized that I still had lingering attachments towards the path of karma, and so I tried to pursue what I wanted to do; but it did not go well at all and ended in agony. So for a while I have asked myself a question, whether I want [the path of] Yoga after all. I wanted to come see Shri Mahayogi, yet there was a thought in me that I should not go see him if I am not practicing Yoga, so I could not make up my mind.
But, if I let things be the way they are, then I can see that I would not be able to get over it and I would not be able to have a chance any more…and the only thought I had was that I could not give it up after all (at a loss for words); so I began to go to classes once again… I was waiting for me to become the “me” who is worthy to see you again; and I am grateful to let myself be here today, but still, I’ve found that, after all, I haven’t quite changed. Even so, at the same time, one thing is very clear to me, which is that I can’t end things as they are. Please, I would like Shri Mahayogi to teach me what it means for me to choose to walk on the path of Yoga for myself.
(After some silence, Shri Mahayogi begins to speak in a clear tone.)
MASTER: To study and learn Yoga means to correctly learn what this world is, and how to live in this world. As you mentioned just now, no matter what you are doing, nothing ever fulfills you, and as a result, suffering and sadness come. No matter how happy someone seems to be, no one can escape from these things. If you clarify the cause of it, you can conclude that, since there is no Truth or real Joy and Happiness in the world to begin with, as a consequence of one mistakenly viewing them and attaching to seek for them as such, there is suffering, for after all, they were not real to begin with. The cause of this is karma (law of cause and effect), and the causes of that are ego, ignorance, or the mind’s attachments toward these incorrect things. Therefore, if you eliminate these causes, then you can get out of the suffering of the world a little bit more. Concretely, since the joys derived from the material world, and the joys of the mere self-satisfaction of the mind, are based on ego and ignorance, by eliminating them, you will be able to live a little easier.
One other thing is, as I mentioned earlier, what is existence, your own life or your own soul, or the first person that you are aware of—“I”—what is the true nature of this “I”? It is not the mind; it is the Pure Consciousness that sees the mind, that knows the mind—that is your real Self. All of the teachings, trainings, practices and disciplines of Yoga exist for the purpose of you realizing this as soon as possible. Inevitably, everyone is born with karma. Therefore, it is true that there are parts in which you have to unavoidably taste such life experiences. Even so, if you recognize the Truth, that I just explained, and seek It, then from that point on, you can switch your life to the path of Yoga, not to the path of karma but to the path of Yoga, that is the right path.
Yet, having said that, if you go to classes, talk with your gurubai (brother and sister disciples), if you place yourself in such a good positive environment, and also if you apply yourself to learning and practicing earnestly and ardently, then your experiences will surely change for the better.
The Truth is within all and everyone. It is already within you too, indubitably. (smiling)
Ms. Noguchi: (weeping with emotion) Shri Mahayogi told me the same thing back in New York, just like now, which has stayed within my heart all the time, continuously… that is why, now… …thank you so very much.
MASTER: Yes, it’s commendable that you have come back today. I will be absent for the next three months or so, but I will see you again when I return. I am looking forward to seeing you. (smiling radiantly towards Ms. Noguchi)
(Shri Mahayogi will be visiting New York from March 5th to June 2nd.)
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Guided by Another Teresa
—The Little Way of Saint Thérèse—
2014-2015, Fukushima, Japan
“Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?” (My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?)
According to the Bible, at noon, all the land became dark, which continued until three, then Jesus cried out these words in a loud voice and passed away. It was said to be so loud that it could have been heard at the bottom of the earth. This anguished shout was the last utterance of Jesus.
He is said to have made seven statements on the cross. This is one of them, the fourth statement. However, you can see that only this statement is clearly different from the other six. This one is seemingly filled with despair, expressing complete separation from God and betrayal by God’s love, which is supposed to be eternal and universal. To begin with, before Jesus was captured, he had already told his disciples, “the Son of man will be handed over to be crucified”; thus he seemed to have known of his future death. The incarnation of God who declared, “The Father and I are one,” who never budged to anyone and continued to speak only the Truth, undaunted no matter how many enemies appeared around him, no matter how much he was whipped, or how he was made to carry the cross—why did he suddenly become a weakling like us?
I asked the priests and sisters I knew about the meaning of these words. [Some of their responses were:] “Because only a person who has truly experienced pain can save others, it can be understood that Jesus felt that he was forsaken by God as it literally says, and experienced the biggest suffering as a human being, which is that.” “Jesus was a perfect God and a human. A perfect human has both strengths and weaknesses. To be weak is to be human. I think that because Jesus was a perfect human, he also had weaknesses.” Just like many researchers and believers, they each gave their own interpretations.
Indeed, Jesus became one with human beings and tasted all their weaknesses. Even so, I believe that he could not have felt that he was forsaken by God, nor could he have suffered. I could not possibly think that a man of God would be weak. I thought that these are the kinds of interpretations that people who have never met a man of God might have. I cannot sense any weakness in Shri Mahayogi, not even the slightest. I could not suppress my anger, thinking that it was blasphemous for the people who are in positions of leadership in religion to teach that a man of God can be weak. I felt, Jesus surely tried to make an appeal to the masses; but why did he express it in such a way that it cannot be understood? There must be a very important secret hidden in here. I could not find an answer, so then I called Shri Mahayogi in Kyoto.
After listening to my story, Shri Mahayogi spoke quietly as usual, “If you think that way…”
I was surprised by his opening words. I thought—If I think that way? I want the real answer. I want to know the Truth of why Jesus said these words. I called Shri Mahayogi because I thought he would know the truth about Jesus. I didn’t care about what I thought.
Shri Mahayogi continued, “You must think of what Jesus tried to leave behind as a message.” “It is ignorance. In Christianity, it is called sin, but in Yoga, it is called ignorance. Jesus became a sacrifice through bearing the sin of humanity.” He continued to explain a little more, but I could not understand at all why those words of Jesus would be a message about ignorance. Even so, hearing that Jesus did not truly think he was forsaken by God, was enough for me to be glad and relieved. Jesus left a message about the ignorance of humanity [as his last words]—that was an ideal last moment for a man of God, just as I imagined, and it was the answer I had hoped for.
During the conversation with Shri Mahayogi, there was something that came to my mind suddenly—it was about Mother Teresa. I had learned that she experienced the darkness of faith [referred to as the “dark night of the soul”] where she was not able to sense the existence of God or God’s love, and thus tasted suffering as if she was being forsaken by God; and she believed that it must be the same as the suffering Jesus tasted on the cross, and that by overlapping her suffering, she was becoming one with Jesus. When I mentioned this to Shri Mahayogi, he only said, “Mother Teresa truly believed that.” He did not explain anything more. Then because I had no doubt whatsoever that the answer—“Ignorance was the message from Jesus”—is right, it felt mysterious to me that even though Mother did not know the facts about Jesus, she was able to have such pure faith; so I asked again, “So then, faith has nothing to do with facts, but it is personal and internal to each individual?” Shri Mahayogi answered, “Yes.”
Upon hearing that answer, I realized that I was seeing the person Jesus and the end of his life from a different point of view than that of Mother. Then I asked, “So even if I walk following in the footsteps of Mother, it doesn’t mean that I will necessarily experience the same dark night of the soul?” Shri Mahayogi said, “Right. However, in the process of heightening bhakti, similar things may happen.”
Even though I heard Shri Mahayogi’s answer, I still did not clearly understand the true meaning of the words of Jesus. After I hung up the phone, I reflected on the conversation with Shri Mahayogi. “Jesus became a sacrifice through bearing the sin of humanity.” For some reason, these words of Shri Mahayogi kept ringing in my head again and again. I wondered, what does it mean to become a sacrifice, to take the place of humanity and take on sin on behalf of others? Does it mean that we are the ones that actually were supposed to have been crucified? Does it mean that we are the ones that actually ought to have been insulted and whipped? How many evil acts have we done? Is not believing in God such a felony as to be punishable by crucifixion? Did Jesus cry out on the cross on behalf of humanity? That cry out of Jesus, was it actually our own…?
“God, why have you forsaken me!” People cry out as they trip on some obstacle again and again. No matter how many times we’re taught that God loves us deeply at all times, regardless, every time we face distress, our minds get far away from God; before we know it we are tossed around by reality. Within us, the Reality of God is taken over by the reality of “reality.” Yet, if we are crying out towards God, then it suggests that we must believe in God somewhere in our minds, or we are attempting to believe in God. We would not cry out to God if we didn’t think God exists. Our crying out for not being able to believe God’s Love, our crying out from a plea not to be forsaken, our crying out in an earnest plea for help in believing in God—in actuality, everybody wants to believe in the existence of God and God’s Love. What obstructs us from believing it is ignorance; it is sin.
As I was thinking these things, I imagined Jesus, crucified, with blood dripping down from his body without pause. I gazed at the blood dripping from his hands and feet, nailed to the cross. [And I thought,] a man of God appears in this world for the sake of saving us from ignorance—how full of love that is; a man of God continues to be sacrificed for our sake—how much love must be behind that; the love from men of God is simply being wasted, without anyone receiving it from them, just like the blood flowing from the cross—how serious this mistake that is committed by human beings is. “Jesus became a sacrifice through bearing the sin of humanity.” These words of Shri Mahayogi would not leave my mind. I felt like I was facing the most urgent issue regarding the cause of why I was born into this world for the very first time in my life.
I have not been able to [properly] receive the love of Jesus, the love of Shri Mahayogi…… I felt so frustrated and helplessly regretful, I wept bitterly, choking with tears. I felt a thirst springing up endlessly from within. The yearning to receive God’s Love and the impatience that I must do so no matter what—I thought about how I should live for the rest of my life. Usually when I’m faced with a big problem and my mind is compelled, I tend to impulsively get into action. However, this time, rather than taking external action on a whim, I earnestly yearned to spiritually love God much deeper, and to connect with God in a deeper place. In order to do so, I thought that I must remain in suffering just like Thérèse, and kill my “me [or ego]” in silence.
Just like Mother, Thérèse loved God deeply by overlapping her life’s suffering with the suffering of the Passion of Jesus. Her life was truly filled with much agony. Especially her anguish towards the end of her life, those around her could not bear to see her suffering. However, what she experienced in the midst of this agony, was the death of Jesus on the cross. “Our Lord died on the cross in agony, and yet this is the most beautiful death of love. … … I tell you frankly, it seems to me that that is what I am experiencing.” Anguish became the means to become one with God. That oneness was so unbreakably solid, so much so it was said that Jesus lived inside her.
There is familiarity amongst many Christians with the [practice of] faith towards Jesus on the cross, [the practice of] being hurt by people’s ingratitude and insults. In Lisieux where Thérèse lived, towards the first half of the nineteenth century, a Carmelite nun received the divine light [of guidance] to repent her sins by worshipping the face of Jesus during the Passion; and this became the devotion to the “Holy Face of Jesus” and became widely practiced.
This devotional practice originated in the first place from a legend. When Jesus was carrying his cross and going towards the execution grounds on the hill of Golgotha, a girl named Veronica, suddenly and without restraint, ran out of the crowd and gave him the veil that she was wearing to wipe the sweat and blood off of his face. In a crowd that was insulting Jesus, it must have taken so much courage to take such an action. Jesus was pleased with her candid love, he wiped off the blood and sweat from his face and gave the veil back to her. It is said that then a miracle occurred, that his face emerged in the veil. In paintings and sculptures, Veronica is depicted with that veil in her hands.
Thérèse also practiced this devotion to the Holy Face with her family since childhood. Her religious name was “St. Thérèse of the Child Jesus and of the Holy Face.” Because the Man of God, Jesus, offered himself with infinite love to God in order to save the world from the moment he arrived in his Holy Mother’s womb, Thérèse loved the Child Jesus very much and was always dreaming of receiving a religious name, “Thérèse of the Child Jesus.” When that became a reality, she felt supreme bliss. And after she received the name “Thérèse of the Child Jesus,” one of her sisters recommended to add the “Holy Face” to her religious name, thinking that it would help Thérèse to live hidden in humility, and to encourage her to become Little Veronica to comfort Jesus. Afterwards, Thérèse awoke to this devotional practice, and received permission to add “of the Holy Face” to her religious name. People around Thérèse spoke later about how deep the devotion of Thérèse was to the Holy Face, to the point where it was even incomparable to her devotion to the Child Jesus.
I thought that, just like Thérèse and Mother, I want to admire the suffering Jesus more and more. I thought that I want to dive into where they are and see Jesus just as they saw Him. However, the more I yearned for that, the more my fear intensified that it could actually come to be true. I thought that if I seriously prayed to God to take on a part of the suffering of Jesus just like them, then immediately I will be given the suffering like that which they were given, the anguish that I didn’t think I could take flooding in one after another.
I began Yoga in order to be free. In Yoga, by restraining the mind, one is released from suffering and attains a state that is perfectly and completely free. I aim for that, and practice Yoga. Why does a man of God suffer if he is supposed to be perfect? Why do the Holy Beings have to continue to suffer in order for us to love God? That is the teaching of Christianity, not the teaching of Yoga. I encountered the most correct teaching in the world, Yoga. Why do I need to yearn to suffer again?
It has always been this way. As I began to know Mother, know Thérèse, and know Jesus, as soon as I tried to approach their spirits, the ways of thinking in Yoga always appeared in my head and I logically tried to close off my emotions. Perhaps, I only understood a very small part of the teachings of Yoga. I may be making excuses, trying no matter what to refuse to receive the suffering that I will not be able to endure. Either way, I felt that I could no longer afford to continue what I was doing. Therefore, I decided to remove all my ideas about the teachings of Yoga that I had understood intellectually, and the image of God or the way of being a devotee that I had established in me through Yoga. I thought that it was not about quitting Yoga, but about becoming One with Yoga and truly living in Yoga.
Faith is something that is internal to an individual; it is unrelated to historical fact. Even if the facts are different from what one has believed in, as the pure yearning for God grows within a person, that in and of itself becomes faith and one can approach God.
Facts change over time and also according to who tells them. There may be cases in which the facts can be distorted to suit various interests. When looking at the Gospels, the life of Jesus written by four disciples of Jesus (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John), you can see that the content differs. For example, the writings that record the last words of Jesus, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” are only in the Gospels of Matthew and Mark. In the Gospel of Luke, it is written that Jesus cried out, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit,” then took his last breath. If you take these two statements literally, the attitudes of Jesus towards God [that are expressed] seem to be directly in opposition to each other. Which words did Jesus utter at the end? Or are both statements fabrications, and there are other [correct] words that exist [somewhere else]? Regardless of the facts, regardless of which words to believe and how the words are interpreted, if one follows Jesus and the passion to go towards Jesus is what prevails above all else, then one’s faith towards Jesus is cultivated by whichever words one believes in.
I did not start out having faith towards Jesus. Simply, I really loved Mother Teresa and Thérèse, and I could not help but adore their attitudes, always praising God and expressing admiration for God with their entire beings. Every time, as I would think of them, they spoke to me with full might, “Now, you must see Him.” And there Jesus was. I hoped that the way for me to reach God would be the same as theirs. I yearned to become one with God by overlapping my suffering with the suffering of Jesus on the cross, forsaken by God, just like Mother Teresa and Thérèse. I wanted to see what they saw, and believe what they believed—that is why I began to study the teaching of Christianity.
Why do I need to understand Christianity at this point in time, even when I’ve already been practicing Yoga? What if learning Christianity may become an obstacle that prevents me from walking the path of Yoga; most likely, straying away from the spiritual path would be a far more serious fault than what we may think—that is why I always tried to carefully interpret and validate from the perspective of Yoga whether whatever teachings of Christianity I came across were worthy of believing in, whether [what they say] is fact. Perhaps, my ability to do that was not very well-developed; often I felt contradictions in their content and could not organize them internally within myself. I was not clear and not convinced whether Jesus, really from the bottom of his heart, felt forsaken by God in the end or not, and thus, I could not be fully convinced by the words of Mother or Thérèse or have full understanding of them.
If these words came from the great saints of Yoga, such as Ramakrishna and Vivekananda, then I would not doubt whether the teachings of Yoga that they spoke about or explained were factual or not. Even so, I gravitated towards Mother and Thérèse for some reason. If I could have the same yearning towards Ramakrishna and Vivekananda that I had for Mother and Thérèse, then I probably would not have had to take such a detour to get closer to God. Why is my mind fascinated with them instead? Why do I recall God more strongly when I see them, and feel like their existences are right next to me, helping me? Thus, a dilemma arose between my admiration for them and the small doubt I had towards the teachings of Christianity.
However, fact and faith are unrelated to each other. When I found that out from learning from Shri Mahayogi on the phone, I decided to abandon this comparison of the teachings of Christianity to the teachings of Yoga, to abandon thinking about whether they are right or wrong, what ought to be, and so on altogether. I thought that I wanted to accept the teaching they came to know exactly as it is, going beyond the boundaries of religion, and to become one with their hearts that accepted these teachings.
Shri Mahayogi says that Yoga deals with only the universal essence of religion. If Yoga has truly taken root within me, then even if the teachings of Christianity I have come to know through Thérèse or Mother seem to deviate from what the facts are to me, I will be able to find the greatness of these teachings; and through that, I will become a better, more pious person.
Let me see if I can overlap my suffering with the suffering of Jesus. As soon as I thought that, suffering came right away.
I was assigned to train two new staff members, one after another. They were both poor at their jobs. Especially the trainee I took on later; not only could she not learn the tasks, she was often a danger to the patients due to her error in judgement, so I had to constantly watch over her carefully. Also, because her words and behavior were lacking in common sense, her relationships with other staff became worse by the day. Her odd behaviors escalated daily, so I began to strictly admonish her for the way she was doing tasks and the way she dealt with other people. It seemed to me like I was disciplining a child rather than training a nurse. She also began to rebel against me more and more, and at times, it often led to arguments at the nurses station. Her trainers included the head nurse, one other person and myself, but we all had similar situations with her. Other staff (not assigned to train her) did not want themselves to be harmed by her, so they all avoided interacting with her. Because of that, no matter how much she defied me or how strange her claims were, no one came to my assistance. Everyone pretended like they didn’t see what was going on in front of them. I felt very lonely. We, the trainers, stayed late after work to discuss this issue; and we came to the conclusion that there was something strange about her, and that she must have a developmental disability. I pleaded with the head nurse, [pointing out] that if those around her were to stop monitoring her closely, there could be a possibility that a patient die due to her mistakes. But no matter how the head nurse took this issue to her superiors, they ignored her at first, saying that we were overreacting.
But after a while, things started to happen to those involved in her training. One of the trainers, with other stress factors piling up, became sick with Meniere’s disease, which caused hearing loss, and she had to be hospitalized. Another staff person replaced her and was assigned as a trainer, but this staff person became hysterical every time she instructed the trainee, and eventually this staff person began to develop circular hair loss, and she cut her long, beautiful hair. The head nurse also began to scold her every day, and eventually she was exhausted, and she developed pain in her neck and back, becoming unable to move them. Whenever I thought about her, I felt depressed and gradually lost my appetite. Even though I was quite defeated mentally, my body was surprisingly well and full of energy; the head nurse assigned many responsibilities to me, thinking I could keep going more and more. Other staff sympathized with me, yet even though I told them straightforwardly and requested that each staff instruct the trainee much more directly, they all responded evasively and dodged the issues [having to do with] her. People of this Tohoku (northeast) region [in Japan] are usually very reserved and quiet, in a positive and negative way; they are all weak in telling their opinions directly to the faces of others. I could not accept the effects from the tendencies of this local culture, and my aversion to the unsupportive staff increased to the point where I could no longer suppress it within me; so in the end I went and pleaded with the head nurse. I told her that if I had to continue training this person under the current conditions, I would quit. I felt pathetic about my lack of endurance, but I told her honestly everything I wanted to tell her. Afterwards, the head nurse apologized to me many times, she was terribly sorry to cause me to have such a situation, especially since I had come all the way only to support them, and to have to encounter such a situation. Then suddenly she cried out again and again, “That’s enough! We can’t go on like this any longer!” Then she kept excitedly speaking with agitation about all the frustrations she’d had with this trainee, and at last stated that she would go to request that the superiors transfer this trainee. I was surprised by the sudden change in the head nurse, who was always very calm. Learning what the state of the mind was of the head nurse, who had just gotten promoted to the position half a year ago, and had to endure these various things due to her position, my heart ached for her. As a result, a month later, the trainee was transferred elsewhere.
After that trainee left, the hospital ward regained some peace; but when she was here, I suffered every day, and as I looked at Jesus on the cross, hanging on the wall [in my room], I tried to overlap my suffering. I had thought that due to being bound by my preconceived notions, various resistances might arise in my mind, such as the thought of, “It’s strange for Jesus to suffer from the bottom of his heart,” however, it wasn’t like that. I don’t know if it was perhaps because I tackled this with determination, or if it was because of the grave situation in which the entire ward had become uneasy due to the effect caused by her—to not cause a hindrance for productivity, there was no space for me to think about it. Even so, regardless, no matter how many times I tried to overlap my suffering, I had a sense of incongruity somehow, and the attempt didn’t go well. Jesus took on the sins of the entirety of humanity. My suffering is personal, and it is different from the suffering of Jesus. Every time I overlapped my suffering, the more and more I tried to enter the suffering of Jesus, I felt that whatever I was troubled with was so tiny, and I began to feel that the way I had been going about things was strange.
How exactly did Mother or Thérèse share their suffering with Jesus. I decided to read carefully about their lives and words once again. Then, after going through this process, what I noticed was that when they overlapped their suffering with the suffering of Jesus, this was when Mother experienced the dark night of the soul, and when Thérèse was about to die—and those were the periods in which they were experiencing ultimate pain. In neither case were their sufferings personal. When they gladly accepted the suffering that was beyond their own minds, God also granted them a way to prevail against themselves. I inferred that probably they did not choose that way intentionally.
[In the case of] Mother and Thérèse too, both experienced various small sufferings until they got to that point. Mother is often praised for her glorious accomplishments, but she went through situations like when she was not able to obtain bread to supply to the children in the facility for the next day, or when she had to quickly withdraw the convent she established due to various reasons in which she had no choice; and she was also persecuted by the Hindus in the beginning when she first established the facility. There are slanders or libels about her being simply used as advertising for the Catholic Church, saying she was far from a saint, and these still exist even now. Thérèse had no shortage of small sufferings, having been troubled over relationships with others at the convent, having been criticized for being too slow to perform tasks, and having her health damaged by ascetic practices. They offered these to God as sacrifices. In order to become holy, they endeavored to accept them without resistance as gifts from God, while battling themselves. When I looked at their lives, I thought that I hadn’t reached the level where I could overlap the suffering of Jesus with my own suffering yet. I thought that what I needed at the moment was to persevere to walk humbly just like they did, the “little way” of Thérèse which pays sacrifice to even the subtlest things; and when I no longer let any small sacrifices escape my scrutiny, and when my yearning towards God heightens to the point where there is nothing higher than that, then perhaps God may grant me the same means like them. I felt the words of Shri Mahayogi, “Similar things may happen in the process of heightening bhakti,” overlap with my own thoughts.
Thus my challenge completely failed. However, I was grateful that the “little way” of Thérèse returned back within me once again through these incidents. And at the same time, I was glad that I was able to experience these incidents that arose at work. At the time, I was pathetic in every way. Yet, I was able to honestly talk about my feelings using my own words for the first time in my life, and I was able to discuss them, maintaining my integrity, and I was able to share in suffering with the locals. Through this, I felt that I finally became a member of the local community.
Since this incident, the last words of Jesus, whether it was an expression of his suffering from being abandoned by God, coming from the bottom of his heart, or if it was his trying to point to the ignorance of humanity, I could believe either way, and I started to think that one way or another didn’t matter to me anymore. However, I now prefer the view that Jesus from the bottom of his heart experienced the suffering of being betrayed by God just like Mother and Thérèse believed. Because when I see Jesus in such a way, I can touch their admiration, and fall deeply in love with God. When I encounter that admiration, I can love God even more.
Thérèse spoke about her adoration to the Holy Face of Jesus:
“Here is the dream of this ‘grain of sand,’ … … What happiness to be so entirely hidden that no one gives us a thought—to be unknown even to those with whom we live! I long to be unknown to everyone of God’s creatures! I have never desired glory amongst men, and if their contempt used to attract my heart, I have realized that even this is too glorious for me, and I thirst to be forgotten.”
“Jesus is on fire with love for us. Look at His adorable Face, His glazed and sunken eyes, His wounds. Look Jesus in the Face. There you will see how He loves us.”
Every time when I see the crucifix on the wall, I recall these words of Thérèse. And along with her, I see the affection, humility, and obedience of Jesus in the depth of his scarred body and downcast eyes. In that moment, my admiration for Jesus is led to deeper love through her faith. It does not matter at all that the religion of the saints that guide me is different from mine. If they’re true believers, and if we can look at their thoughts towards God, without being confused by the surface differences of religion, then obstacles will be swiftly removed, and we will walk the same path, walking alone towards God.
The Martyrdom of Love—that is how Thérèse referred to offering one’s entire life in continual sacrifice to God. This is about having one’s mind being burned up by the love of God. “O my God, Thou knowest I have never desired but to love Thee alone. I seek no other glory. …Thy love has grown with my growth, and now it is an abyss the depths of which I cannot fathom.” As she said this, she even stopped longing to suffer for God anymore. This was two years before Thérèse left this world.
I had thought that martyrdom was something that didn’t have any relation to me, that it was an event that took place elsewhere, in a world far away. However, as I came into contact with Christianity, and as I heard this word often, it brought a very holy resonance to my mind. Many saints in the past who believed in Christ were martyred and are now praised as heroes. It was the demonstration of their love and loyalty toward God, and it was their heartfelt wish. I began to seriously think about this word when the sisters I met in the Minamisoma [area of Fukushima] introduced the history of their sect to me; and they told me about the seven sisters who were martyred in China due to the Boxer Incident.1 The sisters showed me a drawing of those sisters being martyred, and I was captivated by this drawing. What did they think in their last moments? Did they truly think from the bottom of their hearts that they wanted to die for God? Did they not feel terror or anguish? With these questions, I also had some sort of admiration sprout up deep from within my mind.
Originally Thérèse was eager to work as a missionary, traveling across the world to spread the love of Jesus to people so that many people would love Christ. However, the mission that was actually given to her from God was to lead humanity through her prayers and sacrifice while being cloistered, that is, in the convent. It is said that the Carmelite order, reformed by Teresia of Avila in the 16th century, is one of the most strict convents [of all Catholic orders]. Most of the day is dedicated to prayers and penance, and they live in thorough and honest poverty. Through daily prayers and sacrifice, Thérèse gradually began to feel the eager desire for accomplishing within her every kind of heroic deed for Jesus, such as that of a soldier, priest, apostle, doctor, and martyr.
“Above all, I thirst for the Martyr’s crown. It was the desire of my earliest days, and the desire has deepened with the years passed in the Carmel’s narrow cell. But this too is folly, since I do not sigh for one torment; I need them all to slake my thirst. Like Thee, O Adorable Spouse, I would be scourged, I would be crucified! I would be flayed like St. Bartholomew, plunged into boiling oil like St. John, or, like St. Ignatius of Antioch, ground by the teeth of wild beasts into a bread worthy of God. With St. Agnes and St. Cecilia I would offer my neck to the sword of the executioner, and like Joan of Arc I would murmur the name of Jesus at the stake. My heart thrills at the thought of the frightful tortures Christians are to suffer at the time of Anti-Christ, and I long to undergo them all. Open, O Jesus, the Book of Life, in which are written the deeds of Thy Saints: all the deeds told in that book I long to have accomplished for Thee.”
Such enthusiastic yearning burns up one’s own mind: [what can be found there is] acceptance and total surrender. The activity of Thérèse’s mind was led to become only that. The “little way” is the application of nothing that is moralistic, nor is it a gentle practice, but rather, it is a path of an all-out, heroic battle with one’s own mind, beyond reason; and if one is able to completely give over everything to God after going through the battle, then God will come to life within oneself, who has become empty, and then work freely. It created numerous miracles, and thus she came to know that power especially in the salvation of people’s souls. For, in directing the mind of someone who has no faith in God, to God—a person of apostolic calling believes in God’s love and lives out their life [based on that belief] even more obediently. Even if that person is on the brink of death, this power plays out fully. The more Thérèse became firmly convinced of this within herself, the more she sensed that the many blessings she has received were from the power of the prayers of someone holy, and of sacrifice.
That is why she worked to abandon everything for the sake of people being always blessed, and directed herself to face God completely empty-handed.
“At the close of life’s evening I shall appear before Thee with empty hands .”
Through these practices, Thérèse came to realize that stopping the activities of her mind for God is no less than martyrdom through the body. One year before her death, in a letter she wrote to a seminary student who vowed to become her spiritual sibling, she spoke thus:
“I know you aspire to the joy of sacrificing your life for the divine Master, but martyrdom of the heart is no less fruitful than the pouring out of one’s blood, and now this martyrdom is yours.”
To save people’s souls through the martyrdom of the mind—she came to find out that that is the true purpose of the “little way.” And as she approached the end of her life, her consciousness came to be focused only on the salvation of people. When I found out about her living in such a way, I was convinced that without a doubt this path is the realization of my ideal.
A while later, an international incident occurred. It was the killing of foreign hostages by an Islamic extremist organization. For a long time, I have been interested in the situations in the Middle East and have collected information. In the past, I had an experience when I was traveling via the Silk Road across Khunjerab Pass and entering into Pakistan, where I almost lost my life yet the locals saved me. I do not forget that even now, and when I spent about a month in Pakistan, I encountered their pure Muslim faith.
Upon hearing about this situation in which many souls were taken away by the aerial attacks and civil wars in the Middle East, my heart ached—even so, to me, it always felt like something happening in another world. When I first felt that this situation was actually happening in the world I live in, it was when I saw in the news about the extremist terrorists killing these foreign hostages to make an example. When I saw the images shown on TV, I was shocked, just as many others were. And at the same time, a question arose in my mind. If that situation were to be happening right in front of my eyes, would I bring myself to sacrifice my life in their place? If I have been practicing to renounce the mind, if my mind has been renounced through applications of practice up until then, then renouncing my life should be possible to do. Jesus taught his disciples, “There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” Every time an image of a hostage being killed by a terrorist organization was broadcast, I kept asking myself again and again. Yet, the mind always froze in terror and refused to answer the question. If I became a hostage, I might plead for my life. Or exactly like when Jesus was executed, how the disciples acted, I might run for my dear life from the fear of being inflicted with harm. The combatants among the Islamic extremists freely give up their lives for suicide bombings and combat. Even if the god they believe in might be the devil, how can the god of evil grant such courage to them? Why can’t I give up my life for something I believe in?
Sometime later, there ended up being a Japanese person who became a hostage. Increasingly, I sensed this reality was happening in the same world where I live, and I could not stay still. I impulsively began to fast. If I think about my reaction now, it was a very shallow thought, but I just wanted to do something. However, there was no way I could maintain it while I worked, so I calmed down and gave up this idea after half a day. Seeing my half-baked practice, I felt that sacrificial penance was nothing like such a temporary event and that it would be meaningless unless it was something that I had to continue 24/7, ceaselessly, until I die.
I tried to shift the power of my aspiration of wanting to do something about it inward. Not only during meditation in sitting, but also while engaging in daily activities, I desperately tried to check the mind that was trying to move towards thinking about the incident. Perhaps this might have been the trap of the terrorists, what the terrorists intended—I was badly shaken up by this incident. For some reason, I could not sleep at night, and my mind was restlessly swung around.
When the second Japanese hostage was added and a ransom was held, my agitation got worse and at times, I could not continue to be involved in daily activities. I made an effort to redirect the power of my thoughts within. It was just like the time when I had just begun Yoga, and I was trying to wrestle my mind that was like an untamed horse wanting to go outwards no matter what, with all my might.
As I continued like that, I discovered something new within me during meditation. It was like something that ceaselessly flowed in from a small entrance; even when engaging in work, it flowed without interruption, and I was sensing only that continuous flow. It felt as if two worlds existed within me. And then when I was not engaging in work, I sensed that all my consciousness became gathered into one and got swallowed into that flow. I didn’t think or have any sense of it being happiness or anything mystical.
At the same time that this phenomenon began, somehow I began to detect patients’ abnormal conditions one after another earlier. Also, I began to find many mistakes that had been overlooked that none of the other staff noticed. Because of this, there were many cases in which some of the patients’ conditions were prevented from worsening due to the issues being dealt with at an early point, and often the staff thanked me at the end of the workday. Many various other things happened too, yet I performed all of this without any intentionality. I myself had no idea why these things were happening; but a while later, I discovered in the autobiography of Thérèse that various unusual things happened in her daily life as well. Despite the fact that she didn’t have an ability to read people’s minds, she often surprised others because she could state exactly the feelings of the other person that she was with. In this regard, she said that she had no abilities whatsoever, and that she was simply, innocently saying the words of God, but through that she actually felt that God was right beside her. I felt that through my little battles there was some kind of a spiritual shift brought about within me.
A while later, the Japanese hostages were killed. It was a pitiful death. One of these hostages was a journalist and a Christian; his facial expression upon facing death could have looked like he had prepared himself, but it could have also looked as if expressing great regret. While I was stunned, I wanted to know only one thing; that is, whether he died in God or not. This journalist spoke some time ago about the reason why he was baptized: “If I ever lose my life during my news gathering activities, it will feel forlorn to die without anyone attending. If Lord Jesus, the Father, welcomes me into heaven, then I won’t feel so forlorn.”
Perhaps the compassionate God heard his voice. Yet without a doubt, he needed someone’s prayer and sacrifice. I, who could not give but my very lukewarm self to God, could not be of help to grant his wish at all. Yet, through this incident, I realized that I was given one and the same exact mission as Thérèse. It is the mission to bring God to people, through prayers and sacrifice, giving myself up completely to God. Thérèse lived as a sister, but I must complete my mission living in the world. Mother Theresa brought God’s love to the people in front of her eyes, not through external actions, but through the power of her internal efforts while performing the tasks that were given to her by God, to work for the poor, which was much needed in that era in the world. The more I discover about the way Thérèse lived, and the more I discover about the sacredness of her internal work, the more I feel like I finally understand how much Mother needed Thérèse, and why she was so stuck on Thérèse. And, I recognized that the one thread that solidly tied and bonded Mother and Thérèse together without break, had already been thrown also to my hand. Even if the era and country is different, even if the external roles are different, God has given us the same mission—I became convinced of it.
Twenty years ago, when I first attended to a dying person at work, I sensed the sacred, holy brilliance deep within that person I was attending. It was quite impactful and caused a keen thirst within me for saving this person to begin to grow. Yet, at that time I couldn’t understand well what it was that I wanted to save this person from. As I began to visit this person, I thought that in order to save him, I had to shatter the ego within me, which was an obstacle to being able to do so, and I had to become one with that which is sacred deep within him. I did not know Yoga yet at that time, but this was something I noticed through internal intuition. Then I encountered Yoga and as I began to study and inquire into Mother, I realized that what I wanted to save was not his life, but his Life and his Soul.
[Thinking back,] I must have seen the crystallization of my yearning in the forms of Mother and Thérèse. And now, I aspire to bring God not only to the dying people in front of my eyes, but to everyone throughout the world who does not know the existence of God, and especially for those who are facing death without any faith, to bring God in their very last moment.
I will continue to walk this little way with this mission. One day I will give up my life for God’s love. The life, the spirit and work of a human being transcending death is eternal; and even now, Thérèse and Mother are ceaselessly praying for me. By relying upon their words to conquer fear, let me offer myself up through prayer, sacrifice and love.
“…for I wish to work for love. Our martyrdom is beginning. Let us go forth to suffer together, and let us offer our sufferings to Jesus for the salvation of souls.”
Without refusing Thérèse’s invitation, I will continue to fight this holy battle with her until this life is totally spent.
 The Boxer Incident, Boxer Rebellion, Boxer Uprising or Yihetuan Movement was a violent insurrection in China between 1899 and 1901 that targeted foreigner influences in China, including Christians.