Tomoji Ito’s Kitchen Sermons

For, Shinso Ito, being a good citizen comes down to how we behave in our daily interactions and personal relationships.

Shinso Ito
5 October 2016
Traditional Japanese Kitchen.
Photo by George Alexander Ishida Newman.

How we treat others in our routine interactions is the most important part of being a good citizen. Through our personal relationships, we can bring out the best in ourselves.

Our Buddhist community, Shinnyo-en, was founded by my parents, Shinjo and Tomoji Ito. In their early years their home doubled as a temple, and people were constantly gathering in Tomoji’s kitchen as she cooked. Members of our community today draw on the example she set. The simple yet powerful behaviors she lived by have become known as the Kitchen Sermons.

Some examples are:

Be gentle, yet strong.

Do not bring sadness to people.

Reflect upon yourself before criticizing others.

Smile when you talk to people.

Treat people with respect. Put yourself in their place.

Sharing with others the joy of living in wisdom and compassion is a spiritual practice, which helps bring out our own true self as good citizens.

Shinso Ito

Shinso Ito

Her Holiness Shinso Ito is the leader of the Shinnyo-en Buddhist school.