Posted: Fri Jun 03, 2011 3:57 am Post subject: Spiritual Movement Founded in Japan Imported
Into the happiness arena comes an interesting import: a spiritual movement founded in Japan in 1986 by a former financial professional (who once worked on Wall Street), Happy Science founder Ryuho Okawa, known as Master Okawa. The spiritual leader believes he was chosen to bring happiness, enlightenment, peace and prosperity to the entire world
New York, NY, June 03, 2011 -- Are people more or less happy today? Thanks to our new global technology, especially the Internet, we can now easily see how intensely the concept of happiness is very much in the forefront of our brains. And not just as Americans but as a species. Books, movies, plays (yes there is even a new musical called “Happiness”) programs, etc.— 210 million happiness references on Google…and that is just with a click on that word. Type in the term “stress” and you come up with another 415 million references! While research does purport that Americans are happier today than in previous generations, they are a paying a big price—again, Stress! Seventy-seven percent of Americans are stressed about work and nearly half of Americans admit to being stressed “most of the day.”
Certainly other decades have also had their devastating stressors. The 60s had love-ins and Woodstock but they also had the assassinations of JFK, MLK, and RFK. The 70s conjures up both Vietnam and disco. The 80s were all about the self-centered “Me Generation” and the 90s about “Gen X.” Sadly, the start of the 21st Century began with 9/11, continued with the War on Terror, and ended with bear markets, a static economy, high levels of unemployment, bailouts and foreclosures—all of which leave many of us feeling dubious, to say the least, about this new decade.
Into the happiness arena comes an interesting import: a spiritual movement founded in Japan in 1986 by a former financial professional (who once worked on Wall Street), Happy Science founder Ryuho Okawa, known as Master Okawa. The spiritual leader believes he was chosen to bring happiness, enlightenment, peace and prosperity to the entire world, and in fact, he is revered throughout Japan for his inspirational speeches, which often pack stadiums with than 50,000 to 70,000 attendees. His books generally become bestsellers, and Happy Science now has 12 million followers in 75 countries.
In the U.S, the organization’s latest location is in a modest townhouse they recently purchased in the TriBeca section of New York City. They also have centers in SF, LA, Chicago, Tampa, Atlanta and Hawaii. In New York City Happy Science holds a regular weekly evening event, free and open to the public, called “Midweek Meditation in Midtown Manhattan.” This program is a modernized Zen meditation to help reduce stress led by Yuki Oikawa, Happy Science USA’s Chief Ambassador and Head Minister of the nonprofit, nondenominational organization. The evening includes enlightening discussions, fellowship, and free refreshments.
“Now is the time for a full scale happiness movement,” says Yuki Okawa. “Given the challenges facing all of us today, in Japan, in the US, and basically throughout the world, we cannot afford to let fear and greed define yet another decade. It’s time to learn how to develop a positive attitude and reduce stress, be more appreciative and grateful, show one another greater kindness, and hopefully start a wave of universal love that can heal and transform our world.”
“It may sound idealistic and simplistic to say that our intention is to help end wars, conflict and suffering, and replace them with greater happiness, peace and prosperity,” adds Yuki, “Nonetheless, the fact is that never before in the course of history has there been such a strong opportunity to spread our important message. That essential message of course, is how we can affect change—one person at a time.”
Yuki is charged with reaching U.S. audiences with this timeless but urgent message.
Happy Science is supported by member donations. These are regularly used throughout the world for social global betterment including, supporting schools, orphanages, nursing homes, community food programs, mental health campaigns and much more. Their Project HOPE (“Helping Other People Endlessly”) has been providing assistance to the survivors of the recent earthquake in Japan.
Do we dare hope for a new Age of Enlightenment? Or even: The Happiness Decade” Wouldn’t that be lovely!
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