The activities of the Practical Ethics Association are centered on the voluntary practical efforts of people who wish to make their present lives better.
Each member independently and spontaneously engages in practical activities to solve their own problems by themselves, utilizing the most effective practical know-how extracted from the Association's 70 years of experience.
In addition, members learn and get to know each other through the morning meetings held every morning, the spring and autumn conventions, and the round-table discussions, study sessions, and lectures held as needed, where practical examples of bright and cheerful living are reported.
The early morning meetings are the most central activity of the Practical Ethics Association. Early to bed and early to rise is the most effective practical activity that anyone can immediately practice to achieve a cheerful and energetic life.
It has been medically proven that going to bed early and waking up early is an excellent practice that relieves stress, promotes mental stability and energy, and stimulates the secretion of growth hormones in children, all of which are in accordance with the mechanisms of the human body.
Every morning from 5 a.m. to 6 a.m., in the crisp morning air, all the participants at every morning meeting venue across Japan recite the “Five Resolutions (Morning Resolutions)” and pledge to be cheerful, energetic and proactive for the day ahead.
The “Five Resolutions,” which are chanted at the morning meetings, define a basic attitude for living a better life for the day.
There are only five items in the Five Resolutions. In addition, since all five items are limited to “today,” they can be practiced immediately by anyone who wishes to put them into practice, and the effects are immediate.
Practicing the Five Resolutions is the first step to realizing a bright and energetic life for yourself and the people around you.
(The “three appreciations” in line 1 refers to the appreciation of our parents, our teachers and society.
The “three wastes” in line 5 refers to wasting things, time, and thought.)
With the “Five Resolutions” as the basic attitude for the day, members determine their own issues, set goals for practice, and solve problems through voluntary practice.
However, such personal practice goals should not be selfish or flippant. At the Practical Ethics Association, we set several keywords to sublimate our personal practice goals into things that are beneficial to both ourselves and others alike, things that enhance ourselves and make others happy.
This is one of the most important keywords that practical ethics is based on.
Human beings need to help each other to survive. Furthermore, all living things on earth help and support each other, and they “co-exist” in a broader sense. All living things on earth are given some kind of role by the “providence of the great nature” and are designed to support each other by mutually fulfilling their roles.
In our relationships, too, it is important to accept others and help each other.
In practical ethics, the word “happiness” in Japanese is written as “mutual serving.”
The idea is to serve the people around us and to be happy together. So how can we feel that “happiness”? The secret lies in the spirit of “giving” rather than “taking.” We have to reduce our “requesting mind” to others and increase our “giving mind.” That should not be done out of a sense of obligation, but done because we want to and enjoy doing it.
Practice without seeking reward is the starting point and the essence of ethical practice itself.
The family is the first place where “co-existence” and “happiness of mutual service” can be realized.
Each family member loves their own family and fully plays their part in the household. That then leads to an amiable and harmonized state, a state of abundance and love. That's what “Family Love and Harmony” means. Family love and harmony is built on the measure of family—that is, the measure of love, rather than the measure of a utilitarian society that pursues profit and efficiency.
Let us realize family love and harmony, keeping in mind that each family member is an irreplaceable part of our lives.
Among the various abilities that human beings are born with, one that works in a positive direction is ethical ability. However, it is a very natural function of the mind as a human being to work not only for oneself, but also for the benefit of those who co-exist with oneself.
The goals of the practice are always set to be natural and positively affirmative in light of ethical ability.
The “Great Affirmation of Reality” means to accept the reality in front of you as it is, both the good and the bad aspects.
To accept the reality in front of you at that moment, without fear, without running away, and without protesting, and then start changing it for the better by practicing the teachings of our association— this is the attitude of the “Great Affirmation of Reality.” This attitude of the Great Affirmation of Reality is expressed in the practice of “Yes,” “Thank you,” and “I'm sorry.” A sincere “Yes,” “Thank you,” and “I'm sorry”—not just words but from the bottom of your heart—are words that accept and affirm reality in its entirety.
We can start only by facing reality as it is.
This refers to an attitude of controlling one's own mental activity and always being in a good mood.
The practice does not belong to the mood, but to the will. If you look gloomy, you will make the people around you who have nothing to do with your suffering feel gloomy too. So, in order not to let that happen, we use humor, smile and act in a good mood despite our own suffering, to care for the people around us.
When we are in a good mood, we make those around us feel secure and happy.
The laws that cause all natural phenomena, from the macrocosm to the human world, are the “Providence of Great Nature.”
While humans call what they have discovered and rationally demonstrated in various events occurring in the natural world and the human world “science,” the “Providence of Great Nature” refers to the vast swathe of laws that have yet to be scientifically clarified.
The ideal of practical ethics is to live naturally in accordance with this “Providence of Great Nature,” eliminating the unreasonable and unnatural.
Round-table discussions are held voluntarily at each district/venue, and are open to anyone who wishes to participate. With specific themes such as parenting, education, harmony and love of a married couple, and work and ethics, participants share their experiences and help each other solve their personal problems through the practice of ethics.
This is a larger scale learning opportunity than a round-table discussion. Districts and venues set various themes for the event, and participants learn from presentations of other members on their practical experiences, and from lectures by experts. The know-how for problem-solving gained from the lectures is used for voluntary practices of the participants.
There are subdivisions according to gender and age, such as the Middle-Age Division, Women's Division, Men's Youth Division and Women's Youth Division. In each division, round-table discussions and study sessions are held on cases where people of the same generation and gender can understand and support each other.
In the summer, the “Nationwide Training Session” is held at a training facility in Kanazawa City, Ishikawa Prefecture, by representative members of each division.
Twice a year, in spring and fall, the chairman and other representative members of the Association give lectures at lecture sessions (the Convention) in each region of Japan. At the Convention, practical issues are presented that we should tackle immediately in order to realize a co-existing society based on the happiness of living together through the establishment of bright and cheerful families.
In addition, voluntary promotional activities by members who have realized the joy of living in harmony with their families through the practice of ethics are conducted as needed to spread the joy of living by practicing ethics.