Both Songs 1 and 2 begins with a discussion of Shougatsu or the New Year. What is so special of the New Year? The New Year is like the beginning; it gives us an opportunity to change from the old habits of the past year. It provides an opportunity to make our lives better. Some may ask, how can the beginning of the New Year bring us happiness. God tells us to understand the Ofudesaki, and follow the instructions. Some of us will read it, and say how wonderful the teaching are, and yet for some reason will not follow the teachings, especially when obstacles or temptations occur in their lives.
The New Year allows us to make a commitment to practice our teachings, no matter what we have done in the past. Lets us at least make a commitment to practice, step by step (dandan), to understand what comes from our hearts (fate), to calm our minds, and ponder our own dusts in our minds. God tells us that this will be difficult, but the New Year gives us a new beginning to do this!
Happy New Year!!!!