Whether it’s giving people the extra boost of confidence they need or helping them along the path of self-discovery, Nicole Sakurai loves helping people find their way in life.
“I love helping people because when I was lost on my journey it was the support, guidance and love from other people that helped me regain my strength,” she said. “And if I too can be a source of support to another it would truly make me happy.”
Sakurai is the reverend of Happy Science, in the heart of downtown Kapaa, in the Dragon Building. She is also the manager of Happy Science at Happiness Planting Center, a venue in Lihue that offers Ikebana classes and meditation workshops.
Followers of Happy Science, founded by Master Ryuho Okawa, focus on pursuing the universal truth, not only about the world, but about life and and themselves.
In their pursuit of truth, believers try to answer three universal questions — “Who am I?” “What is the purpose of life?” and “What is happiness?”
Those who follow the faith believe there are five truths in life — the soul is the essence of a human being; the soul has eternal life; the rules of cause and effect run the universe; after death, the soul returns to the spirit world; and heaven and hell exist.
Sakurai is also the president of the El Cantare Foundation, a nonprofit organization based in Lihue that aims to inspire people to overcome challenges.
Through the foundation, Sakurai will be hosting a United Nations workshop in New York City this week, speaking about how women — and men — can change the world. The free workshop will take place Thursday at the Church Center for the United Nations.
How did you get involved with the United Nations workshop?
I have always wanted to help people beyond my own borders and this organization’s ability to create peace has always interested me.
What inspired you to speak at the workshop?
I always wanted to help women and men strategize together and build up the individualistic values.
My approach in doing so would be to implement a more sustainable and responsible development plan for our country as well as our work.
I am excited to be able to not only share but, also discuss with inspirational women on these issues.
What will you be speaking about? Why this topic?
I will be speaking about encouraging women’s economic empowerment, especially through an improved change in behavior as well as curing self-doubt with a higher quality belief systems and clearing all mental blockages at work.
I want to empower women of today’s society. I want to empower women to value their inner beauty, dignity and potential, not in exchange for men’s roles, but for their own creative purposes.
I made the title “Women Can Change The World, Just The Way You Are,” which reflects that all women should have the opportunity to participate in individualized economic creative positions designed for women and build a utopia society.
What are you most looking forward to about the workshop?
I am looking forward to meeting different women from all around the world and sharing opinions, information and wisdom.
What do you hope people get out of it?
I hope that people can learn and be inspired from some of the teachings that I share.
Where do you live on Kauai?
I live in Lihue and am truly enjoying this beautiful Garden Isle every day.
What’s your favorite part about the island?
My favorite part of Kauai is how beautiful and open the people are on this island
How long have you been a reverend at Happy Science on Kauai?
I have been reverend at Happy Science for eight years on Kauai.
What are your duties there?
I am the reverend and manager at Happy Science and Happiness Planting Center. I conduct services which include meditation, self-reflection and self-development.
For you, what is the secret to happiness?
Personally, I would say the secret to happiness is not only finding but, understanding and polishing your life purpose!
How do you help people get enlightened?
Everyone has an equal opportunity to receive enlightenment; however, at first you must seek enlightenment on your own.
The fragrance of enlightenment has been personalized and specialized to you and you only. I can only be of assistance and guide you through our sessions together such as seminars, services, workshops, our teachings and materials. These sessions are created specially by Master Ryuho Okawa’s teachings.
We have more than 2,100 books which are translated into 28 languages.
What’s been the most rewarding part about being a part of the church?
When I encounter people’s transformational moments and have the opportunity to hear their own insight and self -discovery, I truly feel very moved and overjoyed.
What are some of the tenants of Happy Science?
Local members and truth seekers, who wish to know information such as how to have better interpersonal relationships, success, a life after death, and universal truth.
What drew you to the faith?
In 1991, I experienced a near-death experience and it truly awakened me spiritually which led to me discovery of truth, Master Okawa, founder of Happy Science’s teachings.
More info: kauai.happyscience-na.org