|Posted by davidbloomfield on April 28, 2015 at 1:25 PM||comments (0)|
I am very happy to be writing to you on 28th April, the anniversary of the first declaration of Nam-myoho-renge-kyo in 1253 and to be sending you SGI President Ikeda’s message for 3rd May. In it Sensei writes:
“The new era of worldwide kosen-rufu has dawned. May each one of you, shining as brightly as the morning sun in the place of your mission, join me in striving with courage, hope, and perseverance to encourage, warmly support, and foster fellow members. With wisdom and sincerity, may you also build a network of trust and friendship in society.”
Please share this message with the members in your local area, so that we can all celebrate what has come to be known as the ‘New Year’s Day’ of the Soka Gakkai and the SGI on Sunday.
Very best wishes,
YOU CAN DOWNLOAD THE FULL TEXT OF SENSEI'S MESSAGE
|Posted by davidbloomfield on March 23, 2015 at 7:55 PM||comments (0)|
President Ikeda's 2015 Peace Proposal is available to download here
|Posted by davidbloomfield on March 22, 2015 at 1:25 PM||comments (0)|
|Posted by davidbloomfield on December 24, 2014 at 7:05 AM||comments (0)|
SGI President Ikeda’s New Year’s Message for 2015
Spreading Our Hope-Filled Philosophy throughout the World
We have ushered in the Year of Dynamic Development in the New Era of Worldwide Kosen-rufu, committed to spreading the SGI’s hope-filled philosophy of respect for the dignity of life even more widely throughout our blue planet, the grand stage of our endeavors.
All of you, the members of the SGI, are striving earnestly to contribute to the welfare of society as good citizens in the respective places of your mission. Wishing each of you peace and happiness in the year ahead, I pray that you will make 2015 a truly meaningful year of dynamic development filled with good fortune, health, and joy.
It was 740 years ago, in a troubled age when society was racked by war and natural disasters, that Nichiren Daishonin wrote: “Can there be any doubt that, . . . the great pure Law of the Lotus Sutra [Nam-myoho-renge-kyo] will be spread far and wide throughout Japan and all the other countries of Jambudvipa [the entire world]?” (WND-1, 550). This was the unshakable conviction and monumental vision of the Daishonin, who wished for the peace and happiness of all humankind. And we of the SGI have affirmed this conviction and made his vision a reality.
This year marks the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II, a conflict that resulted in unprecedented destruction and loss of life.
On July 3, 1945, just before the war came to an end in Japan, second Soka Gakkai president Josei Toda was released from prison. Along with his mentor, first president Tsunesaburo Makiguchi, he had been arrested and detained for opposing Japan’s militarist authorities, refusing to compromise his beliefs. As the true disciple of Mr. Makiguchi, who died in prison, Mr. Toda stood up amid the ruins of war-ravaged Japan. He declared his intent to relieve people of suffering, asserting that the time to embark on kosen-rufu and change the destiny of humankind had arrived.
Recalling this courageous declaration that Mr. Toda made seven decades ago, let us further strengthen and solidify our network of global citizens built on friendship and trust, transcending differences of ethnicity and culture, as we aim for the dynamic development of kosen-rufu—that is, the peace and harmonious coexistence of all humankind.
Last year, I published a dialogue with the Australian peace scholar and poet Stuart Rees. In it, Dr. Rees speaks of a photograph taken in Sydney (in 2000) of Nelson Mandela (1918–2013), who was a dear friend of mine. The photograph shows Mr. Mandela smiling as he commends the achievements of two Australian women who had worked tirelessly to advance the cause of human rights and peace.
Dr. Rees shared that one of these women, Dr. Stella Cornelius (1919–2010), founder of the Conflict Resolution Network, constantly encouraged people to say “and” rather than “but.” She did this, he explained, based on her awareness that while “but” tends to be a preface to pessimistic remarks, “and” is more likely to be followed by positive words that offer a constructive solution to a problem.1
1 Cf. Stuart Rees and Daisaku Ikeda, Heiwa no Tetsugaku to Shi-gokoro o Kataru (A Dialogue on Peace Philosophy and the Poetic Spirit), (Tokyo: Daisanbunmei-sha, 2014), p. 277. The remarks of Dr. Rees are based on his original English text.
Certainly, when faced with a difficult challenge, people are likely to give in to feelings of powerlessness, saying, “I’d like to try, but it’s not realistic” or “I wish I could, but the conditions aren’t right.” This approach does not engender the hope for moving forward.
Nichiren Daishonin writes: “The three obstacles and four devils will invariably appear, and the wise will rejoice while the foolish will retreat” (WND-1, 637). When we encounter adversity, do we retreat, our hearts filled with fear, or do we face it with optimism and courage? The Mystic Law is the source of the ultimate power and wisdom for all people to brim with the courage of the wise and keep forging ahead, never fearing, despairing, or giving up.
A victorious drama of human revolution unfolds when we take a step forward with determined prayer and boundless life force.
Fifty-five years ago (in October 1960), I set forth on my journey for worldwide kosen-rufu. I began my struggle by wholeheartedly encouraging each person right in front of me—whether in Hawaii or in other parts of the United States, Canada, and Brazil—taking that first step together in human revolution.
Wherever I went around the world, I fervently chanted Nam-myoho-renge-kyo as if to permeate the land with my daimoku, praying that Bodhisattvas of the Earth would joyfully emerge there someday. I also sincerely endeavored to enable all whom I met to form a connection with Buddhism.
The SGI was founded four decades ago at the First World Peace Conference, held in Guam on January 26, 1975. On that occasion, I remarked: “It could be said that this is a small conference, a gathering of nameless people from various countries and 3 territories. But I believe that today’s gathering will shine brilliantly in history for centuries to come, and your names will no doubt be engraved not only in the annals of the worldwide spread of Buddhism but in human history, as well.”
Representatives of 51 countries and territories were at that meeting. Today, the mighty river of kosen-rufu has grown to embrace 192 countries and territories, and the Buddhism of the sun is illuminating the world. The seeds of the Mystic Law are blossoming as flowers of happiness, and the names of our members, who have made untold contributions to world peace, shine ever more brightly.
On the Balkan Peninsula in Europe, the scene of terrible ethnic strife during the 1990s, SGI members are now sharing our activities with others and spreading our humanistic network. Lively discussion meetings, characterized by beautiful unity in diversity, are being held, and many new members, especially young people, are joining the SGI.
I am happy and delighted to see our members there working together to change their personal destiny and also the destiny of society.
Praying together, encouraging one another, striving to bring forth their own and others’ Buddha nature, the highest and most positive potential inherent in life—this, I believe with all my heart, is the surest and soundest way to build peace in our world where war and violence continue to rage unabated.
Prof. Kim Chong-suh of Seoul National University, former president of the Korean Association for Religious Studies, has said that the criteria for determining a religion’s merits is not the length of its history. Rather, he asserts, that criteria is the particular religion’s effectiveness in truly helping those who are suffering. The SGI has reached out and helped many overcome their sufferings, which is why it continues to grow, he concluded.2
2 From an article in the Seikyo Shimbun, June 10, 2014.
With unshakable faith and compassion, you, our SGI members, are chanting for the happiness of others and actively engaging in value-creating dialogue. You are striving as good citizens to promote social flourishing and world peace. This makes you the treasures of your communities and of global society.
Over a year has passed since the completion of the Hall of the Great Vow for Kosen-rufu in Shinanomachi, Tokyo. Members from throughout Japan and around the world are joyfully gathering day after day in this magnificent citadel imbued with the shared vow of mentor and disciple.
In November last year, I had an unforgettable encounter there with participants of the SGI Autumn Training Course. Their eyes shone with a noble vow and commitment, with powerful determination and undefeatable joy. They are all leaders solidly united with their fellow members striving for kosen-rufu in their respective communities. In meeting them, I felt as if I was meeting all of my fellow Bodhisattvas of the Earth throughout the world.
This year, marking the 40th anniversary of the SGI’s founding, is an important year in which Nichiren Buddhism will continue to develop dynamically as a world religion.
The Daishonin calls out to his disciples: “You must summon up the great power of faith more than ever” (WND-1, 1000).
Determined to exert ourselves “more than ever,” let’s set forth and challenge ourselves anew in this Year of Dynamic Development in the New Era of Worldwide Kosen-rufu, striving together harmoniously with courage and hope.
My dearest and most precious fellow members, I wish you and your families good health, happiness, and victory in the coming year.
Soka Gakkai International
|Posted by davidbloomfield on July 5, 2014 at 7:20 AM||comments (0)|
Message from SENSEI. We had sent him the KICK OFF photo. Please share with all members.
Thank you for your great ichinen !
With deep respect & joy
I hope this mail finds you well and in high spirit.
I am pleased to inform you that I have received a short message from Sensei to you.
He responded to your letter.
"I have seen your nice photos. Please give my best regards to everyone."
|Posted by davidbloomfield on May 29, 2014 at 12:55 AM||comments (0)|
Thursday 29th May is the 25th anniversary of President Ikeda sharing guidance at a place called Winter Hill with the group of men who had been involved in driving him on his visit to the UK in 1989. In addition to the drivers, there were other members there who had supported his visit in a variety of important behind-the-scenes roles, such as interpreters and keibi.
Winter Hill is a short drive from Taplow Court and in between his many activities, on 29th May 1989 Sensei was taken to visit that spot and share ice cream with the people who gathered with him. He also shared guidance about developing a life-long connection with the Gohonzon.
Below is the photograph of that gathering and the translation of the heart of the guidance that he shared on that occasion.
“In your career, which is important in making a living, there may be a slump period. In your marriage and studies too, there are times when you may feel depressed. Such times inevitably occur in your life. The same thing can be said for faith. There probably will be many more times when you slacken in faith. You may get tired of doing gongyo or daimoku but this does not matter so long as you continue to embrace the Gohonzon because the Gohonzon is eternal. You should not commit suicide when things do not go well for you. Similarly, you should not discard the Gohonzon when you tire of practice. Therefore, it is not always necessary to chant a lot of daimoku as long as you embrace the Gohonzon.
“Similarly, when a man and a woman meet and fall madly in love with each other, if, after they are married, they argue and divorce, it all becomes meaningless. The philosophy embodied in the Gohonzon is one illuminated by the eternity of life. At times, you may hold grudges against your fellow members; at times, you may have a rest period in faith which of course is not really good, but it may happen. At times you may skip gongyo and not chant hours of daimoku but the most important thing is to continue to embrace the ultimate Law of life, which is the Gohonzon.
“You may experience deadlock, which is comparable to being at the foot of a mountain, but, as long as you have the Gohonzon, there will undoubtedly be times when you succeed in climbing the mountain. Once at the summit, you can fully enjoy the open expanses on every side. This is the principle of changing karma, through which you can ultimately experience perfect freedom, even in future lifetimes. A plant or tree with well-established roots will not wither in the absence of sunshine or nutrition. So long as it is deeply rooted it can always survive and grow.”
|Posted by davidbloomfield on May 3, 2014 at 4:25 AM||comments (0)|
SGI-UK Special Gongyo 3rdMay 2014
SGI Newsletter No. 8982
SGI President Ikeda’s Message
5TH SOKA GAKKAI HEADQUARTERSLEADERS MEETING
Let’s Lead Lives of Supreme JoyTogether
(SGI President Ikeda sent the following message to the 5th Soka Gakkai Headquarters Leaders Meeting of the New Era of World wide Kosen-rufu—celebrating May 3, Soka Gakkai Day and Soka Gakkai Mothers Day—held at the Toda Memorial Auditorium in Sugamo, Tokyo, on April 19, 2014. The meeting was heldin conjunction with the Seikyo Shimbun Deliverers Anniversary GeneralMeeting, and also attended by SGI representatives from 60 countriesand territories, who were participating in the 2014 SGI SpringTraining Course. A new Soka Gakkai song, titled “Youth with a Noble Vow” [tentative translation], with lyrics by Shin’ichi Yamamoto [pen name of President Ikeda] and music by Music Corps representatives, was also presented at the meeting.)
I am delighted to be able to celebrate a resoundingly victorious May 3, Soka Gakkai Day, together with fellow members of the Soka family throughout Japan and around the world.
I am certain that both our first and second presidents, Tsunesaburo Makiguchi and Josei Toda, would be overjoyed to witness our members’ earnest and committed efforts for kosen-rufu.
I would like to extend my warmest welcome to the SGI leaders who are visiting Japan from 60 countriesand territories around the globe [to participate in the 2014 SGI Spring Training Course]. All of you are linked together by profound karmic ties and are the driving force for the new era of worldwide kosen-rufu. Please know that I have placed the attendance book containing all of your signatures before the Gohonzon and chanted daimoku for you.
Let us welcome our visiting SGI representatives with another warm round of applause!
I would also like to offer my unending thanks to our uncrowned heroes who brave wind and rain to deliver our humanistic newspaper, the Seikyo Shimbun, day in and day out, thereby making invaluable behind-the-scenes contributions to our movement. Let us take this opportunity to once again show them our heartfelt appreciation.
There is one simple message I wish to convey to you today: Global citizens of Soka, make a triumphant ode to the joy of life resound!
What is real joy, the ultimate joy of life? In The Record of the Orally Transmitted Teachings, Nichiren Daishonin says that joy means both oneself and others possessing wisdom and compassion (cf. OTT, 146), adding: “Now, when Nichiren and his followers chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, they are expressing joy in the fact that they will inevitably become Buddhas eternally endowed with the three bodies” (OTT, 146).
From the perspective of the vast and boundless life state we are able to attain through practicing Nichiren Buddhism, the joy derived from the fulfillment of self-centered desires such as fame and fortune is trivial and ephemeral.
As SGI members, we chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, refusing to be defeated or daunted by any painful trial or harsh karma. We rise above all sadness and grief.And while warmly encouraging and supporting those who are struggling or suffering, we seek to build and spread a realm of wisdom and compassion. This is our network of boundless and endless joy.
May 3, Soka Gakkai Day, is the eternal starting point for making our lives and those of others shine even more brightly—like the sun of time without beginning—radiant with “the greatest of all joys” (OTT, 212)
The Soka Gakkai General Meeting held on May 3, 1954, six decades ago, took place at an auditorium that is now the site of Tokyo’s Ryogoku Kokugikan (Ryogoku Sumo Hall) [where the Tokyo Region youth division will hold their Soka Youth Festivals in July]. At that time, President Toda declared that the essence of the Soka Gakkai spirit is “to return to the time of the Daishonin.” What he meant by this, he said, is for each of us to take the Daishonin’s spirit as our own and strive to help others embrace faith in the Mystic Law and realize genuine happiness.
Let us ensure that this vow of May 3—embodying the Soka Gakkai spirit and directly connected to the spirit of the Daishonin—is transmitted to the future and endures for all eternity.
I am truly looking forward to theSoka Youth Festivals that will be held soon throughout Japan.
Actually, that May, six decadesago, also marked the debut of the Music Corps, a group of spirited musicians for kosen-rufu, which I helped foster. In the beginning, there were only 16 members. Today, the Music Corps in Japan has grown into the country’s foremost brass band community. Together with Fife and Drum Corps, whose members are emissaries of peace, Music Corps have also been formed in many SGI organizations around theglobe and are imparting hope and courage with their wonderful sounds. Thank you so much for your efforts
Life is an endless struggle against deadlock. The Daishonin writes: “The greater the hardships befalling him, the greater the delight he feels, because of his strong faith” (WND-1, 33). When we encounter hardships and obstacles, we summon forth even stronger faith and rise to the challenge. With courage and joy, we break through each deadlock and,step by step, persevere in attaining the life state of Buddhahood. This is the process of “casting off the transient and revealing the true” in our own lives.
Our movement for worldwide kosen-rufu will never stop. Why? Because people are waiting—people who are seeking happiness and longing for peace; because people all over the world are thirsting for the life-affirming philosophy of Nichiren Buddhism.
As proud global citizens of Soka, sincerely encouraging one person after another, let’s make our triumphant ode to the joy of life ring out with vibrant courage in our communities, our societies, and all over our planet.
In closing, to celebrate Soka Gakkai Mothers’ Day (May 3), I would like to express my deepest appreciation to our admirable women’s division members in Japan and around the world. I am praying wholeheartedly that all our dedicated mothers of kosen-rufu—the suns of humankind—will enjoy good health and long, fulfilling lives imbued with the four noble virtuesof eternity, happiness, true self, and purity.
Everyone, please take good care ofyourselves!
Three cheers for the Soka family as we celebrate another brilliant May 3!
|Posted by davidbloomfield on December 9, 2013 at 6:10 PM||comments (0)|
In Memory of Nelson Mandela (1918–2013)
I extend my heartfelt condolences upon the passing of former South African President Nelson Mandela.
Mr. Mandela was a lion of humanitarian causes and human rights who inspired hope and courage in the hearts of those around the world victimized by conflict, racism and injustice. His smile was like a refreshing spring breeze. To know that I will never see that smile again fills my heart with grief. I am convinced that his unwavering and passionate stance calling for a world that respects the dignity of all people will eternally shine as a guiding star for humankind....
|Posted by davidbloomfield on December 4, 2013 at 11:15 AM||comments (0)|
To download the full bulletin click here
|Posted by davidbloomfield on November 22, 2013 at 8:50 AM||comments (0)|
(SGIPresident Ikeda sent the following message to the gongyo meeting commemorating Soka Gakkai Foundation Day and the 70th memorial [69th anniversary] of first Soka Gakkai president Tsunesaburo Makiguchi’s death, held at the Hall of the Great Vow for Kosen-rufu in Shinanomachi, Tokyo, on November 18, 2013.) To read and download the whole text of his message click here