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July 9, 2010 |
WORLD TRIBUNE SPECIAL SEIKYO PRESS
Win in the Summer of Champions
Tariq Hasan by Tariq Hasan SGI-USA Men’s Leader
Thank you for your tireless efforts to support the youth division toward their historic Rock the Era culture festivals in July! On the most profound level, these festivals are entrustment ceremonies, gatherings of young bodhisattvas who are vowing to take the lead for worldwide kosen-rufu. Beyond the festivals, SGI President Ikeda has continually emphasized the encouragement: Now is the time to raise a steady stream of youthful successors. In his essay “My Vow for the 80th Anniversary,” he writes: “At the end of this milestone year marking 50 years since I first became president, I am determined to proudly announce to [second Soka Gakkai president Josei] Toda: ‘Our youthful successors have magnificently adorned the Soka Gakkai’s 80th anniversary with total victory! The future of kosen-rufu is secure!’ ” (March 26 World Tribune, p. 5). Our ability to overcome our difficulties and to manifest the power to realize our dreams lies in direct proportion to our shared commitment with our mentor to adorn the 80th anniversary with total victory. This is because, when we act to ensure the continuous flow of kosen-rufu, responding
strongly to our mentor in this crucial year, we also advance our lives, just as Nichiren Daishonin writes: “A blue fly, if it clings to the tail of a thoroughbred horse, can travel ten thousand miles, and the green ivy that twines around the tall pine can grow to a thousand feet” (The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, vol. 1, p. 17). In his essay “The Courageous Champions of the Men’s Division” (see pp. C–F), President Ikeda speaks about his mentor’s profound concern for the youth: “Like a father, who, out of concern for his children, quietly supports them, Mr. Toda was always thinking about what he could do for the youth . . . “I myself strive to emulate Mr. Toda’s behavior, chanting wholeheartedly each day for the health and victory of all our members, particularly the youth of such behind-thescenes groups as the Soka Group, Gajokai and Byakuren who are doing their utmost to support members in northern regions at this cold time of year” (see p. D). I hope that we, too, can emulate such profound compassion toward the youth who are ready to shoulder the future. President Ikeda has also urged us to be champions. In the same essay (see p. C), he writes: Courageous champions— overcome the storms of hardship and create history. Whatever difficulties we may be experiencing or dreams we are striving to fulfill, this is the summer to declare victory. Let’s be confident that we can do so based on President Ikeda’s guidance to us that this is the year to “acquire colossal benefit,” and that we are guaranteed to reap the “ultimate reward of eternal Buddhahood” (Dec. 25, 2009, World Tribune, p. 5). President Ikeda shares with us
Lions—SGI President Ikeda greets jazz legends and SGI-USA men’s division members Wayne Shorter (far right) and Herbie Hancock at a Soka Gakkai headquarters leaders meeting, Tokyo, 2007.
August is also a traditional how much more power and wismonth of propagation. Let’s dom we can manifest when we make this August another hispractice with a vow toward toric month by uniting with and the 80th anniversary: “The lives giving our full support to the of all of you who chant Namyouth as we respond to the folmyoho-renge-kyo and exert lowing encouragement: “Mr. yourselves for kosen-rufu are Toda declared: ‘Share Nichiren infinitely noble and respectBuddhism with the powerful worthy. You have as yet tapped conviction “Kosen-rufu is my only a fraction of the boundless responsibility!” Give your all in power of Buddhahood you posthe place of your mission.’ With sess, and revealed only a tiny this spirit, let’s challenge ourportion of your limitless Buddha selves again” (Dec. 25 World wisdom” (March 26 World Tribune, p. 6). Tribune, p. 4). With deep conviction, let’s Let’s take this guidance to reach out to every man, includheart to advance in every aspect ing the many who of our lives. President Ikeda writes: “When The Summer joined this year, and help them develop men in the prime of To Declare their faith through life brim with energy participating in the and vigor, they can be Victory August men’s divia vital driving force Please see the Men’s for growth and victory Division Guidelines for sion-sponsored discussion meetings and —in their families, August on p. H. the 2010 Introductory workplaces and comExam to be held in munities. Also, in the October. organization, when President Ikeda further the members of the men’s diviencourages: “We live in a time sion are solid, the members of when people are becoming the women’s, young women’s more and more alienated from and young men’s divisions can one another. Men who are able carry out their activities with to offer warm and openhearted confidence and peace of mind” encouragement, rather than (see p. D). those who are merely dignified August is the month that and silent, truly shine with a President Ikeda joined the Soka golden light . . . The important Gakkai 63 years ago on Aug. 24, thing is to care for others, reach 1947. It is the time for us as men out to them and talk with them, to renew our vow. Let’s deterand not become surly or selfmine to have a clear-cut victory conceited. Such sincere behavior by the 80th anniversary and valiis the first sure step toward credate our mentor’s guidance.
ating a happy family and advancing kosen-rufu in the local community. For men, the key to positive change lies in their immediate environment” (see p. D). How can we guarantee victory? We can look to the example of a great men’s division member from the time of Nichiren, Shijo Kingo, a samurai who was threatened not only with the loss of his livelihood and his possessions but also his life. In the end, he completely won over his desperate hardships. How did he do it? President Ikeda explains in his lecture on “The Three Kinds of Treasures”: “What is admirable about Shijo Kingo is how he always sought Nichiren’s guidance and followed it unerringly. Because he strove in a spirit of oneness with his mentor, he could triumph magnificently over all obstacles. The mentor-disciple relationship is the driving force for victory in life and in kosen-rufu. This is an eternally unchanging principle of Buddhism. “When Shijo Kingo faithfully put his mentor’s instructions into practice, profoundly determined never to disgrace the Lotus Sutra or behave servilely, his situation changed dramatically” (July–August Living Buddhism, pp. 66–67). There is nothing holding us back. Together with all of you, I am determined to create a “Summer of Champions.” WT
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GUIDELINES FOR THE SGI-USA
• Win every morning through abundant chanting and strong prayer. • Reach out to every member of the men’s division and enable him to fully participate in the August discussion meeting, which also serves as the SGI-USA Men’s Division General Meeting.
• Enable the youth to take the lead in creating the greatest propagation and discussion meeting participation results in the history of the SGI-USA during August, this traditional propagation month.
• Be great examples by being the first to help one new person begin practicing Nichiren Buddhism with the SGI-USA and receive the Gohonzon in August.
• Demonstrate the power of faith by overcoming a challenging obstacle or achieving a cherished dream, and report a resounding victory to our mentor,
“Men of America: Fight Like Champions To Open the Way To Victory!” Attend one of our upcoming Florida Nature and Culture Center conferences: Sept. 10–13: Men’s #2 (open to all SGI-USA men’s division members)
Nov. 12–15: Men’s #3/Young Men's (for chapter through zone men’s and young men’s leaders)
For more information, contact your local zone office or visit www.sgi-usa.org/fncc.
SGI President Ikeda, during this significant 80th-anniversary year.
Organization Dept DATE: August 3, 2010
Men’s Division Leader—Tariq Hasan
August 24th Men’s Month
On Tuesday, August 24th, we are asking men throughout SGI-USA to gather together to do gongyo and commemorate this important date as a starting point to create a new history together as a response to our mentor. SGI-USA facilities will be made available for these meetings and every effort should be made to accommodate the diverse schedules of the men in our organization. For example, additional daytime meetings can be scheduled in communities where a number of men work in the evening. In communities without an SGI-USA center, other local meeting places such as members’ homes can be used. Simple Meeting Plan There is no need to have an elaborate plan for these meetings; the focus should be on holding a simple, meaningful event. The content of the meeting should include gongyo, one or two experiences and a presentation on the significance of August 24th. August 24th is Soka Gakkai “Men’s Division Day.” This is the date when President Ikeda joined the Soka Gakkai in 1947. August 24th was also the date in 1950 when his mentor, Josei Toda, announced his intention to resign his position as general director of the Soka Gakkai. President Ikeda resolved on that day that President Toda would be his mentor for life and that he would protect him forever. With the profound significance of the oneness of mentor and disciple, August 24th was designated as “Men’s Division Day” in 1976. Opportunity for Gohonzon Conferrals August 24th this year is at the start of the week following discussion meeting week, so these meetings would also be an ideal time to have Gohonzon conferrals for new members of all divisions. Literally thousands of people were introduced to Nichiren Buddhism through the Rock the Era festivals. Let’s do everything we can to help these new friends begin their practice during the historic propagation month of August. Specifically, let’s enable the youth division to take the lead in creating unprecedented victories in propagation and participation in the August discussion meetings, which also serve as the SGI-USA men’s
Organization Dept division general meeting.
Signature Sheets to Commemorate the Occasion Every man who participates in these meetings will have an opportunity to sign his name on a special signature sheet to mark his participation and express appreciation to his mentor at this historic time. The sheets will be collected and bound into a book to be sent to President Ikeda. Recent Guidance for Men’s Division We are very fortunate to have recently received an essay to the men’s division from President Ikeda entitled “The Courageous Champions of the Men’s Division.” In it, President Ikeda writes: True champions not only rally others but also put themselves in the heart of the struggle and fight harder than anyone. [Thomas] Paine wrote, “It is not in numbers, but in unity, that our great strength lies.” When he made his solitary stand, both young and old alike followed. Together they broke through what once prevailed as common sense and made the impossible possible. The courage and actions of men can create a solidarity that leads to a resounding victory. “World Tribune, July 9, 2010 Insert Page F Let’s hold gatherings of genuine champions everywhere in the country on August 24th and based on the solidarity of our shared commitment with our mentor, fill the rest of this year with resounding victories.
Organization Dept DATE: August 3, 2010
Organization Center—Renu Debozi
SGI President Ikeda’s Message Commemorating Men’s Month
Attached please find SGI President Ikeda’s message commemorating men’s month in English and Japanese. The Chinese, Korean and Spanish versions of this message are forthcoming and will appear in a future memo and also online at www.sgi-usa.org. Please share this message at appropriate meetings throughout the month of August. Thank you very much for your support!
Message To my trusted members of the SGI-USA Men’s Division, I offer my most heartfelt congratulations to all of you on holding your men’s division general meetings commemorating the 80th anniversary of the Soka Gakkai’s founding! Today, Nichiren Buddhism, the Buddhism of the sun, is shedding its brilliant light all around the world. We have arrived at a time in which our movement for peace, culture and education, grounded in Buddhist principles, must send its light of hope throughout society. You have been exerting yourselves powerfully, day and night, for the sake of kosen-rufu, for the sake of the people and for the sake of society. Nichiren Daishonin is most surely aware of your noble endeavors. Please be firmly convinced that all your hard work and struggles today will turn into wonderful good fortune and virtue that will adorn your lives into the future. In each country, in every locale, wherever the men’s division members are cheerfully and actively exerting themselves, everyone feels at ease. The key to the development and victory of kosen-rufu is the presence of men’s division members who are trusted in their communities, men who show actual proof of the principles that faith is manifest in daily life and that Buddhism is the basis for society. Now is the time for the members of the men’s division, as great generals of the Mystic Law, to win over every difficulty through the “strategy of the Lotus Sutra” and leave behind a splendid history of personal victory. Nichiren states, “To discard the shallow and seek the profound is the way of a person of courage” (The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, vol. 1, p. 402). I hope that all of you who uphold the supreme philosophy of the Mystic Law will possess hearts of courage. Today more than yesterday, tomorrow more than today, please advance along a path of wonderful improvement. And, it is my hope that, as golden pillars of kosen-rufu, you will protect and foster the youth. While broadly and warmly embracing your comrades in faith, please advance together in the unity of many in body, one in mind. A person who cherishes young people will always be young. This is something I once discussed with the renowned British historian Arnold J. Toynbee. I wish my precious comrades in America the greatest success in all of your endeavors. And I am praying from the bottom of my heart for your good health and long life, and that your families will enjoy great happiness. Hurray for the men’s division of the SGI-USA! May glory and victory be yours! Daisaku Ikeda August 2010
わが信 頼 するアメリカＳ Ｇ Ｉ 壮 年 部 の皆 さま、学 会 創 立 ８ ０ 周 年 を 記念する晴れやかな壮年部総会の開催、誠におめでとうございます。 今 や日 蓮 大 聖 人 の 太 陽 の 仏 法 は 世 界 中 を 赫 々 と 照 ら し 、仏 法 を 基 調 とした平 和 、文化、教育の運動は社会に希望の光を放つ時代に入り ました。 広 宣 流 布 のため、人 々のため、社 会 のため、日 夜 、奮 闘 されている皆 様 の尊 きご活 躍 は、何 よりも日 蓮 大 聖 人 が御 照 覧 であります。必 ずや 今 の労 苦 は、偉 大 な福 徳 となり、我 が身 を飾 ることを確 信 して下 さい。 各 国 、各 地 にあって、はつらつたる壮 年 の活 躍 があれば皆 が安 心 で ある。「 信 心 即 生 活 」「 仏 法 即 社 会 」 の 実 証 を 示 し 、 地 域 で 信 頼 さ れ る壮年の 存 在 は、広 布 の発 展 と勝 利 の鍵 であります。今 こそ壮 年 部 は、妙 法 の 名 将 として、いかなる困 難 も「法 華 経 の兵 法 」で勝 ち越 え、自 身 の偉 大 な勝 利 の歴 史 を残 していって下 さい。 「浅 きを去 って深 きに就 くは丈 夫 の心 なり」と御 聖 訓 には仰 せであ り ま す 。 ど う か 、 妙 法 と い う 最 高 の 哲 理 を 持 っ た 皆 さ ま 方 は 、「 丈 夫 の心 」で昨 日 よりは今 日 、今 日 よりは明 日 へと偉 大 な向 上 の道 を進 ん で下 さい。そして広 布 の黄 金 柱 として、青 年 を守 り、青 年 を育 て、同 志を大きく包容しながら異体同心の前進をお願いします。青年を大 切 に す る 人 は 、い つ ま で も 若 い。これはトインビー博 士 と語 りあった ことでもあります。 大 切 なアメリカの同 志 のご健 闘 を祈 ります。 益 々のご健 康 とご長 寿 と 、ご一 家 のご多 幸 を 、私 は心 より祈 っており ます。 アメリカ壮 年 部 に栄 光 と勝 利 あれ！
アメリカ壮 年 部 万 歳 ！ ２０１０年８月 池田
SGI-USA Men’s Division Monthly Meetings Suggested Study Material for August 2010 New Human Revolution Volume 8 In 2010, the men’s division members are studying “The New Human Revolution”, challenging ourselves to study one volume each month. The excerpts provided are the suggested study material for men’s division meetings. Every man is encouraged to have his own copy of “The New Human Revolution” which is available at your local SGI-USA bookstore or through the mail order service on the SGI-USA website. ******************************************* Securing the Foundation “The way of the lion is the way of mentor and disciple – a life dedicated to truth and justice. It is the way of the courageous who stand alone, afraid of nothing. It is the path of victory in which all evil and injustice are defeated. Moreover, it is the way of compassion in which one gives oneself completely to championing the cause of the people. The Soka Gakkai is a gathering of lions, an alliance of people who share Josei Toda’s spirit and create indestructible happiness and peace. Many who joined the organization in the beginning were grappling with problems like illness, poverty and family discord. By challenging their karma, they awakened to their mission as Bodhisattvas of the Earth – their true mission as human beings – and began working to improve society. Herein lies the greatness of the Soka Gakkai’s kosen-rufu movement and the essence of Mahayana Buddhism.” Pages 2-3
Shinichi Yamamoto speaks at the Tokyo #1 Headquarters leaders meeting “Shinichi next explained why it is important for the individual to win in activities for kosen-rufu: ‘Whether in our efforts to share Buddhism with others or to increase the number of members attending meetings, if we want to win, we need to first set a goal, muster our determination and chant daimoku in earnest. We must then bring forth our wisdom and bravely face the challenge while taking resolute action. ‘Each obstacle we overcome brings us wonderful benefit and good fortune. It is through this process that we learn the formula for triumphing in life. Moreover, the tremendous conviction in faith we gain by exerting ourselves in activities endows us with the strength to surmount any difficulty or hardship we encounter in life.’” Page 40 ******************************************* Jeweled Sword “Only by personally visiting and encouraging each member in our area can we solidify our organization. This will lead to the Soka Gakkai’s growth and development, and in turn, to the advancement of kosenrufu. Soka Gakkai activities without personal guidance are like a masterpiece without the finishing touches.” Page 90 “When people are given real responsibility, they become aware of their mission and demonstrate surprising ability. It may be difficult for those with experience to delegate responsibility to the younger generation. There is certainly the risk of mistakes. Nevertheless, it is only by learning from our mistakes and gaining experience over time that we acquire substantial strength.” Page 99 “Everyone has weaknesses. It is easy to break ties with people, but if we were to turn our backs on every person we deemed to have faults, we would be unable to help anyone grow or develop. Believing in the inherent goodness of human beings is the secret to fostering people; it is the spirit of a Buddhist.” Pages 122-123
Pure Stream “The Soka Gakkai, an organization striving to open a celebrated age of the people, has been consistently subjected to such criticism. Unless such wrongdoing is challenged and justice revealed, the truth will continue to be distorted and trampled upon. Moreover, the people will never win.” Page 175 “The Daishonin’s life was also a constant fierce struggle to communicate the truth. Establishing his teachings at the age of thirty-two, he stood alone and point out the errors of all the Buddhist schools of Japan at the time. He was not a person of rank or status, but he had no fear of the powerful military government. He knew that enemies would attack him from all over Japan, and he was prepared for intense persecution. His words were a lion’s roar to relieve the people of suffering, bring them happiness, and build a peaceful and prosperous society. That is why his life was a series of endless persecutions.” Page 180. Shin’ichi conceived the idea of the Min-On Concert Association during his first visit to India and Southeast Asia in February 1961 as he was traveling back from India through Burma (now Myanmar) toward Thailand and Cambodia. Shin’ichi’s elder brother died in Burma during World War II, and throughout the trip he thought about what was needed for humanity to break away from the tragedy of war and build lasting peace. He realized that some means of promoting mutual understanding among the peoples of the world was indispensable to this end, and that cultural exchange through music and the other arts was essential. Shin’ichi decided to found an organization with the Soka Gakkai as the parent body for the purpose of promoting exchange in music and the arts. Page 215 The desire for fame and fortune, personal gain and self-profit exists within everyone. However, when we practice Nichiren Daishonin’s Buddhism in earnest and fully dedicate ourselves to working for kosen-rufu, those negative aspects remain dormant. But as soon as we grow negligent and start acting out of habit, our negative tendencies emerge to pollute our heart and mind. That is why the Daishonin said, ‘Strengthen your faith day by day and month after month. Should you slacken in your resolve even a bit, devils will take advantage’ (WND, 997).” Page 239
******************************************* Raging Rapids “When conveying important information, speed is of the essence. It’s vital to respond swiftly just as he did.” Page 259 “It is the role of a leader to convey that understanding, and to impart courage, hope and conviction to each member. I want all leaders to put themselves in the place of those who are suffering and continue giving them the support and encouragement they need.” Page 273 “The realization of high ideals does not take place in some far-away, imaginary realm. It is the result of achieving triumph upon triumph through constant, steady efforts.” Page 276 “Forgetting one’s past wrongs is shameful, but to distort and justify those wrongs is an utter disgrace.” Page 292 Questions for Discussion 1. How has challenging kosen-rufu activities contributed to winning in your personal life? 2. How can we as men’s division and as disciples realize Sensei’s guidance to create unprecedented victories in our personal lives and in the organization in the month of August.
poem by Daisaku Ikeda
Fu - u
Fu - u
P r o u d
D i s c i p l e s
S G I
P r e s i d e n t
I k e d a
Mensaje ¡Quiero ofrecer mis más sinceras felicitaciones a los miembros de la División de Señores, en quienes deposito mi entera confianza, en ocasión de celebrar sus reuniones conmemorativas del octogésimo aniversario de la fundación de la Soka Gakkai! Hoy, el Budismo de Nichiren, el budismo del sol, arroja su resplandeciente luz sobre el mundo entero. El tiempo ha llegado para que nuestro movimiento por la paz, la cultura y la educación, cimentado sobre los principios budistas, envié su luz de esperanza a todos los ámbitos de la sociedad. Ustedes se han esforzado enérgicamente, día y noche, en pro del kosen-rufu, por el bienestar de la gente y de la sociedad. Nichiren Daishonin, ciertamente, conoce sus nobles empeños. No abriguen la menor duda, que sus esfuerzos y luchas de hoy, se coronarán como maravillosa buena fortuna y virtud que adornarán su vida en el futuro. En cada país, en cada lugar donde la división de señores despliega con bríos y alegría sus esfuerzos, las personas se sienten tranquilas. La llave para el desarrollo y la victoria del kosen-rufu radica en la presencia de los miembros de la división de señores que se hayan granjeado la confianza de sus comunidades, hombres que demuestren a través de la prueba actual la validez de los principios: la fe se manifiesta en la vida diaria y el budismo es la base para la sociedad. Este es el momento para que los miembros de la division de señores, como grandiosos generales de la Ley Mística, triunfen sobre cada dificultad utilizando la “estrategia del Sutra del loto” y dejen tras de sí, una espléndida historia de victorias personales. Nichiren Daishonin afirma, “Descartar lo superficial e ir en pos de lo profundo es propio de una persona valiente” (Los escritos de Nichiren Daishonin, pág. 424). Confío en que, todos ustedes, quienes sostienen y defienden la suprema filosofía de la Ley Mística, sean poseedores de corazones valientes. Hoy, más que ayer, mañana, más que hoy, avancen por la senda de logros maravillosos. Deposito mi confianza en que, ustedes como pilares dorados del kosen-rufu, protegerán y promoverán el crecimiento de los jóvenes. Acojan amplia y calurosamente a todos sus compañeros en la fe y juntos impulsen el avance basados en la unidad de distintas personas con un mismo propósito. Aquél que atesora a los jóvenes siempre será joven. Esto es algo sobre lo que conversé en una oportunidad con el notable historiador británico Arnold J. Toynbee. Mis queridos compañeros de los Estados Unidos de América, les deseo un éxito rotundo en todos sus emprendimientos. Y oro desde el fondo de mi corazón por su buena salud y larga vida y la dicha y fortuna de sus familias. ¡Vítores a la división de señores de la SGI-USA! ¡Que la victoria y la gloria les sonrían! Daisaku Ikeda Agosto de 2010