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    Wooooooooooooooooooooooooooo Hooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Nam myoho renge kyo!!!!!~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Nam myoho renge kyo!!!!!~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Nam myoho renge kyo!!!!!~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Thank you guys!!!!!



    Nam myoho renge kyo!!!!!~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Bonzo BoUnCeS back...


    "When one objectively acknowledges, accepts, and embraces one's weaknesses; they in fact, no longer continue to be that."(PTD)


      Originally posted by PassTheDoobie
      "In battles soldiers regard the general as their soul. If the general were to lose heart, his soldiers would become cowards."

      (The Supremacy of the Law - The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, Vol. 1, page 613) Selection source: "Kyo no Hosshin", Seikyo Shimbun, January 10th, 2008
      My friends, its true, even with a high life condition its been difficult to stay positive but shit, Fundamental Darkness can't stop me! No, No, No! I'm making this year the best, by force damnit!

      So I wrote a super long email today to my youth division because this mentor disciple tip is rearing its head again in my neck of the woods just as I prepare to engage the youth in my area like never before so I wrote this to the YWD area leader...

      Thank you very much ******(YWD leader), I enjoyed this email very much and recently a fellow YMD shared notes you carefully took for our benefit at other events earlier this month. With respect to your first sentence in your email, you mentioned: “I think that the goal of the meeting should be to build a personal connection to President Ikeda”. I some reasons for disagreeing with this if that meeting will include newer members especially for the sake of fostering capable leaders and new members. The basis for my argument is are recent experiences that made it evidently clear we must exercise tact and compassion especially when shakubukuing or further facilitating the integration of new members and not an attempt to upset any members that disagree with my opinion.
      Recently I spoke with my friend whom is a new member in the YWD about a pretty hot topic that is never mentioned in the World Tribune nor in meetings, which is: It seems that on an individual to individual basis the desire to instill the recently (within our time) coined term of ‘Mentor Disciple’ into an SGI staple is very unattractive to new members whom have been personally berated in the past by Evangelical Christians, 5%percenters (muslim sect), Young Israel (Orthodox Jewish sect), and others such Scientologists, etc. and summarily forced to accept erroneous doctrines and forced to worship in a PRESCRIBED manner. In my humble and personal opinion, this is equivalent to the metaphor of the Shepard and the Sheep, the sheep blindly follow the shepard acknowledging the higher fundamental capacity of the Shepard. Further in my personal opinion, President Ikeda is in fact the most revered and respected individual within our organization but again he is fundamentally a living practitioner of Nichiren Daishonin’s Buddhism, as are you and I, and I have been told by members whom I have shakubukued things to the effect of

      “Is the SGI formalizing some sort of Hero Worship towards Daisaku Ikeda? Is President Ikeda the Buddha we are hoping to be? Why is every publication by Middleway Press 90% President Ikeda’s words and 10% Goshos and Experiences, isn’t this formula backwards?”

      There is a fine line between chanting to Gohonzon with faith and “seeking the Gohonzon outside yourself”. The Nichiren Shoshu priesthood blatantly fucked up and disregarded the tradition established by Nikko Shonin and Nichimoku after President Ikeda became the force to revolutionize kosen-rufu and continue the practice of Nichiren Daishonin’s Buddhism in an uninterrupted line since its inception just as Nichiren predicted in the Gosho. I personally feel that the queries other members have posed to me are noteworthy, and certainly not slander but a earnest desire to practice correctly as prescribed by President Ikeda’s Guidance, Sensei Toda’s Guidance and Nichiren Daishonin himself.

      Coming from a background where my own mother attempted to “evangelize” other Christians I grew up observing a sub-culture within the Christian Culture being composed of “blind followers” I vowed never to be anyone’s follower or disciple until I encountered the Goshos and realized that my thoughts and personal sentiment are only enhanced by enriching my life with the correct Buddhism. Truly these “blind followers or sheep” are not applicable to our organization because we maintain a transparent link to President Ikeda via Middleway Press publications and the World Tribune (in the USA ) and every member decides when they are ready to receive Gohonzon. Then how can some construe this aspect to be viable in our current set of circumstances?

      The answer I believe is found is study of the Gosho and application of Nichiren Daishonin’s Golden Words and cautiously accepting interpretations thereof as guidance and encouragement but not doctrine. To do so would be a slander or heresy committed against our faith. Herein lay the misconstrued notions posed to me by others and also my personal affiliation and dedication to our organization that just declared the year of 2008 to be the year of Raising Capable Leadership. In the United States of America to approach the practice of Nichiren Daishonin’s Buddhism based on the Japanese Sociological mentality and thought processes will only impede progress in America . True leadership in this instance should be capable of developing a fresh(er) branch of the Soka Gakkai International in America , clearly this is the basis for pursuing a greater understanding of the Mentor Disciple Relationship.

      Then how can American Youth, follow the example of President Ikeda, I have read his Youthful Diary to try and further my understanding and continue to draw more similarities between his life and ours but there are serious complications. Chronologically referencing Sensei’s upbringing in the Youth Division under the direct tutelage of Sensei Toda, and contrasting with our circumstances in the North******* corridor of the United States are Two vastly different landscapes yet both within the World of Mappo! Please also take into account the dynamic growth and further evolution of the Soka Gakkai from a Teaching Society to the World’s Life Line which is very intricately connected and awesomely protected is akin to comparing the first computers created that were the size of building or many large rooms to what has evolved into the internet. Night and day!

      Thus in my humble opinion, we could certainly continue to reinforce the Mentor Disciple relationship among members whom have been practicing for at least one year and have attended a minimum of 3 kosen-rufu Gongyos for the purpose of seeing Sensei’s Video and becoming acquainted with him in a more natural and unimposing fashion. I’m sure it sounds like “shoju” but truly it is effective shakubuku and further reinforces the basics of our practice and the purpose of our practice not the esoteric agenda advancing within our ranks. I strongly believe it should be a CHOICE to accept Sensei Ikeda as your mentor not “The way…” or “The preferred method…” or “This is how you do it….”. Come on! We live in America ! How often do we see a Joel Osteen tele-commercials sugar coating all the bullshit he’s selling and further leading his congregation into a non-progressive path whereby there exists more members of the Christian faith in our country than any Buddhist sect. There must be a percentage in excess of 40% that are dissatisfied with the emptiness and slander of the non-Buddhist religions and are desperately seeking the fruits of our practice which many of us revel in continuously! Therein lies our next SGI-USA population breakthrough by distinguishing through the life our Mentor and our personal Human Revolution a indestructible faith and facilitate many non-Buddhist people towards the Buddha which is The Gohonzon and the SGI.

      I think shakubuku becomes very convoluted when we approach new people whom are subjected in one way or another to a detrimental Mentor Disciple relationship. Those Mentor Disciple relationships control their membership and will continue to exercise their clout for reasons that do not coincide with our Humanistic Philosophy. It’s a shame that people continue to perish due to sectarian and religious upheaval throughout the world everyday, our example against this is exemplified by President Daisaku Ikeda’s efforts and twice daily reaffirmed within Gongyo which incorporates Sensei within a silent prayer. Yet again, we are walking a fine line with new members that are born and raised in capitalistic America the land of the Individual Agenda, Land of the Personal Prosperity, the place where you come to get rich or die trying! How could we then be more compassionate to these special needs, surely by not exercising Doctrinal control and creating focal points in the practice non-existent during the Time of Nichiren Daishonin. Instead, I believe that Soka Spirit which originates in New York and not Japan should also be cautiously exercised and again not imposed upon members.
      Last year I helped 9 members receive Gohonzon, only 3 of them are close friends the others were peppered throughout the country and are composed of every division except WD. Of the 9, 7 have asked me in different ways “What if I just want to practice independently because there are a lot of ‘wackos’ that are hardcore about Ikeda and bring a lot of bad vibes to meetings.” This is an organizational issue and not a personal issue. I think anyone can seem crazy or offensive to another just as we all possess fundamental darkness but on the same token, it’s a slander to consider another wacky member a “wacko” and even though some members derive a lot of positive energy from feeling closer to President Ikeda its no persons place to judge another’s perspective unless its to be imposed upon them. I truly admire the independent nature of my life which after 23 years helped my stumble my way over to the Culture Center on a Cold January Wednesday night back in 2006, how could I convert myself from a born leader to deliberate disciple without having any reservations in my right mind! Lol, then again what better example is there, than the life of President Ikeda to fortify my Buddhist practice.
      Recently I brought a new member to a meeting at my home and this person came learning to chant and ended up with an earful of President Ikeda’s life and I could clearly see the confusion in their eyes. Luckily, I have a photo of Kaneko and Daisaku on my altar and was able to help them associate the references and words with a face. Recently a possible new member was contacted by a member whom they never met and was awkwardly asked after being told to call back later because the possible new member was busy, “yeah ok, before I go there is a meeting tomorrow at so-and-so’s house, you should make it to this meeting, blah blah blah”. The possible new member felt that the meeting was more important to this random caller than another attempt at a heart to heart connection and the desire to spread Nichiren Daishonin’s Buddhism in a more accommodating fashion. This possible new member ultimately felt he would continue to cope with his problems on his own and leave these ‘radical’ Buddhists alone. Clearly this possible new member has deeply manifested Fundamental Darkness and is only creating more obstacles towards his receipt of his very own Gohonzon. But it did not help that these two Americans were not speaking the same underlying language of universal compassion because each others agenda was not coinciding on any plane and therein was no Buddhism to be found.
      With those two experiences in mind, it is my hope to realize the final silent prayer of Gongyo and partake in the Happiness of all living beings! Buddhism is serious, our lives our serious, people’s issues with certain things are just as serious. We must exercise compassion at all avenues and use our seeking spirits to the fullest potential focusing more on kosen-rufu and not so much the earthly desires once we reach that point in our practice, a beginner practitioner cannot fully assimilate the qualities of one in the 5th stage of practice!(4 stages of Faith refer to the those during the Buddha’s Time, 5 Stages of Practice pertain to the time after the Buddha’s passing).

      Also Nikko Shonin was the only priest that did not begin worshipping Nichiren as a Bodhisattva or twisted the practice into a perversion of Nichiren’s strict guidance. We must follow the powerful example found within the Page of the book: The Untold Story of the Fuji School , which I found to be beneficial in gaining a more thorough understanding of the Mentor Disciple relationship. Nichiren’s followers immediately after his passing would eat and swallow his Gosho (letters to his followers) under the assumption they would become one with Nichiren by ingesting his very written words! This could lead modern day SGI-Buddha into yet another schism if left unchecked, that is my humble and heartfelt assessment of where we could invariably go if a correct application of Nichiren Daishonin’s Buddhism is not enacted going forward.

      I really do care about each member very much, I do revere Sensei’s guidance as my pegs up the ladder of Success, but they are all derived from Nichiren Daishonin’s legacy which is the fundamental basis of my understanding of True Mahayana Buddhism. I’m not looking to do anything other than offer my sincere perspective in this email after taking the time to examine Raquel’s notes and request. So my final answer after this longwinded email to say, perhaps Mentor and Disciple talk should continue to be emphasized with more senior members (over a year into their practice, after receiving Gohonzon) otherwise if they have not established the fundamental connection to Gohonzon we risk going in the direction of the 5 other priests that did not run with our boy Nikko Shonin.
      Much Love my amigos, let me know what you think!

      Myoho Disco

      P.S. I was reading today the Gosho “On the Four Stages of Faith and Five Stages of Practice”, been reading this Gosho since 12/05 and its rocket fuel for the badass independent eternal disciples of Nichiren Daishonin! I enjoyed sharing my thoughts and really look forward to continuing this conversation!

      My chapter leader, whom I have been urged to 'connect more with' just responded to the above referenced email, since I circulated the email among the youth division and said this:

      How are you doing? Your email was very strong. You're approach was like a firecracker! You need to slow down a bit and breathe. Enjoy this wonderful practice. You've made powerful statements about Sensei and about other beliefs. I'm concerned about this. However, you are entitled to your opinions. I believe that you are not grasping the concept of Mentor and Disciple relationship. I think you need to talk to a senior member and ask for guidance. If you feel uncomfortable about that, I think we need to chant together ASAP. I'm usually available on weekdays, after 3pm. I'm off on Fridays sometimes Saturdays. I will call you!
      Here are some precepts for you: I got a little booklet from *****. He came to my house on Saturday night.
      1. Become masters of the Gosho.
      2. Seek the Oneness of the Mentor and Disciple.
      3. Go to the Gohonzon First.

      Very Simple! MyohoDisco I know you have a strong passion for this practice, but don't burn up! Relax! Enjoy this practice with all of your heart
      I was caught off guard when I read his email but I stand by my determination because it was my seeking spirit that kept me close to Babba and then Thomas who both helped me get my own Gohonzon. I don't take that for granted and I know PTD's mentor is not Sensei Ikeda, as recently mentioned here. But Both PTD and I really respect him and I want to, Practice Correctly and be authentic, I just wanna be me. I will not let this fukking dude's comments bring me down because I think I have to stand on my own two feete and stick to my karmaguns on this one.

      I had to bring all this up again because this is what I'm living over here and its real. Besides the email exchanges today over the past few days things have been soo busy here, but we're still keeping focused on the goal to have more meetings at our home, for me to do more Gajokai shifts and support members, and for both of us to save money when we can and keep trying to make smarter moves with our finances so I don't go through what I been going through for years with money anymore. This year is going to be different!

      Thanks for listening, as long as we have Gohonzon things will continue to get better for all of us.

      Thanks alot, and HOORAY for the Babbas! Let's knock out the devil king of the 6th heaven during round two! I'm still sending daimoku your way all the time, we're gonna really build big things upon this impending victory!

      YES SIR!

      The thoughts and comments flowing recently have been great to catch up on! Thank you all!

      Last edited by EasyMyohoDisco; 01-28-2008, 02:39.


        "Mr. Toda used to say that one of the qualities of a capable person for kosen-rufu is having a challenging spirit. He declared: 'A fighter is a person who burns with a fierce passion and fighting spirit to completely vanquish any evil that inflicts suffering on the people.'"

        SGI Newsletter No. 7441, Capable People Dedicated to Kosen-rufu Are the Most Precious Treasures, translated Dec. 27th, 2007


          "The wonderful means of truly putting an end to the physical and spiritual obstacles of all living beings is none other than Nam-myoho-renge-kyo."

          (The Wonderful Means of Surmounting Obstacles - The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, Vol. 1, page 842) Selection source: Soka Gakkai Women's Division Chief Yoko Takayanagi's encouragement, Seikyo Shimbun, January 1st, 2008


            The Spirit of Mentor and Disciple

            Excerpt from speech: The University of the 21st Century--Cradle of World Citizens

            (Commemorating the First Commencement Ceremony of Soka University of America, Aliso Viejo, held on its campus, on May 22, 2005)

            The Spirit of Mentor and Disciple

            In the words of Leo Tolstoy: "Religious teaching, that is, the explanation of the purpose and meaning of life, should be the basis of any education." [18]

            Needless to say, Soka education does not purport to teach any religious doctrine. Yet it is based on a solid and, I believe, universal worldview. If I were to express this in a single phrase, it would be the spirit of shared commitment between teacher and learner, mentor and disciple.

            Just as a diamond can only be polished by another diamond, it is only through intense human interaction engaging the entire personality that people can forge themselves, raising themselves up to ever greater heights. It is the relationship between teacher and learner, between mentor and disciple, that makes this possible.

            The Lotus Sutra, which contains the essence of Eastern philosophy, expresses the Buddha's determination to make his disciples "equal to me, without any distinction between us...." [19] This is the teacher's vow and pledge to raise the learners' life-state to the same level as the teacher.

            In terms of the essential capacities and possibilities of life, there is no inherent difference between teacher and learner. The mentor creatively and imaginatively uses various means and methods to inspire and awaken in the learner the wisdom and power that has been realized by the teacher. The true teacher, the mentor, desires nothing so much as to be equaled--no, to be exceeded and surpassed--by the students and disciples.

            Mr. Makiguchi and Mr. Toda dedicated, risked, and offered their lives to the goal of awakening individuals to the infinite possibilities of their own lives, enabling them to experience and live out those possibilities in reality.

            During World War II, Mr. Makiguchi critiqued the core philosophical basis of the militarist authorities of Japan. As a result, he was arrested and died in prison. President Toda likewise struggled against and survived the ordeal of imprisonment. Emerging from prison, he dedicated his entire life and being to spreading a philosophy of humanism and working for the happiness of people.

            Inheriting this legacy from my mentors I have, as a disciple, founded Soka University of America to be a bastion of profound spirituality.

            18) Leo Tolstoy, A Calendar of Wisdom, translated by Peter Sekirin (New York: Scribner, 1997), p. 138.

            19) The Lotus Sutra, translated by Burton Watson (New York: Columbia University Press, 1993), p. 36.

            [Read the whole speech at: ]


              And by the way, a big hello to doobieduck! Happy to see you here Brother!


                Quick response:

                Originally posted by EasyMyohoDisco

                "...since I circulated the email among the youth division"

                "I know PTD's mentor is not Sensei Ikeda, as recently mentioned here."

                Why in the world would you have done that? Creating public awareness of dissention is never the solution. You assume everyone is on your level in regard to objectivity and capacity. That would be a very big mistake.

                If your comments cause even a bit of disunity or confusion then know that you should have handled it differently. Be responsible for that; you made the decision to do so. (hmm, what's the fifth of the five cardinal sins we respect as Nichiren Buddhists based on his teachings?)

                I was with you until you said you had distributed your comments. I think you need to chant very deeply about what your motives truly were in doing so. Before you decide to try and influence other people, make sure you have made enough personal effort to be credible in being objective and genuinely having a seeking mind. If you had these issues and questions, there would be no reason to express those questions in such a manner without knowing first what the answers would be. Then you would have a chance to chant to clearly understand them based on faith.

                My worst nightmare would be to influence ANYONE to have an attitude about accepting Daisaku Ikeda as their personal mentor. If one can be inspired in this way, then it would be a big mistake to resist such an influence in one's life. If you could pull it off, how could you fail?

                What does accepting Daisaku Ikeda as your mentor mean? Aren't they really just saying and expressing to us the truth that we should have his same passion to achieve kosen rufu? To a great degree we already do that by trying to capture that spirit here on this thread. I quote him quite a lot don't you think? What part of what he is saying might I try and dissuade someone from embracing?

                Could you have done those nine shakubuku without the SGI? Could you read that Gosho without the SGI having had it translated for you by world renowned academics? It's Daisaku Ikeda's passion for kosen rufu that helped you accomplish that. To embrace and share that passion is a good thing.

                Something one must keep in mind in regard to my practice, which is not true to those of you beginning yours now--we lacked the english language references that allow people to access Mr. Ikeda's thinking today. Also, frankly, there was a greater number of very capable 'leaders' (experienced members sharing their life experiences and inspiring and directing others) "per capita" then there are today. I had the good fortune to have people that I had life to life relationships with, which were very capable people. Some may not have that good fortune.

                So in fact, I am a defacto disciple of Daisaku Ikeda in that the things that my mentors taught me, they learned from the ideals, faith and practice of the Soka Gakkai as directed and nurtured in growth and dynamic by Daisaku Ikeda. President Toda had already been dead for sixteen years when I started practicing, but a big english language based influence from Daisaku Ikeda didn't occur for at least ten or fifteen years after I received Gohonzon in '73.

                I agree with all of your comments about the potential of confusing new members that might regard discussion of a term referred to as mentor/disciple from the wrong perspective. But until you get past your own prejudices, just as I am attempting to get past mine, we can never influence others as we are directed to by our Eternal Master, Nichiren. I would take your chapter leader up on his offer to speak with someone more senior than himself, and chant lots of Daimoku in anticipation of that meeting.

                Deep respect!

                Thomas (more to say, but not enough time to say it)

                PS: Thanks for all of the change you all have thrust upon me since '04! I have just been appointed an SGI Men's Division district chief again. They will announce my appointment next month.
                Last edited by PassTheDoobie; 01-23-2008, 04:49.


                  Thanks PTD! And welcome to Doobieduck, I been seeing you around the Boards and I'm glad you made it!

                  Thank you very much once again for the prompt responses. I chanted for a bit then did gongyo before after writing down this post and getting some fucked up phone calls and totally ended up coming out with a clearer mind and much better outlook to end the day for me well. I was finally called and spoke to the Zone YMD leader for an hour and he was able to comprehend me and then he offered to come over on sunday for the Study meeting in which I'm ironically enough going to discuss The Mentor Disciple Relationship. The posts by Thomas shall be read at this meeting and I'll be able to have a clearer head come Sunday so that I can give a helluva presentation.

                  I needed to vent tonight, I will need to vent some more tomorrow but daimoku and faith got me through today very well! Thanks for being there for me. This thread helped me start changing my life and whats in store for all of us, who knows, I'm working on kosen-rufu and we'll see what happens!

                  Peace my friends and I hope you all have great days,


                    Greetings all! I am back and on my computer and its sooooo good to see the site back up and running; Rock on Gypsy and DG! I know it's been back now for a couple of days but that's about how far behind I am from myself; very hard trying to catch up to yourself dontcha think?
                    So a quick question off the point of buddhism?? How many posts equates one post? or is the length of posts? I have gone back to look and it seems like its every so many posts equals one? Okay I will stop obsessing for now lol I would insert the smilies here too but it seems to be not letting me do that either!
                    Big thanks to the Babba's again for not only 'upping' my daimoku but also for their graciousness as I stopped by there the other night after a week of travelling to many places and taking care of many things in a very short amount of time and it was a nice to decompress before I landed home...thank you thank you thank you! >insert big kisses and hugs here<
                    It is so 'myoho' that the topic of late is the mentor/disciple relationship because I happened upon a gosho study at the SFCC this past friday night. Okay first of all I must preface this by saying and the Babba's can attest to this was I was SOOOOOOOOO excited!!! What such fortune! What a great benefit! Especially there at that center; it holds soooo many memories for me especially as a youth division! Also that I was married there and I was thinking "ah many emotions are going to come up" considering my current circumstances; and they did come up but it was tears of joy; because that center holds for me more than that one(although very important) time in my life. I traveled to that community center more times from monterey than I can even count; when I first started ywd(kotekitai) every sunday to the daly city cc then the SFCC when it was purchased. It took us two hours there and back; but we did it every sunday and then at times during the week. What great causes; what good fortune I have accumulated and I say that with all that is going on around me and I say it with integrity and honesty. No BS here life is too short!
                    So the lecture was on the mentor/disciple relationship which I have also have and still have at times my own struggles with (especially as a woman) that. I think its natural especially in our western/christian culture to have that. I don't want to go on and on and I will post more later when I have more time but there were a couple key points i wanted to share right now. It was based on the Jan/Feb issue of Living Buddhism and it is installment 9 of the lecture on "the heritage of the ultimate law of life" "Shoji Ichidaiji Kechi Myaku"
                    So first the entire lotus sutra is based on the mentor/disciple relationship. Shakyamuni did not just sit around and pontificate his teachings; he left those palace walls and walked the walk and talked the talk as they say. Now think about it the entire lotus sutra is based on this concept. Take a moment and take that in. Nothing to do with President Ikeda or Nichiren; based on the lotus sutra. They have also walked the walk and talked the talk. That is why they are "mentors" in faith. One of the other things that was said was once they diafied the buddha he no longer was a mentor. I don't think I spelled diafied right?
                    "Buddhism is open to all. This universally accessible nature of the heritage is so important that it simply cannot be emphasized too strongly. When it is correctly understood, Buddhism can serve as a humanistic and universal religion; when it is not, Buddhism can become narrow and authoritarian, deviating from the original spirit of the Buddha." (Living Buddhism jan/feb o8)
                    sorry its not letting me do bold either for my quotes; dang it!
                    Even the guy giving the lecture who has practiced many years, decades has had his own issues with the mentor/disciple thing and the word Vow. So you are right where you should be Easy really and that is your mission to question, to make these leaders go and chant about whatever it is you want to know and keep pushing until you find the right answer. Believe me when Pres. Ikeda first started practicing nobody liked him and he didn't like the organization and Toda told him then change it; you don't like it then you change it and that my friend is the concept of Human Revolution; the human revolution in one individual can change a nation; look at Mandala, Dr. King, Ghandi, Mother Teresa; there are so many examples of those people.
                    Listen not only do we as people have karma so do our town, cities, states, and countries; its like those russian dolls so too does each area in the organization have its karma. After we moved back from Vegas back to Monterey we were at a leaders meeting and the bs politics of the organization comes up and I was not shy on my opinion and of course did not slander anyone person or anybody but stated what I had to say and I will tell you these people who had known me since I was 12 looked so disgusted at me and one of them even told me that President Ikeda would be so ashamed of me!!?? It was heavy dude and yes we can go back and say well it gave me something to chant about and it is a reflection on me yes but also you have to stand up and speak up; this organization is not about being sheep; if Toda had told Ikeda to just go chant about it and well that's your opinion; where the f*ck would we all be? We all have our role and as long as we are coming a place of intergrity then keep pushing the envelope I say. Boy I went off on a tangent there haha
                    So I will end with this quote that was highlighted during the meeting, "Both mentor and disciple dedicate their lives eternally to bodhisattva practice-this point is crucial to understanding the Lotus Sutra's essence. Once in a lecture open to all members, President Toda explained:"When I said: 'I'm going to go and be reborn in the country of Japan when it is in a state of ruin. Why don't you all come with me?' you all replied, 'Okay let's go!' 'Yes, why not!' And as a result, we all appeared in this world...
                    "The sutra says that wherever they may be, practioners of the sutra are sure to be born together with their mentor is various Buddha lands. This is certainly not a lie. It means that mentor and disciple are always born together. In light of these words of Nichiren, I feel tremendous gratitude to all of you. We were born together in this world as a result of a promise that we made in the past." (Living Buddhism jan/feb 08)

                    Thanks for letting me share and remember I am now around 3 hours from the nearest community center so I will be a buzzing about it for awhile...ahhhh so fortunate huh!

                    So be it, Will it so...Nam Myoho Renge Kyo



                      "Winter always turns to spring."

                      (Winter Always Turns to Spring - The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, Vol. 1, page 536) Selection source: "Myoji no Gen", Seikyo Shimbun, January 22nd,


                        "This year the question of which Buddhist teachings are right and which are wrong will definitely be resolved."

                        (Letter to the Priests of Seicho-ji - The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, Vol. 1, page 650) Selection source: SGI President Ikeda's speech, Seikyo Shimbun, January 5th, 2008


                          "No matter how close we may be in proximity, without a spirit of mutual respect and equality, the effort to build bridges of peace and friendship would just be an illusion."

                          SGI Newsletter No. 7438, The New Human Revolution -- Vol. 20: Chap. 3,Ties of Trust 20, translated Dec. 21st, 2007


                            &quot;Planting Seeds of Hope in Japan's Youth&quot;

                            The Japan Times, 2nd install.--Jun. 8, 2006

                            From a 12-part essay series by Daisaku Ikeda carried in The Japan Times, a leading English-language daily published in Japan, from May 2006 through April 2007.

                            The bright laughter of children is the true measure of a society's health.

                            Ten years ago, I was in San José, Costa Rica, for the opening of an exhibition on the reality and threat of nuclear weapons. Even as participants began a dignified rendition of the national anthem, through the wall that separated the venue from the Children's Museum next door came the sound of free and raucous voices--elementary school pupils waiting for the exhibition to open. As the ceremony proceeded, the noise generated by the children at times came close to drowning out the speeches of the invited guests.

                            The ceremony participants exchanged smiles. It seemed that the cheerful and vibrant voices of the children were the symbol and embodiment of peace. Their voices conveyed a sense of hope capable of countering even the threat posed by nuclear weapons.

                            As adults, it is our responsibility to ensure that these pure voices resonate loudly throughout society. And yet, in Japan in recent years, hardly a day passes without news of tragic and disturbing incidents involving children. It is painful in the extreme to learn of children and young people falling victim to or becoming otherwise entangled in violent crime.

                            The lives of children are a mirror on society. These incidents reflect an underlying pathology, one that justifies indifference to others, the casual disregard of their pain.

                            I am intensely concerned that by offering young people only the example of an uncaring and brutal way of life, we are extinguishing from their hearts the light of hope. The unfulfilled hearts of children become desolate. They are then rendered even more vulnerable to a distorted value system that--by the single, arbitrary measure of wealth--coldly separates society's "winners" from its "losers."

                            We need to initiate an earnest and principled rethinking of what it means to win in life and what a genuinely affluent society would look like.

                            The members of my generation also experienced the pain of finding the values offered us by society empty and meaningless.

                            I was seventeen when World War II ended. There was among young people a tormented sense of spiritual void. It wasn't just the physical landscape that had been reduced to ashes. The bizarre system of values drilled into us in the wartime years had been exposed as fraudulent and razed to the ground.

                            It was only natural that many young people fell into a state of desperate skepticism, convinced there was nothing in which they could believe. Like them, I found it impossible to trust the intellectuals and politicians who, having sung the praises of war and driven large numbers of young people to their deaths, overnight became apostles of peace and democracy.

                            I feel deeply fortunate that at this most difficult juncture in my youth, I was able to encounter a person who was willing to engage with me and other young people head-on and whom I would come to regard as my mentor in life.

                            When I first met Josei Toda at a small gathering of Soka Gakkai members, he was 47, almost 30 years my senior. And yet he responded to my questions with unadorned directness and sincerity. Toda had resisted the militarist regime that stripped the Japanese people of their rights and freedoms, plunging the country into a war of invasion. As a result, he had endured persecutions and a two-year imprisonment. The words of a person who had suffered imprisonment for his convictions carried a special weight. I felt intuitively that I could trust him.

                            Toda was an educator with a profound love for the young. Puffing a cigarette, his talks would range freely across different subjects as he shared insights into life's more intractable problems.

                            He organized outdoor study sessions for young people in beautiful natural settings that helped us regain a sense of expansive vitality. I recall an occasion when, around a campfire by a river, we spoke with him late into the night about the things that concerned us: our relations with our parents, marriage, our lives and futures…

                            Toda had a deep faith and trust in young people. He saw in them possibilities they themselves could not imagine. In turn they were transformed by the confidence, courage and hope he instilled.

                            From my own experience, I am convinced that few things are more crucial to the healthy growth of children than encountering someone who truly believes in them. Studies suggest that young people who act violently often suffer from the feeling that no one is interested or cares. The problem behavior of children is a harsh reflection on the heartless egotism and apathy of adult society.

                            The Lotus Sutra includes the following parable.

                            There once was a man who had a rich friend. One day the man called on his friend who entertained him until, sated on wine, he fell asleep. The rich friend was called away on business. Before leaving, as a parting gift he sewed a priceless jewel into the hem of the sleeping man's garment. Knowing nothing of this, the man awoke and went about his business. Falling on hard times, he wandered the world in poverty. Years later, they met again. The rich man, astonished at his friend's condition, told him of the gift he had given him, and which he had possessed all along.

                            Each young person possesses a precious inner treasure of infinite worth. To remain unaware of this and stumble about in spiritual poverty is a tragic waste. In contrast, a person fully awakened to the jewel-like dignity of their own life is capable of truly respecting that treasure in others.

                            We all have opportunities, in our families and communities, to interact with young people. I hope adults will take the time and make the effort to listen attentively to the voices of the young. Such small acts of caring can help refresh and replenish a young heart. We should each strive to be a consistent source of warmth and spiritual nourishment.

                            While this may seem laborious and time-consuming, I am convinced that from such efforts--the resonance and trust that arise between one life and another--emerge people keenly sensitive to the sufferings of others, people capable of empathetic action on others' behalf. This is the first step toward building the values that will support a genuinely healthy society. These are the seeds of future hope we can plant today.

                            (from: )


                              Daisaku Ikeda: A Biographical Sketch

                              By A. George, Editor, SGI Quarterly

                              Daisaku Ikeda is a Buddhist philosopher, peacebuilder, educator, author and poet. He is the third president of the Soka Gakkai lay Buddhist organization and the founding president of the Soka Gakkai International (SGI), which is today one of the world's largest and most diverse lay Buddhist organizations, promoting a philosophy of character development and social engagement for peace.

                              Ikeda is founder of the Soka (value-creation) schools, a nondenominational school system based on an ideal of fostering each student's unique creative potential and cultivating an ethic of peace, social contribution and global consciousness. The school system runs from kindergarten through graduate study and includes a university in Tokyo, Japan, and another in California, U.S.A.

                              Ikeda is a staunch proponent of dialogue as the foundation of peace. Since the 1970s he has pursued dialogue with a wide range of individuals around the world in political, cultural, educational and academic fields. Over 50 of these have been published in book form, with people such as Mikhail Gorbachev, Elise Boulding, Joseph Rotblat and André Malraux. In furtherance of his vision of fostering dialogue and solidarity for peace, Ikeda has founded a number of independent, nonprofit research institutes that develop cross-cultural, interdisciplinary collaboration on diverse issues: the Boston Research Center for the 21st Century, the Toda Institute for Global Peace and Policy Research and the Institute of Oriental Philosophy. The Min-On Concert Association and the Tokyo Fuji Art Museum promote mutual understanding and friendship between different national cultures through the arts.

                              Ikeda is a prolific writer who has published more than one hundred works, ranging from Buddhist philosophy to biographical essays, poetry, children's stories and photographic collections.


                              Ikeda was born in Tokyo, Japan, on January 2, 1928, the fifth of eight children, to a family of seaweed farmers. The devastation and senseless horror he witnessed as a teenager during World War II gave birth to a lifelong passion to work for peace, rooting out the fundamental causes of human conflict.

                              For much of his early life Ikeda struggled against ill health, nearly succumbing, in his teens, to the ravages of tuberculosis, one of the leading killer diseases at the time. In 1947, at the age of 19, he met Josei Toda (1900-58), educator and leader of the Soka Gakkai lay Buddhist society whose activities were based on the philosophy of the 13th-century Buddhist teacher and reformer Nichiren. Ikeda found in Toda an open and unaffected person, a man of unshakable conviction with a gift for explaining profound Buddhist concepts in logical, accessible terms. He soon found employment at one of Toda's companies and later completed his education under the tutelage of Toda, who became his mentor in life.

                              In May 1960, two years after Toda's death, Ikeda, then 32, succeeded him as president of the Soka Gakkai. Under his leadership, the movement began an era of innovation and expansion, becoming actively engaged in cultural and educational endeavors worldwide. Ikeda has dedicated himself to fulfilling Toda's dreams by developing initiatives in the areas of peace, culture and education.

                              In 1975, Ikeda became the first president of the Soka Gakkai International (SGI), now a global network linking over 12 million members in 190 countries and territories.

                              The central tenet of Ikeda's thought, and of Buddhism, is the fundamental sanctity of life, a value which Ikeda sees as the key to lasting peace and human happiness. In his view, global peace relies ultimately on a self-directed transformation within the life of the individual, rather than on societal or structural reforms alone. This idea is expressed most succinctly in a passage in his best-known work, The Human Revolution, Ikeda's novelization of the Soka Gakkai's history and ideals: "A great inner revolution in just a single individual will help achieve a change in the destiny of a nation and, further, will enable a change in the destiny of all humankind."(1)

                              Ikeda has two sons, Hiromasa and Takahiro, and lives in Tokyo with his wife, Kaneko. ---A.G.¬

                              1) Ikeda, Daisaku. 2004. The Human Revolution, Book 1, p.viii. CA: World Tribune Press.

                              (from: )


                                Daisaku Ikeda: A Biographical Sketch (continued)

                                Early Life

                                Daisaku Ikeda was born in Tokyo in 1928 as the fifth son in a family that harvested edible seaweed for a livelihood.

                                Throughout his youth, Ikeda suffered from a weak constitution, compounded by tuberculosis. His doctor's prediction that¬ he would probably not live beyond thirty imparted to him a spirit of intensity, the determination not to waste a moment of life, which has become a defining aspect of his character.

                                Ikeda grew up in Tokyo in an age when Japan, which had already annexed Korea and Taiwan, and the country's militarist regime was driving the nation inexorably toward World War II. Nearly every facet of Japanese life--from families and factories to schools and religious groups--was marshaled for the war effort. Dissent had been ruthlessly suppressed.

                                This was the seeding ground of Ikeda's passion for peace. Even today his recollections of that period seethe with anger at the foolishness and arrogance of militarism. Ikeda was a young teenager in 1940s when Japan entered World War II. His family, like most other Japanese families, was devastated, spiritually and materially. Their home was twice destroyed in air raids and at one point he and his parents lived in a makeshift shelter constructed over a bomb crater.

                                Ikeda's four older brothers were drafted. He has frequently recalled the memory of the eldest brother, Kiichi, home on temporary leave, describing with disgust the Japanese military's treatment of the Chinese people. When the war had ended, after a long, anxious wait for news of his brother, he remembers too watching his mother silently receive the small white box containing Kiichi's cremated remains. "I developed" he writes, "a deep hatred for war, its cruelty, stupidity and waste." (1)

                                Rather than relief, the war's end brought to many of Ikeda's generation only a deeper sense of spiritual anguish and confusion. He writes:

                                "I was 17 when World War II ended. There was among young people a tormented sense of spiritual void. It wasn't just the physical landscape that had been reduced to ashes. The bizarre system of values drilled into us in the wartime years had been exposed as fraudulent and razed to the ground... I found it impossible to trust the intellectuals and politicians who, having sung the praises of war and driven large numbers of young people to their deaths, overnight became apostles of peace and democracy." [Read full text above] (2) ---A.G.

                                1) Ikeda, Daisaku. 1996. “Columbia daigaku deno SGI kaicho no koen [SGI President Ikeda’s Lecture at Columbia University].” Seikyo Shimbun, June 16, p. 2.
                                2) Ikeda, Daisaku. 2006. "Planting Seeds of Hope." Japan Times, June 8.

                                (from: )