A tentative translation of
SGI President Ikeda’s ‘Encouragement of the Four Seasons’
published in the Seikyo Shimbun on 28th February 2021
Men’s Division – Stand up with the Bearing of a King!
Outside the windows, the whole place is covered in snow. Under the strikingly blue sky, the snow-capped Mount Ibuki looks even more indomitable.
In March 2000, having finished his guidance trip in Kansai (west region of Japan), Ikeda Sensei took a photograph through the window of a bullet train heading for Chubu (central region of Japan).
Mount Ibuki which stands on the border of Shiga and Gifu prefectures is one of the 100 famous Japanese Mountains. It is also illustrated in ‘Kojiki’ (Records of Ancient Matters) and ‘Nihonshoki’ (Chronicles of Japan). Since ancient times, it has been loved and respected by people around the country.
The mountain which stands undaunted by wind or snow and shines ever more
magnificently under the blue sky, reminds us of the heroic demeanour of our men’s division members.
5th March this year will mark the 55th anniversary of the establishment of the Men’s Division and the 2nd Soka Gakkai Headquarters Leaders meeting will be held in conjunction with the “Nationwide Men’s Division Leaders Meeting”.
Now, spring is just around the corner. Let’s begin a great advance with indomitable dignity brimming with the joy and pride of the ‘golden pillars of kosen-rufu’!
SGI President Daisaku Ikeda’s Guidance
Men’s Division members are the main pillars at home, and golden pillars in their communities.
They have rich and inexhaustible experience in life, winning
trust in society.
When they stand up to foster happiness and prosperity in their local area,
the momentum of kosen-rufu accelerates dynamically.
Whether in the workplace or the Soka Gakkai organization,
Men’s Division members should exert themselves with the heart of a lion king,
taking responsibility for everyone’s happiness and victory, and become the person who has the deep trust and respect of all people around them.
When you, as a man, summon forth courage in your heart and decide that no matter what happens you will never run away, and resolutely fulfil your responsibility, your true power will be revealed.
We, the Men’s Division, should become the foundation, the stonewall, and the pillars to build an eternally indestructible citadel of capable people which we then entrust to our youth.
No matter how turbulent the times may be, you must take the lead toward victory indomitably.
There is no path of life which is more everlasting and indestructible.
In the harsh storm of relentless attack by devilish forces, you, my fellow members of the Men’s Division, have paved the uncharted path for kosen-rufu together with me, resolutely living out your life, surmounting various adversities and winning over your own karma along the way.
Indeed, you are my battle-hardened comrades.
We are comrades in faith who having been born together at this time by wondrous karmic ties, share suffering and joy and exert ourselves steadfastly and vigorously.
My fellow Men’s Division members, the fathers of the Soka family that I trust so dearly, now it is your turn to play your role!
Let’s establish an invincible solidarity which is undaunted by any powerful enemy and fight and advance on this great path of mentor and disciple!
With the ‘bearing of a king’, let’s valiantly embark upon constructing the new era of world-wide kosen-rufu, the triumphant battle that we vowed to fight in this lifetime since time without beginning!
An open letter to Central London Area Leaders
At the very beginning of the so called Coronavirus ‘pandemic’, our central steering committee of leaders, decided to close all our centres for the ‘safety’ of our members. Furthermore, ‘instructions’ were issued to the membership at large that we are not ‘allowed’ to meet with each other in our own private residences. This despite varying Government guidelines to the contrary.
Instead we have been encouraged to engage in online ‘meetings’ and conduct all of our activities virtually.
If you honestly believe that these measures have any real value then I’m afraid you are victim to the biggest hoax ever perpetrated against humanity.
Now in my 38th year of assiduous, sincere and consistent practice of SGI Nichiren Buddhism, I reflect on how we have previously dealt with other threats to the freedom and safety of our citizens here in the UK.
During the 80’s and 90’s we were constantly being attacked by terrorists from either side of the Northern Ireland political divide known as ‘the troubles’. Then our great founding General Director, Richard Causton, urged regular Daimoku Tozo’s and set clear targets to see an end to these hostilities, resulting in, as history bears out, an end to the threats posed by such menaces.
Similarly, the eruption of what came to be known as the ‘Gulf War’ was quickly brought to and end with members from all over the country (and the rest of the world) focusing Daimoku campaigns to see an end to these hostilities.
9/11, another milestone in the history of threats to our civilization, was contained through the determined efforts of practitioners who gathered regularly at large venues with roaring Daimoku to end the madness.
7/7 was another such event that threatened to overwhelm the freedom of our society, but once again, through the sincere encouragement and wisdom of our leaders we engaged in unstoppable Daimoku campaigns to quell the threat that this evil presented.
Then, ‘Covid 19’, a flu variant was identified and we have been led to believe that this virus poses the greatest threat to humanity to date. Leading to the wholesale lockdown of vast swathes of the planet, resulting in the collapse of our economy, the closure of schools, mass unemployment, loss of life through neglect due to preference of treatment being accorded to ‘coronavirus’ cases.
And the response from SGI? Stay at home, chant in domei, meet online!
When did we become so unquestioningly compliant?
I am not suggesting that Coronavirus does not exist. I believe it is a constantly mutating flu variant that poses no more serious risk than any other form of influenza (but certainly not as much as pneumonia), and yet Governments all around the world agree that this is such a serious threat that it warrants the restriction of freedom and movement everywhere. When, in the history of mankind have all governments agreed about anything? Do you not find this strange?
All sources of mainstream media are currently censored, We are being literally brainwashed with the incessant bombardment of messages that reinforce the rhetoric that this is a serious virus.
Any deviation from the establishment rhetoric is subsequently silenced, de-platformed or villified, no matter how credible or qualified the source.
We are being urged to accept an untested ‘vaccine’, provided by manufacturers who bear no responsibility for any unfortunate side effects should they occur.
Reliable, credible sources advise that in fact this ‘vaccine’ is a form of genetic engineering.
There is a movement of oppression that seeks to restrict the freedom of anyone that does not accept the vaccine.
The ‘evidence’ used to enforce the oppression of people has constantly been called into question by esteemed, credible, qualified professionals yet still the Government chooses to only present the ‘evidence’ that supports the oppression.
Nichiren Daishonin exhorts us to resolve our doubts, not suppress them.
The only way this madness will stop is when we say enough!
SGI is the only organisation that can transform this awful attack of negativity.
In my view we should be holding weekly Daimoku Tozo’s at a national level.
It is SGI that influences the country, not the other way around!
I implore you, my sincere fellow practitioners, to wake up! Start questioning the narrative. Let’s end this madness.
David Bloomfield February 2021
Happy New Year!
Westminster Chapter Is warmly inviting you to join us for a 2 hour tozo every Sunday (starting from Sunday 10th of January and continuing until this pandemic has ended) on zoom, from 4 pm to 6 pm. Gongyo will be at 5.30pm.
Let’s join our mentor, Ikeda Sensei, in praying wholeheartedly “for the quickest possible end to this threat and a return to normality and safety” and for each member of Westminster chapter to have great victories this year.
There are 1/2 hour slots for leading Daimoku.
Please share with anyone you think might like to join, for as little or as long as you like. Please refer to your District Leader for the ZOOM link which will remain the same throughout the duration.
All the best and I hope to see you on Sunday
Cinzia (On behalf of the Chapter team)
Second Soka Gakkai President Josei Toda often said: “A strong prayer to the Gohonzon is certain to be realized. There are three conditions, however: Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, Nam-myoho-renge-kyo and more Nam-myoho-renge-kyo!” He also said: “Chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo cultivates the state of Buddhahood” and “The power of Nam-myoho-renge-kyo is colossal. It can transform a life imbued with painful karma into one that is like strolling in a beautiful garden, or like a pleasant dream.” (June 27, 2008, World Tribune, p. 4)
Message from Westminster Chapter Team
Seikyo Shimbun article featuring Westminster Chapter!
19th September 2020
We are delighted to share that we, Westminster Chapter, have been nominated by SGI-UK to feature in the Seikyo Shimbun! We will be representing SGI-UK and have this wonderful opportunity to inspire members in Japan and around the world through a report of our activities. Isn’t that wonderful? Hurray!!!!💫
We have been asked for pictures of the Chapter pre and post COVID. Could you please send us: – any pictures of your district that you may have from last year (remember we took photos last year of our discussion meetings to send to Sensei?) and – also any pictures of Zoom meetings that you may have from the last few months. This could be any one to one inspiration/study or larger District meetings.
Please could you make sure that everyone in the picture has consented for it to be shared. We usually ask this question before taking a picture, but just in case you think someone might still like to be asked, please could you do so?
Our deadline is Monday, 21st Sept. So please do send the pictures asap – they don’t need to be perfect. I attach a picture from Marylebone that we had taken last year – just to help you think of the sort of pictures you could share. Any questions, please just call.
Very best, Meeta (On behalf of the Chapter team)
Message from Westminster Chapter Team
5th September 2020
Join us every Saturday morning from 9.00 – 10.00 am chanting in domei , to ” chant wholeheartedly with a fervent prayer for the quickest possible end to this threat and t0 return to normality and safety” (Quote President Ikeda)
The Buddhist Take on COVID-19
A special episode in response to listener requests for perspective on the global pandemic COVID-19. Specifically, we address what Buddhism says about why global crises happen and how we can stop them from happening in the future. And what you can do right now to generate hope and take positive action for yourself, your family and your community.
If the nation is destroyed and people’s homes are wiped out, then where can one flee for safety? If you care anything about your personal security, you should first of all pray for order and tranquillity throughout the four quarters of the land, should you not? MWND1-p24
Daily Daimoku Tozo to rid the land of the Coronavirus threat.
Since we are all unable to get together at the same time, we would like to invite all Westminster Chapter members to join us in Domei (chanting at the same time but not in the same place for a unified purpose) Daimoku Tozo in order to rid our land of the coronavirus threat between 7 and 8pm, time permitting, weekday evenings.
Even if you could join for just a few minutes, I have no doubt that our united strong determined prayer will clear this obstacle completely away.
Thank you for all your efforts for kosen-rufu, especially during these unusually challenging times.
Please invite everyone that can to participate where possible.
David, Ilaria, Cinzia & Meeta
President Ikeda’s 2020 New Year Message
18th November Message
Congratulations on the 89th anniversary of the Founding of the Soka Gakkai!
I am currently in Tokyo on the SGI Autumn training course together with Justine Marchant, SGI-UK Women’s Division leader, David Woodger, SGI-UK Men’s Division leader and Jane Orr, SGI-UK vice Women’s Division leader, as part of the course including 255 members from 64 countries.
SGI President Daisaku Ikeda sent a message to the course which included these words, which serve as a useful message on this anniversary:
“Every Gakkai member is the Buddha’s own child. We are all Bodhisattvas of the Earth striving to achieve kosen-rufu, a hallowed task without peer.
Nichiren Daishonin advises the following: ‘In this defiled age, you should always talk together.’ (WND-1, 449) and ‘All my disciples and followers should read and listen to this letter. Those who are serious in their resolve should discuss it with one another.’ (WND-1, 449)
While we aspire to advance kosen-rufu in this new era, the most humble yet unerring path to that end begins with dialogue, either by one person to another or with a small group of people. The axis with which this process turns is the zadankai, the discussion meetings now held all over the world. This is where everyone becomes the protagonist, where people may freely learn more about Buddhism and exchange views – a place where we join in as ‘friends in an orchid room’ by sharing faith experiences and forging heartfelt bonds, enabling us to take part in a dramatic narrative of self-rejuvenation that shines with dignity for ourselves and others. The discussion meeting represents the very basis of the Soka Gakkai, the driving force through which kosen-rufu thrives. I ask you, as leaders, to achieve new victories by taking the initiative to ensure that the cadence of discussion meeting-centric activities never wanes, and by doing so, spawn new waves of progress to drive further expansion. Use it to foster a new generation of capable individuals.”
We are very happy to report to you that we had the highest ever future division attendance at discussion meetings in October – 613 young people attended across the UK. The previous highest figure for future division attendees was 546, in October 2017. Thank you very much to the future division members and all those supporting them for their tremendous effort to bring joy and vigour to the October discussion meetings.
November discussion meeting week has now arrived, and we hope you agree that Sensei’s message today is the perfect guidance to remind us how important discussion meetings are, and to challenge the obstacles we face to bring our friends and guests to a discussion meeting, so the circle of ‘self-rejuvenation’ can spread even more widely.
Thank you for everything you are doing for kosen-rufu!
With very warm wishes from all of us,
Justine, Jane, Robert and David
Taplow Court, Taplow
Maidenhead SL6 0ER
INTRODUCTION AND THEME FOR 2020
SGI Theme for 2020 – “Year of Capable People and Advancement”
– Below are some points from President Harada announcing the theme at the 43rd HQL Meeting
- “Let’s make 2020 a year in which everyone advances and everyone becomes a capable person”
- “Now is the time to transform everything into an opportunity for the Soka Gakkai”
- “Next year will mark the 60th anniversary of Ikeda Sensei’s inauguration as third president of the SGI. When Sensei became the president in 1960, the theme of that year was also “The Year of Advancement”. Now is the time for us, Sensei’s disciples, to further advance kosen-rufu and show actual proof by expanding the network of capable people.”
- “The best way to expand the ranks of capable people is for the leaders themselves to do their human revolution and constantly strive to become exemplary models as capable individuals themselves – such earnest efforts will inspire all fellow members. Let us make “advance and more advance” our motto and make the year 2020 a year in which we encourage and foster new ranks of capable people.
Yvonne Laas, former Women’s Division Chapter Leader for Westminster died on 6th October 2019. She made a huge contribution to the movement for Kosen Rufu in Westminster and the world at large. Friends and members remember her fondly and she will be greatly missed.
Westminster Buddhists Friendship Day report published in the e-bulletin
VERY WELL DONE!
We had a great success with a packed hall and many joyful attendees. President Ikeda would surely have been delighted. Thank you to everyone involved for your relentless hard work, Daimoku and determination. Special thanks are surely due to our action team, Jo, Catherine, Claudia and Guyatri, wonderfully supported by, Sakshi – Invitation design, Beverly and Fernando – Tech, Mirka, Louise and Nikita – gift team, Jenny – Shop, Banhu and Cristina – Daimoku Tozo’s, Naomi- ebulletin reporting, Bona – MC and of course the entire Westminster Chapter membership, who’s ichinen for growth and kosen rufu provided the solid foundation on which the activity was built.
Among the many guests in attendance were 3 Westminster City councillors, one of whom, is the Deputy Cabinet Member for Sports, Culture and Community and he sits on Westminster council’s advisory committee for religious education. He was very impressed with our event and requested that we nominate an SGI delegate to join the committee going forward.
It’s now less than a week until our Friendship Day, we have confirmed attendance from at least 2 Westminster Councillors and we are putting the final touches to our plans with the final tozo’s at Jo’s on Monday and Banhu’s on Friday. Let’s keep up the momentum and especially our Daimoku.
DAIMOKU – plan, DAIMOKU – check, DAIMOKU – action!
With less than 3 weeks to go before our Friendship Day, we have received the following message from President Ikeda in response to our letter to him about the event (reprinted below);
“I read your letter. I pray for great successful meeting. Please convey my best regards to everyone.”
March 2019 Study Material
Please find below study material for March 2019. This study is specifically for youth division, but also it’s there for each of us to study together with the youth and also with Sensei. This months theme in SGI is the ‘Power of one’ Let’s use this month to demonstrate how through the mystic law we can be that one person that stands up and to really live and put into practice the ‘fierce struggle’ so we can use every obstacle as a means to show great actual proof of how we can positively transform our lives and environments!
WESTMINSTER CHAPTER ANNOUNCES JUNE 1ST FRIENDSHIP DAY
Put June 1st in the diary for Westminster Buddhists Friendship Day. The event which we intend to be inspirational and motivating will be held in the afternoon at a central London location – in Westminster, naturally.
We all have friends, colleagues and perhaps people we have merely had a conversation with, who are intrigued by the “Buddhism thing” and yet know very little about it. The friendship day is designed to introduce people to practising Buddhists, without being too ‘in their face about it’. Often a gentle introduction is much more powerful than trying to force someone one thinks is unhappy into a solution that they are not ready for. The schedule for the afternoon will be to show a short film, give guests the opportunity to speak to members on a one-to-one basis about what the practice means and does for them and more. We plan to have an SGI shop available and literature for people who want to know more and Westminster will follow up contacts who express an interest.
Westminster Chapter would love to hear from members who would be willing to give a short and inspirational experience on the day. If you have an experience or you know of someone that does who is willing to share it, please advise the steering team. We want to grab them by the heart strings!
The steering team are our chapter leaders, David, Cinzia and Ilaria. They have issued the following statement, “We want a Westminster Buddhists Friendship Day that is a soft introduction to Buddhism which is accessible to everyone, even people who have never considered religion before.” An action team has been formed and Claudia Longhin will keep members up to date about the event.