My First Days of Practice

Nubla Vargas and Martin Martinez share their first days of practice.

NublaNubia Vargas
San Francisco

Joined: August 2015

One of my best friends, Monica, introduced me to the SGI while I was suffering from the loss of my father.

When I attended my first young women’s division meeting, I saw a community filled with support. I was immediately attracted to the positive energy and knew this was something I needed in my life.

I had abused alcohol for a long time to mask my problems instead of finding healthy solutions to them. Since receiving the Gohonzon on Aug. 2, 2015, I have gained inner peace and the strength to make better decisions. With this shift in my heart, I am sharing Buddhism with others who have seen my change.

What I hope to gain from this practice is the strength to love myself unconditionally. I also want to continue to transform my karma and create new and beautiful beginnings for myself.


MartinMartin Martinez
Joined: May 2015

Early last year, I found myself very unhappy, isolated and without contact from family members. I knew I needed to make some life changes. A friend had introduced me to the practice before, so I started attending introductory Buddhist meetings.

On May 3, 2015, I received the Gohonzon. That day, I introduced a friend to the practice, and she received the Gohonzon one week later. Today, we’re the youth leaders for our district. Since becoming an SGI-USA member, my relationship with my family has completely turned around for the better, and I have decided to pursue my dream of opening my own business.

I’m thankful for all the encouragement I’ve received from SGI members. Because of their care, I learned the great importance of visiting and encouraging others. The small things that members do to support others make a big difference. In my case, it saved my life.