Creating an Oasis of Warm Encouragement in the District

New Year’s Message from the General Director

Killeen, Texas. Photo: Earl Spencer.

Adin Strauss_DSC1624Congratulations to each and every precious member of the SGI-USA on greeting 2017, the Year of Developing Youth in the New Era of Worldwide Kosen-rufu, together with our mentor, SGI President Ikeda!

There can be no question that these last few months have been turbulent for our society. Although it’s impossible to say for sure, more turbulence may be yet to come.

But precisely because of these challenges, our precious SGI organization in America has the opportunity to shine as a beacon of unity in an era wracked by division.

And because of these difficulties, we need to make each discussion meeting an oasis of warm encouragement at a time when people are feeling ever more isolated and anxious.

Our individual lives will take on evermore profound meaning as we transform karma into mission and demonstrate through our own action the greatness of the philosophy of Soka humanism.

Nichiren Daishonin states:

A hundred years of practice in the Land of Perfect Bliss cannot compare to the benefit gained from one day’s practice in the impure world. Two thousand years of propagating Buddhism during the Former and Middle Days of the Law are inferior to an hour of propagation in the Latter Day of the Law. This is in no way because of Nichiren’s wisdom, but simply because the time makes it so. (“On Repaying Debts of Gratitude,” The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, vol. 1, p. 736)

And President Ikeda assures us:

When individuals awaken to their innate mission as Bodhisattvas of the Earth, it imparts to their lives a deep and essential meaning. This awareness is the pivotal driving force for . . . a great human revolution in their own lives, which can even go on to transform the destiny of an entire nation. (November 2016 Living Buddhism, p. 63)

With total confidence and conviction in these two statements, let’s put our fullest energies toward making each discussion meeting meaningful. Let’s talk about Buddhism with our friends, relatives and neighbors in the most natural and joyful way. And toward our magnificent gathering of 50,000 determined youth in 2018, let’s treasure and raise capable youth, one after another.

With deepest appreciation,
Adin Strauss

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