“Castle of Victory” Opens in Eugene
The opening of the SGI-USA Eugene Buddhist Center marks a new era of kosen-rufu in Oregon.
by Mike Giles and Dave Koranda
SPECIAL TO THE TRIBUNE
EUGENE, Ore., June 3–4—The two-day grand opening of the SGI-USA Eugene Buddhist Center marked a new era of kosen-rufu in Oregon.
SGI President Ikeda, in a celebratory message, thanked the members for their efforts over the many years, describing the new center as “brilliant proof of victory arising from the Buddhist principle that unseen virtue yields visible reward.” He also encouraged the members to build the world’s foremost “castle of capable people,” “castle of happiness” and “castle of victory,” as they advance in the spirit of many in body, one in mind.
In recognition of the grand opening, U.S. Rep. Peter DeFazio ordered an American flag to be flown over the Capitol in Washington, D.C., on May 3, “Soka Gakkai Day.” Meanwhile, Eugene Mayor Lucy Vinis, who attended the opening, presented a proclamation declaring June 3 “Dr. Daisaku Ikeda Peace Day.” She praised the SGI’s actions for peace, saying: “As leaders, we don’t just feel sad; we take our energy out into the world to make it a better place. Thank you very much for doing that work.”
Between the time of their April Kosen-rufu Gongyo meeting to the grand opening, members set united goals to use the new center as a springboard for gathering many determined youth toward the 50,000 gathering in 2018. Within that two-month period, members chanted more than 10 million daimoku [Nam-myoho-renge-kyo], conducted 124 home visits and welcomed 15 new members to the SGI-USA. At the opening, two youth received the Gohonzon and 21 leaders were appointed.
West Territory Leader Steve Mortan, in closing remarks, noted that the new center is minutes from the University of Oregon, “a hub of young people making a great impact throughout the world, which almost makes the center an extension of the university.” The new center, Mr. Mortan said, means that “each of us must win now in our lives and in society.”