Where Do We Go From Here?
SGI-USA General Director Adin Strauss shares three things we can focus on right now to ensure victory.
by Adin Strauss
SGI-USA GENERAL DIRECTOR
It was such a thrill to attend the nationwide Young Men’s General Meeting from Miami, where more than 120 young men turned out, energized and united by simulcast with 4,000 more of their bodhisattva brothers, from Alaska and Guam in the west to Bermuda and Boston in the east. I could feel how determined they are to move kosen-rufu forward.
And our young women—great “Warriors of Jiyu”—gathered more than 5,300 strong, as joyful as they were fierce.
Behind the scenes, continuing a great Soka tradition, thousands and thousands of men and women chanted powerfully and vigorously for the total success of both meetings.
Now, with the youth general meetings behind us, where do we go from here?
As we look ahead to our gathering of “50,000 Lions of Justice” next year, here are three things we can focus on right now to assure victory:
1. Visit every member who came to or was confirmed for the July youth general meetings.
In The New Human Revolution, SGI President Ikeda says that the main stage of Soka Gakkai activities is not meetings themselves, but the hard work that takes place beyond those meetings to visit and encourage members to stand up in faith. He writes:
The network of life-to-life bonds that is the Soka Gakkai was built through the efforts of individuals to visit and personally encourage their fellow members. Just as a broad interwoven nexus of roots that sink deep into the earth supports a mighty tree, it is the consistent and painstaking actions of members to offer personal guidance at the grass-roots level that support the Soka Gakkai. (NHR-8, p. 91)
2. Encourage the youth to connect with their districts.
The district is the foundation of our kosen-rufu movement, the place where the many youth who are joining the SGI can develop a foundation in faith and awaken to their mission as a Bodhisattva of the Earth—the necessary elements for becoming a “Lion of Justice” who can transform the times. President Ikeda writes of the district’s significance:
We are living in an age when human relations are growing more and more tenuous. In such an environment, the SGI district, where members forge strong bonds of mutual support and understanding, is the cornerstone for the success of our movement.
The ancient Greek dramatist Menander (also Menandros) wrote: “The good [person], as it seems, makes also others good,” and “When good people flourish, it benefits the welfare of society.” Showing actual proof of victory by fostering, developing and bringing together good people in our communities leads to the dynamic development of kosen-rufu. (Aug. 27, 2010, World Tribune, p. 5)
3. Launch a shakubuku campaign in August.
August marks the 70th anniversary of our mentor, President Ikeda, joining the Soka Gakkai on Aug. 24, 1947. There is no better time for each of us to rise up as a Bodhisattva of the Earth and launch a wave of shakubuku, together with our mentor.
President Ikeda writes of our mission:
Why does Nichiren Daishonin place so much importance on propagation? It goes without saying that it is to lead all humankind to absolute happiness. More essentially, however, it is because the great path for each practitioner to attain enlightenment in this lifetime lies in actively striving to spread Buddhism with the same desire for kosen-rufu as Nichiren Daishonin himself. (January 2016 Living Buddhism, p. 13)
How wonderful it is to be alive at this crucial moment with Sensei, and have the chance each day to accomplish something we have never accomplished before. Starting with resolute prayer, let us, here and now, assure next year’s victory!