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Creating Great Value

The sure way to lasting peace is the purification and transformation of individual human lives. That is the teaching of Buddhism and the heart of our Buddhist practice. Photo by Jonathan Wilson.

by Adin Strauss
SGI-USA General Director

Thank you very much for your dedicated efforts to advance kosen-rufu in this Year of Soka Victory.

Soka means “value creation” and Gakkai, “society.” In short, we choose from moment to moment to create value in our lives.

Time and money are two very precious things for human beings. How we use our time and money is the reflection of our own basic life state. What should that life state be? As we prepare for the May Contribution campaign, let’s go back to the basics of Buddhism.

There are two famous passages from Nichiren Daishonin’s writings: “It is the heart that is important” (“The Strategy of the Lotus Sutra,” The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, vol. 1, p. 1000); and, “As for the matter of becoming a Buddha, ordinary people keep in mind the words ‘earnest resolve’ and thereby become Buddhas” (“The Gift of Rice,” WND-1, 1125). Nichiren emphasizes that our earnest resolve, our sincerity, our heart is key.

How we use our time and money is the reflection of our own basic life state.

In a great Buddhist story, the boy Virtue Victorious offered a mud pie to Shakyamuni. The key point is that the mud pie was not something that the boy threw together in just a minute or two to offer to the Buddha. Rather, it represented something very precious to the boy Virtue Victorious. Having no money or valuable possessions, he offered what he could to show his appreciation to the Buddha. The act of giving something precious for kosen-rufu makes us reflect on ourselves, chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, and reach out to our members one after another to encourage them, which in turn stretches our own lives. This impacts the core of our lives, our hearts, our own state of life.

With that underlying spirit of appreciation, earnest resolve and sincerity, let’s deepen the desire to see our members become as happy as possible and as quickly as possible, and change their karma through supporting all SGI activities with their time, efforts and resources. This is how we will move forward to a wonderful new chapter in the history of our kosen-rufu movement in the United States.

What’s the difference between May Contribution and Sustaining Contribution?

Both provide vital funds to expand the SGI-USA’s movement for peace by supporting new and existing buildings, projects, special events and activities. The difference lies in how the funds are contributed and their timing or scheduling.

Many members choose to make both types of financial contributions, taking the opportunity in May to challenge themselves in honor of May 3, Soka Gakkai Day. Members create a Sustaining Contribution Plan to make consistent, scheduled payments throughout the year by automatic credit or debit card deduction. This helps members and the SGI-USA to plan and budget ahead.

This year’s May Commemorative Contribution activity will be held April 27–June 2. For more information, visit

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