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Essentials 2020 Exam

JONATHAN WILSON

EXAM DATES AND TIMES
Exams will be scheduled from Jan. 31–Feb. 1 at local SGI-USA centers or other designated locations. Please contact your local organization for more details.

WHAT TO BRING
Examinees must bring a smartphone, tablet or laptop since this exam will be administered online.

ELIGIBILITY
This exam is intended for those who have passed the SGI-USA Introductory Exam and have not yet completed the 3-part Essentials Exam series, or the Ikeda Wisdom Academy #3 exam.

To check which exams you’ve passed, log into portal.sgi-usa.org with your member ID and select  “My Exams” for a record of all your past exams.

REGISTRATION
Log into portal.sgi-usa.org. Under the “My Exams” tab, you will see a “Register” button if you’re eligible to take the exam. Note: Examinees must register in order to take the exam.

STUDY MATERIAL
The exam material is The Opening of the Eyes: SGI President Ikeda’s Lecture Series, which is available for $7.95 at your local SGI-USA bookstore and online at bookstore.sgi-usa.org.

STUDY PREP MEETINGS
Please contact your local organization for details.

STUDY GUIDE
A workbook is available for download at sgi-usa.org/memberresources/study.


SGI president Ikeda’s Guidance

Advance Based on Nichiren’s Writings

To open Nichiren Daishonin’s writings is to meet with him and to hear his deeply compassionate voice. When we read his writings, we witness the noble behavior of the Buddha of the Latter Day of the Law.

Nichiren writes: “Can anything exceed the sun and moon in brightness? Can anything surpass the lotus flower in purity? . . . Nichiren, too, is like the sun and moon and the lotus flower” (“Easy Delivery of a Fortune Child,” The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, vol. 1, p. 186).

By chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo for the happiness of ourselves and others and devoting ourselves to the “two ways of practice and study” (“The True Aspect of All Phenomena,” WND-1, 386), we can fuse our lives with the vast life state of the Daishonin.

We can shine brightly with the great light of courage and wisdom and, without fail, illuminate the darkness arising from the sufferings of birth, aging, sickness and death. We can bring beautiful lotus flowers of happiness and peace to bloom from the mire of hardship and suffering.

In “Letter to the Brothers,” the Daishonin writes: “You must grit your teeth and never slacken in your faith. Be as fearless as Nichiren when he acted and spoke out before Hei no Saemon-no-jo” (WND-1, 498).

Taking fearless action based on the writings of Nichiren is the eternal pride and honor of the Soka Gakkai.

■  ■  ■

[Second Soka Gakkai President Josei] Toda declared: “If you base yourself on the Daishonin’s writings, you will never be deadlocked. You will know how to solve all your problems.”

Even reading just one or two lines is fine—open the writings each day and expand your life state! Together with Nichiren, let us forge ahead on the great path to attaining Buddhahood in this lifetime and realize kosen-rufu. (May 2018 Living Buddhism, pp. 4–5)

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