This Is Precisely the Time to Create Great Fortune
by Naoko Leslie
SGI-USA Women’s Leader
To our precious and irreplaceable SGI-USA members,
Thank you very much for your tremendous efforts each day to encourage fellow members, family and friends by connecting one to one, life to life, using the voice of the Buddha to expand hope in this time of uncertainty with the COVID-19 pandemic.
As we continue to powerfully chant the lion’s roar of Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, uniting with SGI President Ikeda’s fervent prayer “for the quickest possible end to this threat and a return to normality and safety” (April 3 World Tribune, p. 3), I would like to share about this year’s May Commemorative Contribution campaign.
Considering the seriousness of this pandemic, we want to unite as SGI-USA with a vision to make this May Contribution activity based on individual care and faith encouragement.
Many members are experiencing various challenges, including losing their jobs, facing financial hardships and feeling uncertain about the future.
Faith encouragement should be a one-to-one connection, expressing our concern and care as a Soka family. First and foremost, we want to ask: How are you? How is your family? Is everyone healthy and safe? Let’s provide the greatest confidence and hope by sharing our faith experiences, Nichiren Daishonin’s writings and Sensei’s guidance, based on each person’s unique circumstances.
Toward the May Contribution campaign, let’s focus on connecting with members and leaders one to one, so each person can feel their great mission to joyfully participate in offerings that advance kosen-rufu.
Nichiren writes, “Matters of minor importance arise from good, but when it comes to a matter of great importance, great disaster without fail changes into great fortune” (“A Warning against Begrudging One’s Fief,” The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, vol. 1, p. 825). This is precisely the time to create great fortune by helping each member deepen their faith and study, and pray to “produce fire from damp wood, or to obtain water from parched ground” (“Rebuking Slander of the Law,” WND-1, 444).
I am personally determined to participate on the first day of May Contribution to make a tremendous cause for the advancement of kosen-rufu and the protection of the land.
And how wonderful that we can celebrate May 3, the 60th anniversary of Sensei’s inauguration as our third Soka Gakkai president, during this time.
On behalf of President Ikeda, a senior Soka Gakkai leader recently visited the U.S., encouraging us about the spirit of financial offerings in faith. Here are some key points he shared:
• Next to life itself, human beings tend to have a hard time parting
with money. Originally, money was created to be used. However, people often find greater value in holding on to their money, rather than using it.
• The practice of offering goods is
an opportunity to fight our own negative tendencies to be controlled by our attachment to money.
• Through this effort, we can break the shackles of our attachments and desires, and transform into people who lead lives of absolute freedom.
• When we engage in this practice of making offerings based on our determination to spread Buddhism, we can experience the genuine joy of supporting this greatest cause.
Nichiren states in the writing “The Third Day of the New Year”: “Just as flowers open up and bear fruit, just as the moon appears and invariably grows full, just as a lamp becomes brighter when oil is added, and just as plants and trees flourish with rain, so will human beings never fail to prosper when they make good causes” (WND-1, 1013).
With absolute conviction that we will never fail to prosper when we make offerings for the sake of the Mystic Law, let’s participate joyfully in this year’s May Contribution and extend our heartfelt care for each precious member! In this way, we can report a brilliant victory to Sensei. This will be the true victory in each of our districts!
Thank you very much!