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Q: How can I find balance between my SGI activities and other areas of my life?


A: We all have the same 24 hours in a day. Yet, given that each person has differing priorities and time demands—as students, workers, parents, caregivers, retirees and so on—there isn’t just one way to balance our lives.

Buddhism, however, teaches us how to bring forth the wisdom necessary to make the most of each moment, achieve our goals, and enjoy the most meaningful and fulfilling lives.

From the Buddhist perspective, some key elements for successfully fulfilling all our responsibilities are: our determination to accomplish everything; our consistent and abundant prayer to expand our state of life; and our ability to readily take action to keep our lives moving forward.

This is reflected in Nichiren Daishonin’s well-known words: “If in a single moment of life we exhaust the pains and trials of millions of kalpas, then instant after instant there will arise in us the three Buddha bodies[1]with which we are eternally endowed. Nam-myoho-renge-kyo is just such a ‘diligent’ practice” (The Record of the Orally Transmitted Teachings, p. 214).

On a practical level, when we win in the morning by doing a powerful gongyo and chanting abundantly, we have the capacity to put 100 percent effort into the task right in front of us and reveal the incredible qualities we inherently possess.

When a young man asked how to find time to attend Soka Gakkai activities amid his busy work schedule, SGI President Ikeda responded:

It boils down to making a decision to do your best in everything and then having the determination not to retreat a single step. When placed in severe circumstances, people all too easily tend to give up, convinced that the situation is hopeless, before even considering what concrete actions they could take. In their hearts, they have already conceded defeat without even putting up a fight. That, in fact, is the cause of all failure.

The crucial thing is to determine to do your absolute best both at work and in Soka Gakkai activities, and to find time to earnestly chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo about your situation. You have to bring forth your wisdom and life force, and then exercise your ingenuity. (The New Human Revolution, vol. 4, pp. 149–50)

The key to bringing forth such an unshakable determination is to decide to fight together with our mentor with a spirit of appreciation, and to place kosen-rufu at the center of our lives.

Such a determination, coupled with the action to win in the morning, will enable us to bring forth the wisdom, resourcefulness and vitality to take the most effective action at each turn as we strive to move all aspects of our lives toward victory.


  1. The three Buddha bodies refer to: the Dharma body, the fundamental truth, or Law, to which a Buddha is enlightened; the reward body, the wisdom to perceive the Law; and the manifested body, the compassionate actions of the Buddha to lead people to happiness. ↩︎

Excerpts From Nichiren’s Writings in Volume 13