Inside the SGI-USA

New Series for the Many Treasures Group

Photo by Jonathan Wilson


The World Tribune is pleased to present a new series dedicated to the Many Treasures Group (MTG), which will appear in its second weekly issue each month. We will study Ikeda Sensei’s foundational guidance to address frequently asked questions by members of this group.

Sensei recently said: “Let’s all commend our ‘Many Treasures’ senior members for their outstanding service to kosen-rufu! Together with these ‘experts of happiness,’ let’s cheerfully create a history of hope with ever- increasing resolve!”[1]Tentative translation of the “To My Friends” daily encouragement from the Nov. 19, 2020, issue of the Seikyo Shimbun, the Soka Gakkai’s daily newspaper.

Learning from these “experts of happiness,” we will share the experiences of our pioneers of American kosen-rufu and how they came to find the great power of faith as they advanced side by side with their mentor. Together, they created a history of changing lives filled with obstacles into lives filled with lasting benefits for themselves and countless others. These experiences will accompany the MTG series (for this issue, we feature Hawaii pioneer Teruko Dent).

We hope you enjoy this new feature in which we attempt to capture the heart of Nichiren Daishonin’s call: “To accept is easy; to continue is difficult. But Buddhahood lies in continuing faith” (“The Difficulty of Sustaining Faith, The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, vol. 1, p. 471).

What Is the Group’s Purpose?

The group exists to encourage the MTG members to practice the correct teaching of Nichiren Buddhism throughout their lives and savor unsurpassed fulfillment.

Who Can Join the Many Treasures Group?

The MTG is open to all SGI-USA members who are 65 years or older, regardless of their length of Buddhist practice.

Are There MTG Activities?

Monthly or bimonthly local meetings are encouraged (via telephone or videoconference). Please speak with your leaders for more details.

The annual MTG conferences, held at the SGI-USA Florida Nature and Culture Center, have been suspended along with other in-person activities due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The National Many Treasures Group Team

As a Many Treasures member, I have a lot of faith experience but feel limited being at greater risk for COVID-19. How can I contribute to the kosen-rufu movement during this pandemic?

First of all, it’s critical that you observe all the medical guidance by 1) staying at home as much as possible, 2) wearing a mask when you have contact with anyone out- side your household, 3) washing your hands frequently and 4) maintaining social distancing.

The ABC Campaign[2] In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the SGI-USA initiated the ABC Campaign: A: Abundant chanting; B: Buddhist study;
C: Connect life-to-life with members, guests and family (by phone or videoconferencing).
—Abundant chanting, Buddhist study and Connect life-to-life—is ideally suited to this challenging time.

We can find time to chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo every day, hopefully more than usual since we are reducing the need to travel outside our homes. Some members struggle to chant alone, and the time lag in voice transmission over the phone or electronic communications makes it difficult to chant in rhythm with someone else. We can schedule with a friend to chant at the same time, then get together remotely to share some encouragement with each other from The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, the World Tribune, Living Buddhism, The New Human Revolution or other sources of encouragement from Ikeda Sensei.

That contact after chanting simultaneously with someone else can be part of our Buddhist study in addition to regular study activities (by phone or videoconference) at the district or other organizational levels.

Sensei tells us:

The great life philosophy of Buddhism and the spirit of Soka never change. But the times change radically, making it necessary to constantly reconsider the nature of activities and the way meetings and training sessions are held. Then we may come up with effective and productive methods that are in line with the times. …

My greatest wish is that you will all continue the correct rhythm of putting your Buddhist faith into practice in your everyday lives so that you may become healthier and happier and lead long lives filled with great good fortune. I want you to adorn the final chapters of your lives with brilliant triumph. I am determined to dedicate myself completely to opening the way and giving my all so that you can do just that. (The New Human Revolution, vol. 25, p. 95)

In terms of our connections with others, we are reminded by Sensei:

An organization is a network of human relationships. We need to create bonds with individual members within our organization. If the relationships are only between leaders and members, our organization will be weak. When we really care about everyone we come into contact with as fellow siblings, our organization will be truly humane.

The way to make our organization strong is to strive to forge ties of trust linking ourselves to everyone else. Become the kind of person whom everyone appreciates for helping them overcome their problems, for encouraging them and giving them hope. That’s what I’ve always done. (NHR-22, 273)

Sensei also calls out to us: “It’s vital to continue advancing and encouraging others as long as you live, whether you’re in your 80s or 90s. Please live your life with an eternally youthful spirit” (NHR-25, 38).

Notes   [ + ]

1. Tentative translation of the “To My Friends” daily encouragement from the Nov. 19, 2020, issue of the Seikyo Shimbun, the Soka Gakkai’s daily newspaper.
2. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the SGI-USA initiated the ABC Campaign: A: Abundant chanting; B: Buddhist study;
C: Connect life-to-life with members, guests and family (by phone or videoconferencing).