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Buddhist Study

Creating a Groundswell of Hope and Victory With a Vast Heart of Soka

Members of Key Biscayne-Brickell District participate in their local discussion meeting, Florida, 2019.
Members of Key Biscayne-Brickell District participate in their local discussion meeting, Florida, 2019. Photo by Victor Golden

Despite the problems in today’s world, SGI-USA members have continued, without skipping a beat, to share Buddhism for the peace and harmony of society.

Since the start of this year, our Soka movement has been soaring to new heights—most recently, with more than 10,000 youth participating in meetings commemorating March 16, Kosen-rufu Day.

This is a year of many SGI milestones: the 70th anniversary of Josei Toda’s inauguration as second Soka Gakkai president (May 3); the 150th birthday of founding Soka Gakkai President Tsunesaburo Makiguchi (June 6); the 40th anniversary of Ikeda Sensei’s poem “To My Beloved Young American Friends— Youthful Bodhisattvas of the Earth” (June 20); the 25th anniversary of Sensei’s last visit to the U.S. (June 1– July 6); and the 70th anniversaries of the women’s (June 10), young men’s (July 11) and young women’s divisions (July 19), and the 55th anniversary of the men’s division (March 5).

“To meet and encounter an auspicious time,” President Toda once said, “to be in rhythm with that time, makes having been born worthwhile” (Nov. 20, 2020, World Tribune, p. 2).

This year’s May Contribution activity, from April 24 to June 6, is just such an opportunity to “be in rhythm” with the advancement of kosen-rufu. When we challenge ourselves to contribute out of deep appreciation, we can develop “an expansive, all-encompassing spirit or state of life,” or what Sensei calls the “vast heart” of Soka (see Nov. 20, 2020, World Tribune, p. 2).

How To Develop the “Vast Heart” of Soka

Despite the anxiety and negativity that seems to so easily surface during challenging times, we continue to chant, support others and apply our Buddhist studies to our life. Sensei says:

As you chant, you will experience courage surging up from within, filling you with the conviction that you can triumph over what’s troubling you. … When you look back, you’ll find that the difficulty that was causing you so much heartache became an opportunity to dynamically expand your life state. Your prayers to the Gohonzon will cause the joyous sun of your mission to rise in your heart and enable you to make your life in this existence shine with supreme brilliance. (For Our Wonderful New Members, p. 44)

With powerful prayer, we can break through self-imposed limits and bring forth our greatest qualities to realize our goals and create beautiful harmony with those around us.

Moreover, when we help others who are also struggling, we can find unlimited reserves of hope, inspiration and wisdom. This, in fact, is an important key to our own happiness. As Sensei says:

The drama of human revolution is one in which the greater our struggles and efforts for Buddhism, others’ happiness and the welfare of society, the more we are able to accumulate treasures of the heart and attain a boundless state of life filled with “the greatest of all joys” (The Record of the Orally Transmitted Teachings, p. 212), and to help others do the same. (Nov. 20, 2020, World Tribune, p. 3)

Uniting With Our Mentor’s Heart

From a mentor in faith, we learn how to keep progressing on this path of human revolution.

Through the mentor-disciple relationship, we awaken to our mission to spread Buddhism and ensure that our Soka movement endures for generations. Sensei explains:

Mentors and disciples are like runners in a relay race. They are pressing ahead, passing the baton forward on the shared path of justice, happiness and peace for all humanity. The mentors run ahead to later pass the baton to the disciples. (The Wisdom for Creating Happiness and Peace, part 3, p. 176)

The “vast heart” of Soka is found in enduring even the bitterest adversity through chanting and bringing forth confidence, strength, wisdom and optimism. By aligning our hearts with our mentor’s, we can, as Sensei says, “achieve the great spiritual victory of transforming the destiny of all humankind— a victory anchored in each of us developing a ‘vast heart’” (Nov. 20, 2020, World Tribune, p. 3).

This important time is perfect for uniting with our mentor and fellow members, and contributing to the development of our Soka movement.

—Prepared by the SGI-USA Study Department.

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