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District Meeting

The Wisdom for Creating Happiness and Peace—November

District Study for November

Live out your life with the spirit that everything you do is creating a record of brilliant achievement for your own wonderful eternal victory. Photo by Tomoko Gelbaum.

The Wisdom for Creating Happiness and Peace consists of excerpts selected from Ikeda Sensei’s collected works—his lectures, dialogues, encouragement and poetry spanning more than 60 years—which reflect his insights based on the philosophy and practice of Nichiren Buddhism. With the aim of having SGI members throughout the world study this series, it has been recently revised. Purchase the revised edition of part 1 at

Monthly SGI-USA district study meetings focus on material excerpted from the revised edition of The Wisdom for Creating Happiness and Peace series.

Here is a suggested framework for using this material:

1. Select one of the excerpts given.
2. Read the excerpt during the meeting.
3. Use the questions provided to guide your discussion.

‘Devoting Ourselves to Our Mission’ [4.8]

Chapter 4: It Is the Heart That Is Important

In life, not everything goes the way we hope from the very beginning. There are often cases where, for various reasons, we have to spend long periods of our lives in places we would rather not be. How do we deal with this? How do we lead a life of satisfaction and victory in a way that is true to ourselves in such situations? That is the challenge. …

Of course, it’s natural to make efforts to change and improve our environment and circumstances. But it’s even more essential that we resolutely protect where we are now, our own “fortress,” or home ground, so to speak. We need to dedicate ourselves to our mission and, in that capacity, create a solid record of achievement in our own unique way.

Some people are never in the limelight, never in a position to receive praise and recognition from others. But “It is the heart that is important” (“The Strategy of the Lotus Sutra,” The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, vol. 1, p. 1000). A person’s greatness is not determined by social status. Our happiness isn’t determined by our environment. A vast universe exists in our hearts, in our lives. We practice Nichiren Buddhism to open up that boundless inner realm. …

Many people seek success and importance in the eyes of the world, but few aspire to become truly great human beings. Many wish to be showered with praise and attention, but few strive to build an inner happiness that will remain undiminished until the moment of their death and extend throughout the three existences of past, present and future.

Death is the great final accounting of a person’s life. Fame, wealth, social position, learning—these in themselves are of no avail in the face of death. Death is a struggle faced with nothing but one’s life itself, stripped of all worldly trappings. It is a solemn moment, at which victory or defeat is impartially determined. Those who win in this struggle are true victors.

Our greatness and happiness as human beings are determined by the strength of our life force and our Buddhist faith and practice dedicated to kosen-rufu.

We are striving day after day for kosen-rufu, an unprecedented ideal in the history of humankind. It requires incredible perseverance and effort. Yet because of that, we are absolutely certain to build lives of true fulfillment.

How others view us is not important. Temporary successes or failures also do not matter. What counts is whether our faces shine with happy smiles at the very end of our lives. If we can look back and say, “My life was victorious. It was enjoyable. I have no regrets,” then we are victors. …

Just keep striving your hardest to realize your ideals, in the place of your personal mission. That’s the way to build an eternally indestructible “fortress” of victory within your heart.

Discussion Questions:
1. What encouraged you most in this guidance?
2. What does it mean to you to be “dedicated to kosen-rufu”?

‘Nothing Is Ever Wasted in Buddhism’ [4.9]

Chapter 4: It Is the Heart That Is Important

In The Record of the Orally Transmitted Teachings, Nichiren Daishonin describes the workings of life as being “strict [without a single exception],” adding that the three thousand realms, every single one of them, exist in our lives (see p. 22).

None of us can escape the strict law of cause and effect operating in our lives. That is a fact. The cumulative tally of our deeds, words and thoughts in this lifetime—the three categories of action—determines the course or trajectory of our lives throughout the three existences of past, present and future.

That is why Nichiren Daishonin teaches that all of our efforts for kosen-rufu—chanting daimoku, talking to others about Buddhism and taking action for others’ happiness—create good causes and benefit in our lives.[1] Consequently, there is no need to worry about how things may appear in the short term.

If you are ill, think of yourself as engaged in training for climbing the lofty peak of Buddhahood. Think of yourself as surmounting one slope after another, so that eventually you can stand on the summit and endlessly enjoy the wonderful view. Or think of yourself as swimming through rough seas toward a distant, shimmering island of hope and eternal happiness.

Live out your life with the spirit that everything you do is creating a record of brilliant achievement for your own wonderful eternal victory.

When you practice Nichiren Buddhism, nothing in your life is ever wasted. Please live without hesitation, fear or regret. Never forget that everything is a tailwind propelling you forward to eternal happiness.

All rice shoots ripen within the year they are planted, though some ripen earlier and some later. In the same way, the Daishonin assures us, all people, as long as they persevere seriously in their Buddhist faith and practice, will attain the noble state of Buddhahood within this lifetime.[2]

Discussion Questions:
1. What encouraged you most in this guidance?
2. What does it mean that, in practicing Buddhism, nothing is ever wasted?


  1. Nichiren Daishonin writes: “All your virtuous acts will implant benefits and roots of goodness in your life. With this conviction you should strive in faith” (“On Attaining Buddhahood in This Lifetime,” The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, vol. 1, p. 4). ↩︎
  2. Nichiren Daishonin writes: “If votaries of the Lotus Sutra carry out religious practice as the sutra directs, then every one of them without exception will surely attain Buddhahood within his or her present lifetime. To cite an analogy, if one plants the fields in spring and summer, then, whether it be early or late, one is certain to reap a harvest within the year” (“The Doctrines of Three Thousand Realms,” WND-2, 88). ↩︎

Excerpts From Nichiren’s Writings in Volume 30 (cont.)

Everything Begins With Prayer Infused With the Shared Vow of Mentor and Disciple