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Daily Life

All About Sharing Buddhism

The why, the how and the who of helping others become happy.

Photo by Leticia Williams.

When we help another person become happy, we become happy too. Such is the profound philosophy of Nichiren Buddhism, which enables all people to develop an unshakable core.

In The Wisdom of the Lotus Sutra, Ikeda Sensei explains this core Buddhist principle in an accessible way: “Merely thinking about our own problems more often than not causes us to fall even deeper into despair. But, by going to someone who is also suffering and offering them a hand, we can regain the will to live. Taking action out of a concern for others enables us to heal our own lives” (vol. 5, pp. 259–61).

To commemorate the 75th anniversary of Sensei joining the Soka Gakkai on Aug. 24, 1947, the World Tribune has curated a list of encouragement from Sensei and inspiration that will get you thinking, Who else can I help become happy? Access the full content by scanning the flowcode above. 

The Why

Forging A Diamondlike State of Life Through Shakubuku

Shakubuku, an act of supreme compassion, is a lion’s roar directed toward the goal of reviving the goodness in people’s hearts and bringing dynamic vitality and creativity to society for the benefit of all. … This struggle enables us to forge an indestructible, diamondlike state of life. 

By embarking on this compassionate struggle, we can rid our own lives of the rust of inertia, carelessness and cowardice—the dull patina that prevents our true brilliance from shining forth. Those who tap the depths of their wisdom and persevere in their efforts to lead even one person to happiness can break through the binding chains of all kinds of preconceived ideas and prejudices, and defeat the alienating ignorance of disbelief and disrespect. … Those who remain committed to this cause can create the most wonderful and everlasting memories of their lives in this human world. (Ikeda Sensei, The Opening of the Eyes: SGI President Ikeda’s Lecture Series, p. 160)

The Joy of Awakening One Friend to Faith

When I look back, the first person who began to practice Nichiren Buddhism through my introduction was a teacher at an elementary school in Ota Ward. … Until then, I had spoken about Buddhism with several of my friends. Josei Toda had even met with one of them and talked to him about Buddhism. But so far none had taken faith and begun to practice.

I was so frustrated that I searched very hard for the best ways to talk about Buddhism to others. I prayed wholeheartedly, and I continued to propagate the Daishonin’s teachings, each time with the firm resolve to bring one more person to this faith. I can’t begin to measure what valuable experience and training this gave me.

And how overjoyed I was when I finally was able to successfully convince someone to embrace Nichiren Buddhism! I could never describe my elation in words. (Sensei, August 2016 Living Buddhism, pp. 16–17)

The How

Making the Impossible Possible

Nichiren Daishonin writes, “The Lotus Sutra [Nam-myoho-renge-kyo] offers a secret means for leading all living beings to Buddhahood” (“Letter to Horen,” The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, vol. 1, p. 512).

In this book by Ikeda Sensei, learn how our Buddhist practice, our efforts to share Buddhism with others and the actualization of kosen-rufu are all for the purpose of our own happiness.

Available at

“The Key to Victory is to Keep Planting Seeds” 

The Who 

Hiro Uryu transforms the grief he felt after the tragic loss of his friend into hope for others.

After my friend’s death, I shared Buddhism with 120 young people: Joe, Abdur, Isaac, Antonio, Hamid and many more. There were high school kids who listened intently, teenagers who expressed deep emotion and a group of young men in ROTC who shed tears as they listened. In that one month, my apathy disappeared, and I felt the joy and sadness of others. I understood that kosen-rufu is achieved through waves of countless people doing their human revolution. Thus, it cannot be realized without continuous heartfelt dialogues to inspire people to live a hope-filled life. The way I can establish a life of hope and conviction is through my daily efforts to awaken others to their potential.

Tobie and her mother, Gerry, at the SGI-USA East Bay Buddhist Center, Richmond, Calif., May 2019. Photo by Nanci Andrade.

Speaking openly of Buddhism in the wake of her mother’s death, Tobie Marsh moves beyond grief to connect with her mother anew. 

Buddhism is no solitary practice—I realized I couldn’t move through something of this size on my own, cooped up in my apartment. Encouraged by the stories of my Soka sisters, I began “planting seeds” regularly on walks or errands, awkwardly at first but soon with greater confidence. Indeed, confidence, warmth, openness—trademarks of my mother’s behavior—were the very qualities I had to muster to speak with new acquaintances about Buddhism. As I did so, something beautiful happened.

As mentioned, my mother lost her faculty of speech three years before her passing. How remarkable, then, and how surprising, to hear her voice, after so many years, in mine. … Of course, it was me talking, but then there she was, too, and our words joined in harmony, in a kind of duet—my mother and me.

Listen In

My first steps chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo

In the Buddhability podcast, Nikolas Spayne shares how he started chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo to find a fresh path in life. Hear more about his experience connecting with his local SGI community and how he developed a sense of mission. 

Click here to listen.

Resources for Guests

Learn to Chant

A brief video introduction on how you can start chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo in the comfort of your own home. 

Gongyo Karaoke

A video tutorial with slow, medium and ideal gongyo speeds for beginners to follow along and master our daily practice. 

Introduction to SGI Nichiren Buddhism

In this video primer, learn about the basics of our Buddhist practice and how anyone can use this philosophy to solve life’s problems.

An Introduction to Buddhism

Download a full PDF of this introductory material, which includes important Buddhist concepts, the history of the Soka Gakkai and excerpts from key lectures by Ikeda Sensei.  

This Month in Soka Gakkai History (August)

In Salt Lake City, the Future