Skip to main content

Frontline News

Celebrating November 18 in My District

Our November district general meetings are beacons of ideal human fellowship.

Garden of Soka—Members gather for a hybrid discussion meeting in Chicago, July 2022. Photo by Susan Forner.

As fall deepens to winter, as the air grows ever more crisp, our November district general meetings serve as beacons of warmth and openheartedness, where we gather as friends and equals in the spirit of ideal human fellowship.

In the district, we study the principles of Buddhist humanism and share the teachings with others. We speak about our struggles, share our victories and make fresh determinations to advance one more time and always once more beyond that. “In this age when the cold eyes of mistrust and prejudice callously wound and divide so many,” Ikeda Sensei writes, “our compassionate eyes and warm encouragement as Soka Gakkai members are all the more important.”[1]

What’s more, the districts are places where we have been entrusted by Nichiren Daishonin with the propagation of Buddhism in our “province,” with spreading the teachings and elevating the life state of our communites.[2]

This year, as we prepare in our districts to celebrate November 18, Soka Gakkai Founding Day, we hear from three district representatives on what their districts mean to them.

Transforming Detroit Into the Buddha Land

by Charlotte Mayeda
Lionheart District • Detroit

For me, the district is the base of human revolution. If you can go back to the district, you can keep winning. Our district is the place where we can all return to when we are battered and torn. 

I was a community organizer all through college, and I feel that the SGI is a sustainable community because of the deep care for each person and the strong foundation in daimoku, Buddhist study and faith. 

In society, most people are written off if they don’t respond. The culture of the SGI is to reach out to people and make efforts to ensure they don’t fall through the cracks,  even when they are unresponsive. So much of what I’ve learned through the district is the courage to keep reaching out to people and build community. 

When I was first appointed as the district young women’s leader earlier this year, I made a goal to expand our district by 20 members. In the past 11 months, we have had two young women receive the Gohonzon, and three members have moved into our district. We also have five guests who consistently come to meetings. We support one another and get people connected and involved. 

The foundation of the district’s growth is everyone’s prayer. The members of our district know that everything begins with prayer. There is nothing we can’t overcome, because we have the Gohonzon. 

Nichiren Daishonin said, “I entrust you with the propagation of Buddhism in your province” (“The Properties of Rice,” The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, vol. 1, p. 1117). Detroit is often overlooked, but as a district, we have pride in our city and are determined to transform it into the Buddha land. 

All illustrations by NGEDIT_VECTOR / FIVERR

Helping Our Diamonds Shine

by Martha Edmonds
Catonsville North District • Baltimore 

Catonsville North District is my family. We have been through many things together—illnesses, deaths, financial and relationship challenges—and we are always here for one another. As a district family, we wanted to develop and expand our youth and future division.  

In 2020, I started chanting for youth. One day, a newly appointed group leader and I were talking, and I told her our district did not have any future division. She looked at our membership list and said we had at least 10! I could not see it. She pointed out that many practicing members in our district had a child living in their home. She reminded me that these children were all touched by their parents’ prayers, and I began to view things from a broader perspective.  

We asked two of our future division members to help bring out the other kids. They were happy to help! They met with the other children and planned activities they would like to do for the rest of the year, including a fall sports field day. Over 20 future division members and their families came out to participate in the field day.  

It is not easy raising children these days with the influence of social media. As a district, we hold daimoku sessions for them. We want each young person to be happy and successful. While not all the future division members chant yet, they are showing up and connecting with Ikeda Sensei.  

Since they started coming out, parents say their homes are happier. They are talk-ing more with their children, and their relationships have improved.  

In volume 30 of The New Human Revolution, Sensei says that President Toda’s wish was “that the youth of the Soka Gakkai would quickly take full responsibility for the future and devote themselves to fulfilling the great vow for kosen-rufu” (p. 94). I say, youth, grow quickly to become fine leaders who can save our country and our world. 

Sparking Hope and Joy From Our District

by Nik Engel
Pacific Sunset District •  Portland, Oregon

I have lived in many places around the world—Germany, Romania, Argentina, Thailand, South Sudan, Switzerland and Ukraine. In every place, I have experienced the same sincere spirit among SGI members. 

This sincerity grows in the district, our garden of Soka, that brings together different flowers. It becomes unshakable because of the diversity of the people there. 

Pacific Sunset District stretches from the western suburbs of Portland to the Pacific Ocean and includes the southern Washington and northern Oregon coast. As a district team, we try to meet weekly to discuss our meetings and how to best support the members of our district. We build unity and trust in our team which then flows to our group leaders and members. Our whole hearts go into our meetings—we don’t have them just to check the boxes. We want the members and guests of our district to feel the spark of hope and joy in their lives. And for those members who are a part of the district, but not coming out, there is a lot of daimoku being chanted for them!

Our district meetings are so joyful! The joy even permeates over Zoom. Because the members are experiencing joy, they naturally share Buddhism with others. 

There are several guests and Hope Champions who consistently join our meetings and present. We are also engaging future and youth division members as much as possible in different roles in our meetings. The preparation for those activities offers the group leaders and our district team the opportunity to spend more time with guests and Hope Champions, further deepening our friendship and building lasting bonds. Our members are always so encouraged by them. Recently, one Hope Champion, a young man, received the Gohonzon! 

Our youngest member of the district was born with several medical challenges. Recently, at the age of six months, he needed open-heart surgery. We organized a chanting session and many members in the district chanted for a successful surgery. Over the months, our district has chanted more than 1 million daimoku for him. He’s now at home and doing well. We are thankful to him and his incredible mission to summon so much support in the garden of our Soka district. 

We are all looking forward to raising him and other young disciples of Ikeda Sensei. We are confident that the youth in our district play the most important role in transforming our community toward a more humane society. 


  1. February 2022 Living Buddhism, p. 1. ↩︎
  2. See “The Properties of Rice,” The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, vol. 1, p. 1117. ↩︎

The Answer in My Daimoku

Becoming a Pillar of Kosen-Rufu