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Many Treasures Group

‘Creating Good Health Is Linked to Creating Value’

Photo by DisobeyArt / Getty Images.

In volume 25 of  The New Human Revolution, Ikeda Sensei, who appears in the novel as Shin’ichi Yamamoto, speaks to members about the importance of taking care of one’s health. 

Shin’ichi Yamamoto emphasized that the journey to achieving kosen-rufu is long, so it’s important to take care of one’s health and lead a life in which “faith equals daily life,” with a sound and rhythmic routine.

“To reinforce your health, make a conscious determination to strive to be healthy, chant resonantly every day, manifest exuberant life force and participate vigorously in activities.”

Exerting oneself is invigorating. Concerned for the health of the members, Shin’ichi continued: “Paying careful attention to your diet, amount of sleep and exercise are all indispensable for promoting health. Naturally, you shouldn’t overindulge in food or alcohol, or eat too late at night. Make sure you get enough sleep, and that it is sound and restful.

“It’s also essential to find creative ways to incorporate exercise into your daily life to stay strong.”

Up to the time the militarist authorities jailed founding Soka Gakkai President Tsunesaburo Makiguchi, he remained energetic and active for kosen-rufu despite being in his seventies. He did not neglect suitable mental and physical exercise.

During his time as president, a training session of the Soka Kyoiku Gakkai—the forerunner of today’s Soka Gakkai—was held during summer at the head temple in Shizuoka. In the morning, all participants engaged in calisthenics, and during the session, there was a field trip to Shiraito Falls. Makiguchi walked the several-
kilometer course in the lead, wearing traditional Japanese wooden clogs on his feet. His pace was as fast as much younger members.

When the group arrived at Shiraito Falls, Makiguchi disrobed and stepped into the cold water at the foot of the waterfall. Others followed him, but the water was too cold for them. When the water reached their ankles, they stepped out again. But Makiguchi went in up to his neck.

“We must never allow ourselves to think that because we’re practicing Buddhism we can be casual about our health.”

From the time he was young, Makiguchi walked long distances, soaked in cold water, and engaged in physical training daily.

He very rarely caught a cold—and that, too, was a result of his long training.

Of course, suddenly exposing oneself to new physical challenges can harm one’s health, so there’s no reason to blindly copy Makiguchi. But to prevent premature aging, it’s best to adopt some kind of exercise suitable for one’s lifestyle and health condition.

Gazing at the members in the room, Shin’ichi said: “Basically, we all need to look after and manage our own health. In the end, it’s our personal responsibility. We know our own body better than anyone else.

“Creating good health is linked to creating value in life.

“But even if we try to take good care of our health, we’re only flesh and blood, after all. After a certain age, we are bound to start having problems of one kind or another. When that happens, we need to concentrate harder on managing our health, get plenty of rest, and try to live as long as we can.

“We must never allow ourselves to think that because we’re practicing Buddhism we can be casual about our health, overdo things, follow an irregular or stressful regimen, upset the normal, healthy rhythm of life or do anything else that could compromise our health.”

Shin’ichi brought his remarks to a close by telling the members, “My wife and I pray for your health and long life every day.” (pp. 291–93)


Read More on Health

Toward a Century of Health contains five lectures from Ikeda Sensei’s “Buddhism of the Sun” lecture series exploring how to live a healthy and vibrant life. Available for $4.95 at SGI-USA Bookstores and online at bookstore.sgi-usa.org.

On Health and Long Life explores the four universal sufferings of birth, aging, sickness and death. In conversation with doctors and nurses, Sensei weaves Buddhist insights with the practical knowledge and personal experiences of his dialogue partners. Available for $9.95 at SGI-USA Bookstores and online at bookstore.sgi-usa.org.

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