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Dashing Forward With the Heart of a Lion King!

Message From SGI-USA General Director Adin Strauss and SGI-USA Youth Advisor Olivia Saito

Photo by Marco Giannavola.
Headshot of Adin Strauss

For two years, the human family has experienced untold hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. We have been forced to find alternative ways of working, socializing and carrying out our Buddhist activities.

Despite these challenges, each of you, precious SGI-USA members, have continued to deepen your faith, apply Buddhism to win in daily life and support your districts. You championed the ABC Campaign of “abundant daimoku, Buddhist study and caring for others,” and are now planting seeds of Buddhahood throughout your communities. In addition, your financial support of the SGI-USA has been so warm, courageous and selfless. We would like to bow in deep appreciation to each and every one of you. Lions of SGI-USA, thank you very much!

Let’s determine that, in 2022, we will “dash forward” as a united Soka community. Nichiren Daishonin declares, “The lion king is said to advance three steps, then gather himself to spring, unleashing the same power whether he traps a tiny ant or attacks a fierce animal” (“Reply to Kyo’o,” The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, vol. 1, p. 412).

In 2020 and 2021, we laid a foundation through constructing new Buddhist centers and renovating existing ones. In addition, we have engaged hundreds of thousands of young people with fresh social media content, spearheaded by Buddhability.

Now is the time to “gather ourselves to spring” in 2022 by enabling many more people in American society to connect with the Mystic Law. With the district and member care as the core of our movement, the theme for our 2022 May Contribution Activity is: “Dashing Forward With the Heart of a Lion King!” 

Ikeda Sensei writes of the lion king:

Lion kings never hold back their strength, regardless of the opponent.

It’s important, therefore, that we give our all, seizing each moment, chanting and continuing to make wholehearted efforts. (October 2018 Living Buddhism, p. 53)

The SGI community is an assembly of individuals. Therefore, the key to our progress is for each of us to take off and dash forward as a lion king. Kosen-rufu will advance to the extent that each of us joyfully takes self-motivated action. Sensei illustrates the relationship between our individual human revolution and collective goal of kosen-rufu:

The Bodhisattvas of the Earth don’t reluctantly drag themselves forward after being called on by Shakyamuni; they leap forth eagerly as if they have been waiting for that moment. This self-motivated faith to energetically spring forth is the key to eternal happiness. …

The forward progress of kosen-rufu can be likened to the revolution of the earth around the sun, while our steady efforts in human revolution can be likened to the rotation of Earth on its axis. These two motions are inseparable. (The Wisdom for Creating Happiness and Peace, part 3, p. 29)

Our contribution activities have always been successful thanks to the incredible spirit of SGI members who understand that offerings to the Buddha propel our lives and enable more people to learn about the Mystic Law. And those who financially support the SGI-USA based on their appreciation and vow for kosen-rufu receive boundless benefits. Sensei addresses this, writing:

The spirit of joyful offering elevates our state of life and produces immeasurable benefit. This, in turn, deepens our conviction in faith. It is an unchanging equation for consolidating the foundation of happiness in our lives. (The New Human Revolution, vol. 4, revised edition, p. 115)

The year 2022 is one of fighting joyfully, leaving no regrets. Together, let’s determine that when we look back on this turbulent time in 10 or 20 years, we can say: “I advanced my human revolution, I became much happier, and I laid the foundation for a fundamental change in my family, community and the world.” Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah

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