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District Meeting

District Discussion Meeting Material

May 2022

All illustrations by ArdeaA / Getty images

This year, Living Buddhism is providing three options to be used as study material for the monthly discussion meetings.

Option #1: Presentation on a Buddhist term (also available online).
Option #2: Ikeda Sensei’s guidance on a Buddhist concept.
Option #3: Study material on a passage from Nichiren’s writings.

You can choose one of these topics to discuss at your monthly discussion meeting. Enjoy!

OPTION #1: The Benefits of Making Offerings

The numbered boxes correspond to the PowerPoint slides for the May 2022 discussion meeting. The complete PowerPoint and script can be found at


1) Making offerings, also known as almsgiving, is an essential aspect of Buddhist practice.

2) Making offerings with sincerity, appreciation and a desire to contribute to the growth of our Buddhist movement fills our lives with joy, fulfillment, fortune and benefit.

2) Two Kinds of Offerings in Buddhism

Offerings of Goods: Donating material goods, which includes monetary donations

Offerings of the Law: Teaching the Law or explaining the Buddha’s teachings to others

3) Supporting Others Brings Happiness

“If … we engage in our Buddhist practice with a spirit of goodwill toward others and a desire to praise and support everyone, we will experience a deep sense of joy and appreciation. Everything in life will seem rewarding and enjoyable.”

—Ikeda Sensei, The New Human Revolution, vol. 26, p. 301

4) Our ‘Earnest Resolve’ Opens the Path to Buddhahood

“[As] for the matter of becoming a Buddha, ordinary people keep in mind the words ‘earnest resolve’ and thereby become Buddhas.”

—Nichiren Daishonin, “The Gift of Rice,” The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, vol. 1, p. 1125

5) We Gain Great Benefits by Supporting Kosen-rufu

“Offerings made toward [widely propagating the Mystic Law] were equivalent to offerings made to the original Buddha. There was, then, no greater offering, no greater good. Certainly, nothing could bring greater benefit.”

—Ikeda Sensei, The New Human Revolution, vol. 4, revised edition, p. 117

Suggested Questions:
1) What do you appreciate about our Buddhist practice and community?
2) What benefits have you experienced through making the two kinds of offerings?

OPTION #2: Advance as Courageous Lions

The Soka Gakkai is a gathering of lions.

When each of us becomes a lion, we can triumph over any form of adversity. Lions are strong. They fear nothing.

When we chant the lion’s roar of Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, we can vanquish all devilish functions. Nothing can stand in the way of lions. (August 2016 Living Buddhism, p. 42)

•   •   •

Nichiren Daishonin … urges his disciples: “Each of you should summon up the courage of a lion king” (“On Persecutions Befalling the Sage,” The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, vol. 1, p. 997).

[Founding Soka Gakkai President Tsunesaburo Makiguchi] underlined these words in his copy of Nichiren’s writings.

This encapsulates the essence of Nichiren Buddhism. As the passage indicates when it says “each of you,” each and every one of us possesses the courage of a lion king within us. The basis for summoning forth that courage is faith grounded in a spirit of oneness with our mentor.

The courage of a lion king is the spirit of the mentor who has fearlessly opened the way for kosen-rufu. When we share that spirit as our own, we cannot fail to bring forth the courage of a lion king in our lives.

When I was working my hardest to support [second Soka Gakkai President Josei Toda], I made a deep determination. To protect my mentor, a lion king, I resolved as his disciple to summon up the courage of a lion king myself and overcome every obstacle.

When we strive with the same spirit as our mentor, we will never be deadlocked. Asking ourselves what our mentor would do, mustering all our wisdom and strength to respond to our mentor’s hopes—that spirit is what awakens the state of a lion king within us and gives rise to the courage to triumph over every difficulty and challenge.

Mr. Toda often said that those who continue to strive courageously for kosen-rufu, the wish of Nichiren Daishonin, are bodhisattvas and Buddhas.

The spirit of a lion king is one of unwavering commitment. It is an invincible spirit, the Soka Gakkai spirit. It is by struggling with and winning over difficulties that we attain Buddhahood. That’s why we have to summon the courage of a lion king. Faith is another name for the courage to always keep moving forward.

From the early days of the Soka Gakkai, our members fought on tirelessly, refusing to allow themselves to be defeated by unfounded criticism and abuse in accord with the Daishonin’s admonition to “never succumb to threats from anyone” (WND-1, 997). They gritted their teeth and did not retreat a single step. Those who advance, even if just a step, or just a millimeter, are victors. Not giving in to defeat is the way to accumulate imperishable treasures of the heart and, in so doing, to accomplish one’s human revolution and transform one’s karma. (August 2016 Living Buddhism, p. 43–44)

Adapted From the April 2018 Daibyakurenge, pp. 100–03

Suggested Questions:
1) It takes courage to advance in life. What are you challenging now?
2) How has Ikeda Sensei’s guidance helped you find the courage to keep moving forward?

OPTION #3: Our Prayer for Peace

“If you care anything about your personal security, you should first of all pray for order and tranquillity throughout the four quarters of the land, should you not?”
—“On Establishing the Correct Teaching for the Peace of the Land,” The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, vol. 1, p. 24


In January 1280, Nichiren Daishonin sent a letter of appre-ciation to his young disciple Nichiren Daishonin composed his treatise “On Establishing the Correct Teaching for the Peace of the Land” in 1260. This work takes the form of a dialogue between a host, representing Nichiren, and a guest, thought to represent Hojo Tokiyori, the most influential government official at that time. The host connects the country’s unprecedented disasters to the people rejecting the Lotus Sutra and believing in teachings that place the source of happiness outside their lives. He urges that the Lotus Sutra, which teaches that all people have unlimited potential and power, can lead all people to Buddhahood. Embracing this highest teaching, he says, can alleviate people’s suffering and establish peace and security.

Ikeda Sensei’s Guidance

Nothing is more barbarous than war. We must on no account let war happen. That is the fervent message contained in the Daishonin’s remonstration [in this passage]. …

He is saying … that if we are concerned about our own safety and security, we should first pray for the peace and safety of the society in which we live.

These are not only words of censure for the nation’s rulers in the Daishonin’s time, but a guideline for practice for those of us today who live in a democratic society.

Essentially, our personal security is not something that can be established in isolation. For each of us to enjoy a safe and secure life, it is crucial that both the natural environment and the society in which we live are flourishing in peace and stability.

Therefore, if we truly seek personal security, we must first transcend our lesser selves ruled by egoism and work to establish the peace and security of the society in which we live. …

The Daishonin’s use of the expression “tranquillity throughout the four quarters of the land” also demonstrates that he was concerned with more than just the security of a single country: he was seeking peace for the entire world.

Buddhism is a philosophy that affirms the preciousness of life. Nichiren Daishonin writes, “Life is the most precious of all treasures.” (“On Prolonging One’s Life Span,” WND-1, 955). …

We must build a society guided first and foremost by the principle of respect for the dignity of life. …

The Daishonin doesn’t remonstrate with the country’s rulers in this treatise in order to demand that they abandon all teachings except for the Lotus Sutra. He is insisting that they abandon intolerant, exclusionary doctrines that call on people to discard the Lotus Sutra, which teaches the supreme dignity and worth of life. (The Teachings for Victory, vol. 7, pp. 158–59)

Suggested Questions:
1) What does it mean to you to “transcend our lesser selves ruled by egoism”?
2) How does your prayer for peace inform the actions you take each day?

District Study Meeting Material

The Wisdom of Buddhist Humanism—Eliminating War