Skip to main content

District Meeting

District Study Meeting Material

October 2022

Illustration by ArdeaA / Getty images

The study material below is adapted from The Wisdom for Creating Happiness and Peace by Ikeda Sensei. You can purchase the revised edition of part one at

OPTION #1: The Path of Mutual Respect and Growth [7.3]

Chapter 7: Happiness for Both Ourselves and Others

One day, Aniruddha, [one of Shakyamuni’s ten major disciples, who was blind,] attempted to mend a tear in his robe. However, because he could not see, he was unable to thread the sewing needle. In his frustration, he muttered: “Is there no one who will thread this needle for me and so gain good fortune [from helping a practitioner of Buddhism]?”

Someone approached him and said: “Allow me to accumulate good fortune.”

Aniruddha was stunned. For it was unmistakably the voice of Shakyamuni.

“I couldn’t possibly trouble you,” he protested, adding: “Surely one such as yourself, World-Honored One, does not need to gain any benefit.”

“On the contrary, Aniruddha,” Shakyamuni responded, “there is no greater seeker of happiness in the world than myself.”[1]

Shakyamuni went on to teach Aniruddha, who was still not convinced by his words, that there are things that one must continue to pursue eternally. For instance, in seeking truth, there is never an end, a point where we can say, “This will do.” Similarly, in our efforts to lead others to enlightenment, there is no limit at which we can say, “I have done enough.” The same goes for our practice to develop and perfect ourselves.

The pursuit of happiness also has no bounds. Shakyamuni told Aniruddha: “Of all the powers in the world, and in the realms of heaven or human beings, the power of good fortune is foremost. The Buddha way, too, is attained through the power of good fortune.”[2]

Shakyamuni’s words “There is no greater seeker of happiness in the world than myself” have important meaning. …

Genuine practitioners of Buddhism are those who, as humble seekers of happiness, earnestly pursue their Buddhist practice together with and in the same way as everyone else. They take action with courage and joy, more determined than anyone to never pass up an opportunity to accumulate good fortune. Such people never arrogantly think, “This is good enough,” but continue to exert themselves out of a desire to gain still more fortune and benefit and to develop a state of eternal happiness. The spirit of Buddhism pulses in this resolve to keep improving and challenging oneself without end.

Suggested Questions:
1) Which part of this material resonated with you?
2) In Buddhism, how do we accumulate good fortune and happiness?

OPTION #2: Basing Our Lives on the Writings of Nichiren Daishonin [19.7]

Chapter 19: Making the Writings of Nichiren Daishonin Our Foundation

The Soka Gakkai will forever base itself on the Gosho, the writings of Nichiren Daishonin. They are writings of hope, proclaiming to humanity that “Winter always turns to spring” (The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, vol. 1, p. 536). They are writings imbued with respect for the dignity of life, affirming that “Life is the foremost of all treasures” (“The Gift of Rice,” WND-1, 1125). They are writings of peace, opening the way for actualizing the ideal of “establishing the correct teaching for the peace of the land” (see WND-1, 6).

And they are writings of victory, demonstrating the triumph of reason over authority and of right over wrong.[3]

Nichiren Daishonin’s writings are a brilliant source of hope; studying them fills us with courage and wisdom. This is because doing so brings his indomitable spirit to life within us, igniting the bright flame of faith for overcoming obstacles.

My wife, Kaneko, has an indelible memory from her childhood of founding Soka Gakkai President Tsunesaburo Makiguchi attending a discussion meeting at her home and quoting from the writings of Nichiren Daishonin with absolute conviction—even as agents of the Special Higher Police, the so-called thought police who were monitoring the meeting, looked on. She also received direct training from second president Josei Toda who set forth the guideline “Young women, make study your foundation!” That is why she has always continued to read the Gosho in earnest, whatever the situation. …

That’s how my wife has remained undefeated. It’s why the women’s division has stayed unshaken. Even in times of the greatest hardship, they have always remained calm and composed and continued to encourage members with a smile. Chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo and studying the Daishonin’s writings are the sources of their victory.

Mr. Toda spoke of the way to approach reading the Gosho, saying: “As you read each line, you should try to absorb it deeply, so that you can say ‘How true! It’s just as the Gosho states!’”

It’s important to read the Daishonin’s writings each day, even if only a few lines, and try to put them into practice. Please study earnestly, practice diligently and create a brilliant example of winning in life based on Buddhism.

Suggested Questions:
1) Which part of this material resonated with you?
2) What is your favorite Gosho passage? How have you applied this passage to your life?


  1. Translated from Japanese. Agonbu (The Chinese Versions of the Agamas), in Kokuyaku issaikyo (The Japanese Translation of the Complete Chinese Buddhist Canon), edited by Shin’yu Iwano, vols. 9–10 (Tokyo: Daito Shuppansha, 1969), p. 152. (Ekottarāgama 38.5.) ↩︎
  2. Ibid. ↩︎
  3. Nichiren Daishonin writes: “Buddhism is reason. Reason will win over your lord” (“The Hero of the World,” WND-1, 839) and “Though evils may be numerous, they cannot prevail over a single great truth” (“Many in Body, One in Mind,” WND-1, 618). ↩︎

Songs of Kosen-rufu—Volume 28, Chapter 1