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Genuine Trust Through Dialogue

Dallas. Photo by Hoss McBain

The following article was adapted from an installment of the “Myoji no Gen” series in the Jan. 1, 2022, issue of the Soka Gakkai’s daily newspaper, Seikyo Shimbun.

A new member shared at a recent discussion meeting, “Until now, I haven’t had people I could call real friends.” Though this young man had relationships where he could talk about things like pop culture or TV, he said he didn’t have many friends with whom he could seriously discuss life’s challenges. “But by engaging in dialogue at SGI activities, I now have more friends I feel I can deeply trust.”

When having dialogues about Buddhism, we may face resistance from time to time. “Isn’t recommending your faith to another person a little forceful?” Of course, having the good sense to think about the other person’s situation and their personal beliefs is important. However, wanting to convey to someone what moves you or a philosophy that supports your life is also quite natural.

In Buddhism, the benefit one receives for praying for the happiness of oneself and others and speaking with them about it is called the “purification of the six sense organs.” The “six senses” refers to the five senses (sight, hearing, etc.) with “thought” as the sixth. And through the practice of faith, these senses are purified and strengthened.

This doesn’t mean faith improves one’s eyesight or hearing. It means faith expands our life force at a fundamental level, enabling us to utilize all of our capabilities, not only for ourselves but for the happiness of others, too.

Many people long for a society rich with substantive human relationships where such dialogues can unfold. When we sincerely and earnestly speak with others about our beliefs and outlooks on life based on mutual respect, we show them that genuine trust can indeed be built through dialogue.

—Prepared by the World Tribune staff

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