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Encouragement

Principles of Hope

Guidance for Soka Women

Atlanta. Photo by Anthony Wallen

Happiness

“Buddhism does not teach that we will become happy at some indeterminate time or place in the future. It is a teaching for creating happiness where we are right now. The power to bring forth this happiness is within our lives. It is faith that enables us to tap this power.” (The New Human Revolution, vol. 6, revised edition, p. 25)

The Power of Daimoku

“The Gohonzon is the manifestation of the Buddha endowed with infinite compassion. We should therefore go ahead and chant about our desires, our problems and our aspirations, just as they are. When we’re suffering, feeling sad or experiencing hard times, we should just go to the Gohonzon with an open heart, like an infant who throws himself into the arms of his mother and clings to her. The Gohonzon will ‘listen’ to our every word, so we should chant abundantly as if we are carrying on a conversation, confiding our innermost thoughts. In time, even hellish sufferings will vanish like the morning dew and seem as but a dream.” (NHR-11, revised edition, 106)

Personal Experiences

“Personal experiences of overcoming life’s travails are testimonies of human triumph, laurels that adorn the lives of those who advance on the sure path of kosen-rufu. What we must do, then, is resolve to always make propagating the Daishonin’s teaching the path we follow in life. We must rise with all our might to the challenge of our Soka Gakkai activities, regarding each activity as an opportunity to transform our destiny for the better.” (NHR-7, revised edition, 132)

Wisdom

“We need wisdom to survive in society. Wisdom is also vital for us to win in our efforts to spread Nichiren Buddhism and to win in life in general. We can bring forth wisdom by thinking seriously about what needs to be done while tapping into our powerful life force through chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo sincerely, with a strong sense of responsibility and mission.” (NHR-7, revised edition, 216–17)

Change With the Times

“The fundamental spirit of the Soka Gakkai should never change, no matter how much the world around us does. That fundamental spirit is to stick with the Soka Gakkai and carry out our noble mission of kosen-rufu throughout our lives, no matter what happens, because that’s the key to realizing happiness for all.

“But it’s only natural for the outward forms of activities to change with the times and from generation to generation. The times change, and people’s sensibilities change along with them.” (NHR-25, 286)

New Orleans. Photo by Geneva Lewis.

Women Taking Center Stage

“Women have consistently been the greatest victims of war. As long as women’s happiness is sacrificed, peace for humanity can never be realized. When women shine, they shed light upon their households, their communities and their societies. This is why we need to make the 21st century a Century of Women, a time when women will take center stage.” (NHR-13, revised edition, 133)

Parents’ Attitude

“Children deepen their understanding and appreciation of [Buddhist] practice by observing their parents’ attitude and way of life. It is therefore crucial that parents continue to polish themselves, developing the strength and character to overcome all obstacles, and showing warm consideration toward others. This is how we demonstrate the greatness of Buddhist practice.” (NHR-12, revised edition, 71)

Raising Capable People

“It is in working together with seniors in faith that younger members can learn how to offer encouragement in faith and share Buddhism with others. Without this joint struggle, it is impossible to truly foster capable people.” (September 2018 Living Buddhism, p. 56)

Forging Ourselves When We Are Young

“It is not others nor our fate nor the times we live in that make us unhappy; it is our own weaknesses. “Inner weakness is the ultimate cause of unhappiness. It is what prevents us from rousing hope or courage and leads us to give up. It is what makes us fall into apathy and self-destructive patterns of behavior, what causes us to hold grudges against others and what fills us with self-loathing. That is why to lead a happy life, the most important thing of all is to forge and develop our inner strength when we are young.” (NHR-14, revised edition, 135–36)

Better Tomorrow Than Today

“The path of human revolution lies in an ongoing commitment to self-reflection and improvement based on the teachings of Nichiren Buddhism—striving each day to become a better person today than we were yesterday, even if only a little bit, and better tomorrow than today. Unlimited benefit and good fortune are found only in such unflagging efforts.” (NHR-2, revised edition, 69–70)

These quotes are key guidance from Ikeda Sensei to supplement the women’s division commemorative introductory meetings in February. These quotes were originally published in the Dec. 17, 2021, issue of the Soka Gakkai’s daily newspaper, Seikyo Shimbun.

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