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District Meeting

District Study Meeting Material

November 2023

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Please base your study on the material provided here or any study material from a recent issue of the World Tribune or Living Buddhism or the Introductory Exam Study Guide, which is posted on Have a great study meeting!

Be People Who Shine Through Their Behavior [14.2]

Chapter 14: ‘Be Good Citizens!’

The study material below is excerpted from The Wisdom for Creating Happiness and Peace, part 2, revised edition, pp. 100–01. You can purchase revised editions of parts 1 and 2 at 

The following is from a speech delivered at a Rio de Janeiro representatives conference, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, February 10, 1993.

Ikeda Sensei: [Founding Soka Gakkai President Tsunesaburo Makiguchi] often used to say: “There are three kinds of people in the world—those everyone wants to have around, those whose presence or absence doesn’t make a difference and those whose presence causes problems. Always try to be the kind of person that others want to have around, both in your home and your workplace.”

Becoming people who are trusted, respected and liked by all—indispensable people who are needed at home, at work and in our community—is the way to show the validity of our Buddhist practice and advance our movement for kosen-rufu.

In a letter to his disciple Shijo Kingo, Nichiren Daishonin writes: “Live so that all the people of Kamakura will say in your praise that Nakatsukasa Saburo Saemon-no-jo [Shijo Kingo] is diligent in the service of his lord, in the service of Buddhism, and in his concern for other people” (“The Three Kinds of Treasure,” The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, vol. 1, p. 851).

At the time, Shijo Kingo was facing considerable hardship. Envious colleagues had made false accusations about him to his lord, who responded by confiscating some of his estates. The Daishonin advised Shijo Kingo that instead of bemoaning his situation, he should work on developing himself and strive to grow as a human being. This, he explained, was the most genuine and noble way for a person to live and the path that a Buddhist practitioner should take.

Even if we are subjected to unfounded criticism or attack, we should remain undisturbed and keep living our lives in the right way. By doing so, we will win the praise and respect of others in the end.

It is in our behavior as human beings that the teachings of Buddhism come alive and actual proof of our Buddhist practice is revealed. Our courteous, humane conduct can be said to be an expression of correct faith.

In addition to being good practitioners of Nichiren Buddhism, I hope you will also be good neighbors, good citizens and good members of your local community and society. May you win the praise, respect and trust of others through such behavior. Spreading circles of bright, deep, ever-widening trust and understanding is the key to expanding our movement for kosen-rufu.

Our Behavior Says It All

The following excerpts are from Ikeda Sensei’s Youth and the Writings of Nichiren Daishonin.

In work, as in everything, winning in the morning is decisive. Start your day by chanting earnestly to the Gohonzon and then set off to work brimming with strong life force. Greet your colleagues with a friendly “Good morning!” As the Daishonin says, “The voice carries out the work of the Buddha” (The Record of the Orally Transmitted Teachings, p. 4). Be ready to use your voice to lift the spirits of your co-workers and brighten the atmosphere at your workplace. 

You can’t hope to win trust at your workplace if you frequently come in late or come in looking disheveled and unkempt. Winning in the morning is the key to winning in life. (p. 32)

•  •  •

Our humanistic behavior is the most important aspect of our Buddhist practice. It can have a deep, positive impact on the lives of others. The key is always to act with sincerity, to have unwavering commitment and to be in complete earnest. And, above all, it is to have courage. Only through such actions can we genuinely move the hearts of others. (p. 133)

Suggested Questions:

1) What does it mean for the teachings of Buddhism to come alive through our behavior?

2) What experiences do you have of maintaining your composure during difficult interactions?

From the November 2023 Living Buddhism

Highlights of the November 2023 Study Material

District Discussion Meeting Material