Skip to main content

Frontline News

Each District, One Precious Youth!

At the Central Executive Committee Conference, representative leaders reaffirm this year’s focus to introduce one youth in each district as the cause for building a peaceful future.

Photo by JJ Chien.

SANTA MONICA, Calif.—Martin Saito was at a corner store recently when he asked the cashier how he was doing. The young man immediately opened up about his struggles to establish his career. Two years after college, he was working part time as a cashier, far from home, because it was the only work he could find.

“The thought that came to my mind was that he was waiting for someone to ask him how he was doing,” said Mr. Saito, the West Territory and vice national young men’s leader, who went on to invite the young man to a meeting. “Many youth are suffering quietly.”

Each District, One Precious Youth!—the SGI-USA’s united focus to help one precious youth begin their Buddhist practice in each district this year—served as the centerpiece discussion of the Central Executive Committee’s second quarterly conference of the year, held virtually on June 10, with national and territory representative leaders.

In a poignant message to the conference, Ikeda Sensei shared that he is earnestly chanting daimoku “for all my treasured American friends” and encouraged the participants to joyously and valiantly share this Buddhism with others.

Sensei continued:

Because we live in challenging times, as leaders, please continue to pray strongly, filled with appreciation, for the members to enjoy good health, safety and boundless fortune. Please also unite in the spirit of “many in body, one in mind” to advance kosen-rufu and ensure the development of the youth, student and future division members.

To commemorate the founding of the young men’s division (July 11) and the young women’s division (July 19), both divisions will hold activities that are open to youth members and guests. (See pp. 6–8.)

‘Everything begins with prayer.’

At the CEC, SGI-USA General Director Adin Strauss extended his profound appreciation to the members for their efforts during this year’s May Commemorative Contribution activity.

He then spoke about our efforts to foster capable people, noting that we live in an era in which it’s ever more vital to help each person develop a self-motivated Buddhist practice rooted in their bodhisattva vow. Such a spirit, he said, is imparted one-to-one, in small group settings.

He then shared an episode from volume 24 of The New Human Revolution, in which Sensei speaks with Soka Group members about the essential phase of kosen-rufu:

“What is the essential phase? It’s when the Buddha’s true identity is revealed. From our perspective, it’s when we, as Bodhisattvas of the Earth and successors of Soka, take our places on the true stage of kosen-rufu and shoulder full responsibility for our movement.

“The essential phase is also the progression from theory to reality. Instead of remaining in the realm of abstract theory, we do our best to achieve something in reality. It’s the switch from a phase of speaking about our determination and vow to the phase when we demonstrate actual proof of victory.” (p. 115)

July marks the fifth and final phase of the SGI-USA’s three-year plan to safely reopen its Buddhist centers and hold in-person activities, with district study and discussion meetings to be held in members’ homes[1] for the first time since the start of the pandemic. The Florida Nature and Culture Center will also no longer require proof of vaccination for conferences held from July onward.

In closing encouragement, SGI-USA Women’s Leader Naoko Leslie said at the recent FNCC Women’s #1 Conference, she met with those who had just graduated from the young women’s division.

They determined together that based on the first of the “Five Eternal Guidelines for the Women’s Division”—“Everything begins with prayer”—they would fight with daimoku and introduce youth to the practice.

“Let’s each redetermine to introduce a precious youth to this practice toward the summer of youth shakubuku,” she said. “And, as Sensei says, let’s make sure that every single youth is able to receive benefit.”

—Prepared by the World Tribune staff

Buddhability Podcast

With over 100 episodes, the Buddhability podcast explains how Nichiren Buddhism is applied to daily life.

Intro Cards

Sow the seeds of peace with an assorted pack of 100 intro cards, $4.95. Available at SGI-USA bookstores and online.

July 7, 2023, World Tribune, p. 4


  1. The SGI-USA implemented a meeting home approval process that outlines consistent standards for holding safe and enjoyable discussion meetings in members’ homes. ↩︎

Everything Begins With Hope