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Ikeda Sensei

Sending Forth a Refreshing Breeze of Encouragement

Photo by Sergey Shmidt / Unsplash.

Originally published in the May 2023 Daibyakurenge, the Soka Gakkai’s monthly study journal.

All of you, my treasured fellow members, engage in dialogue throughout the four seasons to realize Nichiren Daishonin’s ideal of “establishing the correct teaching for the peace of the land.” You embody the principle that “where there is unseen virtue, there will be visible reward” (“Unseen Virtue and Visible Reward,” The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, vol. 1, p. 907). I know each of you will celebrate Soka Gakkai Day on May 3 in triumph. I have not the slightest doubt that the Buddha of the Latter Day of the Law applauds you wholeheartedly. You are certain to enjoy immeasurable benefits.

In the conclusion to his treatise “On Establishing the Correct Teaching for the Peace of the Land,” Nichiren Daishonin states:

You must quickly reform the tenets that you hold in your heart and embrace the one true vehicle [for attaining Buddhahood], the single good doctrine [of the Lotus Sutra]. If you do so, then the threefold world will become the Buddha land, and how could a Buddha land ever decline? The regions in the ten directions will all become treasure realms, and how could a treasure realm ever suffer harm? (WND-1, 25)

Who is forging ahead steadily but surely to actualize this transformation of our world? It is you, our members working together at the district level. Day by day and month after month, you are sowing the seeds of the Mystic Law in the life of one person after another in your local communities where you have built connections. Through these efforts, you are creating an ever-expanding and eternally thriving Buddha realm, an indestructible treasure land.

In a passage from the “Expedient Means” chapter of the Lotus Sutra that we recite during morning and evening gongyo, it states, “Their words are soft and gentle and can delight the hearts of the assembly”[1] (The Lotus Sutra and Its Opening and Closing Sutras, p. 57). Words of encouragement filled with warmth and kindness delight people’s hearts and lead them to happiness. This is the realm of the Mystic Law and our Soka Gakkai districts.

Today more than ever people’s hearts crave such “soft and gentle” words and warm encouragement.

Our sincere behavior, like that of Bodhisattva Never Disparaging, activates and awakens the Buddha nature, the supreme potential, within each person’s life. This gives rise to unsurpassed joy and creates a growing solidarity of wise individuals, who with a positive, courageous spirit take on the challenges presented by life and society. When we make our lives shine with wisdom and compassion and help others do the same, the light of happiness—of the true joy of living—emanating from our lives will illuminate the gloom and uncertainty shrouding our times.

My mentor, second Soka Gakkai President Josei Toda, said: “Never forget that incredible changes can occur in people’s hearts if you interact with them based on deep compassion. It is essential above all to show utmost courtesy and patience in your dealings with others.”

Uniting with our dedicated men’s and women’s district leaders, let us make even greater efforts to lift the hearts of our friends, both members and nonmembers, with words of support and encouragement like a refreshing breeze.

With the call “Come to our oasis of joy and hope!” let’s invite them to our discussion meetings that abound with personal accounts of the benefits of practicing Nichiren Buddhism. Let’s also make use of our Soka Gakkai publications, which are filled with “soft and gentle words that delight people’s hearts” (see LSOC, 57).

A miraculous harmony
of diverse friends
is found in our districts,
citadels of good fortune
where misery vanishes.

From the June 2023 Living Buddhism


  1. In gongyo, the passage reads, “Gonji nyunan. Ekka shushin.↩︎

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