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On the Cover

SGI-USA Las Vegas Buddhist Center

Photo by Audrey Dempsey

The previous SGI-USA Las Vegas center didn’t provide enough space for the growing membership. As members formed a committee to search for a new castle of kosen-
rufu, there were many false starts and dead ends. But the members weren’t defeated. They refreshed and deepened their resolve each time and took action by conducting chanting sessions and sharing Buddhism with people in the community.[1]

Eventually, the committee found an ideal, central location but the struggle was not over. Local residents were concerned about noise, parking and trash. But the committee members reached out to the community to explain the mission of the SGI-USA and the positive impact it would have on the neighborhood. Through this, even those who were opposed to the construction ended up supporting it. A nearby dentist agreed to share their parking lot. A city council member who was initially skeptical became one of SGI-USA’s advocates.[2]

From August 21 to 23, 2009, more than 1,200 people attended the opening of the new Las Vegas Buddhist Center. To mark the occasion, the youth of Nevada created a 50-year time capsule for their successors, now buried under the center’s front entrance. The young people—who, replying to Ikeda Sensei’s spirit, introduced more than 80 people to Buddhism that August—filled the time capsule with letters and artifacts to symbolize the American kosen-rufu movement.[3]

In his message to the Las Vegas members, Sensei wrote:

Those of you who gather at this precious bastion of faith will receive praise from the Buddhas and bodhisattvas of the three existences and ten directions, become great, capable leaders for kosen-rufu and walk along the grand path of absolute victory.[4]

Sensei’s message to the members further encourages them to use the center “as a forum of friendship and dialogue, deepening your exchange with people in your community and expanding their understanding of the SGI.”[5]

From the October 2023 Living Buddhism


  1. See May–June 2010 Living Buddhism, p. 32. ↩︎
  2. Ibid, p. 33. ↩︎
  3. September 4, 2009, World Tribune, p. 1. ↩︎
  4. May–June 2010 Living Buddhism, p. 33. ↩︎
  5. Ibid. ↩︎

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