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A Summer of Expansion From Our Neighborhoods

Photo by Joey Liao.

“In the seven years leading to our centennial [in 2030], let us tap even greater wisdom to help people form a connection with Nichiren Buddhism. Let us awaken even greater numbers of people around the world to their Buddha nature. And let us joyfully and courageously bring many new friends to join us in the castle of happiness, where we can together shine with wisdom and compassion.”[1]

In his Nov. 1, 2023, headquarters leaders meeting message, Ikeda Sensei called on members, as Bodhisattvas of the Earth, to bring forth many like-minded friends in this world.

“Sensei clearly shared what he wanted us to do in the coming years toward 2030,” said SGI-USA Women’s Leader Naoko Leslie, referring to what would be Sensei’s last published message. “Thank you for carrying on Sensei’s legacy by conducting heart-to-heart dialogues every day and helping friends transform their lives.”

In its first quarterly conference of the year, held virtually on March 9, the SGI-USA Central Executive Committee united on a vision—a summer of expansion, rooted in and launching from our neighborhoods.

During the months of June–August, neighborhood intro meetings, held at the chapter level, will be the focal point of summer activities.

This focus comes on the heels of the powerful March Youth Peace Festivals, in which more than 11,000 youth came together at 550 chapter-led gatherings across the U.S.

Toward the festivals, the youth were focused on visiting and building friendships with members and guests one-to-one, and giving each chapter the space to apply immense creativity to the gatherings.

The introductory meetings in each chapter are an extension of this spirit to build peace where we are, rooted in Nichiren Daishonin’s words to his disciples: “I entrust you with the propagation of Buddhism in your province.”[2]

“How can I help the person in front of me embrace the Gohonzon and become happy?” asked SGI-USA Young Women’s Leader Amelia Gonzalez Tesch. “When we help others embrace the Gohonzon, we ourselves can experience indescribable joy and become the happiest people in the world!”

In his closing encouragement, Adin Strauss, SGI-USA general director, called for a round of applause for the youth “who really fought their hearts out” toward the March youth gatherings.

Acknowledging all the youth who stood up at the chapter level, he called on everyone to “double down on our member care” and to impart to youth and new members the core practice of sharing Buddhism with others, based on our unshakable conviction in faith.

Mr. Strauss recalled a recent visit to Philadelphia where he met a member who lives in a high-rise building that overlooks a public school. Each week, this member would see kids getting into horrible fights. He began sharing Buddhism with the students after school as a way to push back against the violence he saw in his community. “Let’s get out there, deep into the front lines and talk about Buddhism in a meaningful way,” he said. “With our determination, we can shift things in a major way. We can step into a new era in 2024.”

—Prepared by the World Tribune staff

Ensuring Kosen-rufu Continues to Grow

The educator John Dewey, whom the Soka Gakkai’s founding president, Tsunesaburo Makiguchi, admired immensely, said, “Our net conclusion is that life is development, and that developing, growing, is life.”

Growing is victory; stagnation is defeat. Individuals, groups and nations must continue to develop.

How can we ensure that our organization for kosen-rufu continues to grow? First, we should pray for the growth and good health of our fellow members. And second, it is vital that we sincerely respect each person’s individuality, personality and mission.

It is also very important to communicate the greatness of the Gohonzon to others in a clear, straightforward manner. The benefits of the Gohonzon are absolute and unequivocal. No prayer goes unanswered. When people understand that, the Mystic Law is certain to spread.

My Dear Friends in America, 1990–96, fourth edition

The fourth edition includes speeches delivered by Ikeda Sensei during his visits to the U.S. from 1990–96.

April 12, 2024, World Tribune, p. 8


  1. Nov. 18, 2023, World Tribune, p. 3. ↩︎
  2. “The Properties of Rice,” The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, vol. 1, p. 1117. ↩︎

Correctly Perceiving the Essence of Life

A Profusion of Cherry Blossoms Adorning the Soka Citadel of Mentor and Disciple