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On the Cover

Models of Human Harmony

Illustration by ladyastronaut / Fiverr.

Ikeda Sensei: The Soka Gakkai has always been committed to encouraging the honest, hardworking ordinary people of the world. That’s the very heart of our discussion meetings. In the eyes of society, our discussion meetings may seem very simple, modest gatherings, involving a small number of individuals and not particularly noteworthy. But these meetings are based on a profound philosophy that teaches
the Law pervading the entire universe. They have a warmth that embraces everyone. They brim with irrepressible hope that can inspire even those overwhelmed by painful karma to get back on their feet again. They are joyful, inspiring and often deeply moving. Soka Gakkai discussion meetings are oases where ordinary people gather; they reverberate with a spirit of fresh resolve and gratitude, where suffering is transformed into courage, and exhaustion into a satisfying sense of fulfillment. 

These small gatherings are microcosms of human harmony. They are democracy in action. They are the heartbeat of kosen-rufu, linking faith, families and local communities. They are filled with the sincere spirit—the spirit of the Lotus Sutra—to help all our precious fellow members and friends become happy. …

[Tsunesaburo] Makiguchi called discussion meetings “discussion meetings offering experimental proof of a life of great good.” By this, he meant demonstrating through actual examples in our lives, in a way convincing to all, the wonderful effect of putting our Buddhist faith based on the Mystic Law into practice in the real world, of a life of human revolution dedicated to the welfare of others and society. Soka Gakkai discussion meetings, from the very beginning, have been open and accessible to all. They are grassroots forums for infusing society with wisdom and vitality. 

At meetings, we hear others’ experiences of gaining benefit through practicing Nichiren Buddhism; we are inspired with fresh determination: “They fought and won; I can transform my karma too. I’ll do it!” We also applaud the efforts of those who are striving hard: “Let’s follow their example and develop our lives like they have!” 

This serves as encouragement toward attaining Buddhahood in this lifetime and inspires a sense of mission for kosen-rufu. (The Wisdom for Creating Happiness and Peace, part 3, pp. 127–29)

From the March 2024 Living Buddhism

Build a Solid Foundation

Eternally Walking the Path of Kosen-rufu