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On the Cover

The Tradition of Valuing Each Person

Illustration by ladyastronaut / Fiverr.

Discussion meetings are the heart of the SGI’s kosen-rufu movement. At these gatherings, we study Buddhist philosophy and share our struggles and victories. We inspire fellow members and guests by showing that we can overcome obstacles through faith.

Whether the number of people who attend a meeting is large or small, the important thing is that we are able to connect with and encourage one another. As Ikeda Sensei explains:

We don’t speak of the “tradition” of the discussion meeting simply because the pattern of holding such meetings has continued for many years. Rather, with the discussion meeting as the central focus of our activities, we have striven to treasure each person; this spirit to value and respect the individual is the tradition of the SGI. The SGI has unceasingly encouraged people in their ordinary yet valiant struggles. This is the tradition of the discussion meeting.[1]

The history of the SGI is inseparable from the discussion meeting. The SGI is a lay community of people from all walks of life united in faith, and our discussion meetings are forums for heart-to-heart dialogue in which everyone can participate:

[Founding Soka Gakkai President Tsunesaburo Makiguchi] started the Soka Gakkai’s discussion meeting movement, which centers on members sharing their experiences in faith with others. He taught the Mystic Law not in the form of difficult abstract theories but through easily intelligible personal experiences.[2]

Our district discussion meetings are the perfect place to share our determinations with our Soka family. Sensei expresses his joy in anticipation of discussion meetings:

I always feel a rising excitement in my heart when the week for discussion meetings comes around each month. I envision the warm light glowing in the windows of meeting places. I hear the happy voices of members singing Soka Gakkai songs and their joyous laughter. I imagine the topics being discussed and the determinations everyone is conveying.[3]

In 2024, Living Buddhism will feature on its covers composites of our warm, heartfelt discussion meetings.

From the February 2024 Living Buddhism


  1. The Wisdom of the Lotus Sutra, vol. 2, p. 94. ↩︎
  2. Ibid., p. 26. ↩︎
  3. February 17, 2006, World Tribune, p. 3. ↩︎

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