Soka Gakkai International
Buddhism in Action for Peace
History & Philosophy
Stories and reflections on the Buddhist approach to life
From October 31 to November 2, SGI-South Africa (SGI-SA) held a national course in the town of Paarl in the province of Western Cape. The town gained international attention as home of the Victor Verster Correctional Centre out of which Nelson Mandela walked on February 11, 1990, ending 27 years of imprisonment.
Some 115 members from around South Africa, as well as members from Namibia and Zimbabwe attended the course, which was held under the theme of “Emerge and Unite for Kosen-rufu in Africa!” During the course, the appointments of Kyoko Kimura as new national women’s leader and Scott Robertson as new national men’s leader were announced.
SGI President Daisaku Ikeda sent a message for the occasion, in which he congratulated the new leaders and urged them to dedicate themselves to wholeheartedly encouraging others. Mr. Ikeda stated that true happiness can be achieved by putting Buddhism into action and working for the happiness of both oneself and others.
At the meeting, some SGI-SA members shared their experiences of the transformative power of Buddhist practice. There was also entertainment which included song, dance, poetry and drama.
A four-part presentation on Mr. Ikeda’s commentary on Nichiren’s writing “The Heritage of the Ultimate Law of Life” was given by four different groups, each composed of members of all ages from diverse cultural backgrounds. Topics were the meaning of the mentor-disciple relationship, unity as the source of power for winning in life, treasuring diversity, and the mission of the Bodhisattvas of the Earth for kosen-rufu in Africa. Each presentation was followed by small group dialogue sessions where participants discussed related concepts such as zuiho-bini (Jpn), the Buddhist precept of adapting to local customs.
[Adapted from a report from SGI-South Africa (SGI-SA) and an article in the November 16, 2014, issue of Seikyo Shimbun, Soka Gakkai, Japan; photos courtesy of SGI-SA]
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