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Buddhism

Back to listJan 25, 2012

Latin America Study Training Course Held in Panama

At the SGI-Panama Culture CenterSGI members studying Nichiren Buddhism at the SGI-Panama Culture Center

The SGI-Panama Culture Center hosted the Latin America Buddhist study training course from January 23 to 25. Participants gathered from Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico, Nicaragua, Peru and Venezuela. SGI Study Department Vice Chief Masaaki Morinaka traveled from Japan to give lectures on three of Nichiren's writings.

On the first day, Mr. Masaaki Morinaka spoke about Nichiren's treatise "On Attaining Buddhahood in This Lifetime"-- one of Nichiren's key writings which reveals the concrete practice for attaining Buddhahood, which is chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo. The talk was followed by a question and answer session.

The second day focused on the writing titled "Hell is the Land of Tranquil Light" which illuminates how sufferings can be transformed into a force for creating value and bettering one's life, or as Nichiren states, it can become the "torch of the wisdom" of the Buddha.

SGI-Panama performing their folk danceSGI-Panama members performing their folk dance

The morning lecture was followed by a General Meeting which was attended by some 600 people.

On the last day of the training course, Mr. Morinaka focused on the writing titled "Many in Body, One in Mind." This letter, written to one of Nichiren's disciples, stresses the importance of unity among comrades, especially in the face of fighting injustice and standing up for truth.  

At the completion ceremony of the training course, Mr. Morinaka presented certificates of completion to representatives of each country. SGI-Dominican Republic General Director Pedro Familia also gave a special certificate of recognition to Mr. Morinaka for his efforts. The meeting included a variety of cultural performances including music and Panamanian folk dance.

[Adapted from a report from SGI-Panama; photos courtesy of SGI-Panama]