SGI Celebrates the Year of Developing a Youthful SGI
SGI members around the world celebrated the New Year with celebratory meetings held on January 1 and 2. The theme for SGI in 2012 is "Developing a Youthful SGI."
On January 1, SGI President Daisaku Ikeda attended a prayer meeting with representatives at the Soka Gakkai Headquarters in Tokyo and offered prayers for the good health, happiness and victory of all SGI members. He also wrote a poem titled "Hope Is Life's Treasure" as encouragement.
In his New Year's message, Mr. Ikeda mentioned that 2012 marks the 60th anniversary of the publication of the Nichiren Daishonin Gosho Zenshu (Collected Writings of Nichiren Daishonin), and emphasized the importance of learning from the writings of Nichiren. He stated:
The teachings of Nichiren Daishonin have the power to draw forth the inherent strength and life force of the individual--transcending differences of ethnicity, culture, and language. They provide a source of inspiration and illumination that can strengthen people's commitment to championing the cause of justice and humanity, and can promote greater openness and understanding.
Mr. Ikeda also spoke about the series of natural disasters that has been occurring in recent years--the March 11 earthquake and tsunami in Japan, the flooding in Thailand, the destructive hurricanes in the United States--as well as the ongoing global economic crisis. He commended the valiant efforts of those SGI members have been striving to help support and assist others in the face of these crises and encouraged them by quoting Nichiren:
"Strengthen your resolve to seek the way all the more and achieve Buddhahood in this lifetime" (WND-1, 946). Our Buddhist practice, directed toward attaining Buddhahood in this lifetime and realizing kosen-rufu, always starts from the present moment onward, from the place where we are right now. This bright, positive spirit of continually moving forward is the Soka Gakkai spirit.
On January 1, SGI-New Zealand held prayer meetings at various venues such as Oakland, Wellington and Christchurch.
SGI-Cambodia also held New Year's meetings at seven venues on the same day. At the meeting in Phnom Penh, Youth Leader Socheth Sok called on participants to become the "light of hope" where they are now and to help light the way for others.
[Adapted from the January 2012 issue of the SGI Graphic and articles in the January 4-6, 2012, issues of the Seikyo Shimbun, Soka Gakkai, Japan; photos courtesy of Seikyo Shimbun]