SGI-USA Conducts Study Review Sessions; SGI-Canada Youth Hold First Study Exam
In October 2007, SGI-USA conducted its third annual "Buddhist Learning Review" throughout the nation with some 30,000 members participating. The review was available in eight languages: English, Chinese, Japanese, Spanish, Korean, Portuguese, Thai and Cambodian, reflecting SGI-USA's ethnic diversity.
Rather than a more formal exam, the unique style of the SGI-USA review served as an opportunity for those who studied the various materials to gauge their progress on their learning and understanding of Nichiren Daishonin's Buddhism and its life-affirming philosophy. It was also an opportunity for those not able to thoroughly study the material to learn from and discuss with others. The many small gatherings were aimed at deepening both new and long-term members' understanding of Buddhism.
At each meeting, participants were given forty minutes to answer questions in a review booklet. The test was then self-graded using an answer key from the back of the booklet. During the discussion portion of the review, leaders were present to further clarify the questions and answers and provide relevance to the daily practice of Nichiren Buddhism. Among the questions asked was "How has your definition of happiness changed as a result of your practice of Buddhism?" and "Why is it shallow to view the Buddha and the Law as existing only outside yourself?" This year's study material included Nichiren Daishonin's letters: "The Three Kinds of Treasures"; "The Gift of Rice"; and "Letter to the Brothers" as well as SGI President Daisaku Ikeda's "Lecture on Attaining Buddhahood in this Lifetime" and "Lecture on The Heritage of the Ultimate Law of Life."
Also in October, SGI-Canada youth division held its first study exam at 21 venues in Ottawa, Toronto, Vancouver, Calgary, Kingston and Halifax. Examinees were tested on Mr. Ikeda's "Lecture on Attaining Buddhahood in this Lifetime" that was serialized in SGI-Canada's monthly study magazine.
[Adapted from an article in the November 1, 2007 issue of the Seikyo Shimbun, Soka Gakkai, Japan]