SGI-Europe Summer Study Session Held in Milan, Italy
July 17-20, 2008, some 450 SGI members from 30 countries in Europe gathered for the SGI-Europe summer study session in a suburb of Milan, Italy. Together with SGI Study Department Chief Katsuji Saito, participants studied "On the Buddha's Prophecy" and "Letter to the Brothers" from Nichiren's writings. Mr. Saito also spoke about the Buddhist ideal of respect for the dignity of life and the true aspect of devotion as it relates to Nichiren's teachings. Referring to both Nichiren's writings and Choose Life, a dialogue between SGI President Daisaku Ikeda and the late British historian Arnold Toynbee, Mr. Saito further elaborated on the essence of the humanism found in Nichiren Buddhism. The session's final day included an SGI-Europe Youth Summit. Representatives from the Netherlands, Slovenia, Portugal and Spain reported on activities in their respective countries. In his message sent for the meeting, Mr. Ikeda encouraged everyone to deepen their understanding of Nichiren's writings and emphasized that putting the philosophy of Nichiren Buddhism into practice in their daily lives will enable them to lead hope-filled lives and realize their unlimited potential.
[Adapted from an article in the August 2, 2008 issue of the Seikyo Shimbun, Soka Gakkai, Japan; photo courtesy of Rocco Patella, SGI-Italy]