Annual SGI-Europe Summer Courses Held in Southern France and Denmark
From July 30 to August 3, 2009, men and women attended their respective annual summer courses at the SGI European Center in Trets, southern France. A session for college and university students followed from August 8-11 and one for youth members was held from August 19-23. Some 500 people from 28 countries participated.
Study material included concepts from Nichiren Buddhism such as "changing one's karma or destiny," "the object of devotion for observing the mind" and the passage "It is the heart that is important" from Nichiren's writings.
Mr. Ikeda and his wife, Kaneko Ikeda, sent a congratulatory message to this year's summer courses, marking 34 years since the first session was held in the newly-opened center at Trets in 1975. The message stressed that the summer courses provided opportunities to undergo human revolution, an inner transformation in which one challenges weaknesses and limitations in an effort to reveal the inherent "greater self" while at the same time positively contributing to the happiness of others.
From August 3 to 7, SGI-Netherlands hosted its own summer training event at Trets. Participants studied SGI President Daisaku Ikeda's novelized account of the SGI movement, The New Human Revolution. SGI-Netherlands General Director Shozo Kotera and Women's Leader Mieke Iwami also attended, engaging in dialogue with the participants. From August 3-9, some 400 SGI-Denmark representatives gathered for the SGI-Demark summer course at the Askov Folk High School in Vejen, Denmark, and from September 4 to 6, over 200 participants attended SGI-Ireland's training course held in Dublin.
[Adapted from an article in the September 1, 2009 issue of the Seikyo Shimbun, Soka Gakkai, Japan; photos courtesy of Seikyo Shimbun]