Back to listJan 16, 2011

SGI-Europe Leaders hold Summit Meeting in Trets, France

110116x_europe_summit_trets.jpgThe SGI European Training Center in Trets, France

2011 marks the 50th anniversary of SGI President Daisaku Ikeda's first visit to Europe in October 1961. Some 200 SGI-Europe leaders from 28 countries convened at the SGI European Training Center in Trets, France, from January 14-16, to discuss how to commemorate the historic date and the ensuing efforts by Mr. Ikeda and many members to create lasting world peace.

In his message to participants, Mr. Ikeda encouraged everyone to lead vibrant lives full of momentum. Also leaders discussed how they will make SGI centers in Europe, such as SGI-UK's Taplow Court Grand Culture Centre and SGI-Germany's Villa Sachsen, more available as venues for training courses, starting in 2012.

This year, SGI-Europe members will focus on developing their local, grassroots meetings which provide opportunities for dialogue and sharing how the practice of Buddhism is applied in the midst of daily life in modern society. Other areas of focus include studying various writings on Buddhism by Mr. Ikeda. Activities during the year will also reflect the leaders' resolve to help young people realize and manifest their capability.

On January 14, an SGI-Europe Youth Summit was held also at Trets. Youth participants re-determined to become pillars of peace and happiness in their local communities.

On October 5, 1961, Mr. Ikeda visited Europe for the first time, starting with Copenhagen, Denmark. Over the next 20 days, he visited 12 cities throughout Europe. To date, SGI members now reside in over 40 European countries.

[Adapted from an article in the January 19, 2011 issue of the SGI-UK Online News Bulletin and the January 23, 2011, issue of Seikyo Shimbun, Soka Gakkai, Japan; photo courtesy of SGI-UK]